Take Out Restaurant Etiquette: What You Should Know When Getting Restaurant Food To Go

Do Unto Others…

Take-out restaurant cashiers arguably work as hard as their better-tipped waistaff co-workers. While the degree of what they do varies from restaurant to restaurant, take-out cashiers are always doing the same thing as a server does: serving you. They pack your food, give you utensils, provide any special requests, and make sure you are happ with your order.

Check Your Order

First of all, check your order. Take-out cashiers are only human. Mistakes happen. You’ll save yourself a lot of frustration if you check your order first. Sometimes, management in restaurants won’t change your order once you’ve walked out the door. There’s no way to prove you didn’t get something once you leave. By checking your order while still at the register, the cashier can accommodate additional requests and can change any mistakes in the order that is the fault of the restaurant.

Please Silence All Cell Phones

Turn off your cell phone. You cannot walk up to the cashier and expect her to help you while you simultaneous carry on another conversation. It’s rude and counterproductive to getting your order right. If you place an order, then get on your cell phone, your cashier will not be able to communicate with you if something needs to be asked or a modification made. Besides all of those things, it’s simply bad etiquette to walk in a restaurant and run your mouth on the phone.

Be Considerate

Don’t start fussing at the cashier if your order is not ready in five minutes. She isn’t cooking it. She can’t make stoves cook faster than they do, either. If you don’t like to wait, call your order in and give it a couple of minutes past the estimated preparation time. If you come in yelling at the cashier about how you’re double parked, don’t expect a lot of empathy. If you request a hurried order, do it in a polite way. The cashier has little control over the speediness of the order. Don’t resent her if she is showing effort.

Confirm Your Order

Listen to the cashier as she confirms your order. Don’t silence her or interrupt her. Since error is only human–and sometimes you misspeak like everybody else–repeating the order and confirming it is necessary to providing good service. Ask for confirmation in a polite way if it’s not automatically done. That way, you both can rest assured that the order has a greater chance of being just the way you like it.

The Tipping Question

Many people do not tip on take-out. However, the cashier often depends on the tips as a part of her estimated salary. Being paid close to minimum wage (or at it), the cashier likely depends on tips received to pay her bills. Tipping on take-out is customary at ten percent. More for an excellent job is always much appreciated.