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Grubhub Tipping: Do You Tip Drivers? How Much?

Last updated: November 15, 2021
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a vector graphic showing a grubhub tipping taking place

Food delivery has always offered diners the convenience of having their food delivered when they order takeout instead of leaving their homes to pick up their meals.

The exchange of this service for the convenience of not leaving home is to tip delivery drivers.

In recent years, customers have gained the option to use a food delivery service such as Grubhub, Uber Eats, or DoorDash.

These services have made ordering from your favorite local restaurants simple.

Previously, a customer would need to call a restaurant to place an order over the phone and then pay in cash when their delivery orders arrived.

With food delivery apps, the customer can now log onto an app and pay with their credit card.

Are You Supposed to Tip Grubhub Drivers?

a vector graphic showing a grubhub tipping taking place

Do You Have to Tip Grubhub Drivers?

There is no requirement to tip your Grubhub delivery person when you order from Grub hub, but it is encouraged.

Although the drivers receive base pay from Grubhub, tips make up the bulk of their income.

Grubhub Tipping Policy

Grubhub’s tipping policy includes the following:

  • A customer tip is not required.
  • Diners can tip within the delivery app using their credit card or leave a cash tip when the Grubhub delivery driver arrives.
  • Delivery fees don’t go to the Grubhub driver.
  • A customer can change a tip afterward.
  • A customer can tip in cash.

Where Do Grubhub Tips Go?

All Grubhub tips go to the driver.

No fees are deducted from this money, but all tips are subject to taxes.

How Much Should You Tip a Grubhub Driver?

According to co-founder Matt Maloney, an appropriate tip for a food delivery driver is $5 or 20% of the total bill, whichever is more.

If your order is a large one or if the weather is inclement, your delivery driver would appreciate an additional 3-5% tip.

What Happens if You Don’t Tip Grubhub Drivers?

Grubhub drivers are tipped workers, which means they receive the bulk of their income from tips.

They use their tips for things like living expenses, not to mention wear and tear and gas for their vehicle.

When a food delivery driver doesn’t receive a tip, they only get the per-order rate and a set amount per-mile amount from Grubhub.

That amount averages out to approximately $12 per hour before tips.

Even though that amount is above minimum wage in many places, it does not include any health benefits or paid time off.

Do People Really Not Get Behind Grubhub Tipping?

Many view tipping in general as an unnecessary practice.

The belief is often that the employer should be paying the employees’ wages rather than the customer.

With companies like Grubhub, customers sometimes feel adding a tip on top of a delivery fee makes their bill too high.

Or, customers may feel those fees should go to the drivers.

Sometimes with gig companies like Grubhub or Uber Eats, the menu prices might be higher than if you order through the restaurant due to the fees Grubhub charges restaurant owners.

This extra fee does not go to pay the driver, but it does drive up the cost of the total bill.

Often a driver may accept an order that a customer placed much earlier, which means a Grubhub order could have been sitting at a restaurant for quite a while before it gets picked up.

This delay all but ensures it will be cold and disagreeable once it’s delivered.

Why You SHOULD Support Grubhub Tipping

Tipping a service provider allows the customer to pay based on the quality of service. If service is poor, they have the option of leaving a smaller tip, but if service is exceptional, they can leave a bit more.

The downside to not leaving a tip, regardless of the quality of service, is that a Grubhub driver may choose to decline to deliver an order to your home in the future.

Grubhub delivery workers are providing a service to customers that can, in many ways, make the customers’ lives easier.

For example, instead of going out to pick up dinner or groceries, a customer can pay for a grocery or pizza delivery using a food delivery app and have it delivered to their door.

Also, delivery drivers often make deliveries in poor weather conditions, which is usually because customers prefer not to leave their homes in bad weather.

However, with the option of a food delivery app such as Grubhub, they don’t need to.

It’s also crucial for customers to know that Grubhub drivers are independent contractors, otherwise known as gig workers, despite being a delivery partner with Grubhub.

