The Water Cooler: Tipping Car Washers & Pizza Delivery People

October 2, 2012 12:00 pm · 70 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it!

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon!

Do you tip the people who wash your car or deliver your pizza? If so, how much do you give them? Is it the same amount that you’d give to a waiter or waitress in a restaurant?

Talk about it….

Mika October 2, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Car wash–used to. Last few times through SuperStation, they did a terrible job. I’m going to have to wait and inspect before I hand my tip over to them.

Parsnip October 2, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Car wash = 15%. Same place for past eight years in Walnut Creek off North Main.

Pizza = don’t eat, therefore, don’t order, therefore, no tip.

Working Two Jobs October 2, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Can’t afford either in this economy.

Z Man October 2, 2012 at 12:09 PM

When I do get my car washed, I see who the individuals are that dry and detail the car, and tip them in advance…. that way they know what they are working for.

Pizza. I pick mine up, or do Papa Murphys…. no tip.

Cowellian October 2, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Yeah, I’ll tip pizza delivery guys as well as car washers. But I never tip at a pizza place or any other restaurant where I order, pay for, and pick up my order at the counter.

anonanonagain October 2, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Yes. They work hard for a measly wage. Tips are essential to the service industry. I usually give 5 dollars to the car wash workers. They supposedly split the tip up……

Kirkwood October 2, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Yes I tip the guys on the line at the car wash, typically a couple of bucks. Percentagewise that’s less than at restauraunts, especially ones I expect to go back to.

It looks to me that few others tip at the car wash.

Todd October 2, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Sitting at the Brothers car wash on Monument right now. Yes I tip here and try to at Papa Murphys. Im in the customer service industry and its always nice to be rewarded for good service!

Cody B. October 2, 2012 at 12:26 PM

As a former pizza delivery driver AND a car detailer/washer – I can tell you that tips are very much appreciated (since you are usually paid minimum wage and tips are how you survive). I did these jobs years ago when I was in college – I still clearly recall when I delivered for Skipolini’s certain people in Clayton that I delivered to would say bluntly “I would tip you, but your owner charges too much for pizza already”. That was very unfair and rude in my opinion. I understand that tipping is optional, and I NEVER expected a tip, but to say something like that was a bit too much. Now, as an adult, I am sure to tip appropriately (only if I am happy with the service, if not, I will not tip based on the crappy service I received).

TOB October 2, 2012 at 12:31 PM

I tip both. Usually 5.00 for car wash normally 5 singles so they share amongst selves and make sure they receive.

Pizza delivery I do but not standard 10/15%. Most all already charge a delivery fee 2.50. I just give the delivery guy 2.00. Delivery guy is not a waiter didn’t serve me follow-up etc. just delivered so 2.00 more than fine in my opinion. 🙂

Anonokat October 2, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Yes, I tip at both places, 20% of the bill.

TeamUSA October 2, 2012 at 12:36 PM

I agree I have been having trouble at Superstation, too. I paid a good amount for a hand wax and ended up with water marks on my mirrors and they forgot to wipe down the inside of my car. I used to give $5-$10 in tips depending on which wash I’ve been getting but I found a more consistent outside wash at the Lil Bear Gas station on North Main.

CW October 2, 2012 at 12:37 PM

I never used to tip the pizza delivery guy because I naively assumed that the “delivery fee” listed on the receipt went to him. Then I found out from someone whose husband moonlights delivering pizzas that it doesn’t. I feel horrible about not tipping before so now I try to be generous.

