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January 21, 2019

If you're ordering food delivery because of the cold, you need to tip accordingly

Hint: You need to pay up when the weather is bad

Restaurants Tipping
Stock_Carroll - Caviar Food Delivery Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

A bicycle food delivery person in Center City Philadelphia.

Have you heard that it's freezing right now? 

Yeah, I'm sure you have. 

Wind chills in Philadelphia could make it feel below 20 degrees on Monday. According to the National Weather Service in Mount Holly, we'll get back up to the mid-40s later this week, but for now it is frigid: the forecast calls for temperatures to drop to 12 degrees on Monday night.

MORE: Chance of snow Tuesday and Wednesday could impact morning commutes

Officials are also warning against leaving too much skin exposed to the cold, because frostbite can occur in less than 30 minutes.

If you're lucky enough to be inside for the majority of the day and ordering food for delivery, I'm here to tell you that your normal tipping routine will not suffice here.

When you order takeout, a delivery fee does not mean it's an extra tip. A tip from you is payment for not having to bundle up and brave the elements, even if it's just a few short steps outside your door. 

Allowing you to tuck your butt into the folds of the couch for hours on end — buried deep below the surface where reality and the outdoors rear their ugly heads — is a shivering human likely making minimum wage and depending on your tip. They dressed for work by struggling to put on two pairs of pants and are now in an ongoing duel with a scarf they're cajoling into the role of face glove for the evening but the wind keeps blowing into their eyes. 

Delivery is a privilege — not a right. 

According to this helpful guide from Eater, you always need to tip $5 minimum on delivery. No matter what. Even if the bill is under $25. Even if it's 70 degrees outside and even if it's raining. Even if the shop is across the street. Even if you are stingy.

And obviously, the weather drastically changes what a delivery job might mean for an employee on foot or biking. Risking frostbite for your convenience and comfort? This means you need to be extra generous. 

According to the New Yorker's food correspondent, a cold-weather tip should be $20 minimum. And another, seemingly obvious, tip from her: Cash tips. Have the cash, don't make delivery people wait for you to scramble in search of your wallet.

As the experts at Eater put it: "Tip $20. Or maybe $40. Or cook, you lazy monster."

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