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For better or for worse, tipping is a part of the culture in America. This stems from the fact that servers and bartenders make a fraction of the minimum wage, with the expectation that customers’ tips will make up the difference. Whatever your thoughts on tipping, it’s the reality of living in the United States.
While the etiquette for tipping in restaurants and bars is clear and well-established, what are you supposed to do when you’re ordering food and have the option to leave your delivery person a tip?
We’ve previously addressed this topic in our On-Demand Tipping Guide, but now 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.
- What Is Uber Eats?
- Should You Tip Uber Eats Drivers?
- How Much to Tip Uber Eats Drivers
- How to Tip Uber Eats Drivers
What Is Uber Eats?
Uber Eats is a food delivery service that rideshare giant Uber operates. Using their already extensive network of drivers, Uber created a food delivery app with international reach and wide availability.
With the app, customers can place orders from local restaurants and have the food delivered right to their home or office, all without having to call the restaurant. Furthermore, all payments occur within the app, eliminating the need to exchange cash or provide credit card information over the phone.
You can also rate your driver based on the quality of their service, keeping the platform working at the highest level of possible. And, as we’ll discuss in a moment, you’ll then have the option to leave your driver a tip once you’ve received your food.
Uber Eats delivery is available in a variety of cities across the world, including the following:
- New York
- Cape Town
- Hong Kong
The above is just a small sample of the huge number of cities where Uber Eats operates. In general, provided that Uber is available in your area, Uber Eats is also available. To see if Uber Eats is in your city, visit UberEats.com and enter your address. From there, you’ll be able to see which restaurants (if any) are available for delivery to you.
Should You Tip Uber Eats Drivers?
When you place an Uber Eats order, you pay a delivery fee for the convenience of having the food delivered. Part of this fee goes to Uber, and the rest goes to the driver. With the typical booking fee being around $5 per order, you can bet that your driver isn’t making that much for delivering your food.
This is especially true when you consider that delivery partners are also independent contractors. This means that they don’t receive a salary, benefits, or reimbursements for their many expenses such as gas, vehicle maintenance, vehicle financing, and insurance. With this knowledge, it seems only right to provide a small tip to the Uber Eats delivery partner who brings you your food.
Put another way, you can think of it like ordering a pizza (in the old days, when pizza was the only food available for delivery in most places). Even though you had to pay a delivery fee for your pizza, you always tipped the pizza delivery person, right? We hope so. It shouldn’t be any different for Uber Eats. Of course, we’re not suggesting you tip if you receive terrible service. Tipping is not required or expected; it’s just appreciated.
If you do receive terrible service, or there’s a big issue with your order, make sure to contact Uber Eats customer service to get your issue resolved. Don’t just complain about it, let the company know so future customers will have a good experience.
How Much to Tip Uber Eats Drivers
The amount to tip Uber Eats drivers can get tricky. When you’re in a restaurant or bar, you have the well-established benchmark of 18–20% (more if the service was superb). In the case of Uber Eats delivery, you could take a percentage of the order total or the service fee to come up with your tip amount.
However, this could result in some tips that might be excessively high (especially if you place a large order or order from an expensive restaurant). Therefore, we think that it’s fine to stick within the range of $1–$3 that the Uber Eats app provides as an option for most deliveries. Take into account the quality of the customer service you received, and then leave the tip you think is appropriate. The driver gets to keep 100% of the tips you give them, so giving them even a small tip can help to substantially boost their overall earnings.
How to Tip Uber Eats Drivers
So you’ve decided you want to leave your driver a tip, but how do you go about doing it? The Uber Eats app provides an in-app tipping option that makes it easy to leave your delivery person a tip without having to worry about cash.
You’ll have the option to leave a tip once your order has been delivered. 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. Remember: tipping is not something that Uber Eats requires. We think you should tip (since you’re already paying for food delivery, you might as well be generous with a few extra dollars). But it’s up to you in the end.
Reward Great Uber Eats Service With a Tip
We hope this post has shown you the ins and outs of Uber Eats tipping, including why tipping Uber Eats drivers is important and how to leave the tip itself. For more information on food delivery services, check out our guides to Grubhub, Postmates, and DoorDash.
If you’re interested in learning how you can earn extra money making deliveries for Uber Eats, check out our Uber Eats driver guide.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.