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How much should you tip your DoorDash or Uber Eats driver?

It used to be that we had to at least talk into a phone — and at one point, that phone was plugged into our walls — if we wanted food delivered. These days, apps like DoorDash, Uber Eats and GrubHub mean your next meal is just a few swipes and taps away.

And while we may not actually have to talk to anyone to get that food, a human still delivers it and relies on tips as part of their income.

“Since a delivery driver is performing a service on the customer’s behalf similar to that of a server, they deserve to be tipped at the standard tip rate,” says Caleb Dueck, a former DoorDash driver and current director of operations at Sperry Honey.

But what’s the standard rate? To find out, we turned to the experts: current and former drivers themselves. Delivery drivers shared the correct amount to tip, plus when to give more (and less). They also dished on how it feels when they walk away empty-handed.

Related: How Much You Should *Really* Tip at Starbucks, According to Current & Former Baristas

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Should You Tip Your Food Delivery Driver?

Um, yes. “The importance of tipping is an integrity issue. Tipping ensures that you value the service your worker has provided for you,” says Kaylania Chapman, who has delivered for services including DoorDash, Postmates, GrubHub and Uber Eats. She has gone on to found Side Hustle to CEO.

And the value of that service goes way beyond just handing you the bag with your burgers in it.

“Delivery drivers do not get paid for gas, mileage or vehicle maintenance,” says Shannon Torrence, an actor, events coordinator and DoorDash and Uber Eats driver. “We often have to find parking where there aren’t viable options, and all that’s available is paid parking, or navigate large apartment complexes to find your home. We wait in line for your order — sometimes for 15 minutes or more — so you don’t have to.”

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How Much Should You Tip Your Food Delivery Driver?

Tip your driver the same way you would a restaurant server. “15-20% to account for time and mileage,” Torrence says.

Dueck echoed these sentiments. “You should tip delivery drivers 15%, with a minimum of $4 per order.”

Chapman recommended slightly more. “The minimum I would tip would be $5, and that would depend on the order size and the distance the driver had to go to deliver the order to me,” Chapman says. “I would start with $5 and go to $10 on up, especially when I, as a customer, would not be available to actually pick up the order myself. It is common courtesy.”

To put that in perspective, 15% of $33 would be $4.95 — so around $5 would be a fair tip.

Insider tip: Want a five-star driver? Tip in advance — yes, really.

“If I see an order with no tip, I’m never taking that order because it doesn’t make sense financially,” Dueck says. “I’d rather wait in my car until a more lucrative order appears in my app. Because of the service provided and expenses that come with food delivery, 15% is a good starting point.”

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What If You’re Using a Gift Card or Promo Code?

“Pretend you’re paying full price, as you would in a restaurant if someone comped your meal or gave you a discount just to be nice,” Torrence says.

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When to Tip Your Food Delivery Driver More

While 15-20% is the standard tip amount, drivers say there are times to increase it.

“Typically, I tip more if the delivery driver is very friendly and stays in communication,” Chapman says. “Kindness goes a long way.”

Torrence shared examples of times Dashers proved not all heroes wear capes.

“A friend of mine drives for Door Dash, and a teenage girl came out of the house to pick up her food and locked herself out of the house,” Torrence says. “My friend let her stay in her car with her to keep warm for an hour until her parents were able to come home with the key. Once, I waited for an hour for a guy’s order at 2 a.m. because I didn’t mind, as the people at the bar were really cool and fun. I texted him to give him updates as I waited. He tipped me $20 extra for waiting so long and because he’d fallen asleep and wasn’t being responsive. He made it up to me that way.”

Clearly, these drivers deserve a better tip (and then some).

Generally, what qualifies as “more?”

“Tip them 25%,” Dueck says. “Think of it similarly to how you’d tip at a restaurant when you receive exceptional service. Also, if you’re further away from the restaurant, you’ll need to tip 20-25% minimum because the longer delivery is costing your driver more time and money.”

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Is It Ever OK Not to Tip Your Food Delivery Driver?

It’s a spicy topic, but most of our sources said not tipping was ok only in rare occasions.

“I think if you leave specific instructions and the driver ignores them, you can tip less,” Torrence says.

Chapman almost always gives at least something.

“[Not tipping] is something that I rarely do,” Chapman says. “I would not tip someone if they were rude, disrespectful or intentionally tried to sabotage my order.”

Often, people don’t tip because they’re blaming drivers for something out of their control.

“Some people blame delivery drivers when…a delivery is running late, even if the store or restaurant is busy, and even how a food item tastes,” Chapman says. “The delivery driver did not prepare the meal.”

Drivers say they get deflated when they lose out on a tip for these reasons.

“It’s frustrating to not be tipped because of something that’s beyond our control, such as a long wait time or difficulty finding an address when delivering to an area where it’s dark and there’s inadequate lighting, no Wi-Fi or cell service or a customer isn’t responding to messages,” Torrence says.

Chapman was more blunt.

“When I did gig work — and even the times when I worked as a server at a restaurant — I would feel offended when I didn’t get tips, even when I provided great customer service,” Chapman says. “At times, it felt insulting.”

Up next: Taco Bell Set to Release 7 New Menu Items That Have Fans ‘So Excited’

Sources

  • Caleb Dueck, a former DoorDash driver and current director of operations at Sperry Honey
  • Kaylania Chapman, formerly The Blessed Driver who has gone on to found Side Hustle to CEO
  • Shannon Torrence, an actor, events coordinator and DoorDash and Uber Eats Driver
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