June 4th, 2013
10:45 AM ET
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Details.com editor James Oliver Cury tackles controversial food-and-drink-themed etiquette issues every week.

Deliverymen may be the most misunderstood, and least appreciated, of all gratuity-based workers. Sure, there are some bad eggs in the mix, but the vast majority of them work for tips in a completely unregulated, and unstructured, environment—somewhat like café baristas.

Restaurant servers, for example, may not know exactly how much tip they’ll get, but tips generally hover around 15-20% in most of the country. Same thing goes for cabbies. In cities where passengers can use credit cards, there are even gratuity suggestions (15%? 20%? 25%?). But delivery people have no such organized system. They must graciously accept spare change as often as a fiver.

After talking to friends - smart food fans who order out a lot - I found that there’s no consensus about how to tip the delivery person. Below are the 10 key questions we must ask ourselves before forking over cash to the man/boy/woman/snot/angel who finally appears at the door bearing brown bags or boxes - and a bill.

What’s the grand total?
The vast majority of people base their tip on the number at the bottom of the bill. I’ve also known families that create round-number cutoff amounts: $3 for up to $15 of food, $5 for up to $25, and so on. I think 10-15% is a good start. Restaurant employees, of course, will argue for more.

Is there a separate delivery charge?
Most folks figure that if there’s a distinct fee for the service already, why bother adding more, but your server may not see all (or any) of a delivery charge. Ask the person who takes your order. And just in case the establishment pockets the entire added delivery fee, you can always slip a few bucks into the hand of the deliveryman - distinct from the credit card total.

Is the food overpriced or dirt-cheap?
If you buy a $1,000 bottle of wine at a restaurant, no one expects you to add $200 more (20%) to the bill. Similarly, the extortionate rates for decent sushi in my neighborhood occasionally make me reconsider basing the gratuity on the grand total alone. I scale back to 10% in some cases, rationalizing that 15% of an obviously overpriced assortment of nigiri is too much—and it’s not my fault they overcharge. At the same time, if the dinner costs a measly $15 for two, I’m all for a relative splurge on the tip - I’d give $3 or even $4.

Is he delivering on foot, bike, or car?
I’ve heard people make the case that a man who drives a car to your house doesn’t exert himself as much as someone who bikes or walks, therefore he deserves less cash. This is a perceived sweat factor. Others, however, point out that the man who drives up to your front door has to pay for gas, parking, wear and tear on the car, and the occasional ticket. It may sound like a cop-out, but I don’t let the mode of transportation influence my tip.

How far away is the restaurant?
There’s more effort and expense no matter what transportation mode is used the farther the restaurant is located. Put another way: Do you tip the same amount if one deliveryman walks five blocks and another hikes 15? Sadly, yes I do. But I feel like I should give more to the guy who trekked a mile.

How’s the weather outside?
Nothing tugs at the heart strings like seeing the soaked deliveryman standing in front of your door, dripping as he hands you soggy brown bags of hot, delicious food. We do, and should, tip more when we know a person has trekked through inclement weather to bring us a warm meal. Add a buck or more for rain and $2 if it’s snow.

Have you ordered during peak hours?
We curse the restaurant that takes an hour and a half to deliver food even when we know we ordered at prime time on Friday night. Shouldn’t some credit go to a deliveryman who manages to prioritize our house early in his route? Speedy service makes me 5% more generous.

Did the food arrive warm?
At a restaurant, you can never be sure if the blame for a cold dish lies with the server or the kitchen. But when a deliveryman hands you food that’s still hot, you know you’re getting freshly cooked (or at least warmed over) sustenance, and that’s worth rewarding, isn’t it? Actually, no. I don’t reward food that arrives edible. Cold food, on the other hand, may get me to dock a dollar, even if I’m just shooting the messenger (maybe he’ll complain to the kitchen).

Did the food arrive within a reasonable amount of time?
Even if you ordered cold noodles, you still want them within 30 to 40 minutes. Any longer and it feels like an eternity - and the person on the other end of the phone really should have notified you about the possible delay. See above for how to score.

