Perhaps you’ve seen the viral video of the racist rant voicemail left by a Papa John’s delivery driver who claimed he was stiffed by a customer who didn’t leave a tip — a guy who spewed hateful stuff and was rightly fired, with the company head John Schnatter forced to leave a mea culpa about the “reprehensible language used by two former employees in one of our restaurants” on the firm’s Facebook page.
The company did the right thing by getting rid of the guys — no one should be subjected to the language heard in that YouTube video.
However, in watching the video, something seemed not to sit right with this investigative reporter.
The customer claims to have left a 21% tip, while the delivery driver says the guy didn’t give him any tip.
How could two people be so wrong about a tip?
At first I thought the delivery driver was lying about receiving any money from the customer, in order to not to have to claim the money on his taxes or something — but looking further into the situation, I had to laugh to myself when I figured it out.
At the beginning of the video, the customer shows his receipt as proof, however, I didn’t see a line for a signed tip amount.
I thought perhaps the customer handed the delivery driver cash that wasn’t reflected on the receipt — but in backing into the 21% number, that means the customer would’ve had to hand the driver $3.20 off a $15.26 bill, quite an odd amount.
Then I realized that the customer was obviously adding the $2.40 delivery charge and $0.86 sales tax together as $3.20 — and thinking that’s his tip or something.
Obviously he would know sales tax is not a tip, right? I’ve seen people make the mistake about thinking a delivery charge is a tip — it is not — and have seen an angry food delivery guy in the wake of this mistake another man I knew made before.
Lessons about tipping
What a perfect time for this current news event to help teach lessons about tipping. (Not that a great tip would’ve helped remove the racial hate from the hearts of those heard on the video — but it’s an issue I’ve heard lobbed against us African-American enough to warrant some motherly advice, like Oprah gave when she said she tips very well.)
Back in college, I honestly didn’t know that you were supposed to tip pizza guys. I was short on funds and only 16 back then, so I had an excuse. (At least I wasn’t jumping them like I heard some guys did in other dorms.)
Now that I’ve grown and matured, I realize that it’s good to tip well for great service — at least 20% or more — and that helps to dispel the horrible assumption that us black people don’t know how to tip, or are stingy.
Don’t go out to eat without a tip
At this juncture, most of us should know that waiters and waitresses and the like make horribly low hourly wages, and many of them depend on their tips to survive.
I hate to see — especially among people of my own ilk — balk or make excuses when tip time comes. Generally, I’m great at tipping, and I felt guilty only recently at a church buffet after I paid the $7 entrance-to-eat fee but didn’t see the line for signing for an extra tip (get the Dip Jar, people!) and didn’t have a couple of bucks to leave on the table for the clearing crew. (There was no waitress in that instance.)
But bless God, I’m the type who’ll leave a $20 for housekeeping at hotels, and tip extra and above 20% at eateries on average — and this isn’t counting any delivery charges or sales taxes.
We should consider the tip as a factor in our going-out-to-eat budget.
A lesson learned…
I learned just how bad of a reputation our race can have for tipping when a Caucasian coworker told me about the code words waiters and waitresses had for tables of African-Americans, just like their “four top” and such wording for a party of four.
A young woman I know who worked at a restaurant-style movie theater told me about Django Unchained being cut short — not because the box office performed poorly, but because the audience didn’t tip well.
And so it goes.
So again, while I’m in no way condoning the way that Papa John’s delivery driver acted — and I’m glad he got caught in his own evil devices — I do think we can use this as another learning lesson.
After all, if you were a waiter, waitress, bartender or pizza delivery guy depending on tips to eat and pay rent, you’d want a great tip.