If you’ve read my previous columns on tipping, you know I am a huge proponent of taking care of your service staff. And now, it is more important than ever to do so, and to be even more generous than you normally would be.

Also, in these tough times, call the restaurant directly to place your order. Ensure they are making the full amount you are paying, instead of a portion of the price going to one of the delivery apps. The restaurant needs the money now more than ever.

Here is my rationale and my recommendations for both scenarios:

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If this were a normal day that you were ordering delivery, I would be advocating for a 20 percent tip, no question. If it were inclement weather, only jerks don’t tip 25 to 30 percent, with 30 percent being absolutely mandatory if it’s a snowstorm and you still must have your pizza or lo mein.

But now we’re talking about a literal pandemic. Delivery personnel are putting themselves at risk every time they venture outside. They are tired, they are scared, and the surge in deliveries means they are working harder than ever. That means you tip them well, which at this current time, means you tip them 50 percent. That’s right: one-half of what you spent on your food.

If you are ordering in, you need to be taking care of the people who are delivering it to you.

Curbside Pickup

In this situation, you’ve also taken a risk by going out, but the service staff is literally trying to survive. Tip at least 30 percent, and more if you can. We all need to support each other right now.