Did you get everything you ordered?
We’ve all experienced the tragic let-down of the no-show dish. The excitement of the delivery gives way to desperation as the hand reaches deeper into the bag, and then outright rage at the realization that your dish is still sitting, perhaps, on a counter back at the restaurant. Again: Take action here only if experiencing sins of omission. If the guy promises to come back later with the rest of your order, you can reward him then.

Do you want this person to come quickly next time - and not spit in your food?
Regular customers know that better tips make a difference when your deliveryman is deciding which house to visit first. Conversely, I’ve wondered if a pathetic tip gets logged somehow (“bad tipper alert”) on the merchant copy of the receipt and then in a database back at the restaurant - and if that can influence the future travel routes my orders take (i.e. “make this guy last”). More than anything, I worry that an under-tipped deliveryman will seek revenge by spitting on my food. For that reason alone, I would think, everyone should tip fairly.

Got an etiquette question Cury can address? Share it in the comments below.

More from Details:
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Don't Be "That Guy" at the Gym: The New Rules of Exercise Etiquette
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Tipping point – family locked in restaurant for skimping on mandatory gratuity
Visitors to the U.S. – avoid these tipping pitfalls
Give a snarky quip (and no tip) and thy receipt shall end up on the internet

soundoff (1,046 Responses)
  1. Andreas

    I usually order groceries as well as other stuff, simply because I don't have any good grocery stores next to where I live. Thus my tip depends a lot on what I get delivered. Just like now I ordered a grocery order that will cover me for a while and it cost me about 130$ so I tend not to want to tip 20% for that. What I do nis I usually fall back on 10% in such cases simply because I know they drive a car and they don't have to travel several stairs to get to my apartment (due to the locking mechanishm I have to come down and get them on the first flor anyways. If I order a pizza however I do tend to be far more generous, and I tend to stick to 15-20% just like in restaurants. I do however tend to round up or down depending on the amount so for a Pizza that costs me 10$ I may end up paying anywhere from 2$ to 4$ in tip simply because the amount is lower, and depending on the delivery fee.

    This is just somethimg I started doing after I moved to America, as back in Norway we don't tip at all since the employer is requiered by law to pay more then a certain amount by the hour anyways so I usually just til 5-10% there in a restaurant if the service was very good.

    October 6, 2014 at 9:52 pm |
    • Jon

      You "tend" to tip incorrectly. It doesn't matter how much food you buy. The driver uses the same amount of gas and time either way. You're right to exclude the delivery charge from your tip but only if the driver actually gets it. Where I work they charge a $3 delivery charge but I only get 85 cents of it. You should ask how much of the delivery charge the driver actually gets because I have never heard of a place that even gives half of it to the driver.

      October 15, 2014 at 6:03 am |
  2. Tom

    Jon said it plain and simple. You cannot plead ignorance any more. Once you know the wages and expenses that the driver endures then you should be tipping the correct amount considering it is all for your sake. I'm sure Jon doesn't say anything to the customers who don't tip but instead comes to an open forum where the expressed purpose is for people to discover how to tip correctly. He hasn't done anything wrong besides try to help educate from his first hand perspective. The subject of the OP was not weather or not to tip because saying the customer shouldn't tip at all is absurd.

    And to say the drivers should take it up with the employer is obviously a delusion. This is not a Pizza Hut problem but a common practice in society that society participates in every time they request someone to bring them their food instead of getting it themselves. If you drive to the grocery store and get food then you shouldn't expect the store owner to fill your tank the same as you shouldn't expect a pizza driver to endure your expenses of getting your food either. I'm not saying it's wrong to get delivery because I get it myself when I'm feeling lazy but I also pay for the services I've received. Not tipping is the same as asking your neighbor to go pickup your food for you and then not reimbursing them for the costs you've submitted them to.

    If Jon goes to his employer and demands that they pay for the gas then what will happen? Will all pizza places start paying their drivers more? Will diners and restaurants start paying their waitresses and bar tenders more instead of you tipping them? Will all taxi companies start paying their drivers more because Jon says it's not fair? No. Because it is fair. You get extra services and you pay more. The fact that they do not have a set price for you to pay for deliveries doesn't mean that you should then pay less because you have the chance to. They cannot account for how far each driver will drive to each customer's house within the parameters of their district or zone for every delivery without distributing a GPS to each and every employee. So it's up to you to make those calculations to the best of your ability and pay for every cent that you have expended as expected.

