Monday, July 14, 2008


Texas Tippin' Question

Texas is an interesting place for themed restaurants. Here is Waco we have local restaurants, for example, which use the themes of locusts ("Crickets") and buzzards ("Buzzard Billy's"). Which, if you think about it, is pretty strange.

Texas is also full of a Sonic Drive-Ins, which are themed around Sonic the Hedgehog. Now, if you already have insect and buzzard-themed restaurants, it isn't that big a deal, really. The procedure at Sonic is that you order from your car into a speaker, and then someone on roller skates brings the stuff to the car (and some of them aren't that good at skating). Because I never played Sonic the Hedgehog, I'm not sure how this ties in.

Anyways, my question is this-- do you need to tip the "Hedgehog" who skates over to your car with the food? As someones who has worked many restaurant jobs, I was tempted to do so, but wasn't sure because of the fast-food aspect of the whole thing.

Yes. It is customary to tip approximately 10%. Those girls are not just bringing the food to your car, they are also having to organize it and bag it to bring out. If you order a a flurry or banana split or anything like that they have to prepare it also. Plus, they are usually making minimum wage or below and it is hot inside the store and bringing the food to the cars.

Not seeing the Sega game character anywhere here.
I would say just the opposite. Most of my friends worked at Sonic when we were in high school, and they all started out at well above minimum wage, usually at $6.50 or higher. I don't go to Sonic for anything but half-price drinks, so I usually don't feel bad for not tipping on a $1.20 drink.
Thanks, Osler. I went to Sonic for breakfast and referred to the server as "my hedgehog" and she was really upset.

No tip!
if all I'm getting is a drink, I don't usually tip. if you think about, 10% of a $1.50 ordeer maybe more of an insult, but if I'm getting a meal, especially if it's with my family, I'll give a dollar or two tip. Where I grew up, we always tipped the sonic servers.
If they're already having a hard time skating while carrying the food to you I don't think it would be very nice to tip them.
Yes, tip them. They are out there in the blazing heat so you can sit comfortably in your mini-rocket, er, Mazdaspeed. For a drink-only order I round(ed) up to the next whole dollar; for meals my standard was about 10%.
Usually some grubs and nice larvae. If the season is right, they usually appreciate a few juicy mayflies. As a special treat, sometimes I drop a spotted caterpillar.
Does this mean the servers at Checkers are supposed to be making a move?
Are you supposed to tip the people who help carry out your groceries? (Brookshires) They told me they are not allowed to receive tips, but I always feel cheap.
I don't think they should really get a tip. I don't see the difference between most other fast food places other than that they bring the food to you. Any kitchen area is hot. In all fast food places, someone has to bag and arrange the food and make your shakes or mcflurries or whatever.
I am assuming that the BUZZARD is just another weird Texas name for an animal, just like Grunnie or Polecat.

I tip well, esp waiters and waitresses. that job has to SUCK. I am not sure there are any sonics here. but I would tip even higher for skating waiters. More if they could tell me what a grunnie, buzzard or polecat was.
Depends on what you mean by "tip". If I'm only going for one of those two or three liter icy drinks, I don't tip. I just walk up to the window and order. Maybe for real food, I might tip. Sonic isn't always fast food, but it's not really a restaurant either. Talk about conundrum. Tip.
Oh. You were talking about the waitresses, not real hedgehogs.
My bad.
Please delete my posting from 9:13 a.m.

P.S. I tip the Sonic folks, too. When in doubt, tip. Tip your bartender. Tip the poor waitstaff who work breakfast double.
i tip 75 cents to a dollar no matter what i order. some people don't tip, so if you don't, you wouldn't be the only one.
I tip. I waitressed. It helped put me through nursing school, and it was the best time management training I've ever gotten. Thankfully, I never had to rollerskate, although THAT skill would be handy right about now...

Mrs. CL
yeah I think waiting tables has to be like the hardest job EVER and I know could never do it. I tip people a lot when they are doing hard jobs I KNOW I could NEVER do.
I've never tipped at Sonic. I've just never thought of it.

9:28, I once lived in a place where Brookshire's bought out the local Winn-Dixie. Brookshire's posted signs asking people not to tip the employees who take the bags to your car.
I ate at Sonic in Waco when I was an undergraduate (back before Sonic embarked on its quest for global domination), and wrestled with the same conundrum. Back then I was working for minimum age selling paint at Sears, so I solved the question this way: If anyone ever tipped me for mixing their gallon of interior latex semi-gloss, I'd tip at Sonic. Never happened.

Now that I lead a comfortable middle-class life myself (due primarily to my wife's talent and hard work), I try to tip generously at Sonic, and elsewhere.
I tip the Sonic people when I have an extra dollar or something, but I feel weird tipping an appropriate percentage when it's going to end up being spare change.

I worked as a waitress once and the big difference between tipping at dine-in restaurants and tipping at fast food restaurants is their base wages. In the dine-in restaurant industry, servers are making somewhere around $2.13/hr. from their employer. (Fed. min. wage laws require that this amount plus tips must average out to at least minimum wage or the employer has to make up the difference.) So in that case, tips really are their wages.

At a fast food restaurant like Sonic, however, I would guess that they are making actual minimum wage- $6.25 or whatever because there is no way they could make enough on $2.13 plus tips.
I never tipped at Sonic.

I worked at Sonic during high school for a few months, and it sucked. The car hops made as much an hour as we did working the grease vats and/or doing double duty on the grill.

They never washed dishes at the end of the shift, and they never shared tips.

It was against my principles to tip them!!!

Unfortunately, I have been convinced (re: told off by significant others who used to waitress) that I should tip them.

Believe it or not, today before I even read this, I tipped a car hop for the first time in my life. It was a guy though. Hmmm...
Was told by a cashier at Brookshire's that only girls get tipped at Sonic, they do expect it, and that the practice stinks. I make a point of tipping guy car hops now.

I could go for a cherry limeade right about now...
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