Tipping a delivery boy – Mandatory or Optional?

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    elik writes, in part: “if a jew he needs the money…. if a non jew its a chillul hashem not to tip!” Your conclusions are correct, but your reasoning puzzles me. Since when has any delivery man/woman not needed money? Do you know why there are no rules in Park Avenue coops prohibiting the purchase of apartments by delivery men? Because they can’t afford them anyway.


    My pharmacy boasts free delivery no matter what you buy. We once ordered a couple of items that a Mexican dropped off, it was one shopping bag. We gave him a dollar. He threw it on the floor and said “I don’t accept one dollar.”


    I guess not in your part of Cedarhurst. In my neighborhood, it is. We tip the delivery guy EVERY time.

    The Wolf

    I have a feeling “Cedarhurst” doesn’t live in Cedarhurst. Not enough 5 Towns.

    Avram in MD

    If tips these days are mandatory, it is still false advertisement to say FREE delivery.

    The tips are not mandatory… unless you fear G-d and His Torah.

    Just because someone agrees with me it doesn’t make me him!

    In this case, we’ll have to agree to disagree.



    I believe there are many more names…

    Avram in MD

    My pharmacy boasts free delivery no matter what you buy. We once ordered a couple of items that a Mexican dropped off, it was one shopping bag. We gave him a dollar. He threw it on the floor and said “I don’t accept one dollar.”

    So now we’ve established that there are deliverymen out there who are rude. How does this impact the discussion on tipping?


    Seriously, what are you tipping the delivery guy, your life savings? Give the guy a dollar to show that you appreciate him coming out in the cold (or heat) to bring you your food. It’s not a major expense! If you would have picked it up yourself, chances are you would of had to feed the meter for a quarter to two anyway. (not to mention, you are using a couple of cents worth of gas!)So you are paying a grand total of $.50 for the convenience of having the food brought to your door.

    Stop making mountains out of molehills!


    dont be a TIPish pay them their due


    sacrilege said,

    These are the people who get offended when Jews are called cheap!

    Delivery is a convenience, if for whatever reason you cannot make it to the store and the store offers free delivery that is on the store NOT on the delivery person. Show some mentschlichkeit and some hakoras hatov and give the guy/gal a tip!

    Great post!

    I remember a conversation from the law school library where the first student asked, “How much do you tip if you get a pizza delivered?” and the second student replied, “That depends. Do you ever want to order another pizza?”

    so right

    I give the delivery guy from the pharmacy 50 cents. What’s the big deal? No one will tell you how much to tip (if it isn’t a waiter – which has a standard 15%) and there is no standard “percent” for a delivery guy.

    “pumper” is absolutely correct. I can spare the two quarters.


    Real-brisker: You misunderstood the delivery “boy” (referred to in your first comment). You misinterpreted the inquiry of the delivery “boy” when he asked about change – he was actually being courteous to you, he was not asking for a tip. A 15% tip on a bill of $26.25 would be about $3.90, and you were owed (assuming no tip) only $3.75 in change. The delivery “boy” reasonably (and perhaps with chesed) assumed you were like most people and did not expect change, but he had the courtesy to offer you an opportunity to make clear your intention not to tip him. Tips may be optional according to Webster, but Webster is no Rashi. Many, if not most, delivery people work only for tips, and you should recognize that before you avail yourself of their services. Your objection that the restaurant advertised “free” delivery is a phoney excuse for your discourtesy. And if you are going hungry, as you stated, there are many charities that can help you, and I suppose you don’t have to tip them if they bring the meal to your home.

    If you habitually do not tip delivery personnel, and if you ever serve delivered food to guests, perhaps you should warn them that their food may have been adulterated by an untipped delivery man or woman.


    When Jesse Jackson was a waiter, he used to spit in white people’s soup.


    When Jesse Jackson was a waiter, he used to spit in white people’s soup.

    So what? What does that have to do with anything under discussion here?

    The Wolf


    wow jesse jackson dislikes white people? that is so shocking tmb what other revelations do you have today if its raining out you will get wet?

    what does that have to do with the subject at hand?

    answer me that hymie


    It’s tangentially related to nfgo3’s closing.


    My pharmacy boasts free delivery no matter what you buy. We once ordered a couple of items that a Mexican dropped off, it was one shopping bag. We gave him a dollar. He threw it on the floor and said “I don’t accept one dollar.”

