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Delivery apps make our lives a whole lot easier, but when it comes time to leave a tip, calculating the right tip amount can be tough.
Suggested tips can vary widely depending on what you’re ordering, what platform you’re on, and what occurs in the delivery process.
So how much should you tip a delivery driver when everything goes well, and when things go wrong?
In this article, we’ll answer this question by taking a deep dive into tipping etiquette for modern delivery apps that connect you to drivers who are independent contractors, rather than full-time or part-time employees.
Think gig economy platforms like Uber Eats, Instacart, and Grubhub, which are transforming delivery — and, in some ways, tips — as we know it.
Keep reading as we explain what standard gratuity is and when it’s okay (and expected) to tip more or less, so you can become the fairest tipper in your market.
Table Of Contents
- How Much Should You Tip a Delivery Driver?
- When to Tip More
- When to Tip Less
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Tip Drivers What They Deserve
How Much Should You Tip a Delivery Driver?
Your driver tip is an essential part of a contractor’s income.
Because delivery drivers for modern apps are often classified as self-employed, they’re responsible for all their own expenses, sometimes while just making or making under their local minimum hourly wage before gratuity.
Due to this, standard tipping etiquette calls for you to tip at least 15% — just as you would a traditional pizza delivery driver, a restaurant server, or even a Lyft or Uber driver.
However, depending on what you’re ordering, your base tip may look a little different.
Here’s how much you should tip a delivery driver based on their role.
Food Delivery Drivers
Whether you’re ordering DoorDash, Uber Eats, or another food delivery service, tipping etiquette usually falls right in line with the standard 15%.
However, this is really only the standard for small orders — those that are easy to pick up and drop off.
If you request a large order, such as a catering order or a request that involves more than two bags, we recommend a base tip of 18-20% to ensure your driver is well-compensated for their efforts.
Follow the same tipping etiquette even if you request a contactless drop-off.
Just because you don’t see your delivery driver doesn’t mean the effort wasn’t the same.
Grocery Delivery Drivers
When you save yourself a trip to the grocery store by using Instacart or Shipt, you’ll commonly need to bump up your base tip to 20%.
Grocery delivery orders are usually larger — often significantly so — than those on food delivery apps, which means the service itself naturally requires extra effort.
Beyond the size of your order, you may also want to tip more because your driver gives you far more of their time, since they spend time shopping for your requested products themselves.
While it’s arguable that this time is included in their pay, grocery delivery drivers also often have to provide more service than any other type of delivery driver.
They’re trained to reach out to you when at a variety of touchpoints — for example, when they’re on their way or when an item is out of stock — as well as pick out the freshest produce possible.
This special service definitely deserves a little extra added to your base tip, though 15% is still fine if you place a small order that doesn’t require much communication.
- Read More: How much to tip grocery delivery drivers
Though tips aren’t expected for traditional courier services, package and mail delivery services are rising in the gig economy.
When you choose these alternative courier services, a 15% tip is still a great rule of thumb — especially if all you’re delivering is a single envelope or small box.
However, if you’re delivering a heavy package or a number of packages at once, you’ll want to tip at least 18-20%, depending on the exact size, weight, and volume.
Only the person requesting the courier service will need to tip, so if you’re on the receiving end of a package, don’t feel obligated to grab your wallet, though your delivery driver will certainly appreciate an extra dollar or two.
On apps like TaskRabbit, you may request services from a driver who’s helping with multiple tasks, including package delivery, in-store pick-ups, dry cleaning pick-ups, and more.
In these cases, you typically won’t have to worry about tipping more just because your driver is going to several locations.
Their pay should compensate for their time, so 15% will do.
However, you should once again take into account the effort your driver needs to put in.
Start with a higher base tip if you expect a lot of lifting or other forms of strong effort.
When to Tip More
The suggested tips we listed above should only be considered a base tip.
If your driver goes above and beyond the basic requirements for completing the job, turning good service into great service, it’s custom to leave a higher tip amount.
We already touched on how large, heavy requests can warrant a higher base tip, but there are more situations where extra effort may warrant even higher tips.
For example, if your delivery driver had to climb several flights of stairs to get to you, make sure to thank them for their effort by tipping at least 5% higher.
Exceptional customer service definitely warrants a higher tip, too.
If your delivery driver makes your day with their positive attitude, communicates with you at each stage of the delivery process, or otherwise makes sure you have the best experience possible, again make sure to increase their tip by at least 5%.
When to Tip Less
No matter how much you love a delivery app, there are still two situations that may arise that warrant a reduced tip.
For the most part, poor service is the only reason that you’ll ever tip less than standard gratuity.
Examples of poor service that may warrant a reduced tip include:
- A delivery to the wrong location, despite clear instructions
- A bad attitude
- Rude statements or gestures
- Incorrect grocery items or number of packages delivered
In these scenarios, it’s perfectly fine to tip 10% instead of the standard 15%.