    Weather you think the driver should be paid more by the employer or not doesn't matter. If you know that they aren't getting the money that they have spent on you from someone else then why not give it to them? Are you sending some kind of message or are you merely being cheap?

    September 27, 2014 at 4:22 am |
  3. lunchbreaker

    The nature of any job that involves dealing with the public recquires good customer service skills. Those skills include dealing with rude customers. If your reaction to what you perceive as rude behavior is to excrete bodily fluids on your employers products, that shows a complete lack of customer service skills, and obviously, if you were caught doing so should be fired immediately.

    September 24, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
    • Palaniappan Rajaram

      Capture a couple of these characters on camera/video, arrest and throw in jail for 10 months for tampering/poisoning/contaminating a person's food. That should get these idiots in line.

      September 26, 2014 at 8:48 pm |
    • Tom

      Good luck with that. You'll never find spit in your food when it comes to pizza and there may be enough from 10 different people and you will still never know.

      There is a saying where I'm from. Maybe you've never heard it but it's important. They say "You don't cross the person who handles your food." This goes all the way from your delivery driver to the woman in your life.

      September 27, 2014 at 3:35 am |
      • Palaniappan Rajaram

        Having trouble with reading comprehension, I see. I said "capture on camera or video". I didn't say "conduct a visual inspection of the Pizza for spit". If the person handling the food is a crook, of course we are going to cross him/her.

        September 28, 2014 at 1:25 am |
        • Tom

          Yeah, sorry, I got that. I was responding to lunchbreaker. You can tell by where the indention is on the comment. If mine is even with yours then we responded to the same comment. If mine has an indent towards the middle of your paragraph then I've replied to yours. It took me a minute to figure that out.

          September 30, 2014 at 3:17 am |
  4. Hipster

    Meh. First world problems.

    September 24, 2014 at 8:29 am |
  5. KnowItAwl

    Tip nothing, it is built into the price of the food.

    September 23, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
    • annonymous

      Tips are NOT built into the food or delivery or we'd charge you a lot more than we do.

      September 23, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
    • Tom

      If it was built into the price of the food then why would delivery cost the same as pickup? Does that driver who gives you your food deserve $4 an hour after using his own gas to fill your belly? I order delivery and I pay what is owed. I give for gas, time, and money spent to get me mine and so should you,

      September 27, 2014 at 3:43 am |
    • Rich

      I deliver food, I pay for my own gas, my cell bill, (required for job), there's a $6 delivery fee attached to the bill, I DON'T GET THAT!!! I'm also a sub contractor, so, I get $2 – $3 per delivery from the company, (we deliver for a service that has 200+ restaurants), so we Live to make tips.... this isn't a career move, I'm over 50, lost my real job then my house in the recession, I have 2 College degrees.... other drivers I've heard do spit in food when the tip is below $5.... the tip should be 15% – 20%, depending on the distance, weather, and order amount.... (if you order $150 worth of food, it takes longer to prepare, which takes me away from getting more deliveries in).... I get the order, on my cell, when you place it, and have to go to that restaurant, no matter where I am in the city, (Philly), as we are on an "up-list', which means I get the next order placed, wherever I am.... last night I was at 25th and Spruce, got the order to P/U at 2nd and Market, and run it to 30th and Arch.... the tip was $1.35 ....she's lucky I got that order, not some new driver, or someone that got those all night, because what you hear is true.... (I'm also not allowed to tell you I don't get the $6 delivery fee, or tell you you suck, or the tip wasn't sufficient.... if you don't have a minimum of $5 to tip, or 20%, YOU DON'T HAVE ENOUGH TO ORDER FOOD DELIVERED!!! ESPECIALLY IF YOU LIVE IN THE PENTHOUSE IN A 50 STORY TOWER!!! SCREW THAT, YOU MIGHT LIKELY BE EATING SPIT, OR WORSE FROM SOME THAT ARE STRUGGLING TO PAY BILLS AND FEED THEIR FAMILIES.....

      October 9, 2014 at 5:02 am |
    • There's a Troll in Patroll

      Learn to recognize a troll when you read one.

