Grocery delivery services have become a valuable and convenient tool for shoppers everywhere.
They allow you to avoid the rush and lines at a grocery store and let you place your order and have it waiting on your doorstep.
However, once you get to the checkout page for your grocery orders, you’re prompted with a tip request.
Tipping is purely optional, of course, but it’s a great way to show your appreciation for the time-consuming task the shopper has taken off your hands.
This guide will outline how much to tip grocery delivery drivers, how to leave a tip, and why it’s important.
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Do You Tip Drivers for Grocery Delivery?
Grocery delivery is similar to a standard food delivery in that a driver is bringing your food to you instead of you picking it up yourself.
Tipping the delivery driver acknowledges good service and thanks them for taking that inconvenience off your plate.
Drivers do a lot of work to get your food to you, so we always suggest tipping on your order.
How Much To Tip for Grocery Delivery
When you place a grocery delivery order, you might balk at the list of fees that appear at the bottom of your bill.
So, it’s understandable if you feel a bit slighted when you’re expected to tip, too.
For example, on a standard Instacart order, you’ll see five line items:
- Delivery fee
- Service fee
- Taxes and fees
- Fuel surcharge
In some instances, you might also have a long-distance delivery fee, adding another five dollars to your bill.
You could easily have an added ten or fifteen dollars in fees on a standard delivery order.
However, the tip is sometimes the only portion that goes to the driver alone and isn’t split up, so you should still consider tipping the minimum amount on your total to give your driver a boost.
Minimum Tipping Amount
How much to tip for grocery delivery may vary.
The general rule of thumb for tipping delivery drivers is a minimum of 10% or five dollars, or whichever is higher.
However, the standard service industry tip of 20% is more popular since the driver performs a convenient service.
How To Calculate Your Tip
Many online grocery delivery apps or services will calculate a tip for you during checkout.
For example, Instacart has a default tip of twenty percent for all orders.
Other apps might automatically apply a ten or fifteen percent tip, so always confirm the percentage and not just the dollar amount before approving.
If you aren’t satisfied with the pre-selected tip amount, you can enter your own manually or, in some cases, choose another percentage.
Most will give you the following choices:
These options make it simple to give any amount you feel reflects your appreciation for the time and effort it took for the shopper to deliver your groceries.
If your app doesn’t offer a pre-selected tip amount or provide you with a calculation tool, calculating your tip is relatively easy.
You can multiply the bill amount by .2 using your calculator or double the total and move the decimal two places to the left.
Both of these methods will give you twenty percent of your total.
Then, you can adjust accordingly.
Why Should You Tip for Grocery Delivery
Tipping for services is an age-old debate that will likely never find a consensus.
Some think it’s a worthwhile expense, while others believe it’s unfair to customers.
Most think the onus to pay workers should be on the business owner.
However, consider the following.
- Relying on customer tips helps business owners keep prices down
- Tips pay for the driver’s time to and from your home
- Tips pay for things like fuel and vehicle maintenance
- Tips make up for the bulk of a driver’s hourly wage
- The average grocery trip takes an hour at minimum
You might look at this list and think, “Isn’t that what all those fees are for?”
Unfortunately, the answer is no.
Those fees don’t go to the DoorDash or Instacart shopper.
Instead, they’re what keep the lights on and allow the company to continue to offer you delivery services to your local stores and restaurants.
Another benefit to tipping is that it guarantees that a shopper will pick up your order.
If there’s a long list of orders to choose from and shoppers see that yours doesn’t include a tip, your order might languish in a queue.
Can You Adjust a Tip After Delivery?
In most cases, you can adjust a tip after delivery if you feel it’s necessary.
Some apps allow you to do it yourself, while others require you to contact customer service to make any changes.
However, you should only adjust the tip if your original amount doesn’t reflect the level of service the delivery driver gave you.
How To Adjust a Tip on Different Apps
Here’s a bit of information on adjusting a tip in some of the more popular grocery delivery apps.
Instacart only allows customers to decrease a tip for three days after delivery.
After that, you can continue to increase the tip for up to two weeks after your delivery.
1. Go into the Instacart app
2. Select “Orders” from the bottom
3. Choose the order from your list of past orders
4. Select “More”
5. Select “Change” or “Increase tip”
- Learn more about Instacart tipping.
You can only adjust a tip manually using DoorDash during the checkout process in the “Dasher Tip” section of your bill.
If you want to change the tip after the driver drops off your order, you’ll need to contact customer support to have a representative override it for you.
Not all requests are granted, though, especially if you’ve requested changes multiple times in the past.
- Learn more about DoorDash tipping.
Grubhub’s grocery delivery is limited to convenience stores for now.
Still, if you only need a few items, Grubhub is a convenient way to get your order.
If you want to change the tip after your order is delivered, you’ll have to contact customer support.
You can do so through the app or on their website.
- Learn more about Grubhub tipping.
Once you leave a tip in Shipt, you can’t change it.
However, you’ll have unlimited time after receiving your order to leave a tip.
This option makes it easy to base your tip on the quality of service if that’s what you prefer.
- Learn more about Shipt tipping.
5. Amazon Fresh
Amazon’s shopping service, Amazon Fresh, is a grocery delivery service with limited availability.
Tipping isn’t necessary on Amazon Fresh because the delivery drivers are Amazon employees, not gig workers.
However, you can change your tip in the app for up to 24 hours after delivery.
- Learn more about Amazon Fresh tipping.
6. Walmart Grocery
Like Amazon, you can edit your Walmart Grocery delivery tip for up to 24 hours after a Walmart delivery driver drops off your order.
You can also add a tip for up to 14 days after delivery, although you should tip right away if you can.
- Learn more about Walmart Grocery tipping.
What Is Tip Baiting?
An unfortunate side effect of being able to adjust your tip after delivery is tip baiting.
Tip baiting, in which a customer zeroes out a tip after a delivery driver drops off their order, is a common tactic when someone wants to avoid paying their delivery person a tip but wants to ensure their order gets delivered promptly.
Tip baiting is possible because most companies allow drivers to see the tip before accepting any order.
This option lets the driver know whether or not an order is worth the time and effort.
As of 2022, most companies have made it difficult to tip bait.
For example, Instacart changed its policy to give you a limited 24-hour window to change your tip, while other companies require you to go through the hassle of contacting customer support.
Why You Shouldn’t Tip Bait
There are a few reasons why you shouldn’t tip bait.
- It’s a deceptive practice
- Companies limit how often you can change tips
- It could lead to the driver not accepting your orders in the future
Some companies, such as DoorDash, allow drivers to see a customer’s address before accepting an order.
If you’re known for tip baiting a delivery worker or have mistreated a shopper before, they may skip over your order in a queue the next time it shows up.
Ultimately, straightforward tipping is in your best interest for various reasons.
However, if you don’t want to leave a tip, you should be upfront about it instead of misleading a driver.
Can You Tip in Cash on Grocery Delivery?
You also always have the option to leave a cash tip for your grocery delivery.
You can leave cash to make sure the tip goes directly to the driver.
Just know that the driver might assume you’re not leaving a tip if you don’t include one ahead of time, so your order might not get picked up right away.
Tipping on your grocery delivery isn’t required, but tips are the bulk of a shopper’s pay in most cases.
It’s important to keep that in mind each time you place grocery delivery orders.
If you want to show your appreciation for a job well done, you should leave at least 10-15% on your order.