How Much Should You Tip for Delivery

8 December 2020

It is no secret that food service workers don’t get paid very much. Their base pay is typically minimum wage or lower. What helps make up for a low base pay is how much customers leave in tips. But there has been some debate about how much you should tip for delivery.

Why Should I Tip for Delivery?

Low base pay aside, food delivery is a dangerous and often thankless job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, driver/sales workers and truck drivers have the 6th most dangerous job in the US. With as much time as they spend on the road it is hardly surprising that they are at increased risk. Many delivery drivers also use their own personal vehicle and sometimes also have to pay for their own gas. They do this job at considerable risk to themselves and to their personal property.

With restaurant dining rooms closed for business, delivery is at an all-time high. This added time on the road and in public increases the likelihood of exposure to Covid-19. Unfortunately, there is also a surplus of people looking for work. This means drivers are easy to replace. As a result, some restaurants do not have a sick leave policy in place for those who contract Covid-19. Leaving a generous tip and a positive review of your driver won’t prevent them from getting sick. But it does show that you appreciate them, and the dangers associated with their line of work.

How Much Should You Tip for Delivery?

Under normal circumstances, etiquette experts recommend tipping anywhere from10% to 20% for delivery. It is customary to never tip less than $3 on an order totaling less than $20, or less than $5 on orders of $20 or more.

You should consider tipping a little extra if:

  • The driver is delivering during bad weather (hail, sleet, snow, heavy rain, etc.).
  • Any time driving conditions are worse than usual.
  • When the driver has to travel more than 5 miles to make the delivery.
  • During peak order times when drivers must work harder and faster to get your food to you while it is still hot.
  • If the driver gave you outstanding service.

Delivery Fees and Service Charges

Delivery fees and service charges are not the same thing as a tip. How that money gets split between the driver, restaurant, and delivery service app varies from one service to another. Some apps do give the driver a small percentage of the delivery fee. This cut of the delivery fee often doesn’t amount to very much though, a few dollars here and there on large orders. So, if you really want to show your appreciation for a job well done, make sure you tip your driver.

Tipping During the Pandemic

You should always consider leaving a larger tip for delivery when conditions are worse than normal. Right now, with much of the country being on lock down to slow the spread of Covid-19, consider tipping 5% more. So, if you normally would leave a 20%, consider leaving 25%. With the demand for delivery at an all-time high, your driver is taking a considerable risk to deliver your order.  That extra 5% shows that you recognize and appreciate the risk they are taking.

With so many states still under shelter-in-place orders, some apps are suspending delivery fees for independently owned restaurants. Others are offering discounts or promotions. Consider passing your savings on to your driver in the form of a larger tip.

What If I Can’t Tip as Much?

Delivery drivers are hardly the only people seeing their paycheck shrink due to the pandemic. There are a lot of people who are out of work or working less. If you are unable to leave a larger tip, show your appreciation in other ways. Leave a positive review about your driver on the food delivery app you used, or on review sites for the restaurant you ordered from. Some apps allow you to review individual drivers. These ratings can affect how much work they get or what percent they earn on each order.

Save Money and Help Local Restaurants

Food delivery service apps like GrubHub, UberEats, and Door Dash are a real lifesaver for a lot of people. Unfortunately, these services come at a price, for both you as a customer and for the restaurant.

Food delivery apps take anywhere from20% to 40% of the menu price for themselves. Most restaurants have a 3% to 5% profit margin on average, so that 20-40% cuts deep. Some restaurants pass that on to the customer by marking up the prices of their food when you order through that app. Others just take the hit to their bottom line, knowing that dine-in orders will help cover the difference.

Some restaurants have been hard hit by the shelter-in-place orders. A lot of smaller, local restaurants have had to close their doors for good. But how you order your food can make a difference.

When you order through local sites likeFlower Mound Delivers the full cost of your meal goes straight to the restaurant. The site is free to use, for both you and the restaurant. Which means you’ll save money and with no additional service fees, every penny goes to the restaurant. Just don’t forget to leave a generous tip for your delivery driver.

Wondering how much to tip for delivery? Call Flower Mound Delivers at (469) 444-9588


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