The Secret To Dealing With Bad Tippers And No Tippers When You’re A Struggling Student


Producer’s note: Someone on Quora asked: I’m a delivery driver for Pizza Hut. What are some things I can say to people that don’t tip? Here is one of the best answers that’s been pulled from the thread.

I delivered pizza for a solid five years. I took over 14000 deliveries. I’ve seen a multitude of people who did not tip, tipped well, and everything in between. I’ve been tipped with Jesus handbooks, casino chips, candy, entire cups of change, and coupons. Some people consistently don’t tip and it’s usually simple to guess why. They don’t have any money. They live paycheck to paycheck and don’t feel like making food every day or are fairly irresponsible with their budgeting. I’ve also seen similar people tip their hearts out, knowing that what I do is what they do. They know the struggle.

Delivery paid very well. That’s the reason I stuck with it so long. I learned fairly early on to shut my mouth and get on with my life when I knew I wasn’t getting tipped. Time is money, that’s the bottom line. So I knew I was losing out– that doesn’t mean I have to waste any more time than I had to serving them. They get no extra respect, no favors, no superior effort. But at the end of the day, I’m also being paid to serve them, and anyone, arbitrarily for any reason as long as they were paying customers. So I grit my teeth every time I saw the same idiot call in that I knew wouldn’t give me anything. It rarely hurt my numbers, and barely if that.

I liked my job. I was serving people. Most people are happy to see food at their door. I always made it about them, not about me. I took responsibility where service was not up to par and I always made an honest effort to earn tips when it was uncertain. And it all comes naturally once you are efficient and fast that you maximize the amount of deliveries you take a night.

I used to have lots of things to say in my head to people who made me angry or annoyed me day after day. It’s best when considered case by case. But I’ve been stiffed so many times that I was practically numb to it. I didn’t ever bother caring to look at what they gave me the last couple years. I knew it would all come together at the end of the night anyway. It never failed me. In some cases where I thought ignorance might be involved (especially with children) I would remind them of their options. You know, “you can write the tip on this line if you want.” In my case, I wasn’t paid minimum wage, so I’ve explained that to a few customers too. They normally warmed up to that.

Honestly though, probably my favorite line for people who apologized that they couldn’t tip was “Eh, you win some, you lose some.” Because it’s true. It absolves them of antagonization and reassures yourself that it isn’t the worst thing. Losing the customer will ultimately hurt you worse.