Ever wonder if you tipping your food delivery driver too much or too little? Check out this quick guide that's all about how to tip food delivery drivers.

When the day is dragging on, and you have too many things to do to run out and pick up something for lunch or dinner, it's nice to be able to log into an app and request a meal or two. If you're one of the many people that can't get out often, this is an ideal way to pick up something from any of the restaurants in your area. Yet, when this person heads off to pick up your meal, you'll likely want to tip them.

Should you tip your food delivery driver? How much should you tip? Here is some help on how much to tip food delivery services that help you.

History of Tipping

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Why do we tip? Tipping is a way of thanking the person who is serving you a meal for the work they are doing. You may know that tipping is a big part of the American restaurant atmosphere, but it hasn't always been so.

Though the term "tip" used as a verb dates back to the early 1700s, the process of tipping as we know it in the U.S. really didn't become common until the 1850s. During that time, wealthy people began to follow a tradition that dates back to medieval times in which a master would pay his servant extra money when the service provided was exceptional. As one person did this, so did others, wanting to maintain the image of being an aristocrat.

Not everyone liked this idea, including those who thought to limit a person with limited income from dining away from home. Over the years, it continued to be used as something the wealthy did. In 1915, six states put a ban on tipping deeming it as a type of commercial bribe. Still, it grew in practice, especially in the South.

In 1938, laws were put into place that required workers receiving tips to be paid a wage that, when added with their tips, equaled the federal minimum wage. In the 1970s, efforts were put in place to try to make these tipping laws fair for all leading up to the minimum wage paid today for those who receive tips.

Why Tip Your Food Delivery Driver?

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You don't always tip people. When you visit a fast-food restaurant, you don't provide a tip to a worker. Why should you tip your food delivery driver, then?

Some of the food delivery services do provide a base payment for their drivers. This is a guaranteed minimum payment received when they pick up an order and deliver it. Under most programs, anything earned on that trip – including the tipped amount – goes towards meeting that base pay. In other words, they are not getting a base pay and a tip on top of that – and that can make delivering food less lucrative unless clients tip properly.

How Much to Tip a Food Delivery Driver

Recognizing the importance of tipping your food delivery driver, the question then becomes how much you should tip. For many people, this tipping process goes back to pizza delivery drivers, some of the oldest services to offer delivery service.

How much you tip should be based on the size of the order, the distance driven, the timeline, and just what you feel is right. Most organizations, including Consumer Reports, recommend a tip of $3 to $5 per order, or around 20 percent of the total bill depending on which is higher.

Tipping Etiquette

Tips are a big part of the gig economy. Many people who are delivering for these companies are not earning enough to pay for the cost of wear and tear to their car, gas money, and time spent if they don't receive a tip.

How much to tip for food delivery service is one aspect of the process. Here are a few other things to keep in mind:

  • Not all companies give tips directly to the driver. DoorDash, Amazon Flex, and Caviar do not. These companies pay the employee the tip as a portion of their pay for the order, which means it is subject to tax.
  • If you purchase a large order – one that may require multiple trips to the car – consider tipping more.
  • It's also wise to tip a bit more when the weather is difficult to manage as a driver. It can offer a bit of relief for the driver.

How to Tip Your Food Delivery Driver

Most of the delivery services you probably use offer a tipping feature on the app you use to place an order. Here are a few tips on how to tip your food delivery driver using the app.

Doordash Tip

To make a Doordash tip, you can do so on the checkout page. Do this before you hit "place an order" on the site. You can adjust the minimum tip of $1 up to meet your needs.

UberEats Tip

On UberEats, tips are not a requirement. However, consumers can easily add them. To do so, pay attention to the check out process. There is an area to add a tip on the checkout page. Or, after the delivery arrives, you can leave a tip on the rating page for the driver.

Postmates Tip

As you select the foods you desire on the site, there will be a place for you to leave a tip before you complete the checkout process. Here, you can also come back and rate the delivery driver and leave a tip at that time.

Grubhub Tip

Grubhub as a tip feature on the app that is available to check after you've selected your meals. You can also click the "tip in cash" option if you would rather do that. Most people like tipping in cash because they can do so after their driver arrives rather than doing so before the driver even picks up the order.

Tip Your Driver with Cash

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All apps allow the customer to tip in cash. Doing so tends to be the best route to ensure that the driver is getting his or her tip quickly and without any reduced amount.

Tipping your food delivery driver is a must. If you haven't been doing so, so thank you to your next driver with a tip.