    So now we’ve established that there are deliverymen out there who are rude. How does this impact the discussion on tipping? “

    You pick up the dollar, and resolve not to tip this delivery person ever again, or pick up your own pharmacy items. If I give a dollar to the guy who checked my oil and put air in my tires, he says a very polite thank you with a smile that tells me he does not often get ANY type of a tip. A dollar is a dollar. Put enough of them together and you eventually have a nice pile of dollars. This reminds me of the meshulach who did the same thing to me. He actually flung the dollar back in my face and said, “Here! It’s obvious you need this more than I do!” To which I replied, “You’re right, but I nevertheless still wanted to give you SOMEthing!”



    I didn’t say that I personally withhold part or all of a tip based on poor service – I said that doing so is legitimate.

    “WolfishMusings” did a pretty good job of explaining my thinking – a full tip is compensation for a job fully and properly done. An incomplete job (poor or rude service) gets an incomplete tip. This is the way tipping works in society – the tip is the customer’s leverage to get good service. I’m not sure if this is a precise analogy, but we learn in Nezikin that we follow the minhag of where you are when it comes to what type of payment is expected and to what that payment entitles the payer.

    Your question is more suited to a “tipping mandatory” policy, which many restaurants institute for parties over a certain size. In that case I would agree with your point, that withholding a tip based on poor service isn’t an option. I would complain to the manager or owner to see if they would waive the tip or offer some other form of compensation.


    See Box 1 in your W-2 form. It says: ” Wages, tips, other compensation”

    If person suppose to show his/her tips, when files income tax return, it must be legitimate to receive it.

    In some restaurants they include waiter’s tips in a bill. Other places just put in writing suggested %% for tips.

    Some owners pay delivery boy cash (less than minimum legitimate wages) and tips are actually what they working for.

    18 years ago, when I came to USA, I received from Jewish Community Services a brochure “Welcome to America”.

    One paragraph was about tips – who we suppose to give (waiter, delivery boy, taxi driver, barber…) and how much, who we should not give ( UPS driver, clerk in governmental office…).

    So, I assume it is nothing new for someone, who was born in America.


    Please let’s stay on topic.

    1) real brisker the issue here is to tip or not to tip.

    2) is tipping mandatory

    3) is it false advertising to lable yourself “free shipping”

    4) even if there is an obligation to tip how much

    5) where does the root of tipping (mikar) come from.

    I would like to start out like this. Many years ago when i played monopoly and landed on a space that would cost me $4 or $8 etc. my father taught us the give $5 or $10 and say ” keep the change and be gezunt!”

    Now there was no reason for this other then imparting a value le lesson in tipping. Or more precise showing true hackers hatov.

    When I we t to modells with my father to buy a basketball hoop. The schvartsa put it into our van. My father gave him $3. I asked him why there was no rule/sign stating a need, he replied “make a Miesian hashem they know were Jewish. “

    When I went to Petra in Jordan they offered me a free horsebackring ride to the city! Of course I took it. When I got there the guide stuck out his hand – tip?

    I told him you said free!

    There are many times in life that logic declares one way bit practicality says another.

    See coffeeroom under tipping before chugga

    In every situation a different thing is correct.

    I feel you should have not only let him keep the $3 but given him $5 more.

    Ps my grandfather was very makpid on tipping goyim, they hate us, let’s not give them more reason.


    cv – Yes one has to pay taxes on tips, why – because its income, Now what does thathave to do with tips being mandatory?


    nfgo3 – Yes the websters is not rashi (chas visholom to think it is), rather what is it?


    Lakewood Dude – Tipping is very nice, it makes a kiddush hashem, its very much appreciated, but who says one is required?


    real brisker

    “Tipping is very nice, it makes a kiddush hashem, its very much appreciated, but who says one is required?”

    So make a Chillul Hash-m (C”V) if you want. Good luck.

    Avram in MD


    What’s the big deal?

    Hashem’s honor.

    Tipping is very nice, it makes a kiddush hashem, its very much appreciated, but who says one is required?

    Ask your Rov if, when faced with the choice between making a kiddush Hashem and a chillul Hashem, are you required to make the kiddush Hashem?

