Chick-Fil-A Employees Weigh In On Tipping For Curbside Pickup Orders

Even with a year passed in getting accustomed to the new guidelines that have come with the Coronavirus pandemic, the etiquette for how to best interact with frontline workers — including food service workers — is still being ironed out. Recently, a concerned Chick-fil-A customer took to the brand's Subreddit thread to ask whether customers were supposed to give tips to fast food employees that delivered their curbside pick-up orders.

The broad answer seems to be that Chick-fil-A does not allow its workers to accept tips. Though, in theory, this rule seems rather flexible as some managers may allow it if the customer really insists upon giving the tip — and some customers may sneak tips in without letting the employee decline. One commenter in the thread that identified as a Chick-fil-A employee admitted that they were never informed of this policy and, in fact, had heard directors talk about large tips they were once given.

In an answer to a similar question asked on Indeed, one employee added that, besides the decent pay they receive, accepting tips would be unfair when all they did was bring the meal to the car, while those working in the kitchen have no opportunity to be tipped.

Here's what Chick-fil-A employees earn

One point made regarding tipping Chick-fil-A workers is that their wages are set without the assumption of them being tipped. According to data shared with Indeed, wages possible for employees at Chick-fil-A range from an average of $9.43 per hour for customer service assistants to an average of $11.92 per hour for kitchen team members. While these fall quite short of the $15 minimum wage that many fast food workers have gone on strike for throughout the past year, it is a lot higher than the wages received by servers that rely on tips as their baseline wage.

According to The U.S. Department of Labor, the federal minimum cash wage for workers whose salary is supported by tips is $2.13 per hour. The actual minimum changes between states, though. Oregon, for example, requires a cash minimum wage of $11.25 per hour — and for non-tipped minimum wage, the state has a sliding scale of $11.50 to $13.25 an hour, depending on what part you're in, as seen in a handout given by the state's Bureau of Labor.

So while it seems that technically Chick-fil-A workers should not accept your tips, if you feel strongly about providing one, do so. Every little bit counts, especially in a pandemic.