Tipping Culture Called Out After Pizza Driver Gets $20 On $938 Order

Four boxes of pizza
Unsplash | Lukas Bee.

When it comes to tipping, how much do you give? Are you a generous type who gives 18 to 20% every time? Does it depend on the quality of the service? Or do you believe tipping culture is, in itself, fundamentally broken?

Redditors found themselves debating tipping culture after a Redditor shared a story of a Pizza Hut delivery driver getting a tiny tip given the size of the order.

The post was written by a security guard at an office building in Dallas.

The Dallas skyline at night
Unsplash | Gabriel Tovar

OP wrote that they noticed a delivery driver bringing a massive pizza order to a third floor office.

"[The driver] was pretty excited because she said it was a blessing to be making these big deliveries," wrote OP. "She didn't flat out say it but was excited about the tip she should receive on such a large order."

The order was in the amount of $938.

Exterior shot of a Pizza Hut restaurant
Unsplash | Saumya Rastogi

Some quick math shows us that a generous tip of 18 percent would come out to a little over $168. A smaller tip of 15 percent would be $140. However, when it was all said and done, the driver received a $20 tip.

While $20 is a great tip on a $40 order, it's a tiny tip on an order that cost nearly a thousand dollars. It works out to a 2.132% tip.

"As her voice begins to break, she says, 'They only tipped me $20. I just said thank you and left.'"

A tip jar
Unsplash | Sam Dan Truong

OP felt bad for the driver, so sent her $50 via a cash app. OP wasn't in this for the adulation, though.

"Corporations suck, tip culture sucks, everything sucks," they concluded.

Does tipping culture suck?

A silver tip jar
Unsplash | Dan Smedley

It would certainly appear so, yes. Considering the variability of tips, and the fact that employers depend on this to supplement the wages they pay their employees, it's hard to find too many defenders of the practice. Commenters in the thread were quick to call out tipping culture while sharing a few stories of their own.

"I can tell you ... people with money tip the least."

Four stacked boxes of pizza
Unsplash | Lukas Bee.

"I took a $350 order the other day to a luxury hotel in their own private room and got no tip," wrote one Pizza Hut delivery driver. "But yesterday, I took a $30 order to someone and he gave me a $30 tip just because he had put the wrong address."

There must be something about offices ordering pizza.

A dollar bill with two quarters, two dimes and three pennies sitting on top
Unsplash | Kenny Eliason

Another former delivery driver — this one for Domino's — had a story shockingly similar to OP's.

"Delivered a ~$400 Domino's order once. Handed some cash and when I count it, it is $0.20 short," they wrote.

After an employee asked if they were tipped, they said they weren't, and the order was still 20 cents short.

"[The employee] tells me she will get me taken care of," they wrote. "I stand around for 5 minutes and this [expletive] corporate hack brings me 2 dimes and a smile telling me, 'Thank you. Have a nice day.'"

You don't have to be rich to tip generously.

A barber giving a man a haircut
Unsplash | delfina pan

"I get my haircut at a barbershop that charges $30 for a cut and I always tip $10. The last time my barber took me in on a day off (his regular day was closed for the holidays) and I gave him an extra $20 for accommodating me. He got 100% tip," wrote one generous tipper.

"It's not hard to treat people well that work hard for you. And if you treat them well, they will treat you well right back."

Is it a matter of perspective?

Arrested Development's Lucille Bluth asking what one banana could cost, possibly ten dollars
Giphy |

One commenter pointed out that it's possible that rich people aren't selfish, but just oblivious.

"Someone who has $1 million probably doesn't think $10 is anything so they overlook it, but someone with only $1,000 knows the true value of that money," they wrote.

There has to be a better way.

Multiple European Union flags

"Welcome to Europe where we don't have a tip culture at all," wrote an evidently European commenter.

"Why? Because the people actually get paid to not rely on tips," they wrote. "Being a good waiter/deliverer often gets you the chance for a nice tip, which is a nice bonus on top, but we don't have a minimum tip you have to give."

Changing tipping culture will require legal reform.

A gavel
Unsplash | Wesley Tingey

As a commenter pointed out, tipping culture is so ingrained in our society — and so relied on by employers — that it'll take a significant push to get rid of it.

"As long as paying below minimum wage is allowed, companies will compete by lowering wages, not raising prices and thus wages," they wrote. "Until we get a law passed."

What's your take on tipping culture?

Person paying with a card on a mobile payment terminal
Unsplash | Blake Wisz

It's one of those things we've all become completely accustomed to, but does it really make sense for employers to pay less than a living wage, and oftentimes less than minimum wage, because customers are expected to supplement their wage?

Let us know what you think of tipping in the comments section.