For better or for worse, tipping is a part of the culture in America.
Whatever your thoughts on tipping, it’s the reality of living in the United States.
With the recent boom in food delivery popularity, many customers are still trying to figure out proper delivery etiquette and whether or not to tip when ordering via a food delivery app.
There are a ton of questions surrounding food delivery services.
- Do the drivers get the delivery fees?
- Can you add a tip after ordering?
- Is it okay to give the Uber Eats driver cash at the door?
Today we’re taking a deep dive into what you should do about tipping when ordering with Uber Eats specifically.
Let’s take a look at the tipping conventions for this app, as well as why (and how) to leave a tip.
Table Of Contents
Should You Tip Uber Eats Drivers?
So, the biggest question is: should you tip Uber Eats drivers?
The answer to that is going to depend on quite a few factors.
Let’s dive into the details.
Should You Tip Uber Eats Drivers?
The short answer is: yes!
When you order food in America, it’s customary to tip the person making the delivery.
This etiquette is true whether you call an expensive restaurant and place an order or request a pizza through an online app.
While not technically required, tipping is always expected for delivery drivers who bring you your food items on time.
Does my Tip Go To Uber Eats Drivers or Uber?
Good news! Tipping your driver means that you are giving money directly to the driver and not to Uber.
While delivery fees go to the company as part of the cost of Uber Eats, the company does not take any of the designated tip money that is meant for the driver.
How Much of Uber Eats Tips Go To the Driver?
When you give your Uber Eats driver a tip, you can be confident that 100% of that money goes to the delivery professional.
Regardless of whether you select a tip using the app or give your driver cash when they drop off your order, this is true.
Why Should You Tip Uber Eats Drivers?
There are quite a few reasons why it’s always a good idea to tip your Uber Eats driver.
Here are our top two:
1. They Work Hard
It’s no surprise that delivering food is not the easiest– or safest– job on the market.
Bringing food from a restaurant to your house could mean driving, biking, or even walking through potentially unfamiliar or even dangerous locations.
Additionally, keep in mind that many people order food for delivery when the weather is too extreme for them to drive and collect food for themselves.
That means that the delivery driver must face those elements– snow, hail, heatwaves, and heavy rain are all part of the job.
Once the driver has located your residence (which can be very tricky depending on where you live), they need to find an appropriate parking space, locate your particular house or apartment, and ensure that they are handing the food to the correct person.
The driver might even have to balance a large order while navigating stairs.
2. The Tip Is Not Included in Uber Eats Cost
It’s important to know that the cost of a tip is not included in the overall Uber Eats price.
The delivery fee is a separate expense– not a tip– and does not go to the person who delivered your food.
The service fee, delivery fee, and any other costs that are not labeled “Tip” are funds that go to Uber Eats and not to the driver directly.
How Much Should You Tip Uber Eats Drivers?
There are many different ideas about how much is the proper amount to tip your Uber Eats driver.
Many people argue that the standard restaurant bill tipping amount of 18%-20% is the general amount, while others say that $4 is good.
How much you tip your Uber Eats driver should depend on a few factors, including the conditions the driver is facing to bring your food, the size, and complexity of the order, and the service.
Tip Amount For Poor Service
Unless there is something very wrong with the customer service from your delivery driver, it’s good to stick with a minimum of 15%-20%, the restaurant industry standard.
Deplorable service could warrant a smaller tip of 10%-15%.
However, keep in mind that many issues with your food are most likely not caused by the Uber Eats delivery driver but by the restaurant.
If your food arrives and the order is incorrect or improperly cooked, that has nothing to do with your driver, so their tip should not be affected.
If the food is cold because the driver took twice as long to deliver the food as the delivery window allowed, that may be poor delivery service– or the driver may have gotten lost or dealt with adverse weather.
Remember that people make mistakes– and it can be very dangerous to drive in the rain or snow– before you decide on the tip amount.
Tip Amount For Average Service
The average rate for a tip is about 15%-20% of the food bill, so this is a good amount to give your Uber Eats driver.
