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Ordering food delivery has become more popular than ever with on-demand services like DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub making it easy to get your favorite meals delivered right to your door.

But the convenience of these apps comes at a price – most charge service fees, small order fees, and delivery fees that can add a significant cost to your order.

So should you tip your delivery driver if you’re already paying those extra fees? Keep reading as we dive into the details.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: Yes, you should still tip your food delivery driver even if you paid delivery fees. The delivery fees go to the company while tips go directly to the driver performing the service.

Delivery Fees vs. Tips – Where Does the Money Go?

When it comes to ordering food for delivery, it’s important to understand how the fees and tips you pay are allocated. Many people wonder if they should still tip the delivery driver if there is already a delivery fee included in their order.

Let’s take a closer look at where the money from delivery fees and tips actually goes.

Delivery fees go to the food delivery company, not drivers

First and foremost, it’s essential to understand that delivery fees are typically charged by the food delivery company and are not directly given to the drivers.

These fees are used by the company to cover various operational costs such as maintaining the delivery platform, customer support, and marketing expenses.

The delivery fee is usually a fixed amount or a percentage of your total order and varies from one company to another.

It’s important to note that the delivery fee is not the same as a tip for the driver. While the delivery fee contributes to the overall cost of the delivery service, it does not go directly to the person who is delivering your food.

Therefore, it is still customary and polite to tip the driver for their service, even if there is already a delivery fee included in your order.

Tips go directly to the person delivering your order

Unlike delivery fees, tips are a way to directly compensate the delivery driver for their service.

When you tip the driver, the money goes directly into their pockets as a reward for their effort in ensuring your food is delivered promptly and safely.

These tips can make a significant difference in a driver’s income, as they often rely on them as a substantial portion of their earnings.

Remember, tipping is a way to show appreciation for the driver’s service and is not mandatory. However, it is considered an industry standard and a gesture of gratitude for their hard work. The amount you choose to tip is entirely up to you, but the general recommendation is to tip around 15-20% of the total order value.

Ultimately, while the delivery fee covers the operational costs of the food delivery company, tips go directly to the person responsible for delivering your order.

It’s important to keep this distinction in mind and continue to show your appreciation for the driver’s service by tipping them accordingly.

Why You Should Tip for Delivery

Delivery drivers rely on tips as a major part of their income

Tipping for food delivery is not just a customary act of gratitude; it is an essential part of supporting the livelihoods of delivery drivers. Many delivery drivers rely heavily on tips to make ends meet and support themselves and their families.

The base pay for drivers is often minimal, and the tips they receive from customers can make a significant difference in their overall income. By tipping generously, you are helping these hardworking individuals earn a fair wage for their services.

Tips help attract drivers to accept your order

When you order food for delivery, it’s crucial to remember that drivers have the option to accept or decline orders based on various factors, including the potential earnings from tips.

By offering a gratuity, you are incentivizing drivers to accept your order and prioritize delivering your food promptly.

A generous tip can make your order more appealing to drivers, especially during busy periods when they may have multiple orders to choose from.

So, if you want your food to arrive quickly and efficiently, tipping is a great way to ensure that your order doesn’t get left behind.

Tips compensate drivers for costs like gas and vehicle wear

Delivery drivers often have to cover their own expenses, such as gas, vehicle maintenance, and insurance. These costs can add up quickly and eat into their earnings.

By tipping, you are helping drivers offset these expenses and ensuring that they can continue providing their services without incurring significant financial burdens.

It’s important to recognize that the delivery fee charged by the restaurant or delivery service may not fully cover these costs, so tipping is a way to ensure that drivers are fairly compensated for the wear and tear on their vehicles and the fuel they consume.

Tips are a way to say thanks for good service

When you receive exceptional service from a delivery driver, tipping is a way to express your gratitude and appreciation. A generous tip is a tangible way to let the driver know that their efforts were recognized and valued.

