With shelter-in-place, employees at
restaurants, grocery stores and
pharmacies are considered “essential”.
but a lot of these local spots are struggling to
stay afloat financially — especially the workers.
On May 12, Eater posted an account by an employee
who works with online orders and pickup at
a Vietnamese restaurant in Los Angeles.
The story explains that as quarantine
goes on, customers are reverting to
old habits of barely tipping.
“During a rainstorm, a customer called and
asked that we bring her order out to the car.
When I handed her the receipt, she wrote ‘0.00’
and signed her name with a flourish. She was
wearing a T-shirt that said ‘Wild Feminist’”.
The Onion even commented on the clash between
praising essential workers as “heroes” but not
actually treating them that way at all, with
an article titled “‘God Bless Our Heroes!’
Written Where Tip Should Be”.
People on Twitter responded to the story
sharing their accounts of tipping workers
as best they can — even though some of them
are also suffering under the circumstances.
“I’m on SSI & have no aid bc of lockdown. I can't
cook or shop for myself so get delivery 4-6 x month.
Since the end of Feb I've tipped a flat $10 for every
delivery & am wracked with guilt that I can't do
more. How is anyone ok with doing less”.
“I’ve been giving my Instacart shoppers
$60-100 tip each trip from the $1200 the
government sent. One of them sent me a
handwritten thank you note. Made my day”.
Others seemed outraged by the idea of
tipping more — claiming that ordering food
for pickup did not warrant any extra cash.
“So if I order takeout for my house
and the bill comes to $60 you want
me to tip $24 on top of the fee I'm
paying the app provider”.
“…I’ve never even thought to tip on takeout
before. I’m walking to the place, picking it
up, bringing it home... you’re not even interacting
w wait staff most of the time”