Keep in mind that this percentage may not be fair to your driver if your order is tiny.
For example, if you order a $3 coffee for delivery, the Uber Eats driver must make the same trip, but the tip amount will be much, much smaller than for an average order.
For this reason, when placing a very small order, it’s helpful to tip a set dollar amount– typically $4-$6 — instead of a percentage of the food bill.
Tip Amount For Great Service
If your Uber Eats driver goes above and beyond their job, travels through harsh weather, or arrives quickly, it’s a good idea to reward them with a tip of 20%-25% or more of your bill.
From Uber Eats, the driver will make the same amount of money no matter how excellently they handle your order.
That means it’s up to you to make sure your Uber Eats driver gets the recognition they deserve– with a big tip!
Example: Calculating a Hypothetical Tip
Here is a quick breakdown for calculating tips in different circumstances:
- Small order ($3 coffee): $4-$5 tip
- Regular order ($30) and excellent service (20%): $6 tip
- Big order ($60) and the driver traveled during a rainstorm (25%): $15 tip
Uber Eats Tipping Calculator
Now that you know the percentage you should tip your driver, check out our Uber Eats tipping calculator below to find out how much you should tip.
Simply fill in the fields where prompted, and you’ll be given the suggested tip amount for your bill.
Ways To Tip Uber Eats Drivers
Luckily, there are many ways to tip your Uber Eats delivery professional.
Here are a few of the best:
Tip Through the App
Tipping through the Uber Eats app is one of the easiest methods, and it doesn’t require you to have any cash on hand.
1. Place a Tip Before an Order
Choosing a tip amount before you order is simple and part of the order placing process.
Using the Uber Eats app, customers can select a tip amount before finalizing their order.
The options are 10%, 15%, 20%, 25%, or a custom amount.
2. Place a Tip After an Order
Another option is to wait until after you place the order to add a tip.
Many people like to see what time their food actually arrives before they decide on a tip amount.
When you tip your Uber Eats driver through the app, your tip money is sent to them one hour after the delivery takes place.
The way to place a tip after completing the order is to respond to the driver feedback section– first with a thumbs-up or thumbs-down symbol.
After that, you should get the option to tip the driver the same options as above (10%, 15%, 20%, 25%) or a custom amount, and you’ll receive an updated receipt.
How to Tip Uber Eats after an Order
To start the process, you’ll first need to rate your driver:
Once you’ve left a rating, you can select a preset tip amount:
You can also tap “Choose other amount” to leave a custom tip:
To finalize the tip, tap “Submit and Continue.”
Of course, you can always leave your driver a cash tip if you prefer. They’ll certainly appreciate the gesture.
3. Place a Tip In Your Order History
Giving the Uber Eats driver a tip through the order history is similar to placing a tip after finishing the order.
If you open the “Orders” section of your Uber Eats app, you should be able to access the history of your last Uber Eats purchase.
From here, you should be prompted to rate the food and delivery.
The tipping options should be available after that.
Tip Uber Eats Drivers in Cash
If you prefer not to tip through the app at all (or you happen to have cash on hand), another way to tip your Uber driver is to give them money when they arrive with your food.
Drivers get to keep 100% of their cash tips, just like tipping on the app, so there are few downsides to using cash to tip your Uber Eats driver.
Can Uber Eats Drivers See the Tip?
Yes– but generally not until one hour after the delivery has been completed.
Around then is when the driver will typically receive a push notification indicating that they’ve received a tip and how much it was.
What Happens If You Don’t Tip Uber Eats?
If you forget to tip your Uber Eats driver, you have a one-hour window of time where the order will still be active on the app to leave a tip.
You can access this through your order history.
Suppose it’s been more than an hour.
In that case, unfortunately, there are no longer any methods for giving your Uber Eats driver the tip they deserve– unless they deliver more food to your house for another order, where you’ll have the opportunity to tip them again.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about tipping your Uber Eats driver.
