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DoorDash Tipping Guide: How Much Gratuity Is Enough?

By: // Updated: September 23, 2020

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It’s easy to navigate the ordering process of just about any food delivery service after signing up, but when it’s time to select a tip, you need to do a bit of reading between the lines. While the DoorDash tipping policy never requires customers to provide any gratuity, there are social expectations on the platform that you should be aware of before you make your next request.

The necessity of tipping in the gig economy has been a hot topic of conversation in recent years. As delivery workers become more essential in the lives of people across the United States, consumers are expected to know when to tip and how much to tip in exchange for their favorite services.

Whether DoorDash is already one of your favorite food delivery companies or is a service you’re hoping to try, you’ll want to keep reading to ensure you’re leaving adequate tips for your couriers.


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DoorDash Tipping Etiquette

Tipping is expected every time you order delivery from DoorDash. The company’s couriers — known as Dashers — can be likened to waiters and traditional pizza delivery drivers in that they’re providing a service on top of the restaurant preparing your meal. In return, it’s common courtesy to provide a tip for their help.

DoorDash tipping is actually such an integral part of the company’s pay model that it would be difficult for Dashers to make a comfortable living without it. This is especially the case in cities with a high cost of living, like San Francisco and New York City.

Before tips, DoorDash drivers make an average of just $11 per hour — below minimum wage in some markets. After they spend on expenses like gas and car insurance, which all Dashers (as independent contractors) cover themselves, this hourly wage can be even lower.

Dashers depend on customers’ tips to earn a living wage, especially since many take on the food delivery gig to support their families or cover other important financial needs. Without your tips, your courier’s payout may be just a few dollars — even if they spent half an hour or more to get your food safely to your door.

Tipping is also expected if you request a no-contact delivery, which was made available when the coronavirus pandemic began (and is a default in the midst of COVID-19). While you won’t be serviced face-to-face, your Dasher still spent time traveling from their original location to your favorite restaurant and to your door, which is a time-consuming service in itself.

How Much to Tip Dashers

DoorDash tipping: A woman takes food from a delivery man

So now that you’re committed to DoorDash tipping, how much gratuity should you actually leave your Dashers? As a rule of thumb, you should consider 15% your base tip for an average delivery.

Of course, your final tip amount should be a reflection of your courier’s quality of service. When your Dasher is extra friendly, communicative, and on time, it’s common to increase their tip to 20% or higher.

The same goes for orders that require your delivery person to put in more effort. For example, if you have a large or heavy order, or if your courier had to walk up several flights of stairs to get to your door, you can thank your Dasher by tipping more.

When calculating your tip, you should consider 10% to be your minimum payment. Lowering your tip to 10% can reflect below average service, which may include incidents where your food was clearly shaken up on the drive or where your Dasher is rude or dismissive.

Tipping 5% less than normal will send a message that you’re dissatisfied with the service without hurting your Dasher’s livelihood as a whole. Below average service should not include incidents that are out of your driver’s control, such as restaurant items being unavailable or traffic causing delivery delays.

The only times that warrant a tip below 10% are situations that need to be escalated to DoorDash customer service. For example, you may tip less (or nothing) if your order was marked delivered but never arrived, if your meal was tampered with, or if you were harassed by your courier.

How to Tip on DoorDash

Tipping on the DoorDash platform is easy and can be done right on the checkout page. When you’re reviewing your order details on the DoorDash app or on DoorDash.com, you should see a “Dasher Tip” section that allows you to select or customize your tip amount before officially sending in your order.

If you are unable to tip on this page for any reason, you will have the opportunity to tip on the food delivery platform after your order is delivered. This post-delivery tipping feature should be available as you’re rating your Dasher on your app.

Adjusting Your Tip

DoorDash tipping: A man uses his phone to adjust his tip

While selecting a 15% tip is adequate in most cases, there may be times where service ends up being so exceptional or subpar that you want to raise or lower your initially selected tip. While DoorDash doesn’t allow you to manually adjust tips after delivery, you can easily get the support team to do so for you.

All you need to do is reach out to the company by filling in and submitting its customer contact form. When filling out the form, make sure to select “Post Delivery Support” as your category and “Adjust Dasher Tip” as your subcategory. Then, provide the new tip amount you’re requesting in the description.

While DoorDash doesn’t specify a time frame for when adjustments can still be accepted, we recommend contacting the company as soon as possible. This is because tip payments are usually processed within a day or two and may become irreversible after a Dasher has already received their customer tip payout.

Should I Tip My Dasher in Cash?

While cash was once the ideal form of payment for DoorDash couriers, it no longer matters if you pay in cash, through the app, or through the website. Your Dasher will always get 100% of the tips that you provide.

The reason cash tips were once preferred was because DoorDash once had a controversial tipping model, in which customer tips essentially subsidized the driver payments. Up until mid-2019, DoorDash offered guaranteed minimum payments that included tips, which meant that tipping could enable the company to reduce its own out-of-pocket costs. Here’s how that older tipping model would look for a guarantee of $8 per order, when the base pay for a delivery is $3:

  • $8 – $3 base pay – $0 tip = DoorDash pays driver $5 difference
  • $8 – $3 base pay – $3 tip = DoorDash only pays driver $2 extra

In this model, DoorDash drivers would only really get their guaranteed minimum plus tip if they received unrecorded cash tips.

Luckily, this is no longer the case. CEO Tony Xu announced a new model for payments after the 2019 backlash and now fully separates promotions from tips. Your tips will now truly be 100% benefiting drivers, instead of supporting DoorDash in any way.

Frequently Asked QuestionsDoorDash tipping: takeout food

DoorDash tipping etiquette is simple to understand and follow through with, but if you still have questions on your mind, read our answers to some common inquiries.

1. Is the DoorDash delivery fee an automatic tip?

No, the delivery fee is a separate charge and is not related to your Dasher tip. The delivery fee does not go straight to your Dasher and simply contributes to your courier’s base pay. Only the tip you manually select on the checkout page will 100% be sent to your Dasher.

2. Is DoorDash tipping expected for pick-up orders?

If you’ve opted to pick up your own order from a restaurant, there’s no obligation to tip on the DoorDash app. This is because no delivery person is assigned to perform any services for pick-up orders.

Of course, you are welcome to tip any restaurant employee who helps you out in cash.

3. How does DoorDash tipping etiquette compare to expectations on similar food delivery apps?

Tipping etiquette is the same for other food delivery services like Postmates. While tips are never required, it’s common courtesy to tip at least 15% for good service when ordering delivery from any platform.

Be a Pro Tipper

Tipping your DoorDash courier is an essential part of using the service and helps protect the livelihoods of the people who make your food deliveries possible. While DoorDash once faced backlash for an unjust tipping model, Dashers are now truly getting 100% of your tips — with no loopholes — regardless of whether you tip in cash or on the digital platform.

If you use more than one platform in the gig economy, there’s a good chance you’ll need to learn about tipping etiquette for other apps. What do you think? Leave us a comment below and let us know your thoughts!

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