This is a standard reduction for showing that you’re unhappy with a service.
We typically don’t recommend forgoing the tip altogether, because independent contractors often depend on tips to support their families and sometimes even to make minimum wage.
However, if poor service escalates to the point of harassment or other major issues, feel free to opt out of tipping and report the situation on your app.
Keep in mind that delivery drivers should not be penalized for poor service that occurs due to bad weather, traffic, or other situations beyond their control.
Another situation in which you may tip your delivery person less is if they actually damage your purchase.
For example, if they spilled your food in their car or broke a fragile item by tossing it on your doorstep, you may tip less or nothing at all, depending on the extent of the damages.
In most of these cases, you should be able to further report the situation to the company your driver is contracted by and receive a discount.
Again, avoid reducing your tip amount unless you’re confident that your driver was at fault.
For example, if your Uber Eats driver delivers melted ice cream, despite placing it in a cooler bag, they likely put in their best effort to keep your items cool and don’t deserve a reduced tip.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answer to our initial question — “How much should you tip a delivery driver?” — can vary between situations, but once you have basic tipping etiquette down, calculating the right gratuity isn’t so hard.
Here are a few frequently asked questions to help you navigate tipping during your next delivery service request:
1. Can I tip my delivery driver in cash?
Although most delivery apps are designed for you to pay and tip in-app with your credit card, there’s nothing stopping you from tipping your driver in cash.
Some drivers may actually prefer cash tips, since they’re able to spend it right away, instead of waiting for their payments to process.
When tipping in cash, the same tipping etiquette applies, though you may want to round up to avoid both undertipping and tipping with coins, which can be inconvenient.
2. Does tipping etiquette change if my order was delivered on bike or on foot?
No, the same etiquette applies for on-foot and on-bike delivery services.
Most, if not all apps match their contractors with delivery orders based on what they can safely handle, so you won’t have to worry about leaving a larger base tip for a biker who had to handle an extra large order.
3. Do I need to tip if a delivery fee was included with my order?
Yes. Delivery charges, service fees, and similar costs should be expected on top of your tip.
These fees do not go directly to your driver and some actually go straight to the delivery company you ordered from.
Your driver tip is the only portion of your payment that goes 100% to the delivery partner you’re matched with.
4. Do I need to tip my Amazon driver?
Amazon, which does use contracted drivers for many of its services, is a unique delivery platform where tips are only sometimes accepted.
If you can tip, you can see the option after your delivery (usually for Amazon Prime orders).
However, you don’t need to feel obligated to leave a tip on this platform.
Amazon drivers are paid significantly more than most contractors for gig economy apps and tipping for Amazon services isn’t custom.
However, if your delivery driver took extra care to hide your package in a secure place, feel free to give them any tip amount desired.
Tip Drivers What They Deserve
Whether you tip at checkout or after your delivery, making sure you leave the fairest tip possible is a must when you’re requesting a delivery service.
Modern delivery platforms, ranging from the Uber Eats app to the courier platforms like GoShare, all employ contractors who depend on your tips to make a living.
When you’re using gig economy apps to request rideshare services instead of delivery, tipping etiquette doesn’t change too much.
Read more about Uber tipping expectations to ensure you leave the right gratuity amount for your Uber driver.
Due to this, standard tipping etiquette calls for you to tip at least 15% — just as you would a traditional pizza delivery driver, a restaurant server, or even a Lyft or Uber driver.Is $5 a good tip for delivery? ›
What's the Standard Tip for Delivery? Unlike tipping a waiter, there isn't a "standard" tip for delivery. Matt Maloney, co-founder of Grubhub, suggests a minimum tip amount of $5 or 20%, as long as the service was good.Is 10% a good delivery tip? ›
The Web site www.tipthepizzaguy.com suggests the following: 15% for normal service, with a $2 minimum; 20% for excellent service; 10% or less for poor service; at least 10% for orders of $50 or more.How much should you tip delivery drivers? ›
If everything goes smoothly with your delivery and the weather is good, 20% is the standard cost of having the mealtime brought to your doorstep. Never tip less than five bucks, though.How much do you tip a delivery driver in Canada? ›
Taxi driver: 10% to 15%. If they help with your bags, add $1 per bag. Delivery driver: For groceries, flowers or furniture, no tip. For restaurant meals: 10% of the total order.How much do you tip for a $20 pizza delivery? ›
Generally speaking, delivery orders that are less than $20 are given a minimum tip of $3. If the order is over $20, then it's customary to calculate a tip that is 10%-15% of the order (but never less than $5).Is $15 a good tip for delivery? ›
But I've also had orders where people tipped me, like, $30. If I had to give an average, I would probably say about $10. If you have a ton of items—call it 50 items—you should tip $15, $20.Do you tip all delivery drivers? ›
Most food delivery providers encourage customers to tip drivers, even if they're paying delivery fees, especially if the driver had to ride in the rain or if they had to put in some extra effort delivering an exceptionally large order.Should you always tip for delivery? ›
Tipping is not required, but it is customary to tip your delivery guys as a way to say thank you for a job well done. This is especially true in the case of a difficult or demanding job, or when a professional goes above and beyond to provide a high level of service.How much do you tip on a $10 delivery? ›
A person should tip 15-20 percent for a difficult delivery. The only exception is when you order a super-cheap meal, say $10 or less. In that case, give the driver a flat tip. Some say $5 is the absolute minimum.
