Inc. magazine predicts that the size of the sharing economy will reach nearly $57 billion this year, thanks to more than 35 percent of the United States workforce choosing freelance over full-time work.
This is one of the most surprising stats about remote work that we could find.
The popularity of the on-demand economy, and the multitude of jobs it provides, has helped fuel an at-will workforce.
It’s easy to see the appeal of this new gig-based economy — work when you want, where you want, and at your own pace.
But this quasi-American dream isn’t always as appealing as marketing might suggest.
Our sister site Ridester.com recently reported that Uber drivers were making close to minimum wage, on average, in several major U.S. cities.
Despite the risks, many workers continue to choose on-demand, independent contractor positions from companies like Uber, Postmates, DoorDash, and Grubhub.
So the next time you call an Uber, order from Postmates, or have your groceries delivered, should you boost your delivery person’s income by leaving a customer tip?
In general, yes.
If you’re unsure when to tip, how much to leave, or how to actually leave it, we’ll help you out.
This article will answer all of your Postmates-specific tipping questions and some you didn’t even know you had.
Do You Tip Postmates?
Yes, it’s common courtesy to leave a tip for your food delivery driver in the United States.
Typically, the amount you leave for the driver is 10 percent to 20 percent, depending on how well the job was done.
Although Postmates has no official policy, Postmates drivers on Reddit argue, “Without tips, we make less than minimum wage.”
By leaving a tip you’re not only supporting the delivery driver, but you’re also increasing the likelihood that you’ll continue to receive good service.
Postmates drivers are smart and they tend to avoid parts of town and orders with habitually horrible tips.
There’s a percentage of Postmates users that believe a tip should be reserved only for special occasions when the driver clearly went above and beyond for you.
What they usually fail to consider is that drivers regularly deliver to difficult-to-park neighborhoods in less than ideal weather and climb dozens of flights of stairs just to get you your food.
Of course, you can chock it up to “part of the job,” or you can choose to acknowledge that the average delivery often falls outside of their job description.
Most people appreciate the importance of tipping someone who literally has your food in their hands.
The biggest question is usually, “How much do I tip my driver?”
How Much Should I Tip My Postmates Driver?
Before you can determine how much to tip your Postmates courier, it helps to understand how they’re paid.
For each delivery a driver accepts, they receive around $4.
Most drivers can do about two delivers per hour.
So before tips, Postmates delivery drivers are making just over federal minimum wage ($7.25).
For context, compare the pay of Postmates drivers to that of Instacart Shoppers.
The average pay for Instacart Shoppers is between $10 and $17 per hour, before tips.
Add in tips, and that number averages out to around $17.
Now factor in maintenance on the delivery vehicle, taxes, and depreciation and you start to get an idea of how much drivers are making.
As mentioned previously, 10 percent to 20 percent of the total price of your order is considered standard, but it’s not uncommon for drivers to see much higher tips on difficult orders.
Consider the fact that Postmates makes it possible to eat restaurant-quality food from your living room and that without drivers, there’d be no Postmates.
When asked on Reddit, how much customers should tip, delivery drivers agreed that $3 was the minimum expected tip, regardless of the order size.
Since Postmates regularly offers promos from Taco Bell, Wendy’s, and Burger King, even a 10 to 20 percent tip typically wouldn’t hit $3.
In these cases, drivers recommend leaving the minimum dollar amount rather than a percentage of the total order size.
When to Tip
If you’d like to leave a generous tip for your Postmates delivery driver for a job well done you have two options.
You can tip at the time of the delivery in cash, or after the delivery from the Postmates app.
Although, there is a running joke on the Postmates subreddit about the number of customers that say they’ll leave a tip in the app and never do.
Tipping during the delivery is the most common type of tip reported by drivers.
Even though Postmates discourages customers from giving cash tips, it’s long been the standard in the food delivery business.
Cash tips are also preferred by many drivers, since they’re not taxed and they aren’t reported to Postmates.
You can leave an optional tip after the delivery has been made from the Postmates app.
Fans of this approach want to wait and see whether or not the service merits a tip before handing it out.
But the problem with this approach is that it shows no good faith on the customer’s part.
How Do I Tip Postmates Drivers in the App?
After you finish paying for your order from Postmates, you’ll be asked to rate and tip your Postmate.
From here you’ll have a few options — No Tip, 10 percent, 15 percent, or 20 percent.
Additionally, you can select “Other” in order to leave a tip larger or smaller than the given percentages.
If you are using a Postmates promo code, then you might see $1, $2, and $3 instead of the percentages.
These options only appear when your promo code makes the total order price so low that a 10 to 20 percent tip is actually less than $3.
Food for Thought
As technology improves, the on-demand economy will continue to offer millions of jobs and employ a ton of U.S. workers.
Without this workforce there would be no Lyft rides, Uber Eats meals, or Postmates deliveries.
By tipping your Postmate, you’re supporting a hard-working individual.
You’re also supporting the convenience of the gig economy — the convenience that allows Americans to sit on their couch during rush hour and order Chinese take out from NYC hot spots.
And food for thought: if you’re using a promo code that gives you up to $100 on free delivery credit, consider sharing the love and throwing your delivery driver a few extra bucks.