Anon777 October 2, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Yes, but just a couple dollars (which I guess is about 15-20% on a $15 car wash), though I generally wash my own car. Agree with Cowellian; I don’t tip when I did everything myself. If I use delivery, I tip the pizza person more or less depending upon how much he is bringing to me. If I ordered 5 pizza’s I would tip more than if I ordered one pizza. And, If I’m ordering in, it’s because I can’t afford the tip and extra’s (soda, alcohol, appetizer, dessert).

anon666 October 2, 2012 at 12:38 PM

I used to deliver pizzas when I was younger so I always tip (and well). I also tip the guys at the car wash, but I know the owner and get free washes. All they cost me is the tip.

landana mike October 2, 2012 at 12:42 PM

I offer the pizza guy a slice but only after i take all the pepperoni off

La Grinch October 2, 2012 at 12:46 PM

People who work behind a counter or window = never.
People who schlep food for you (bring you food) = always.
People who perform a ‘personal’ service on you = always.
People who perform service on your stuff = almost always no – unless it involves cleaning your car or parking your car.

Bob H. October 2, 2012 at 12:48 PM

I always tip The Strickly To Go Pizza delivery person. The car wash is an automatic $5. These people live in this area making a minimum wage. Legal or illegal,at least they are trying to better themselves. I always pay $10 for a donation car wash. Rich? Far from it. I just appreciate People who try to help themselves and others

Carl Spackler October 2, 2012 at 12:49 PM

So I say, “Hey Lama, how about a little something for the effort?”

So he says, “On your deathbed you will receive total and complete enlightement”.

So I have that going for me……which is nice.

The Professor October 2, 2012 at 12:51 PM

I prefer to tip cows.

Cody B. October 2, 2012 at 12:53 PM

@CW – yes the ‘delivery fee’ at the pizza place I worked went to the owner, not to the driver. 🙂 A lot of people don’t realize that.

Anon October 2, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Where I go they hold the keys hostage until you hand them a tip.

Reality says... October 2, 2012 at 12:55 PM

We interrupt this program for an important announcement…

If you’re one of those people who take your car to the car wash @ Circle K and inspect it up and down when they’re finished this is for you.

1) If you’re really that concerned about the care of your vehicle, you wouldn’t be taking it to that kind of car wash to begin with. Funny it’s always the people with the dark colored cars…get a clue, taking it to that kind of car wash is the worst thing you could do.
2) If you’re that concerned with the quality of the job that’s being done, why not do it yourself? I’m sure you could do a much better job. Go here if you need a little instruction
3) IF you want to inspect it, PLEASE exercise a little common courtesy when pointing out areas they may have missed (like that nickle size drop of water). The body language, facial expressions and finger pointing I see these people do pisses me off; but I have promised my wife after the last time I told some guy to stop being a dick I wouldn’t do it anymore. I know they are “just Mexicans” but exercise a little class and be respectful when bringing oversights to the guys attention. They always correct the issues, the attitude is not needed.

Again, if you want to be a dick about it, wash your own car at home and then you can inspect it over and over again.

I nnow return you back to your regularly scheduled programming…

Anon October 2, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Yes, I do tip but it’s not the same as I give to waiters/waitresses because it’s a one time shot. They don’t keep coming over to fill my drink, etc.

I usually give the pizza delivery person $2 – $3
The car wash person $3 – $5
Same with the person that cuts my hair. If it’s good, $3 – $5 but then again my cuts are pretty cheap. I don’t pay $60-80 for haircuts.

RenoRon October 2, 2012 at 12:57 PM

How much should you tip a cocktail waitress at a casino for a free drink?

Lori October 2, 2012 at 1:12 PM

SuperStation car wash is a waste of money they do a lousy job. Only reason I go there is because it’s close to home. If (and that’s a BIG IF) they do a half decent job I’ll give them 5 bucks reluctantly. Yes they may make minimum wage but dang do a good job and I’ll tip more. Pizza delivery 15% but don’t bring me cold pizza or you’ll take it back.

Rob October 2, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Yeah – I tip car wash folks, pizza delivery people, etc… I typically tip about 25% of the bill (for at least decent service, more for great service but I am not opposed to no tip for lousy service). I remember working jobs in college and shortly after that didn’t pay well and that depended on tips.

Chicken Little October 2, 2012 at 1:33 PM

I usually tip the pizza delivery guy 5 bucks. I wash my own car.