    On many other topics, you come down on the strict side. Why, however, when it comes to your gelt, does derech eretz become optional?


    Real-brisker asks what Webster’s Dictionary is. It is a dictionary, i.e., a compilation of words and how they are used in the the English language. There is an ongoing debate among lexicographers about whether a dictionary should be prescriptive, i.e., an authoritative set of definitions of the correct and permissible meanings of words, or descriptive, i.e., a compilation of how words are actually used, without purporting to distinguish correct from incorrect meanings. Webster’s straddles these two poles.

    My household copy of Webster’s is “Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, Based on Webster’s Third New International Dictionary,” copyright 1963. As you may recall, Webster’s Third was considered by many lexicographers as more descriptive than its two predecessors. It defines the noun “tip” as: “a gift or small sum of money tendered for a service performed or anticipated”. There is no mention in my Webster’s of “voluntary”. If you are invited to a wedding or other simcha, I am sure that you would give a “gift,” and I am sure you would not consider withholding the gift because it is not explicitly required. I think the same principle applies to tips for delivery personnel. My point, however, is that dictionaries are not guides to courteous or moral or ethical behavior, they are merely guides to the meanings of words.

    One other point in this thread: Mr./Ms. Trying My Best says Reverend Jesse Jackson would spit in his customers’ food when he was a waiter. To my knowledge, Rev. Jackson never worked as a waiter. He did, many years ago, advocate the practice of spitting in food in retaliation for wrongs which I can no longer recall, but I do not believe he ever actually did what he advocated. He did draw a reaction from restauranteurs and black waiters, who complained that his public remarks would discourage people from availing themselves of the services of black waiters and cost them their jobs. It is important to remember that there is a material gap between Rev. Jackson’s words and actions. Another example: he never performed surgery on presidential candidate Barack Obama, contrary to something he unknowingly whispered into a live microphone.


    Real Brisker

    If you can afford to pay for what is being delivered (probably food from a restaurant), then I don’t think that an extra dollar will make much of a dent in your budget.


    sac – Just because one does not make a kidush hashem does it automaticly make a chillul hashen!



    Being that you are Jewish and most probably look it, anything that you do that is iffy, unfavorable or not 100% will be cause for a chillul Hash-m. Non-Jews would love nothing more than to find fault with a Jew, dont give them a reason to.


    “cv – Yes one has to pay taxes on tips, why – because its income, Now what does that have to do with tips being mandatory? “

    Nothing, wasn’t the point made that tipping is an accepted aspect of wages, because we see it listed on the tax forms? Tips are NOT mandatory. But a normal human being who has received a service, shows menschlechkeit and sensitivity to others by offering a tip to an often-underpaid employee who relies on tips for his parnassah.


    Sac – The fact that tips are optiomal makes it NOT a chillul hashem if you dont give. These is no reason to look down upon someone that does not tip.


    Sorry, R-B , but I beg to differ with you. the C”H occurs when the (often) non-Jewish delivery guy says to himself, “CHEAP JEW!” (And he WILL). It is even worse, when the delivery is of a big bag of restaurant goodies that may have cost 50 or more dollars. You really cannot afford two or three bucks for a tip?????? You just hate the idea of feeling coerced into this by anyone.



    “The fact that tips are optiomal makes it NOT a chillul hashem if you dont give”

    Sorry, I’m not following your twisted logic.


    oomis – Why only by a je will he think cheap jew more than saying it by a non jew?


    sorry sac i guess you dont learn enough gemorah!


    put urself in their shoes!! sometimes i make the tip 2 or 3 dollars just to see the smile on their face. I know how it would make me feel to get it.. its a kiddush hashem, forget abt the chillul hashem in not giving.. its an oppty to make a KIDDUSH HASHEM!


    real brisker – I also did not learn enough Gemorah.

    But if companies reimburse their employees for tips they paid to taxi driver / waiter / person, who took luggage or made pizza delivery to the room etc., don’t you think it means that to tip for service is a word-wide custom?

    And customs of our fathers……..



    True. But somehow I doubt any Talmud Chacham would support your position.


    Even if it is customary to tip a delivery guy, there certainly is no custom of how much to tip them – like there is by a waiter who typically gets 15%.

    So if you give the guy a buck that more than suffices.


