Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Takeout Tipping

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: I was picking up food at a restaurant for lunch the other day, and I found my pen hovering over the "tip" line on the receipt for an awkward few moments. I'm never sure how much to leave when I get takeout. What's the standard tipping etiquette? And while we're on the subject, how much should you tip the pizza guy? I don't want to be cheap, but I don't want to leave more than is necessary. -- Too Much or Not Enough?

Dear Too Much or Not Enough?: In a 2014 CNBC poll, only 13 percent of over 40,000 respondents said they tip for takeout. So it's certainly socially permissible not to tip in this situation. The flip side of that is that if you do tip, the restaurant workers will especially appreciate it.

As for pizza delivery, it depends, but the consensus seems to hover around 15 percent (and if your order costs less than $20, a minimum of $3), as long as your pie shows up pretty much on time and with all slices intact.

Dear Annie: I've never seen this discussed in your column, but it is a question I'd like to put forth because of the situation we found ourselves in. It's about funeral processions.

My brother passed away. We attended the wake, and then the next day, we were going to travel from the church to the cemetery, about 10 miles away, with a procession of about eight cars. We were from out of state and not familiar with the area.

The funeral director gave us stickers for our windshields and advised us to keep our hazard lights flashing so we would know whom to follow and traffic would respect the procession. We also had printed directions, which involved taking two major highways and several local streets. To begin with, other drivers cut in on the procession. And then, with no one to follow anymore, we got lost!

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For out-of-state relatives in this situation, would it be appropriate to ask the funeral director for a hired car to ride in? If the family members know of out-of-state relatives in attendance, should they have the funeral director assist with prearranged rides or a hired car? -- Lost Somewhere in New York

Dear Lost Somewhere in New York: I am sorry for your loss. Shame on anyone disrespectful enough to cut off a funeral procession. I imagine (and hope) the people didn't realize what they were doing. In the future, stay as close to the car in front of you as is safely possible to prevent non-procession vehicles from cutting in.

As for your suggestion, though it would be great if local members of the family could arrange transportation for out-of-town guests, this might not be a realistic expectation of people who are grieving and already coordinating dozens of other things. Perhaps next time you could offer to help arrange transportation, working with the funeral director to distribute detailed directions and instructions. They might really appreciate the assistance.

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Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com. To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.


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