@Reality says October 2, 2012 at 1:42 PM

I couldn’t have said that better myself!

Charles-the-cat October 2, 2012 at 1:46 PM

I don’t use either service any more but when I did I would tip the car washers about 10%. More if I saw them doing an especially good job. Same thing with pizza or other food delivery people: 10%-15%. I never used any place that charged a delivery fee but if it was bad weather or a Big Game day, then I’d usually tip closer to 20%.

I now use my teenage son as car washer and family food allergies keep us from eating delivered pizzas. As a result, we have family pizza night and everyone gets to assemble and bake their own pizza….way way more fun than delivery and with TiVo we can do it without missing any of the game.

Wisecracker October 2, 2012 at 1:48 PM

@Cody B,
Clayton patrons actually had the nerve to make a comment about the high price of the pizza to justify not giving you a tip? I politely would have reminded them Little Caesars would be a good alternative if you really can’t afford the $25 pizza…

My husband hand washes my car for me weekly, mainly because he does a much better job. The times he’s taken it somewhere he has come home to re-do what should have been done better to begin with.

As for tipping the pizza delivery person, absolutely and generously, because if and when I order something to be delivered (rarely) it’s because I am exhausted at the end of a busy day… so I appreciate their service.

no way October 2, 2012 at 2:05 PM

I don’t order pizza in, I have a pizza oven at home and make mine from scratch. Maybe I should wait for a tip when I bring to the table.

I used to tip at car washes when I lived in another state and they were $6-$10 for a full service wash and wash/wax run about $30, but in this area I am paying $25-$50 for a lower level of service. At least in Phoenix, they would blow the excess water out of the door and trunk gutters with compressed air so there would be no drips as I drove away. Here I am lucky if they even dry the gutters with a towel. I won’t even get started on the window streaks they leave.

I have had my hair cut for years at a no tipping salon, where a basic men’s haircut is $75 and Women’s haircuts start at $110. They recently expanded and I have noticed that some of the new clients are tipping, I don’t really get it when the newer clients are informed of the no tipping policy and they insist on tipping. Last time I was there the woman paying as I checked in tipped her stylist $45 for a $215 service.

Ted Knight October 2, 2012 at 2:09 PM

@ Carl #19,

I appreciate the “Caddyshack” reference.


Cody B. October 2, 2012 at 2:21 PM

@Wisecracker –

yep, there were more than a few people in Clayton that told me how they felt about the cost of the pizza and that is why they weren’t tipping….. and of course I wanted to refer them to a place like Little Caesar’s, but I couldn’t really say something like that to them (but I would think it for sure!).

JustMe October 2, 2012 at 2:22 PM

If I go to a full service car wash, and if they vacuum my car and there’s a team drying my car afterwards, then yes I tip them. I rarely use a full service car wash though.

I love pizza, but hardly anyone delivers to where I live, but when I can get Domino’s to come out, I most certainly tip them. Usually I have to go pick up my own pizza.

Palermo October 2, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Yes to both, usually 20 percent

RanchgirlCA October 2, 2012 at 2:35 PM

I don’t do delivery take out, so no tip there. I do tip at the carwash, but only a few bucks, since I get the cheapest wash.

Bob H. October 2, 2012 at 2:45 PM

@ no way- you pay $110 for a hair cut and then don’t tip? wow !! Are your priorities screwed up !!!

Don October 2, 2012 at 2:50 PM

I was recently at a car wash (I won’t say which one) and there was an older guy probably around 55 yrs old, with a typical mid-life crisis car – a jag convertible or something like that. Anyways, real arrogant guy…… when the people were done washing and cleaning his car, he went out, kneeled down to look under the door (like UNDER the car) and said to the guy “what kind of job is this? I paid for this to be clean!”………. the guy obliged and wiped the spot, and the guy said “if you ever have enough money to have a car like this someday you will understand why I am so picky”….. I was ready to punch him. The funny part was that I drive a car much more expensive than his, and I just walked by shaking my head, got in my car and left.

