Daniel recently had an interesting tipping dilemma. He ordered a smoked brisket from a locally owned barbecue place, and had it delivered. Unexpectedly, the restaurant owner himself showed up to deliver the brisket. So, he asks: should he have tipped the restaurant owner?
Most customers wouldn’t even recognize the owner, manager, or franchisee of their favorite delivery places, so does it change things if you do?
It turned out that Capital Q [the restaurant] was shorthanded. But help was on the way and scheduled to arrive at 4:30. I was given assurances that at 4:30 my order would be out the door and on its way to my house. And if there were any problems they would call me immediately so I could execute Plan B.
The doorbell rang well before 5:00 and at my door with two pounds of the best barbecue brisket available in the region was [restaurant owner] Sean Custer himself. And he was all smiles. As was I.
I know I mentioned in the past that my idea of celebrity may be different than most people’s idea of celebrity. But to me, this visit from the pit master was like ordering the complete Lost DVD box set on Amazon and having J. J. Abrams bring it to the house and put it in my hot little hands.
What an unexpected treat.
Here’s a question for you, though. I had tip money ready in my pocket. But it just felt wrong to tip the owner of the restaurant, even though he certainly went above and beyond to get me my food. I think I did the right thing. But we live in such a culture of tipping that it felt a bit weird.
Instead of a tip, I gave him a good firm handshake, and thanked him very much. I suppose there are the above few hundred words, but I’m pretty sure he never saw that coming.
What do you think?
There Will Be Brisket [FUSSYlittleBLOG]