      October 15, 2014 at 7:02 am |
  6. TheVoice

    My whole point is it's a job and these drivers are getting paid to do what? A JOB. PERIOD. END OF STORY. That said, I do see you guys tipping Septa drivers for driving you back and forth? I don't see you guys tipping McDonalds workers for cooking your food, and getting it to your in a reasonable amount of time. I don't see how delivery guys are any different. If they don't like it go find a better job.

    September 22, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
    • TheVoice

      *I don't see you guys tipping Septa drivers.

      September 22, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
    • Driver

      Your question is a valid one. I will answer it now. Workers at Mickey d's make minimum wage and a vehicle is only required to get them to work and back home, unless they walk. A delivery driver by contrast, generally makes less than minimum wage and uses his/her vehicle constantly. Therefore, the delivery driver must earn to tips to justify the high cost of operating they're personal vehicle. Would you drive your car 100 miles every day just to make minimum wage? I didn't think so. It makes no sense to do that, dose it?

      September 22, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
      • Here's the deal

        If you are working for less than the minimum wage driving your own vehicle and incurring all the related expenses, then you need to find a better job. Plain and simple. If you like what you're doing, find an employer who furnishes you with their own company vehicle. Or work in the kitchen vs. doing delivery.

        September 23, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • Driver

          That's more easily said than done. By the way, let me take a wild guess and assume you are a principled non-tipper. Am I right?

          September 23, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
        • Driver

          Most of the time many of my customers tip. However somewhere between 3-5 days out of the month all the customers who don't tip order at the same time and that can make things a little rough on driver. I've been doing this long enough to know that I need to prepare for this. Thanks for the suggestion but ill stick with what I'm doing. I just want to make as many customers as possible aware of the damage they cause by not tipping in clear tipping situations. If they don't have the money for a tip they should consider not wasting what they have on overpriced prepared food.

          September 23, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
        • Here's the deal

          Au contraire, I'm a former delivery driver (while in college) so I tip very well on the rare occasions that I order out for food. My former employer paid drivers minimum wage to start, and provided us with delivery vehicles. Like most part-time minimum wage jobs, it was not supposed to be a career, so I moved on to something better.

          September 24, 2014 at 10:44 am |
        • Tom

          The fact that you moved on to something better in life has nothing to do with tipping drivers. Nor does your employer providing a vehicle. If the driver pulls up in a car that is clearly not a company car then you are then aware of the situation and know that you should be tipping more than you would otherwise. And most delivery drivers will move on to something better in life but just because they are currently at an entry level job doesn't mean that we should tip them less. Most of us had jobs like that at one point or another and we were happy to have any job at all. People who deliver obviously don't have the luxury of being picky about their employment. No one wants to be a driver when they grow up but even if a millionaire decided to get a second job as a driver it still wouldn't be his responsibility to suffer the costs of my requested delivery.

          September 30, 2014 at 3:42 am |
  7. Tom


    September 19, 2014 at 10:28 pm |
  8. Brendan Spaar

    I didn't know that $5 minimum is the way to tip. I used the same percentage as tipping at a restaurant. I do know that the delivery fee confuses some people. If the tip thing is such an issue & workers aren't getting paid minimum wage or a percentage of the delivery fee, that's unfair. Why haven't the delivery people gotten together to spread the word & work to get the system modified to be fair to the drivers?

    Get a petition started on Change.org or something. Who knows when that pizza delivery guy might be you!

    September 7, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
    • Palaniappan Rajaram

      Why should the delivery people band together and change the system to a fair and equitable one? Isn't it YOUR responsibility as the customer to do that?? Ask Jon below and he will confirm this for you.... :)

      September 8, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
      • Jon

        I know that you can't understand all this complicated talk about money and expenses. But I bet Brendan won't tip less than $5 again now that he knows better. You want to still pretend to be ignorant after having a number of people explain it to you over and over. No one else here thinks the way you do yet you keep digging yourself deeper. It's sad really...

        September 19, 2014 at 3:14 am |
        • Palaniappan Rajaram

          blah bluh blahblah blah blahblah blahbluh ... Oh! Got it Jon! What you are saying makes perfect sense now! NOT!! What is sad is that you don't have the spine to stand up to your employer and ask for a better deal. Instead, you are arguing with the customers of your employer how your pay should be their problem, failing which you will spit in their food. What a pathetic little life you live. Feel sorry for you buddy!

