I worked at Outback Steakhouse until about a year ago. I started as a busser, went to waiter, take-out and shift manager. I know this level of restaurant.
A "normal server" does a *****HELL OF A LOT MORE******* for dine in customers than a to-go order.
Waiters/waitresses do have to do more for an individual table than a togo person does on an individual order. However, there are some things you have not taken into consideration.
When waiting tables you usually have no more than 5 tables at a time on a busy night. While working togo you usually have about 20 orders at a time. Being as such the work level kinda evens out. Togo workers take the order, package the order (and double check to make sure its correct b/c if its not exactly right the customers WILL call back and complain) and bring the food out to the car so the customer doesn't have to get out. We didn't have a window. You may say thats not that hard, but do it 50x by yourself or 100+times with a couple coworkers in a few hours time and you'll see its not a cakewalk.
2. They don't bring you your check to your table. 3. They don't bring you your rung up credit card receipt or change to your table.
Togo workers bring the food to the car, take the payment from the customer, and return with change or credit card slip to the customer.
5. They don't bring us extra napkins at our table or any other request like that such as a to-go box to box our food or a side or ranch at our table they don't bring us.
Wow, I can't even remember how many times I went into the kitchen multiple times to get take-out customers extra ketchup, napkins, forks, straws, butter, etc.
Togo worker only make slightly more than wait-staff, so by no means are they making 8$/hr. As far as tipping goes remember, the $3 tip you give is going to be split between the 2-3 togo workers working that night. I never expected 15% on togo orders. A few bucks or so was always fine with me unless you had a ridiculously huge order
I still tip everywhere I go basically, that includes restaurants, sonic, smoothie king, whatever. Service workers don't make a lot so it doesn't hurt to leave a little tip when you can afford to do so. Everyone should work in a restaurant for at least six months of their life and you would see things differently from then on.
Disclaimer: These are my experiences from the restaurant I worked and may differ from others.
This post was edited on 2/17 at 9:03 pm