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Tip of the day: Do right by delivery workers
I love to cook. It's my second favorite thing to do.
Unfortunately, cooking takes time and a kitchen that's bigger than a closet. I have neither. Lucky for me, I have a pile of takeout menus and a phone. So while I can't always cook, I can still do my first favorite thing, which is eat.
Honestly, I don't know what I would do if I didn't have hot and yummy food a phone call or a phone app away. I'd probably eat cereal for dinner every night.
A lot goes into food delivery. Yes, you call, and then someone makes your food, but then the hard part comes. Delivery workers have to get it to you. Usually they do this on a bicycle. Bike riding in the city is dangerous -- especially in neighborhoods with no bike lanes, and even more especially during bad weather. When it's raining or snowing or otherwise too treacherous to venture out to the grocery store or a restaurant, I depend on a guy on a bicycle to bring me food.
Because of their service (because really, who besides postal workers will deliver in rain, sleet, snow or extreme heat), I always tip delivery workers. Generally, I'll tip about 15 percent but if the weather is really bad, I'll tip more. Sure it's more money, but these workers don't get paid very well and rely on tips to make ends meet. It's like a waiter at a restaurant but with uncooperative traffic and blinding blizzards.
Whenever I'm with someone who doesn't tip delivery people well (or at all), I scold them. If they tip bad, they should feel bad.
And after reading about figures from GrubHub -- the online food-ordering company -- that show residents in some tony city neighborhoods on average tip less than those who live in some poorer areas, I'm going to have to scold all of you wealthier people, too.
Despite what some of you gold-plated folks might think, delivery people work really hard. Well-to-do people should be the best tippers, not the least generous.
You think the underpaid man on the bicycle enjoys bringing you food? Or that this is just his hobby, or the latest cardio-fitness craze (obstacle course rough terrain spinning)? Would you love biking around the city dodging cars in the rain during meal time with a bag of food? Many people work very hard so you can enjoy those things you enjoy.
Tip them, and tip them well.
Rachel Figueroa-Levin tweets as @Jewyorican and @ElBloombito.