Why do most people who use Uber Eats usually not tip at all?
Surprisingly, despite tipping being a very common way for people to give their salary a boost to a livable income, 60% of Uber Eats drivers say that their tips are consistently tiny or nonexistent.
Some people don’t leave a tip because they assume that Uber Eats’s delivery or service fees have a tip built-in, but this is not the case.
That money doesn’t go directly to the driver as tips do.
These customers often don’t understand that the most significant part of an Uber Eats driver’s income is their tips.
How much do Uber Eats drivers make before tips?
The answer to this question depends on the location of the Uber Eats Driver, as the average earnings are very different across the country.
It’s also essential to know that some Uber Eats drivers get paid based on mileage in addition to earning tips, but the pay per mile is typically meager– sometimes under one dollar.
Due to the unreliability of Uber Eats orders and generally low mileage rates, some Uber Eats drivers say that they end up making less than minimum wage.
If you examine the total Uber Eats driver earnings in markets across over 40 cities, it’s clear that the most considerable portion of the driver pay usually consists of tips.
For example, while the median hourly rate for Uber Eats drivers in Houston is $14.53, the median tip amount is $8.10.
That means that without tips, Houston-based Uber Eats drivers would be making under $6.50 an hour.
Are Uber Eats tips taxable?
Yes– Uber Eats tips are considered taxable income.
These tips form part of the Uber Eats driver’s overall earnings in tax documents.
Why can’t I tip on Uber Eats?
All customers should be able to tip their driver through the Uber Eats app on their smartphone.
However, sometimes things like technical glitches remove the option to add a tip on the application.
While rare, it is possible to be unable to tip on Uber Eats due to some technical malfunction.
If you’re seeing other errors such as “No Uber Eats Couriers Nearby“, or you think Uber is down, then there’s probably an issue.
In those cases, keep in mind that you can always tip your Uber Eats driver in cash when they arrive.
Conclusion: Tipping on Uber Eats
A good rule to use when tipping your Uber Eats driver is to give them at least a few dollars (18-20% of your food bill) as a starting tip and then add on money for extra services.
These services could include super quick delivery, traveling through adverse weather, or walking up two flights of stairs to your apartment door.
It’s perfectly acceptable to place a tip after the order is delivered or tip the Uber Eats driver in cash.
Remember that they work hard to make a living wage, and tips make up a considerable percentage of their income.
9 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide to Uber Eats Tipping (Including How Much to Tip)”
Thank you, thank you!
As an Uber driver and customer I am so happy to see this topic thoroughly explained. Uber and other apps lean far to heavily on a “ tips to supplement payment” system, And this system historically favors the employer and the customers. This is a social deficiency that gets overlooked because few people consciously put them selves in others shoes. This article responsibly addresses this topic and I for one am thankful for it.
In your article, you mention that none of the Uber Eats fees ever reaches the driver. I respectfully disagree. First, Uber Eats makes its primary revenue via the 30% commission charged to restaurants. Second, the drivers are paid for each mile they drive to cover the cost of delivering, which is exactly what the delivery fee is for. The IRS works with Runzheimer every year to analyze the average cost of a mile, which for 2021 is $0.56/mile. This aligns and often matches up with the delivery fee, which varies based on distance, time, and supply/demand. Third, drivers receive a cut for each new restaurant they pick up from and each address they deliver to. I’m pretty confident this is funded via the service fee of 15% and therefore is tip, especially since it’s not charged if the restaurant self-delivers in which case you should tip. In fact, this would align with Uber’s business model of eliminating tips and making all costs transparent upfront. So contrary to your biased articles, I believe the delivery fee and service fee does make it to the driver. Therefore, tip isn’t necessary when food is delivered via Uber Eats. Granted, if food is not delivered by Uber eats, then certainly one should tip as customs.
I think the real problem is that drivers don’t see a breakdown of the forms of payments they receive and therefore assume that all those fees just get gobbled up by the evil corporation that provided them another choice of work to begin with.
