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Grubhub Tip: How Much to Give Your Grubhub Delivery Driver

Grubhub Tip: How Much to Give Your Grubhub Delivery Driver

Last updated: June 25, 2019
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Americans love ordering food delivery — it’s fast, easy, and the range of food delivery options means there is always something you can get, no matter your budget. There are dozens of food delivery apps ready to bring you your food, but Grubhub is one of the most popular among both users and drivers.

If you’re thinking about giving Grubhub a try but weren’t sure about the logistics of tipping, keep reading. This article will walk you through everything you need to know from what Grubhub is to why tipping matters to tipping standards and when you should tip more to tipping cash vs in the app, and how much of the tip your Grubhub driver actually gets.

What Is Grubhub? is one of the biggest companies in the delivery space and is one of the biggest employers of gig workers. Founded in 2014 as an alternative to paper menus, Grubhub has expanded rapidly and the Grubhub Inc. group of companies now includes Seamless, MenuPages, AllMenus, OrderUp, Restaurants on the Run, Delivered Dish, DiningIn, Eat 24, and LAbite.

As the most popular food delivery service across the United States, the Grubhub app is on millions of phones and many gig workers start their side hustle search with Grubhub.

Why Tipping Matters

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Image: Grubhub

Like waiters in a restaurant, Grubhub delivery drivers rely on their tips in order to make a decent living. Grubhub orders can have any combination of three types of fees — service fees, restaurant fees, and delivery fees — but none of these fees end up in the delivery driver’s pocket.

Unlike some other delivery services, Grubhub does expect you to tip your delivery driver. Matt Maloney, one Grubhub’s co-founders, went on record in an article in USA Today explaining Grubhub’s official stance on tipping your Grubhub driver:

[Maloney is] a strong proponent of tipping, and Grubhub’s website recommends a $5 or a 20 percent tip, whichever is more. Maloney also said this number should go up if you’re ordering for your whole office or during, say, a blizzard.

Tipping Standards

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Image: Grubhub

You should always tip your Grubhub delivery driver. You’re used to tipping your pizza guy or girl and the same logic applies: Tip the person who is bringing you your food. But how much should you tip? According to a popular Grubhub Facebook post, there are three types of tippers: “keep the change,” “percentage,” and “flat rate” tippers.

Keep the Change Tippers

Keep the change tippers tell their Grubhub driver to keep the change from the order when paying in cash and Grubhub advises against it, noting that doing so tells your driver that you think their labor of bringing you your food is only worth a few cents. The only time it may be acceptable to tip the change is when your order is less than $10.

Percentage Tippers

Percentage tippers base the tip on a percentage of the value of the order. This is a carryover from tipping a waiter in a restaurant. While waiters are usually tipped between 15 and 20 percent, delivery drivers are usually tipped somewhere between 10 and 15 percent. Percentage tippers usually tip better for faster service and less for slower service. As a result, drivers know to anticipate higher percentage tips at the beginning of their routes than for those at the end.

Flat Rate Tippers

Flat rate tippers have a standard flat rate tip they give their delivery drivers. How much that tip is depends on what type of flat rate tipper they are — Lincoln, Washington, or in-between.

A Lincoln flat rate tipper always tips $1 and like the “keep the change” tippers, are not well-liked among delivery drivers.

A Washington flat rate tipper always tips $5, even when that’s more than 15 percent of the cost of the delivery. Washington flat rate tippers are popular with delivery drivers, even when the order is over $50 and they’ll still only get $5, because the delivery drivers know those customers always tip $5. Washington flat rate tippers are generally ex-restaurant employees who know how important tips are.

An in-between flat rate tipper will vary the tip amount from $2 to $5, depending on factors like distance, service, and weather. These customers consider the tip amount separate from the cost of their meal and believe the person bringing them their food should be paid according to that effort, not based on the cost of the food.

Regardless of which type of tipper you are, there are situations when you should give your driver a little extra cash for good service.

When You Should Tip More

There are situations when your delivery driver will be working harder than normal in order to get your food safely to your door. In these situations, you should be sure to show your appreciation by tipping the delivery person a bit more.

Big Orders

When you order a ton of food for a birthday or office party, it’s a good idea to tip your Grubhub delivery person a bit more than the normal 20 percent. In this case, Grubhub suggests tipping an additional 3 to 5 percent.

Bad Weather

When it’s snowing or raining, you don’t want to go out for your food and your Grubhub driver isn’t going to be thrilled about navigating the streets either. Show your appreciation by tipping $3 to $5 more.

Lots of Steps

When there are several flights of stairs between your apartment and the street, your Grubhub driver is probably going to be huffing and puffing by the time they make it to your door. Tipping them an extra $1 or $2 will make them a lot happier about that surprise workout.

In each of these situations, the driver is working harder than normal and saving you the headache of dealing with it. If you don’t want to go out in the snow or carry 15 pizzas for the office party, we promise they aren’t excited about it either, but they’ll be a lot happier with a little extra cash for their effort.

