This month, a reader asked, “I have food delivered to my house once a week. Some online food delivery companies, like Grub Hub, give you three tip options – 10, 15, and 20 percent. But do I even need to tip 10 percent to someone who isn’t actually taking my order, saying hello, and all of the other stuff waiters do?”
I understand complaining about paying $2 ATM fees, but what’s so bad about giving a few bucks to a food delivery driver? Often, pizza guys and other delivery drivers earn less than the minimum wage because tips are considered part of their compensation. They usually pay for their own gas. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics once rated food delivery driving as the fifth most dangerous job in America.
Sure, the driver doesn’t take your order (I bet he says “hello”, however). But he does get your food from the restaurant, buckle it into the back seat, and bring it to your door.
According to Jorie Scholnik, an etiquette expert, that calls for a tip. “Tipping 10-15 percent is a good start,” she says. “I usually give the delivery person 15 percent if a delivery charge is not included.” If the weather is bad, The Emily Post Institute recommends tipping a driver 15-20 percent.
Here are some of their other standard tipping recommendations:
- Restaurant server: 15 to 18 percent, 20 percent for good service, 10 percent for poor service
- Bartender: $1 per drink or 15 percent of tab, whichever is greater
- Valet: $2 to return your car
- Restroom attendant: 50 cents to $1
- Taxi driver: 15 percent
- Food delivery: 10 percent, at least $1. Tip more if the delivery was difficult (e.g. bad weather)
- Barber or hairdresser: 15 – 20 percent
- Skycap: $1-2 per bag, $2 minimum
- Hotel doorman: $1-2 per bag, $2 minimum
- Hotel concierge: $5 for getting reservations, no tip for directions
- Hotel housekeeper: $2-5 per night
As for tipping for food delivery, there are other ways to save money if you’re not in the mood to cook for yourself. Pick up the food yourself from the restaurant. You won’t have to pay a delivery fee, or tip a driver. “I don’t usually tip the to-go person because no one is serving my table, but sometimes I’ll include an extra $1 or $2 if the person was extra courteous and accommodated a special request,” Jorie says.
You can also save a few dollars doing an advanced search on Grubhub. Under the filters option, check the box marked “Offers coupons.” This will pull up any restaurants that are offering deals.
If you’re ordering out because you can’t get to the grocery store regularly, consider a meal-kit delivery service like Plated or Blue Apron. For anywhere between $8 – $15 per meal (the cost depends on whether or not you become a member), these sites will ship you all of the ingredients, and a recipe, to make a dish at home.
How do you tip the pizza guy — or for more regular food delivery? Who do you hate tipping?