          September 19, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
        • Tom

          You do realize he hasn't been arguing with customers, right? He's arguing with you. Someone who doesn't pay him and apparently wouldn't if they had the chance. I have yet to see a decent or rational point that could possibly change my mind about paying for the service that I've received. You only make snide comments and say it's not fair while these drivers are pulling up statistics and facts for you to learn. This thread is full of people who have admitted that they didn't know and have chosen to change the amount they tip. But you not only refuse to believe the experts from CNN or the delivery drivers themselves but you actually keep coming back to argue. As if you could possibly convince someone that robbing underpaid delivery drivers is the right thing to do. You are literally saying "Hey guys. Lets get these drivers to pay for our stuff and then refuse to pay them for their time or even reimburse what they have spent on us. It's not my fault that they are underpaid so I'm going to take advantage of that as much as possible. And take advantage of the fact that they give me an option of how much to pay. And then I'll make fun of THEM for giving ME cum and spit filled food because the joke is totally on them."

          You see, I'm from NYC. Here people understand tipping. Try not tipping a cab driver and see how far you make it down the block. It's the same with the pizza guys. If you want to take money out of their pockets and gas out of their tanks then they will take it out on your hide. Spit and cum is a relatively nice way of going about this situation. I would do much worse to someone who thinks they can rob me and get away with it.

          September 19, 2014 at 10:57 pm |
      • Driver

        What motivation would the customers have to "band together", as you say? I realize you are being sarcastic, but think about the point you are trying to make. Even if delivery drivers band together and form some kind of union to demand higher wages, this will only hurt the restaurant industry for years to come. Convincing customers that they need to pay a higher price for the food they order, to help pay drivers wages, would be way to confusing for them. Compare it to McDonald's employees demanding a 15$ minimum wage. If that ever happens nation wide, you could expect massive job losses and or dramatic price hikes. Imagine paying 15$ for a combo meal in the drive thru. Every time the mw goes up, whatever number it goes up to, tends to be the new price for the combo meal. I understand the logic you have been putting forth in all of your posts. It is logical. The problem is, we live in an illogical world. All of your pontificating will not change that. Similar to our current president's view of the world as he would like it to be, instead of viewing things THE WAY THEY ACTUALLY ARE. Truthfully, I could go on and on in regards to fallacies of your statements up to this point, however, I'm fairly certain that,like Obama, no amount of reality, will change your mind. In closing,just a reminder, if the service is good, the food is hot and the drinks are cold, please remember to tip you waiter/waitress and your delivery driver. Peace out

        September 23, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
        • Palaniappan Rajaram

          "hurt the restaurant industry for years to come"

          How thoughtful of you and other waitstaff/delivery persons to think of the customers and the restaurant industry! Market has the capacity to indicate what it can bear. One person or segment of the workforce doesn't have to take on that responsibility. To me, your argument is very self-serving. Whether the customer pays you a tip which has the potential to go untaxed or pays the establishment to recover its payroll expense, it is and should be one and the same to the customer. So, how is it that it won't wreck the market and the restaurant industry when I pay you as a tip but it will when I pay as a service tax? In both cases, the customer is going to look at the total cash out of his/her pocket. I'm not saying that you should work for less than minimum wage or be stiffed in any manner. All I'm saying is that it should be more structured and transparent. The reason, as I see it, that you the waitstaff/delivery person don't like the service tax is probably because it won't amount to anything more than the minimum wage set by the government. You probably like the potential for a higher reward with the tip based system. With higher reward your risk goes up as well since some people don't tip or tip well. I'm arguing to remove this uncertainty and to put everything in black and white. Why is this an issue?

          The other argument of yours is that you are ok with status quo while many of the customers are not. That's why you are referring to Obama cuz he wants to, whether he is right or successful or not, change how things are.

          If the combo meal costs $15, either I will pay the amount or choose not to have the combo meal. Either the tip (15%) that I'm paying you is inadequate or the cost of the food won't go up much if the current tip were to be converted into a service fee.