They are not employees of Grubhub.

The pay they get from Grubhub can be pretty low, so the money they receive from tips is their pay.

Do Grubhub Drivers See Tips Before Food Dropoff?

Drivers can view the customer’s tip before delivery, which is part of what they use to decide whether they’ll take the job.

If a tip is low, maybe only 1% of the total bill, they may determine the order is not worth it and pass it up.

Although there is the potential for a cash tip, many food delivery drivers may not want to take that risk.

In cases such as this, customers could end up waiting quite a while before a driver takes on their order.

How to Tip on Grubhub

a vector graphic showing a grubhub tipping taking place

When You Place an Order

When you place an order on Grubhub, you will be asked to leave a tip when you submit the order.

Tipping at checkout is the easiest way to tip for delivery services and ensures the driver views your order as worth taking.

How to Tip After Placing an Order

The best way to tip after placing an order is to provide a cash tip.

How to Tip After a Delivery

To tip after delivery, you will have to contact Grubhub to have a representative adjust the tip for you.

Grubhub Tipping: A Driver’s Perspective

If you’re considering Grubhub tipping, it’s worth looking into the issue from a driver’s perspective.

Why Does Order Say “No Tip”?

  • Customers may intend to tip in cash
  • Customers may not plan to tip at all

What to Do About No Tip Grubhub Orders

A Grubhub driver can confirm with the customer that they intended to leave no tip.

Asking directly might be a problem if the customer chose not to tip, but if they forgot to leave a tip or thought a tip was on their bill, it could be beneficial.

Confirming a tip can also be helpful if the person who ordered was not the same person who answered the door.

In such a case, the person who answered the door may not know the order didn’t include a tip.

Another reason a customer might not tip in the app because they want to wait until their order arrives to give a cash tip based on service.

If you think that might be the case and food ends up delayed for any reason, contacting the customer will help you give them the best service possible.

Recent Changes in the Grubhub Tipping Policy

In November of 2020, California passed Proposition 22.

Under this proposition, gig workers like Grubhub, Doordash, or Uber drivers who work more than 15 hours per week will receive a healthcare stipend.

To qualify for this, the worker has to be the primary policyholder on an existing healthcare plan.

Grubhub only considers a delivery workers’ “engaged” time, which excludes any time a driver is driving without an assigned job.

A University of California, Berkeley study revealed that the amount of time that isn’t considered “engaged” is approximately a third of the time drivers spend on the road.

After Prop 22 passed, Grubhub reduced the default tip amount a customer sees from 20% to zero.

Instead, there is a suggestion to “leave an optional tip on top of driver benefits.”

Prop 22 also guaranteed a minimum earning rate, accident insurance, and $.30 per mile for gas and wear and tear on their vehicle.

Grubhub passed that expense to the customer by adding a $1.30 “benefit” fee to all orders to compensate for the increase in costs.

Most gig companies think benefit fees are necessary to give workers a flexible work schedule, but many workers disagree.

Customers can mistake the extra fee as payment to the driver.

Although a Grubhub spokesperson felt Prop 22 would provide workers with “more stability” and stated that the customer still had the option to leave a tip, many drivers still thought they were losing out on income.

After these changes went into effect, drivers reported a significant decrease in tips.

One Grubhub driver in the San Francisco area said the number of customers who tipped went down 75% after Prop 22 passed.

The latest update on Prop 22 is that it was ruled unconstitutional on August 20, 2021.

A court of appeals will now consider the case, and then it will go to the California Supreme Court for a final ruling.

Wrapping Up

Tipping your Grubhub driver is not a requirement, but it is essential to consider all of the work that goes into a delivery driver’s job before deciding whether or not you should leave a tip.

Although additional fees are added to your order, raising the price, those are not directed to the driver.

If you’re interested in learning how to avoid delivery fees on Grubhub, you can read a bit more about it here.

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