Let me know your thoughts.
This article was really helpful. I think that you were right, people are confused by the term “delivery fee” on their bill. I think many people assume that this is the fee that the driver gets so when there is an option to tip, they are confused by that. I can say that this is what I used to think before I learned that the delivery fee does not go to the driver. If Uber eats wants to help their drivers get more tips, they should rename delivery fee to something different that is clear that this goes to the company, or at least put in brackets under delivery fee that this is paid to the company not the driver. Or why don’t they just subsume that fee under service fee?
Also, I keep trying to find out how the restaurant earns tips for their staff who actually prepare my food when I order on Uber eats. When I dug in the Internet I heard that there is an option to tip the restaurant a total of three dollars when you order. I’ve never seen this option or maybe I’m just missing it, but also I’m curious why we would be recommending that the driver get 18 to 20% tip when Uber is only giving the restaurant a three dollar tip. So if my order total is $100 they are only getting 3%, that’s if I can find a tip option for the restaurant . How does this work for the restaurant?
I order Uber eats several times a week along with other delivery services. I tip but not 15-20%. I provide a flat tip usually around $4-5$ . More if restaurant is far away or bad weather. Reason being Uber and other services increase prices 20-50% over regular restaurant prices and not fair to customer to tip the same 20% I tip a restaurants server. The server spends average am hr for providing in person service and living in TX , they only get paid $2.13 minimum wage. Imo , there’s no reason to tip on % of delivery orders price. I already pay member fees, service fees, restaurant surcharge for items. It takes same amount of effort to deliver a $20 order as a $50 order. My average order is $30-$80. If the driver communicates well and provided excellent service, I tip more. My average dine in tip is 20-30%. My average Uber Eats, Door Dash, Grub Hub tip is $4-5. I am already paying approximately a 30% premium over dine in prices and it’s not fair to be expected to tip driver on % of delivery order price.
I welcome other’s perspectives on my comment
From having delivered for Uber Eats.. and some for Door Dash.. no we can not see the amount that is base pay verse tip before accepting an order. I can tell u that I can tell when people don’t tip.. cause it will look like something like.. delivery $2.49 (5) miles estimated time 20 minutes..!! Yup that’s about $2.49 for 20 minutes of work and the expense of driving my own vehicle.. you know what happens to those orders they get ignored.. the driver actually loses money by taking them.. now escalate that over an hour.. that’s $7.50 an hour.. minus $5 a gallon for gas humm $2.50 an hour.. but I say that best way to estimate the tip.. is this “drive to the restaurant pick up the food and drive back to your house.” See how long it takes u.. it will take ur Uber Eats driver the same amount of time.. so if minimum wage is 15 and it takes u 20 minutes to go get ur food and come back then the delivery driver should be tipped at least $5.. the remaining money they make goes towards gas and maintenance for car
Tipping never existed with Uber to begin with. Apparently, the average tipping range is $1-3 is the range needed to be sustainable for boosting earnings. I don’t know how you calculated such a high tip range, but these drivers are not servers in a restaurant.
Anybody that thinks a food delivery driver for any of these services should not be tipped fairly is simply wrong. The drivers make nearly nothing without the tip. Some are commenting that they tip 20 – 30% when sitting in the restaurant. The server at location is not using their own car, fuel, insurance etc. to get the food to their table. Other comments mention the additional cost for the food as a reason not to tip the delivery person. You are making the choice not to drive to the restaurant and sit for 1/2 to 1 hour before receiving your food. Your choice is to stay home and have that food delivered. You pay for that choice. The driver makes that possible. Please be respectful of that and tip a fair amount.
Love the convenience of ordering in- a great tipper usually 20-25% of my orders. What aggravates me though is being urged to tip after fees! Tipping should be only for the food delivery not tax, delivery & service fees. Therefore a tip from me is % of subtotal only.
There is no reason to tip for delivery. The value of my food has no relation to delivery service. I’m all for drivers earn a living but tip is a terrible mechanism.