It always bugs me when places that are self-serve have a place on the receipt for tips. It makes me feel guilty to write in $0, but at the same time, what would I be tipping for exactly? How am I supposed to judge this performance? That they successfully took my order? I already paid for my food. If I'm carrying the food to my table and carrying it to the garbage and getting my own drink from the fountain, I feel like I shouldn't have to tip. Or if it's a takeout order that I am picking up myself, what is the tip for then?
I guess there are some places where the receipts just come like that, with an space for a tip, and they don't expect anyone to actually tip. But yesterday, I was in a restaurant and at the cashier, there was both a place for tips on the receipt as well as a tip jar. So they clearly expected people to tip.
Except you picked up your order at the other side of the restaurant. So basically, you were expected to tip without having even received your food. My understanding is that tips are supposed to at least partially be based on service.... so how am I supposed to judge what tip to give when all they have done is take down my order? I didn't know at that point that they were going to fail to get me the exta plate I wanted or the butter I asked for. This makes a total mockery of meritocracy-based tipping! If we're supposed to tip based on nothing, then why not just increase the price of the food?
But like I said, I always feel like a total miser when I don't tip in those situations. What do you do?