Restaurant workers are 'essential,' but nobody is tipping them

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”