Should You Tip For Car-side Service?

Does Car-side Service Warrant a Gratuity?

It used to be that when you wanted to eat at restaurants like Applebee’s, Chili’s or even IHOP you had to go in the restaurant and sit at a table. Nowadays, however, thanks to car-side service, you don’t have to eat at the restaurant to eat their food. The question is, does car-side service warrant a tip? We have the answer.

How Bad Do You Want To Look?

Let’s face it — no one likes to look like a cheap and stingy tightwad. Frugal, yes. Cheap, no. That’s why so many people get those little tip card. That way you know exactly what type of gratuity is expected and when it’s expected. The problem is, car-side service is a relatively new concept and not many tip cards will tell you anything about it.

So do you tip a car-side server or not?

The Truth of The Matter

Many people are surprised when they find out that they should indeed tip a car-side server. No, I don’t recommend tipping 20-percent like I would in the restaurant for table-side service, but I do recommend a car-side service tip of at least 10-percent.


First of all, at most restaurants (like Chili’s and Applebee’s) the carside servers are paid the same meager hourly wage as the table-side servers. If they don’t get tips, that usually equates to less than minimum wage. That in itself is reason enough to tip the car-side servers, however, there’s more to consider.

The car-side servers do more than just run a bag to your car. Who do you think packs your meal and puts it together so you can enjoy it? That’s right — the car-side servers. Just because they’re bringing it to your car instead of a table doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be tipped.

The next time you get car-side service, make sure you tip the server. It doesn’t have to be a 20-percent tip, but a tip of at least 10-percent should be given for good car-side service.