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DoorDash Tipping Guide: How Much Gratuity Is Enough?

Last updated: August 5, 2021
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vector image of a woman handing a doordash delivery person their doordash tipping bonus before taking the food

It’s easy to navigate the ordering process of just about any food delivery service or alcohol delivery app 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 tipping policy from DoorDash 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.

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.

Another point to make is that you should tip your driver if you’re using a DoorDash promo code.

You should tip on the full amount of the meal, like you would in a restaurant if you were using a gift card.

If you’re saving money using a promotion, be kind to your driver and pass some of those savings along.

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

So now that you’re committed to DoorDash tipping, how much gratuity should you actually leave your Dashers?

To better help you understand how much to tip your DoorDash driver, we’ve put together a tip calculator.

DoorDash Tipping Calculator

DoorDash Tip Calculator

DoorDash Tipping Calculator

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As a rule of thumb, though, 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

vector image of a woman handing a doordash delivery person their doordash tipping bonus before taking the food

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 and other DoorDash fees do 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!

View All Comments (3) Add A Comment

  1. Rydell Says:

    I disagree. The industry standard is no tip for over the counter service. DoorDash not providing adequate pay to drivers is the real
    Issue. For example if I already pay for delivery, I expect that to go to the driver. The pizza places in our area charge a delivery fee. That pays for the driver. A waiter in a restaurant is giving a service. Your suggesting we pays waiter/service fee plus pay an additional tip for no service. If the driver was not paid and no delivery fee given to them than yes I would think tipping would be needed.

  2. Small Town Dasher Says:

    I doordash in a small town. DoorDash drivers make $2 per delivery. On some occasions they make $3-$5 per delivery when demand is really really high but that is rare and getting rarer. Most of the time they make $2 per delivery plus tips. This is regardless of how many miles they have to travel, how long you have to travel back, how much gas you use, if there is a hail storm outside, the cost to maintain or fix your car, how long the lines are, and how long the restaurant makes them wait for the food. These are things most tip based workers don’t have to worry about.

    To calculate how much you make an hour also depends on the area but you do have to consider how many orders you get because the pay isn’t hourly.

    How many orders you get still depends on your area but in my area I can get around 0-4 orders an hour. That means at most I get $8/h as a base pay but many hours during the week it is $0/hour. So DoorDash Drivers depend on getting a tip and many refuse to accept an order if it doesn’t include one upfront.

    You might think, “but why would I pay for a service I haven’t gotten yet”. The answer is simple. Because 95% of people that aren’t willing to pay upfront will not pay after the service is done either. Most of the non tippers I get also put in their order “just leave it at the door” so they don’t have to face you as a non tipper. But Doordash drivers don’t see that little note until after they’ve accepted the delivery and picked up the order. But once they see it they know they’ve just been stuffed on the tip. I rarely get paid after a delivery is delivered.

    When calculating a tip, you have to factor all of these things into the calculation. The number one factor being how far the driver has to go to get your food. That includes going to the restaurant, taking it to you, and getting back to the area where the restaurants are. Since you don’t know where they are and how far they have to travel to get to the restaurant you can guess. But If you order a TacoBell taco for a couple bucks but want us to travel 10 miles to get it to you, your calculator says the tip should be like $.30. That isn’t reasonable.

    It’s important for people to understand that We do not get the entire delivery fare. Normally we get just $2. At least where I am that is the case almost all the time.

    If a friend asked me how much you should tip a doorsdash driver my response would be: two – three dollars per mile or 15-20% of your order. Whichever one is higher. You should pay on the higher range ($3/mile or 20%) when the distance is farther because the driver needs to drive back to the area with restaurants to start another delivery and is likely missing out on deliveries because they are now so far away.

    This means they have to spend more money on gas and spend more time not getting orders because they are outside their working area.

    Your article makes it sound like tipping is on top of an $11/h wage which is ridiculously misleading. At most a driver in my area is making $8 without a tip (this means only some of the peak hours do they make $8/h most of the days hours are $2, maybe $4 sometimes $6) but my average is 3 deliveries per hour. Sometimes less. Rarely more. Tips are what make it all possible.

    Now I would love to see DoorDash be more transparent about everything. They should tell customers that drivers only make $2 per delivery and that they should consider how far a dasher may have to travel to get their food to them when they are thinking about how much they should tip.

    You could look at it like this. If you had a friend who didn’t have a full time job (so you knew he was available) and you needed someone to pick some food up for your family. So you call him and ask him to do it, how much are you going to offer him. At least gas money. If you’re a decent person you’d probably want to pay him something for his time. If he had to stand in line for 20 minutes waiting for your food, or if he was doing it during a hailstorm, etc, you’d probably pay a little more.

    That’s what tipping is for a doordash drivers.

    1. Patricia Trent Says:

      I read this article I also would Like to say It doesn’t mention anything about a dasher having to deal with a hustle merchant I am a dasher and I’ve experienced employees Being rude and hostile to a dasher while picking up the food This has happened to me on a couple of occasions I don’t think this treatment is reflected in the doordash pay And tipping process it should be as is very stressful at times when dealing with a merchant Especially if a merchant is having a bad day or not fulfilling the doordash orders on time they take it out on the dashers

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