Conclusion. Now you know how much you should tip a delivery driver. A $3-$5 tip is satisfactory but can be more if you're feeling generous. Remember that most drivers cater for delivery expenses out of pocket, and with the extra risk they take, it's best to tip a little more.How much do delivery drivers make? ›
Delivery driver salaries typically range between $26,000 and $56,000 a year. The average hourly rate for delivery drivers is $18.65 per hour. Location, education, and experience impacts how much a delivery driver can expect to make.What is an appropriate DoorDash tip? ›
How does DoorDash tipping etiquette compare to expectations on similar food delivery apps? Tipping etiquette is the same for other food delivery services like Postmates. While tips are never required, it's common courtesy to tip at least 15% for good service when ordering delivery from any platform.Is it rude not to tip in Canada? ›
Understanding the tipping culture in Canada
It is not mandatory but in certain situations, it is customary and expected. Not tipping for services is considered rude. With that said, if the service was not up to your expectation, you are free to decide how much you want to tip for it.
So, Should I Tip for Takeout? Yes, you should tip the waitstaff for your takeout order—if the restaurant is a traditional dine-in establishment where servers wait on tables. “An appropriate amount to tip on takeout orders would be approximately 10% to 12%,” says Kane.How much do you tip on $50 delivery? ›
Should tip 15%-20% for a difficult delivery. Here is a general guideline that I have seen offered elsewhere: 15% for normal service, with a $2 minimum; 20% for excellent service; 10% or less for poor service; at least 10% for orders of $50 or more.How much do you tip on a $100 pizza order? ›
20% for excellent service. 18% for large $100+ orders. $3 minimum for small orders under $20.Is 4 dollars a good tip for pizza delivery? ›
Lifestyle and etiquette expert Elaine Swann suggests paying a $3 to $5 tip when the delivery driver arrives. "Three to five dollars is a sufficient tip," Swann says. "It doesn't necessarily need to be a percentage of the food you ordered."Is $7 a good tip for pizza delivery? ›
If your order is less than $20, then your tip should be at least $3. You should also tip at least 10% on orders over $100. You should tip a percentage based on the quality of your service: If you received excellent service, you should tip at least 20%.Is $2 a good tip for delivery? ›
The general consensus in the industry is to tip $2 to $3 per pie delivered. But also look at how much your tip is compared to the entire bill. At the minimum, you should tip 10 percent of the total bill.
That being said, a 10% tip or a couple of dollars is a good rule of thumb for the store employee who shopped for and brought groceries to your car or the guy who delivered milk and your favorite cereal to your doorstep. Just keep in mind that, similar to baggers, some delivery people may not be allowed to accept a tip.Do delivery drivers know if you tip? ›
Yes, Grubhub drivers are able to see their total payment amount they will recieve for each order, which includes 100% of the diner's tip.Should you tip your Walmart delivery driver? ›
Tipping your Walmart delivery driver is always optional, but it's highly encouraged and made super easy by Walmart. You can tip online, in person, or even after your order has already been delivered. Walmart provides customers a full two weeks to add a tip to their delivery order if they choose.Who tips pizza delivery drivers better man or woman? ›
When it comes to tipping, there's actually not much difference between men and women. Habits are perhaps more nuanced, though, depending on the circumstances and the service being provided.Do you tip TV delivery? ›
No, you don't have to. They'd probably appreciate it if you did though.Is $5 a good tip for Uber Eats? ›
There's one thing that both the average customer and driver agree on: A $4 tip is fair. But, customers consider a few factors when it comes to tipping. US Foods' data shows that customers, on average, are willing to pay $8.50 total for extra delivery charges, including tips, delivery fees, and service fees.How much do you tip on a $200 bill? ›
If your total bill is $200 and you want to tip 15%, work out the tip by multiplying the total bill by 0.15. You can then add this amount to your bill when it comes to pay. Simple. Or alternatively, you can multiply the bill excluding service by 1.15 (assuming you want to leave that same 15% tip).Which delivery driver pays the most? ›
1. Instacart. Hands down, Instacart is the best food delivery app for its drivers, which easily puts it at number one on our list. According to Glassdoor, Instacart drivers average around $30 hourly pay.How much do Amazon drivers make? ›
Average Amazon.com Delivery Driver hourly pay in the United States is approximately $18.78, which is 12% above the national average. Salary information comes from 227,586 data points collected directly from employees, users, and past and present job advertisements on Indeed in the past 36 months.How much do DoorDash drivers make? ›
Base pay from DoorDash to Dashers ranges from $2-$10+ per delivery depending on the estimated duration, distance, and desirability of the order. Deliveries that are expected to take more time, that require Dashers to travel a longer distance, and that are less popular with Dashers have higher base pay.
