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DoorDash Tipping Guide: How Much Gratuity Is Enough?

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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.

What is Proper 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 Should I Tip My DoorDash Driver?

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.

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.

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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.

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 Do I 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.

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.

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.

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!

14 thoughts on “DoorDash Tipping Guide: How Much Gratuity Is Enough?”

  1. 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.

    Reply
    • A waiter doesn’t have expensed like ever rising gas prices car insurance, car upkeep, oil, car repairs, speeding tickets or other inconveniences that can be somewhat avoided but are bound to happen at some point with so much time on the road. The portion of the delivery fee that goes to the driver, will actually cover this and no more. The reality is that drivers are private contractors and after all the other expenses still have to save money for tax as well.
      All things considered, if your to lazy to get off the couch and drive or walk to get your own items, tipping is necessary and expected. Less than 15% is disrespectful and will result in a driver (doing a job that you are paying them to do) receiving significantly less than minimum wage on payday. You shame yourself and your family by behaving like this. If you disagree, I challenge you to try living off delivery app wages.

      Reply
  2. 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.

    Reply
    • 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

      Reply
    • Why would anyone want to be a dasher? If I understand your calculation, you average $3 per order plus tip. If you work 4 hours per day and average 4 deliveries per hour that is $48 plus tips. Let’s say each order averages $25, so $3 plus 15% tip of $3,75 = $6.75 x 16 = $108 = $27 per hour, Less taxes and car insurance and maintenance = ? Have you made any money after expenses? Best of luck to you.

      Reply
  3. The correct method is to tip based on miles / time of day. The cost of the food should not factor into it at all (unless its a large catering order more than one person can carry at once). In fact to even look at the price or content of the order could be considered by some an invasion of privacy. Imagine your UPS guy told you he wanted a bigger tip because you ordered something expensive off the internet and he looked inside the box.

    Reply
  4. Dashers usually carry my food order, from grocery store, directly into my kitchen, which is 25 feet from my front door; the bags are too heavy for me to handle; this is why I shop online and have home delivery; I tip them very well and have had no problems, even during the pandemic; however, the last couple of drivers were a little curt and didn’t want to carry the bags into the house, giving an excuse that they didn’t work for the grocery store I shopped at; that is totally unacceptable; I have home delivery and I shop online because I physically CANNOT DO IT anymore myself; neither could my recently deceased husband, who died four months ago from a long battle with cancer; as I said, I tip well and I do not understand the problem of carrying the bags into my kitchen; IF I COULD, I WOULD, AND I WOULD BE SHOPPING MYSELF, NOT ONLINE; can you explain this to me ? The reluctance is very upsetting to me; workers seem to want big raises, yet want to work less and give more excuses.

    Reply
  5. I don’t think door dash and serving at a restaurant are comparable jobs. A server spends their entire meal with you serving, refilling, providing xtra needs & keeping inhappy the entire meal. They do not have vehicle maintenance wtc but their job is much harder than driving a meal to a home BUT…
    I don’t compare servers to drivers and I dont tip the same way. I do consider the time spent to get here regardless of food cost and also gas prices. As for car maintenance I know tax write offs can help with that so I do not factor tjay in tok much. They chose this job-taxe wrote offs can help a fair amount but I do hope my tips are fair. Due to distance of most places & time to get here I usually tip 7$. If during a rush 9$. If they ever have to wait (most drop the order I will up to 10 but rare). The factor that would change this for me is if gas prices rose more (I’d likely add 50 cents soon) and also of the order was huge requiring extra care or more than 1 trip to door but Ive never ordered that much. So a 15$ order and 50$ order both usually get 7$ if distance is same. If during rush they both go up the same amount. Its not about the work, its about the distance & time to get here for me. Different system. I look this up often to make sure what I top is fair at least – adjust accordingly.

    Reply
  6. If you don’t like working at door dash because the tips and pay aren’t very good, maybe you should quit, no one is forcing you to work there. It shouldn’t be the customers job to pay the salary of a companies employee.

    Reply
  7. I’m a semi retired dasher. It got me through a tough spot in my life. It’s simple to me. I would not tip based on cost of one’s food. It’s already marked up ordering on the app as it is. However.. I do consider the distance from the merchant to the place I’m having my food delivered to. I adjust the tip accordingly. If it is a restaurant that habitually takes longer to execute orders.. I tip more.. it isn’t the dashers fault some merchants are more difficult to get orders from. I also have in my instructions to us their hot bag… it really helps. ( if they don’t. It will affect their rating)

    Normally I give everyone 5 stars as long as they gave me warm food… the time isn’t a factor when the restaurant holds them up.

    The star rating is not a critique structure. Just 5 star or don’t at all. Anything less hurts them… if satisfied with food just be nice.

    If don’t want to tip.. grab your keys because no one is taking an order with just the base pay on it.

    I REDUCED A LOTNOF MY FEES USING DASH PASS.

    even with this though. The apps all certainly have an uptick in food charges rhe restaurants are forced to request for using the app. If wondering why it costs more.. than in person..
    that is why.

    Reply
  8. Originally I defaulted to a 20% tip for any delivery that was satisfactory, even if one may take longer than originally suggested. But, lately, the DoorDash app (as well as other delivery services) are suggesting tips of as much as 30% (against a $30/$40 food item cost only order).

    I grasp that distance is a greater consideration than just food cost, out of practical considerations. I live in the burbs, with the driver typically spending 10-20 min to pick up the food, and 20 min to drive it to my home (30-40 min total from time of order).

    Against a $9 tip recommendation, I’m typically increasing my $6 default to $7-$8. (And, at that point, I feel crappy for splitting hairs.) However, at the point that a suggested tip on a $40 base cost meal starts running above $10, I may just elect to pick up.

    Reply
  9. To the person who wants a driver ( and yes, they are hired only as a driver) to enter a customer home, go into their kitchen, and place bags on the counter, it is against the rules and actually not safe for a driver to enter a complete stranger’s home. That is why it is called DOOR Dash- drive items to customer and drop off at their door. I suggest you hire a personal helper instead.

    Reply

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