Anon2you October 2, 2012 at 2:51 PM

I will always tip someone who brings me food…I usually do a 10% minimum with a round up to the nearest 5 or 10 (if it is $3, I will give them $5 for example)… but with the current economic environment and the fact that most food deliveries come at a premium, we don’t order delivery much anymore. I almost always wash my own car, but the few times I didn’t I will just give the guy who is last at the car a couple bucks…No specific percentage..and no more than $5. Sorry about that, like I said I wash my own car and if I do go to a carwash it is already expensive enough.

Tipssssy October 2, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Yes. I tip both.

Howard K Mullins III October 2, 2012 at 2:54 PM

I tip for both. The amount varies with the quality of service. A friendly person doing a good job gets more than grouch who does a less quality job.

Al CZervik October 2, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Hey Martha, you wanna earn $14 dollars the hard way?

-Al Czervik

To Reno Ron October 2, 2012 at 3:01 PM

I usually tip them $1 (a chip) whether it is water or a drink. You end paying a whole lot of money by the end of your stay 🙂

vh October 2, 2012 at 3:07 PM

I hate when i forget that i need to tip but dont have cash!! I didnt realize it but i had been under tipping pizza delivery guys for years. Not that i ordered pizza that often. I try to do 15%. I dont get my car washed that often and of course i went the other day and forgot about tip so i only gave them a dollar. But when i went to inspect my car i found a bunch of crap left behind so im kinda glad i didnt tip well.

vh October 2, 2012 at 3:10 PM

And can i say i hate when im getting a to go order and they hand me the receipt to sign and it asks for a tip amount. I always feel weird like im being cheap by not tipping but they didnt serve me! Does anyone else feel the sanme way ?

Charles-the-cat October 2, 2012 at 3:15 PM

@Cody B. – I had to wait tables and rely on tips to get through college too. Probably some of the best education available. You learn a lot of interesting and useful things about human nature when you work a low paying service job.

Wisecracker October 2, 2012 at 3:23 PM

@no way #32
If a “basic” men’s haircut starts at $75 and a women’s haircut starts at $110, then (in my opinion) a tip has either already been incorporated in the price, or you’ve just been had and may have “sucker” written across your forehead.

Anon October 2, 2012 at 3:34 PM

I actually had the pizza delivery guy ask me last week for a tip and I turned him down. If you are going to flat out ask for the tip then forget it!! He can ask his boss for the $2.75 delivery fee that was charged to deliver to my house. It was very rude of him to ask, had he not asked, he would have gotten a couple of bucks.

Paul (formerly) in South Concord October 2, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Only car wash attendant I’ve ever seen (at the one I use infrequently) is the guy that dries. Everything else is mechanized. Couple times I gave him a buck, but he would usually scurry off too quickly.

Had 3 different pizza delivery jobs in my youth. So on the rare occasion I order pizza delivered, I usually give them a couple/three bucks. “+1” on the damn “Delivery Fee”… SO many customers thought that went to the driver and even had several that tried to talk me out of it. Sheesh.

I’m horrible at tipping, overall. Growing up, we were either far from civilization, or just never ate out, used any services like valet parking and such, never stayed in hotels, that sort of thing. My wife, had to teach me how! I have improved a lot… but sometimes I just resort to asking the service person for their advice.

@vh October 2, 2012 at 3:56 PM

I also hate the tip thing on the receipt as they watch you sign it. I just sign it and do not leave a tip when I am picking up my own order. Also, I can’t stand the tip jars at places like the yogurt shops. It is all serve yourself. They even have you place it on thes scale to ring you up. I will leave a tip if the worker offers me samples and takes time to treat you like a valued customer.

anon October 2, 2012 at 4:06 PM

I tip based on the service. Lousy service no tip. I don’t tip at car washes, but will buy them a soda. I tip my housecleaners the most, they provide a service that I hate doing. Years ago my husband and I were at Claimjumper, we went into the bar ordered drinks, while we were waiting to be called for our table, long story short, the waitress came up to us and said her shift was ending and needed to close out our tab, we gave her a twenty (the tab was 13.00), she didn’t have change, but would be back shortly, we never saw her again.