Gottsman suggests tipping at least 20% of the total cost of the meal, or at least $5. There are other things you should consider when you tip: Tip in cash: Some food delivery apps use tip money as a way to avoid paying the driver their full payments, as The New York Times recently found with DoorDash.Is it rude to not tip DoorDash? ›
It is ultimately up to the individual to decide whether to tip or not when using DoorDash or any other delivery service.Is $4 a good tip for DoorDash? ›
This is something also wholly welcomed on Doordash. For smaller orders with a total of less than $25, $4 is a good tip as it fits into the standard tipping policy. However, this may not be the case when the total of your order is above $25.What is the ideal tip in Canada? ›
WHAT SHOULD A STANDARD TIP BE? Blais Comeau said the standard restaurant tip across Canada is between 15 and 18 per cent of the bill, before taxes. She said 15 per cent is appropriate in most cases.Is 15% tip OK in Canada? ›
Gratuities are seldom included in Canadian restaurants. It is customary to tip approximately 15-20% on the total bill before tax, less for poor service, more for truly exceptional service. Many restaurants may charge an automatic 15-18% gratuity for larger groups.What happens if I don't tip? ›
Legally it's voluntary but if you slink out of a restaurant without leaving a gratuity of between 15 and 25 per cent, you're likely to be chased by a waiter demanding to know why. To help you avoid tipping anxiety (and disgruntled waitstaff), we explain how to tip in the United States.Should you tip for Chinese takeout? ›
The general rule of thumb for a sit-down restaurant is to tip 18 to 20 percent of the bill. So on a large takeout order where the staff went above and beyond, Gottsman recommends about a 15 percent tip. Keep in mind also that restaurant staff often rely on tips as part of their earnings.Should you tip when picking up pizza? ›
Aim to leave 5 to 10% of your bill as a tip, even when ordering takeout. If you can leave more, your servers and favorite restaurants will be grateful.Did Starbucks get rid of tipping? ›
Starbucks customers have long been able to tip in cash or on the app. But more recently, a tip prompt on credit card payments has been added as well. Customers have to respond to the prompt — if only to select “no tip” — in order to complete the transaction.What is the difference between a tip and a gratuity? ›
A gratuity is an informal tip that an employee receives from a customer or another worker. At the same time, a tip is something you give to a service provider to show your appreciation for their work.
There's one thing that both the average customer and driver agree on: A $4 tip is fair. But, customers consider a few factors when it comes to tipping. US Foods' data shows that customers, on average, are willing to pay $8.50 total for extra delivery charges, including tips, delivery fees, and service fees.Is 4 dollars a good delivery tip? ›
Common tipping etiquette for small and large orders is 15% for normal service with $3 minimum; 15%-20%+ for great service (or if you're feeling generous); below 10% for poor service. If a delivery charge is included, be sure to ask if it goes directly to the driver.Is it bad to tip $1 dollar Uber Eats? ›
A good rule to use when tipping your Uber Eats driver is to give them at least a few dollars (18-20% of your food bill) as a starting tip and then add on money for extra services.How much do you tip Uber Eats Canada? ›
Obviously, you should take into account the quality of the customer service you receive, but it is recommended you stick within the range of $1–$3 for most deliveries.Is $3 a good tip for DoorDash? ›
Thus, the more you tip, the less DoorDash has to pay us for our base pay. I would say tipping $1–3 is substantial, for whatever size the food order, since we are only delivering it, but always tip your driver with cash and not the app. If you tip through the app it essentially doesn't go to the driver.Do Dashers see your tip? ›
Dashers receive 100% of all customer tips that DoorDash receives, including those earned on DoorDash Drive orders. Many customers tip as they place an order during order checkout, and you will see these tips listed immediately in your earnings.How much do Dashers make per order? ›
Base pay from DoorDash to Dashers ranges from $2-$10+ per delivery depending on the estimated duration, distance, and desirability of the order. Deliveries that are expected to take more time, that require Dashers to travel a longer distance, and that are less popular with Dashers have higher base pay.Is $8 a good tip for pizza? ›
If your order is less than $20, then your tip should be at least $3. You should also tip at least 10% on orders over $100. You should tip a percentage based on the quality of your service: If you received excellent service, you should tip at least 20%.