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Grubhub Tips: The Ultimate Guide to Grubhub Tipping Etiquette

Grubhub Tips: The Ultimate Guide to Grubhub Tipping Etiquette

Last updated: June 25, 2019
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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?

Yes. 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.

When Should I Leave a Tip?

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.

  1. Cash Tip

Screenshot 20181016 010258 Grubhub

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

Screenshot 20181016 010159 Grubhub

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

Screenshot 20181016 010232 Grubhub

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.

Good Faith

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.

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.

If your order is more difficult, it’s polite to add a few extra dollars to your driver’s tip. Some scenarios in which Grubhub recommends you tip extra include:


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.

Large Orders

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.

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.

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?

View All Comments (2) Add A Comment

  1. Robin Renee Says:

    A tip is fine, but shouldn’t it be based on the food total and not the fees and tax? Why tip on fees/ tax?

  2. Jimbo Says:

    If they pull that on me, I just lower my usual 20% tip to 15%.
    Charging a tip on fees and taxes is just plain baloney.
    If they try to charge a service fee on top of the delivery fee, that’s a joke.
    Putting my food in a box, isn’t a service for Pete’s sake.

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