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How Much Should You Tip a Delivery Driver? (2023 Guide)

how much should you tip a delivery driver

Are you trying to work out the rules of tipping when you get food delivered? 

Tipping is common practice in restaurants. Most people would never leave a restaurant without leaving at least the standard gratuity for their server. However, giving extra money to a delivery driver can be a bit of a minefield. Many people are unsure how much to give or simply forget about it altogether. 

So, if you’ve been wondering How Much Should You Tip a Delivery Driver? Then it’s time to find out…

How Much To Give?

The amount you give the delivery driver will depend on a number of factors. There are times when it may be better to give more generously than others. Here is a guide to how much to give in different circumstances. 

Read more: Do You Tip Walmart Delivery Drivers?

The minimum

Most people agree that $5 is the least you should be prepared to give. However, you could get away with $3 if you live in a small town and the covered distance is very short. This is significantly less than the 15-20% standard when you eat in a restaurant.

When working out how much to give, you need to take the driver’s time into account. They are also faced with extra fees that a server in a restaurant does not have to pay. If you can afford to, it is probably best to give more than $5. 

The delivery distance

Your driver will have to work harder if you live outside of the normal delivery range. The extra time it takes to get to your door means they will be able to complete fewer orders. Show your appreciation by giving a little extra. 

Huge orders

If you are ordering food for a large group of people, the driver may have to make multiple trips. This will result in higher fees and more work for the person who is bringing your food. Share some of that party love by giving them a little extra cash. 

The time of day

If you order food late at night, there are likely to be fewer orders available. As a result, your driver will have learned less money. Giving a generous tip helps to make working at this time more worthwhile. 

Bad weather

The Reasons For Late Deliveries

Driving in heavy rain, sleet, and snow can be a real pain, especially if you are on a scooter. Not only is driving in bad weather unpleasant, but it can also be dangerous. If you want to order food at these times, consider giving a gratuity of at least 20%.

Excellent service

Some drivers go the extra mile to make their customers happy. This includes calling you with updates and snagging you extra food by taking advantage of a special deal. Giving a little extra is the best way to reward the driver for their excellent service. 

What about when there is a Delivery Fee?

Many restaurants and food delivery apps charge customers a fee when they place an order. However, it is important to note that the driver doesn’t usually get this fee. Instead, the fee covers the cost of arranging the service for you. This means that the driver will miss out if you decide to skip tipping them. 

Should You Ever Tip Less Than The Minimum?

Nobody wants to have to pay extra for bad service. If your food took forever to arrive or the driver was unpleasant, you may be reluctant to give them extra cash. Here are some cases when you might be tempted to give less than the average. 

Ice cold food

If your food took forever to arrive, it could be ice cold when you get it. However, this could be the fault of the restaurant. Consider giving the minimum amount and complaining to the restaurant. You could receive a refund or special coupons to make it up to you. 

Rude drivers

Rude drivers

Working in the food service industry can be tough, and your driver may be having a bad day. Even though their rudeness may have upset you, it is best to still give the minimum amount. You can always make a complaint about the driver later if it happens again. 

What They Earn?

When deciding how much gratuity to give, it is a good idea to take the wage of the driver into account. People who work in the food service industry typically receive very low wages. The understanding is that their salary will be compensated with tips from customers. By giving a low gratuity or skipping it together, drivers can struggle to earn a livable wage. 

The average hourly rate

People who get paid by the hour typically make around $17 per hour. This wage applies to drivers who work directly for a particular restaurant or another type of eatery. These employees may be provided with transportation, while in some cases, they have to use their own vehicle. To make a livable wage, these employees need to put in long hours and work in all weather conditions. 


Like with other jobs, the average salary for this role varies in different parts of the country. Drivers who live in Denver and Portland typically make over $19 per hour. However, in many places, such as North Carolina, the hourly rate is less than $16. 

The cost of living

In parts of the country where the cost of living is higher, the minimum wage is typically slightly higher. This is designed to help people on minimum wage afford the basic costs of living. This means that even when employees receive slightly higher hourly rates, they may still struggle to make ends meet. 

Delivery apps

Delivery apps

If you use a special app to order food, your driver is probably earning minimum wage. However, the companies behind the apps usually factor tips into this rate. This means that not receiving gratuity from customers can have a significant impact on the driver’s salary. 

For example… Grubhub 

This food service company calculates salaries based on several different factors. However, the fee is not based on the price or size of the order. The base fee is around $3.50, plus mileage, any special bonuses the company is offering, plus the tip. Many Grubhub drivers reveal that around 50% of their salaries come from extra gratuities from customers. 

In many cases, the mileage fee may be just 50 cents per mile. However, this may be less than the amount the driver spent on gas. Getting stuck in traffic and many other factors can cause drivers to use extra gas during the journey. 