Remember, delivery drivers often work long hours, battle traffic, and face various challenges to ensure that your food arrives hot and fresh.

By tipping, you are not only acknowledging their hard work but also motivating them to continue providing excellent service to other customers.

How Much Should You Tip for Delivery?

When it comes to tipping for food delivery, it’s important to consider a few factors. While some may argue that the delivery fee should cover the tip, it’s customary to still tip the delivery driver. Here’s a breakdown of how much you should tip for delivery:

15-20% tip is standard for good service

The general rule of thumb for tipping delivery drivers is to give them a 15-20% tip for good service. This is similar to the tipping etiquette for restaurant servers. If the driver is friendly, punctual, and provides good service, they deserve to be rewarded for their efforts.

Remember, delivery drivers rely on tips to supplement their income, so a generous tip goes a long way in showing appreciation for their hard work.

Consider weather conditions, distance, size of order

While the standard 15-20% tip is a good starting point, it’s important to take into account additional factors that may warrant a higher tip.

For example, if the weather conditions are particularly bad, such as heavy rain or snow, consider tipping a little extra to acknowledge the driver’s effort in delivering your food despite the challenging conditions.

Similarly, if the delivery distance is unusually long or if you’ve placed a large order, it’s thoughtful to increase your tip to reflect the extra effort required.

Cash tips are appreciated

While many people prefer to pay for their food delivery using credit cards or online platforms, it’s worth noting that cash tips are greatly appreciated by delivery drivers.

Cash tips provide an immediate reward for their service and are also a way to ensure that the tip goes directly to the driver.

If you have the means to tip in cash, it’s a gesture that is sure to be well-received.

A little extra around the holidays is thoughtful

During the holiday season, it’s common to show a little extra generosity and gratitude. This applies to food delivery as well.

Consider giving a slightly higher tip during the holidays to acknowledge the hard work of the delivery drivers during a busy and often stressful time of year.

It’s a small gesture that can make a big difference in brightening someone’s day.

Remember, tipping is a personal decision and ultimately depends on the quality of service you receive. However, by following these guidelines and considering the factors mentioned, you can ensure that your delivery driver feels appreciated for their efforts.

Alternatives If You Can’t Afford to Tip

Pick up the order yourself

If you find yourself unable to afford to tip the delivery driver, one alternative is to pick up the order yourself. Many food delivery apps also allow you to place an order for pick up instead of delivery.

This way, you can save on the delivery fee and still enjoy your favorite meals from the comfort of your own home.

Additionally, picking up the order yourself gives you the chance to support local businesses directly and interact with the staff, which can be a more personal and rewarding experience.

Order when you can tip

If your budget allows, it’s always a good practice to tip the delivery driver. However, if you find yourself tight on funds, you can choose to order food delivery only when you are able to tip.

This way, you can ensure that the delivery driver is compensated for their services.

Planning your food delivery orders ahead of time and budgeting for tips can help you avoid any guilt or stress associated with not being able to tip.

Opt for lesser delivery fees on other apps

If you frequently order food delivery and are concerned about the additional costs, consider exploring different food delivery apps or platforms.

Some apps may offer lower or no delivery fees, making it more affordable for you to order food delivery without worrying about tipping on top of the delivery fee.

Comparing the delivery fees across different apps can help you find the best option that aligns with your budget and preferences.

Be polite and thank the driver

Even if you’re unable to tip, it’s essential to be polite and express your gratitude to the delivery driver. A simple “thank you” and a smile can go a long way in brightening up someone’s day.

Delivery drivers often work long hours and face various challenges, so showing them kindness and appreciation can make their job a little easier.

Remember, tipping is just one way to show appreciation, but being respectful and considerate can have a positive impact as well.


Ordering delivery is a convenient modern luxury. But don’t forget the real people bringing your food – drivers rely on your tips.

So even when you’re paying fees to the app company, take a minute to show your appreciation with a good tip. The small act can make a real difference in a driver’s day.

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