ConcordCatLady October 2, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Haven’t ordered a pizza in years, but if they charge a delivery fee I guess I’d ask when I order if that goes to the delivery person. If so I already tipped, if not I’d give $2 or $3.

Car wash – yes. Any service should be tipped. Last time I got a basic car wash I gave $5.

If you get a service done say at a salon, and the person working on you is the owner, you aren’t supposed to tip, because they get the entire amount they charged. I’ve never actually had that happen but I think I’d feel funny about not tipping still.

Also, there are so many Groupon,, etc deals. People should tip on the pre-discounted amount not the price charged.

fr49ered October 2, 2012 at 4:33 PM

Super Station car wash is terrible. I took my wife’s car there one time to have the interior detailed. When I got it back two hours later, there was so much moisture left in the carpet and floor mats that when I parked the car in the sun for a little while the windows steamed up. I kid you not. I never went back there again. I wash my own vehicles now. I do a better job than the car wash guys.

On the rare occasion that I order in pizza (I usually just stop and get take out) I tip the delivery guy a fin.

Anon October 2, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Always tip people who will handle your food more than one time.

My old supervisor used to laugh bout the hard time he gave some waiter. I asked him “do you think his spit added or detracted from the meal?”

I enjoy tipping, used to be a waiter years ago, nothing like five bucks to make someone’s day. Twenty if they kicked ass at whatever I paid them to do. I appreciate had work. I’m waiting For the opportunity to lay $100 on some dude who just happens to kick ass at what he does. Doesn’t matter if it is digging a hole or making my dinner. No I’m not joking about the spit.

Atticus Thraxx October 2, 2012 at 5:39 PM

I’m pretty damn generous with folks who wait on me, unless they throw attitude or generally “F” up my meal. I get my own pizza and wash my own cars, so that’s a non-issue. Used to slip the mailman a bottle of decent rum at Christmas, but now we have new mail people seems like every week. But yeah, generous tipping is a positive trait and should be encouraged and practiced. Good karma.

KenInConcord October 2, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Car wash— I will only support fundraiser car washes. The kids are always happy and full of energy. I can get out talk to the parents and the kids. Who knows you might make a friend!!!

joni lynn ebett October 2, 2012 at 7:59 PM

How about when you bring your dog in to get groomed? Do you tip the bather and the person who does the hair cut on your dog? I work in a grooming shop. I check in the dog, bath, dry, and brush out the dog. I do not get any tips. The person who cuts the hair keeps all of it.

WC Resident October 2, 2012 at 8:34 PM

It never occured to me to tip the folks at the Car wash. I will now….

Shiloh October 2, 2012 at 9:17 PM

I tip for both. $3 or $4 for pizza delivery, usually $5 for car wash. Thinking about lowering the car wash tip, though. I think I go to the best place around, Autopia on Clayton, but lately they’ve been missing too much. I don’t think I should have to go home and re-clean my side view mirrors. Also, they have compressed air so I really wish they would use it to eliminate the drips from around my doors and rear window. ALSO, if someone from Autopia is reading this, it smells VERY strongly of cigarettes inside the building!! It’s obvious that as soon as the place closes for the night, the staff lights up their cigarettes while they close out the books. Smells horrible. Mostly a very nice staff though

Concordanon October 3, 2012 at 6:33 AM

I don’t use a carwash, but when I order pizza, lets say it was $34.56, I would give them $40 and let them keep the change. I usually won’t tip more than 6 dollars though.

Mimi (original) October 3, 2012 at 10:45 AM

@Shiloh – that’s just petty of the dog stylist to keep all the tip! Sure, they’re “prettifying” the pet, but look at who does the back-breaking work of bending, sudsing, bending, rinsing, bending, and trying not to be drowned when the dog does their self-drying (massive, water-throwing, shaking!). You, my friend, deserve 1/2 the tip. Show this to your boss or manager!

