In today’s economy, Americans are motivated by convenience.
Consumers can request a ride or a meal at the touch of a button, and workers get to choose whether or not they want to respond.
Maybe that’s why Forbes reports that roughly 57 million Americans have joined the gig economy.
The majority of this workforce makes close to minimum wage before tips.
Which is why it’s so crucial for workers and consumers that we understand how to tip properly.
Specifically, we’ll cover the basics of tipping your Grubhub driver.
Not just how to tip your driver, but also how much to tip.
And whether or not the tip is included in your delivery fee.
Should I Tip My Grubhub Delivery Driver?
Grubhub orders include three types of fees—restaurant fees, delivery fees, and service fees—none of which include a Grubhub driver tip.
Grubhub drivers recommend either leaving a tip in the app before submitting your order, or mentioning “cash tip on arrival” in the driver’s instructions.
According to Mike, a delivery driver for Grubhub, “drivers will see this and probably make the delivery instead of rejecting it.”
Considering that most delivery drivers make minimum wage before tips, leaving a tip is a courteous way to show your appreciation for their work.
Once you’ve decided to start tipping for your food delivery services, then the next question is about the tip amount.
Why Tipping Matters
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.
How Much Should I Tip?
For standard deliveries, Grubhub suggests leaving a minimum of $5 or 10-20% of the delivery fee, whichever is higher.
This practice ensures that even the smallest deliveries will still be profitable to drivers.
After all, they really don’t make much delivering food alone.
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.
Nobody likes walking up 15 flights of stairs.
But when it’s to deliver a meal to an ungrateful diner it’s especially irritating.
If your order is causing your delivery person to hit their step goals, then you should probably consider stepping up the tip too.
Pushing through snow and rain to deliver a holiday package on time might be expected of mailmen, but the same doesn’t go for Grubhub drivers.
So before you stiff your driver during inclement weather, consider what might be motivating them to deliver to you during a storm in the first place.
Ordering food for a large group of coworkers, friends, or family is fun.
Don’t be a buzzkill by forgetting to tip drivers.
Grubhub recommends giving them the courtesy 20 percent, as well as an additional 3 to 5 percent for their trouble.
Remember by accepting your large order, they’re unable to take multiple orders in single delivery.
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.
Now that you know when and how to tip, let’s take a closer look at where your tips go.
Where Do My Tips Go?
Not all food delivery startups are created equal when it comes to how they handle tips.
Caviar, for example, got in trouble recently for skimming driver tips.
Grubhub on the other hand, has had no such issues.
When you leave a tip for your Grubhub driver, either within the app or after the delivery, you can be certain that 100 percent of the funds will be given to your delivery driver.
Grubhub makes a point of mentioning that delivery fees are not tips.
If you are charged a delivery fee, it should not be deducted from your tip because it will not be passed onto your driver.
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.
How To Tip Your Driver
Now that we’ve established that you should always tip your Grubhub driver, now you’re probably wondering how to actually do that.
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.
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 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.
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.
Tipping Within the Grubhub App
One of the most common complaints about tipping on Grubhub is that the app actually asks for your tip when you submit the order.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Grubhub app, there’s three basic types of tips you can leave drivers.
- Cash Tip
A cash tip is exactly what it sounds like — cash given as a tip to the delivery driver upon arrival.
Drivers frequently complain that this option is selected as a way to avoid leaving tips at all.
Or at the very least, as a loophole to paying a tip prior to receiving your food.
2. Percentage Tip
A percentage tip is what you’re accustomed to leaving at a restaurant.
It’s a percentage of the price of your meal.
10 to 20 percent is customary for restaurant diners depending on the service.
3. Custom Tip
The custom tip feature allows you to enter a custom amount to leave as a tip.
This can be used for leaving more than 20 percent tips.
It should be noted that drivers are able to see these amounts and it often determines how quickly your order is responded to and delivered.
According to Grubhub Co-founder, Matt Maloney’s Facebook post, diners divide into two groups when it comes to tipping.
The first group believes that leaving a tip is an act of good faith.
It’s a responsibility of the diner and it signals to the driver the type of person they’re delivering for.
Above and Beyond
The second group sees a tip as exactly that…a tip.
This group believes that a tip is a reward for a job well done, and until that job is well done, it’s impossible to predict the driver’s performance.
Regardless of your personal beliefs, Grubhub provides some basic recommendations on good tipping etiquette on their website.
Here’s Why You Want to Be Known as a Good Tipper
Leaving generous tips on Grubhub, Seamless, Doordash, or any other food delivery service is a good idea.
Whether you’re motivated by generosity or because you don’t want your Diet Coke spilling onto your french fries, it doesn’t matter.
Delivery drivers rely on your gratuities in order to make a living from the gig economy.
When you leave good tips it doesn’t just reflect highly on you, it also shows your appreciation for hard work.
If you regularly order delivery, consistent tips will guarantee you get great service.
It will also make the very best drivers compete for your business.
On the other hand, if you ignore the advice of Grubhub and choose to leave bad tips, or no tips, it won’t be long before drivers stop accepting your orders.
After all, one of the benefits of the gig economy is that workers have complete control over if and when they work.
Is it really worth taking that risk if lunch is on the line?
4 thoughts on “Grubhub Tipping: What’s a Fair Amount to Tip Your Driver?”
Stop charging fees so we can afford a decent tip.
This article seemed for Californians at least to dodge the relevant topic. It talked about delivery fee, delivery fee, delivery fee. We get it. Delivery fee goes to the company, not the driver, it has nothing to do with tip.
But looking at an order, for example, for $25 of food, apart from and ‘delivery fee’, tax, ‘service fee’, and if they add on a fee because the county limits how much they gouge restaurants, there is a $3.50 for the driver.
Not a tip, but for for “Driver Benefits”, “in support of California’s Prop 22”. So how does THAT affect the tip? The web site defaults to $1 tip. Should that be seen as $3.50 + $1.00 for a $4.50 tip? Or something else?
Instead of tipping, the bleephead Matt Maloney, one of Grubhub’s founders should pay the drivers more so the customers don’t have to tip!!! I refuse to tip drivers.. Amazon is offering 1 year of Grubhub free if you have Prime and I won’t join purposely so to deprive drivers of tips. Wish people weren’t so lazy – get their butts in their cars, get the food themselves and save that precious money for themselves
Don’t tip. Ever. It’s a bad habit, and you will always feel bad about it, unless you over-tip, in which case you’ll feel bad for an entirely different reason. Just stop it. Companies need to start paying their employees a livable wage – and in these service or “gig” things, it’s just becoming a bigger and bigger thing. I’ve seen tip-jars in the most ludicrous of places. Will there be a tip jar at the bank teller next? I can hear you all thinking “Be cool, man..” and I’m all: “nope”