Hidden fees for drivers

Because most delivery drivers use their own vehicles, they are faced with a number of hidden costs. Although they are usually paid a standard mileage fee, this does not cover the cost of maintaining vehicles. The more the vehicle is used to make deliveries, the higher the maintenance costs will be. 

Professional drivers estimate that around 12% of their salary is spent on maintaining their vehicle. This includes essentials such as oil changes, new tires, and maintaining the brakes. Depending on the make and model of the vehicle, the cost of gas can come to at least $50 per week. 

The Benefits 

If you are reluctant to give a gratuity, you may feel like you are throwing your money away. While there is no doubt that drivers benefit from the extra cash, customers can also benefit. Here are some of the main ways customers can benefit from giving a generous gratuity. 

Driver loyalty 

Drivers remember customers who treat them well. If you order regularly, drivers are likely to be looking out for your order. Not only will your order be accepted more quickly, but the driver may also give you a coupon or another treat. 

Shorter waiting times

Shorter waiting times

On many apps like DoorDash, drivers can choose which orders they accept. If you offer a higher tip upfront, your order is more likely to be accepted quickly. This means that your food will be at your door much quicker. On the other hand, it could take time for your order to be accepted if you are stingy. 

The feel-good factor

Never underestimate the benefit of doing something good for someone else. Knowing that you had a positive impact on the life of someone else can make you feel good. This is a simple way to make yourself feel good and help others.

Do You Have To Tip?

There is no obligation to provide a gratuity when you order food and beverages. However, this is a social agreement that is part of good etiquette. Many people work in the food service industry at some point in their lives and often depend on this gratuity. 

In-app tipping 

How To Make Money With Uber Eats

Uber Eats recently launched a new feature that allows customers to use the app to give drivers an extra fee. The gratuity that you add after you receive your order goes directly to the driver. Customers have up to seven days to add this gratuity after receiving their order. While there is no obligation to do this, it is a good way of showing your appreciation. 

Visibility to drivers 

When you use the DoorDash app to place an order, the driver cannot see how much you are going to tip. This fee is only revealed to the driver after they have dropped off your order. For some customers, this reduces the obligation to offer a generous gratuity.

However, Grubhub drivers can see the size of the gratuity along with your order. The driver may decide whether or not to accept the order based on the amount. Therefore, giving generously will help make sure your food is collected and brought to you in a timely manner.  

Cash gratuities

You may want to wait until you receive your order to decide how much to give. Many people prefer to base the size of the gratuity on the quality of the service they receive. If you prefer tipping in cash, it is best to use the notes section of the app to explain this. 

Tipping for Takeout Collection

If you go to an eatery and pick up food to take home, giving a gratuity may seem a little weird. After all, you are the one who went to the effort of collecting your order. However, a food server had to go to the extra effort of putting your food into special containers for you. They also have to make sure that your order is correct and perfectly presented. 

There is no obligation to give a gratuity when you pick up your order yourself. However, it is a good idea to give a little extra, especially if you visit the eatery fairly regularly. Consider giving a gratuity of 10% to 15% if you regularly pick up large orders. 

A kind gesture goes a long way…

This is a good way of thanking your server for their time and effort. After all, these servers probably make a low salary and are less likely to receive extra compensation from customers. The next time you visit the eatery, you will receive a warm welcome, and you may even get extra food.  

Catering Delivery

If you are hosting a dinner party, arranging catering delivery can save you a lot of time and trouble. It is best to check with the catering company to see if the driver’s tip is included in the fee. If it is included, a gratuity fee will be marked on your bill. If the fee is not included, it is best to hand over an extra 10-15%.

Read more: Can I Pick Up a Package from USPS Before Delivery?

Love To Drive And Need Extra Cash?

Well then, a driver position is just for you! Let’s start with our in-depth guide to the Uber Application, the Uber Eats Application, and the Doordash Application, followed by How Much Do Uber Eats Drivers Make, and Can A Felon Drive For Uber in case you’ve had some trouble in the past.

We also have our Lyft Mission And Vision Statement Analysis, as well as our Uber Mission And Vision Statement Analysis, to see what the companies are all about. As well as our comparison of Lyft vs Uber Income for drivers, and once again, if you have a criminal record, find out Can A Felon Drive For Lyft in 2023.

Just in case you’d like more insight into being a driver, check out our Delivery Driver Job Description and Pizza Delivery Driver Job Description to see if it’s something you would be interested in doing.

Final Thoughts

Tipping can be expensive, especially when you add it to delivery charges. However, it is important to factor this cost in when you place an order. You are essentially paying for the privilege of having someone bring food right to your door.

Not only does this save you time, but it can also save you money. For example, gas driving to your favorite restaurant, and remember that most delivery drivers make much less than you think.

So it’s always a good idea to tip generously!

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