P. Claire Dodson
December 17, 2016 2:39 pm
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The weather outside is frightful, but you’re warm and cozy in your bed. And then hunger strikes, and it feels all too easy to just order up some Seamless straight to your apartment door. But sometimes there’s a little pang of guilt. Should I really make a delivery person trek through the rain or snow to deliver me a pizza? To be honest, is it bad to order delivery in bad weather? If we don’t want to go outside, why should anyone else?

At the same time, that’s how delivery people (also known as literal angels) make their money. But you can order delivery guilt-free if you follow these best practices. It basically boils down to being a considerate human. Even when you’re hungry. We know, that’s not as easy as it sounds.

Here’s how.

Allow extra time.

Allow extra time.

Don’t order fried rice and egg rolls in icy conditions and expect it to arrive within the hour. Traffic, safe driving or biking, and other holdups could extend your wait, so don’t get all anxious and call the restaurant after 30 minutes to see where your food is. In all likelihood, they’re crazy busy and are doing their best to get your food to you in a timely manner without endangering the delivery person or your meal.

Tip well (like really well).

Tip well (like really well).

Don’t buy $30 worth of Indian food and only tip $3. It’s rude and disrespectful in the best of times. Delivery fees don’t go to the driver. They’re for the owner to process the owner. We know, it stinks. So aim for 20 percent, but even more if the weather is especially harrowing. Your delivery person will appreciate it after risking their life on the icy or wet roads.  Bottom line: if you can’t afford to tip well, you can’t afford to order food. Break out the Top Ramen.

Be especially gracious.

Be especially gracious.

When the delivery person arrives with your groceries, smile and exchange pleasantries. This person has walked, biked, or driven their way through pouring rain to bring you sustenance. The very least you can do is look grateful and upbeat, even if the order was delayed or the person doesn’t look super friendly.

Don’t leave negative reviews.

Don’t leave negative reviews.

Don’t passive aggressively leave negative reviews when delivery people come in bad weather, even if everything didn’t go exactly right. Five stars are your friend, guys. If something is missing in your order, definitely feel free to call and get it sorted out, but if they forgot to give you ketchup for your fries, suck it up. Basically, cut people some slack. It’ll come back around. You couldn’t even put on your socks and these people showed up for work.

Reconsider ordering in extreme weather.

Reconsider ordering in extreme weather.

Some restaurants stay open all the time, even in the middle of flooding, blizzards, or tornado warnings. If the wind is whipping trees against your windows, take a step back and ask yourself if you really need those bottles of cabernet sauvignon from Postmates.

Remember, working in the service industry can be terrible. And it’s good you gave people a reason to show up for the day and earn money they probably really, really need. Be kind to your delivery people, just like you would want people to be kind to you if you had to deliver delicious food you can’t eat, in the cold (or rain or sleet or snow) to people in warm houses.

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