You sit in your fourth floor apartment and don’t really feel like going out and look for parking. Plus, the price of gas is really high. But you have a craving for restaurant
food, so you order in.
The average Israeli who orders in opens the door and takes the food. Most do not say "hello" or "thank you." The delivery guy has to smile and be courteous even if it is 100 degrees outside or if he is soaking wet from the rain. Even if he has just climbed 150 steps with 20 kilos of food and just had a huge fight with his wife – he still has to put on a smile and say "Beteavon (bon appetit)."
The restaurant promised that the food will be delivered within 40 minutes, and the Israeli,
who thinks he deserves everything, really hopes the delivery guy will be late so he will be able to demand compensation. He blames the delivery guy for everything: There is not enough salt; the food is overcooked; it is too cold or too warm. And if the delivery guy was late (because the kitchen was backed up or due to traffic jams), the average Israeli's response will always be expressed in the tip.
Some don't tip as a matter of principle. "The restaurant said the delivery was free, so why leave a tip? What, the delivery guy doesn’t get a salary?"
Well let me tell you how it goes: For minimum wage and a few tips the delivery guy risks his life riding a moped that often times does not have a rearview mirror or good breaks, because the restaurant owners want to save money. He rides fast because he does not want to be late. He finds the address, which is not always clear (entrance C, at the blue gate) and sometimes has to walk up to the top floors because there is not elevator, or the elevator is jammed. After all this, the delivery guy may run into some chubby teenager who is mad that he was late and just grabs the food and closes the door. No "shalom or "thank you."
Among the customers who do leave a tip, the most annoying are those who cause the delivery guy to feel like a panhandler. A nice lady who ordered 750 shekels worth of food gives you a three shekel tip and says, "Here, this is for you." At this point you feel like giving her back the money and say, "Take it. It looks like you need it more than I do." But you don't. All you do is smile and say "Beteavon."
The bitterness kicks in later, when you realize that had the lady been sitting in the restaurant she would have left the waitress a 10% or 12% tip. But when delivery guys are involved, the rules change.
And there are also those who say, "Sorry, I don't have any change" or "This is all I have" and give you 1.9 shekels.
In most restaurants tips make up a significant portion of the delivery guy's salary. The restaurant owners ignore the law and do not pay extra on Shabbat or holidays and do not pay for overtime. They simply do not paying anything over NIS 22.04 an hour, and if you don't like it, they all have the same response: "You can always quit."
To be fair, there are customers who will offer you a soda on a hot day, ask how you are doing and make sure to give a proper tip. But they are in the minority. A delivery guy usually comes across such customers about once a month - and only if he has worked the entire month.
So please, the next time you order in, offer the delivery guy a glass of water, give him a nice tip - at least 10%. I'm sure you won't go bankrupt.
Hadar Raz, a law student, works as a delivery guy.