Originally Posted by Brian278
It's interesting to see that you don't expect to be tipped on to go orders. Do you think all bartenders feel this way? What about other staff (a host or hostess, or possibly if a regular waiter or waitress is expected to do it)? Do they typically expect compensation and if so how much for taking a phone order, retrieving it, and running your card? Would they even notice if you wrote a dollar in on the tip line on the receipt? Or is it just considered a peripheral task that it's assumed you perform to go along with the duties you get tipped for?
I don't expect a tip on to go orders for several reasons. It's not an ingrained social convention like tipping on a full service meal or on bar drinks is, and two of the main reasons for tipping in the former scenarios: that you're occupying time, seating, and the server's full attention in your being waited on, and that the server is forced to pay tipout or be taxed based on the amount of your bill, don't apply (bartenders typically don't pay tipout or get taxed based on a percentage of sales). Also, many restaurants delegate the job of taking to go orders to hostesses or even a designated to go cashier/waitress, who gets paid a higher than minimum wage hourly and doesn't have the expectation of consistent tips built into his/her pay structure. The only time I would outright advocate tipping on a to go order is if you are placing an extremely large one that takes up a lot of time and resources, or if you are placing one at the bar during peak bar hours (in that situation, you would be rudely taking away the bartender's time and opportunity to sell drinks to tipping customers if you didn't tip). Even then, the percentage requirements are more flexible than with full service.
I don't feel slighted when I don't get tipped on a to go order, and more often than not I won't tip on one either (unless it's a place where I plan on becoming a regular or if it's a place where someone I know is waiting on me). However, I do notice it even when someone just leaves a dollar on a to go order, and it does make a huge positive impression with me. So with to go orders, I'd say tipping is one of those things where you personally decide if you'd get more utility by keeping an extra dollar or two or by making a good impression on your server; either choice is perfectly legitimate.