Tipping in the App vs in Cash

Tipping your Grubhub delivery person in cash is always best. However, you don’t need to have extra cash sitting around in order to give your delivery person a tip. You can tip on your credit card in the Grubhub app while placing your order.

Tipping in the Grubhub app is easy. After you’ve chosen your food items, proceed to checkout. Grubhub will assume you want your food delivered, but you can choose to switch to pickup if you’d rather go get your food. In this case, there is no delivery person and no tip.

If you’re sticking with delivery, at the bottom of the checkout screen, you’ll be able to choose the tip amount for your delivery driver. The default tip amount is set at 15 percent, but you can choose to increase it, decrease it, or set a custom tip amount.

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How Much of the Tip Does the Driver Get?

Your delivery driver gets the entire tip, every penny of it. Grubhub pays their drivers their tip money every Thursday so if you’d like your driver to get their tip immediately, a cash tip is best. If tipping on your credit card is easier, your driver won’t be upset at having to wait a few days to access their tip money.

Be a Good Tipper

If you’re a good tipper, your delivery driver will be able to earn a living wage, not just minimum wage, after accounting for expenses like gas and vehicle maintenance. Driving for Grubhub can be fun, but it can also be expensive and stressful in bad weather or periods of high traffic. Your Grubhub driver is going to do everything they can to get your food to you in a timely manner and with a friendly smile. This high level of service should be rewarded and it’s in your power to do so.

If you’re a good tipper, your orders are more likely to be picked up by drivers and any special instructions are more likely to be checked by the driver before leaving the restaurant. Drivers remember their favorite customers and the speed with which your order arrives next time may reflect that.

So tip, and tip well.

View All Comments (3) Add A Comment

  1. Ian Says:

    You’ve got “Washington” and “Lincoln” tippers reversed. Washington = $1.00; Lincoln = $5.00.

  2. Tom J. Says:

    I’ve just started using delivery – tonight for the first time actually. I am interested in the tipping standards. This and other articles like it are not particularly helpful because they do not tell you how much the drivers make as base-pay before tipping. A TIP (“To Insure Promptness) is there to regulate/enhance quality of service on top of the bare minimum of, in this case, getting food from the eatery to me. If I am paying the restaurant for food and the online service (GrubHub, Doordash, etc.) for the delivery option, and the delivery service pays the driver, then I am paying a tip on top of their pay to insure superior service. This makes a lot of sense in a restaurant, where the range of service quality can be wide. And it’s known the restaurant server is getting minimum wage. 15-20% makes sense.

    Merely transporting my food is not too comparable to fine-dining table waiting. In the restaurant experience the caliber of service is arguably as important as the food itself. The niceties of service are part of the whole experience. As to the food deliverer, he is either prompt or late. Now sometimes there’s a difficult delivery, say a large order to an office building suite in a place with few parking options. In that case additional tip is warranted. That’s the exception though. Typically, it’s just transportation.

    So as a customer I want to know how much the driver’s base-pay is. If it comes to, say, $4 an hour, I’ll pay more; if he’s getting $12/hr, less. But really, even this is wrong. When you think about it, one shouldn’t really be needing to tip a GrubHub driver more than the delivery guy who works for the pizzaria. Because the real service element of the delivery job is very limited. You are normally getting the same thing regardless of tip – especially because, unlike a restaurant server, that tip is paid in advance if you pay at time of ordering, like most people do. Delivery is either timely or not. After all, I do not tip my dry cleaner for getting my clothes ready by Tuesday as promised.Driving is pretty much the same.

    The idea that a driver should get the same tip as a waitress at a fine dining establishment is an insult the the efforts and skills of the latter. And if it’s expected, like the GrubHub founder insists, as I have read, then the compensation model is just wrong. After all, one of the reasons people forgo a restaurant in favor of delivery is to “rough it” and eat out of a bag on their coffee table and avoid the 15-20% service charge they pay in the form of a tip.

    1. Tara Says:


      When I order in, I’m not trying to “rough it”. I’m being too lazy to even get in the car and go get my own food to bring home.

      Tipping a courier is nothing like tipping a waiter or waitress. Wait staff in a restaurant are not spending gas money and wear and tear on their car to bring you your dinner. They are able to serve multiple tables at one time, giving them a marked ability to earn more money than a courier, even if the percentage of the tip is exactly the same.

      And, tipping a courier for a delivery service is not like tipping a pizza delivery guy (do those even exist anymore?). The pizza delivery guy is working out of a single location, and as such can make more deliveries in an hour than a courier can. It’s not uncommon for a single-merchant delivery person (like your pizza delivery guy) to be able to pick up 2-3 different orders at the same time from that o e location and deliver them in one circular route before heading back to the merchant.

      Couriers can’t do that. They’re hustling from multiple locations towards multiple customers. They have to accept delivery jobs in advance, and can’t even accept a new one until the previous one has been completed. They’re doing this one meal at a time.

      This means they cant get as many deliveries in during a shift as single-merchant delivery folks get.

      Those couriers also allow us to receive deliveries from places that have historically never been able to provide delivery services before. The couriers make that possible with their efforts.

      Tip them. Tip them well.

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