    Sac – I guess i’m not a talmid chochom


    RB,ever heard of eisav sone le’Ya’akov? No need to provoke. And, don’t sweat so much about giving up a dollar.


    “oomis – Why only by a je will he think cheap jew more than saying it by a non jew? “

    First of all, and most obvious, he will not think to himself, “Cheap Jew,” if it is a non-Jew to whom he is delivering, because he will see it is a non-Jew. He might think to himself “Cheap jerk!” But when it is clearly a JEW, it does not need anything more than that Jewishness for him to blame that perceived cheapness on the money-grubbing Jews. Since when do our enemies EVER need an excuse to call us (fill in the blank)_______________ Jew!

    So why would you deliberately want to cause such a chillul, forgetting for the moment that in fact, is is a nice thing to show hakoras hatov to ANYONE who delivers something to you or performs a service. Being that he is employed no doubt at fairly low wages, money is the best hakoras hatov.


    R-brisker I dont consider myself a talmud chacham but I have learned enough gemorah to know that what you said has noting to do with learning gemorah.


    @real brisker

    Just because something is optional doesn’t mean there is no chillul hashem if you don’t do it!

    What if there is an old lady in a wheelchair who is right behind you and you don’t hold open a heavy door for her and let it slam in her face, there is no law saying that you have to. so therefore it’s not a chillul hashem?! There is no law obligating one to say thank you when one does him a favor. Does that mean that there is no chillul hashem?!

    I know people who have worked as waiters and whether or not they are justified, they do think people who don’t tip are jerks.

    I happen think they are justified because it is taken into account when they get wages. You say-well its just up to the employer!-but if you know anything about economics, in your world, the employer will just charge you more for your food if he has to pay the delivery boy more and probably more than you would tip.


    In any industry where you are being served it is common to give a tip for good, quick, and courteous service.

    I work in the food industry and serve people all the time. I happen to make plenty doing what I do but a tip is a big boost and even small ones eventually add up.

    The delivery boy did not ASK for a tip. He merely implied that he would like to get one. It is not mandatory that you give one but you would not give one if he did not ask so he is suggesting that maybe you would like to.

    In fact the way he did it was extremely nice. I usually just say the cost of the bill and add plus tip or not including tip at the end.



    The goyim do not need anymore reasons to hate us.

    Try putting yourself in his shoes for one moment.

    We are “SO HOLY” when it comes to giving tzdoko/ maser, but have no common sense Ben Odom Lechovero.

    I promise you, the dollar we give will get us much further than the dollar we kept.


    Real Brisker states: Lakewood Dude – Tipping is very nice, it makes a kiddush hashem, but who says one is required?

    Who said one is required to make a Kiddush Hashem??

    I guess you don’t think the Mitzvah of K.H. is worth a dollar.


    I have decided by now that the real basis of this thread is the following. People look to justify their bad middos, whether it be cheapness, thoughtlessness, lack of consideration, insensitivity to others or rudeness. The more they are made aware their trait is not an attractive one, the more they dig int heir heels, attempting to excuse it away.

    You can’t excuse it, justify it, or talk us into being ok with it. Admit to yourself that you are being a little overly-thrifty (how is THAT for a non-pejorative expression), when perhaps it is not warranted, and work on yourself. Otherwise admit that you are that way but LIKE yourself being overly-thrift. it’s not a crime, but “It’s no great honor, either!” (Tevye the Milkman).

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    I sent this question t o a well known halacha institute. This is how I worded the question:

    Kvod Horav,

    When is one obilgated to give a tip (i.e. waiter, delivery, camp

    counselor) and when is it optional?



    This is the answer I received:


    Thank you so much for contacting us with this interesting inquiry. The answer to your inquiry is that generally one is not obligated to give a tip. However, one must be mindful of two things. In some circumstances a “tip” is part of the employee’s salary (camp counselor or waiter) and as such it should be paid the same as their salary. Additionally, one must be mindful of the potential chillul Hashem that could result if one does not properly tip an employee.

    Hatzlacha Rabba,

    (name of Rov)

    (name of institute)

    Obviously, consult you own posek, but it seems to me that it would be agreed upon by most.


    On January 9th

    this thread was bumped

    its newer clone

    so rudely dumped

    it’s not that we don’t

    like that thread

    it just made sense

    to use this, instead


    Thank You, ICOT!

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