Starfish October 3, 2012 at 12:18 PM

I never really thought about giving tips to the carwash people. I usually just had my car washed (when I do)–and just leave. Not even looking back. Hmmmm…….

AoD October 3, 2012 at 10:53 PM

My girl works for a coffee shop in the area where the customers have been very generous with tips. It has helped us out a HUGE amount for the past few years with groceries and necceceties (sp?) around the house. I get tipped at work every once in a while, and always appreciate it, knowing they didn’t have to, but out of kindness they decided to. For the people that decide to tip, thank you. You are helping make alot of people’s lives less stressful.

ChampagneKitty October 4, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Normally I get my car washed at the Toyota dealership when I take it in to be serviced and I don’t ever see where the car is being washed. The cost if any is included in the total when I pay the cashier. When there is an occasion where I take the car to a car wash place, I do tip. I did that in July, because my car was filthy and I was about to go somewhere where I wanted to make a good impression.
When I was younger, like in my 20’s I didn’t tip because I didn’t know you were supposed to. I realized my mistake when I saw other people tipping.
I always tip for pizza delivery, too. I order online from my local pizza parlor and when the deliveryperson comes, i write in the tip when I sign the receipt.

ChampagneKitty October 4, 2012 at 12:05 AM

I have a housecleaner who comes every 2 weeks (a necessary expense for me) and I like to give him an annual tip. I sometimes can’t afford to do that at the traditional Christmastime though…so I wait til after I get my income tax return and I leave him a Target gift card that is worth the cost of 1 cleaning service.

Antler October 4, 2012 at 12:30 AM

Shiloh at #60, I was just at Autopia on Clayton Road this morning, and business was booming. Hope you won’t mind the long tale which follows, but I’m working up to a question.

I asked for the “LEAST expensive wash” (the one where the wax gets sprayed on inside the tunnel). It was amazing how much extra care the two “front yard” employees gave the car afterward! They even tipped up the back captain seats so they could clean the third row floor, cleared the “bloom” off the inside of the front windshield, used the compression blower to clear the window channels all around the vehicle, and took time to stand with one foot on the running board and the other on the top of each of the tires so that they could dry off the top of the vehicle. The female was being especially thorough.

It was the male of the “detail” pair who announced “(make of car) is ready!” over a loud speaker (that’s new, isn’t it?), and he was the one who took the cash register voucher from me and passed me the car keys. So I gave the tip ($4) to him and then…….just on impulse…….have never even thought to do such a thing before…..took a few steps in the opposite direction toward the woman and said, “I watched you working. Thank you for doing such a good job.” She smiled SO BIG, and then her eyes started filling up with tears. Oh, no…..I’m so prone to cry when others do, so then MY eyes start filling as well. Had to just pat her on the arm, and whip around and get into my car fast. Losing it mid-morning….at a carwash…..oh, my!!!!

Anyway, I don’t take my dust bunny car to be washed very often because we have a gravel driveway and what’s the point. So I’m wondering whether Autopia has changed hands again since you and I were there last? It was GREAT service today!

Starfish October 4, 2012 at 4:18 AM

That is the carwash I usually go to. They do a very good job of cleaning but I just never thought to tip them. I will have to re-think this.

Starfish October 4, 2012 at 6:08 AM

The Autopia has not changed hands again–they have always provided good service.

Shiloh October 4, 2012 at 1:37 PM

@Antler, I go on a regular basis so I am talking about the past few weeks . . BUT, I went yesterday and I believe they did the best job I have ever had there. The girl with blondish hair who always wears a hat worked on my car and did an EXCELLENT job. They didn’t do the compressed air around my rear window again, but I knew to look so I just asked them to wipe the drips before I left. My side mirrors were perfect this time. I always tip $5. I also noticed that the inside of the car wash where you pay smelled clean and fresh and non-smoky for the first time ever. I wonder if someone from Autopia reads this blog?!

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