          "Convincing customers that they need to pay a higher price for the food they order, to help pay drivers wages, would be way to confusing for them."
          Really? Does the customer get completely baffled when he now sees the "Delivery fee"? If so, he will learn to live with it when he sees a higher price for the food he gets delivered. If not, he certainly will have the capacity to understand that he is ordering more products from the establishment: food AND delivery.

          In closing, I don't have a problem with tipping but the ever increasing percentage and the attitude displayed by **some** in that line of work makes me not want to be very sympathetic.

          September 23, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
    • Brian

      Over the years, I always tipped 5.00, but starting today, I'm going up to 7.00 on a 25.00 order. Everything is always going up, never down . . The driver deserves it for my laziness on not wanting to cook ;) ;) ;)

      October 8, 2014 at 4:36 pm |
  9. Jon

    I'm a delivery driver. Tipping a percentage doesn't help the driver any. It doesn't matter if you spend five dollars or fifty dollars cuz the driver still ends up using the same amount of gas, spends the same amount of their time, and drives the same distance. People who tip me less than five dollars will get spit in their food next time. Pizza hut has a ten dollar pizza right now so lots of people are only tipping two dollars when it costs me three dollars in gas to get to the closest house, not to mention that they should be paying for my time as well. Last night I made thirty dollars in tips but I used over twenty dollars in gas after working an eight hour shift. I make four fifty and hour. If you include the tips, after gas, then I still make much less than minimum wage. The day before I blew a tire on a delivery. Is your twenty percent going to pay for my new tire? I put my life in danger to get your food to you in less than thirty minutes yet I can't even get the amount of gas I spent back.


    August 21, 2014 at 5:41 am |
    • Mac

      Then you shouldn't be delivering. Since there is already $4 delivery fee added why should I pay an additional $5? Why is your employer taking the deliery fee? They still make the pizza for the same amoun, inside carryout or delivery. Now on your logic, I am paying $10 for a pizza and $9 for delivery for a grand total of $19 before taxes? You are not worth it and neither is PH

      September 6, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
      • Palaniappan Rajaram

        Mac, how irresponsible of you?! Don't you know that you are supposed to fund Jon's retirement account each time you order pizza?? He is doing you a HUGE favor by taking up the delivery job and you are sitting here adding $10 and $9! tsk.. tsk.. tsk... Stop asking questions and pay whatever Jon says that you "owe" him. Ok?

        September 7, 2014 at 11:44 am |
      • Driver

        Here's a tid-bit of info I haven't heard mentioned yet; All these pizza places are paying their drivers less money right now than they did over a decade ago, and all the expenses involved in doing the job( car,gas,insurance,repairs,maintenance) are 3 times as much as when the job was much cheaper to do. Yet, customers still tip as if they still live in 1998. If u want to give a circa 1998 tip, you should just pick it up yourself. Obviously, saving money is very important to you, picking up will save you a few more dollars and no one will be upset at not getting tipped.

        September 9, 2014 at 8:22 am |
        • Jon

          Driver. How irresponsible of you. Don't you know that we make these people order delivery? They have no other options. Regardless of what the right thing to do is, they should be able to pay whatever they want. It's the employers fault for not paying us more. The driver is the one who is responsible for keeping their pockets full of money while they get extra services.

          YOU MUST BE KIDDING ME. You are the one who ordered delivery. I never asked you to do that. MOST people know how to tip. I use my own car that I'm paying for weekly, I pay for car insurance plus delivery insurance, I put almost 100 miles a night on my car delivering pizza which mean I end up getting a lot of repairs on it, and I pay for all that gas that was used to deliver these pizzas. How in the world is it my responsibility to pay for your laziness and cheapness?

          You now know what a driver gets paid per hour and that they also have all the other expenses just to get you your delivery. Ignorance is no longer an excuse. If you order delivery then you should pay the price. Or do you get your food at a restaurant and then leave without paying because you think it's not your responsibility to pay for the services you've received? You go to a movie and you pay the price of admission. There is no discussion about weather or not it's fair. If you don't think it's fair then you don't go see the movie. But because they give you an option of how much to pay you decide to pay less? Why order delivery then if you refuse to give back what others have spent on you and knowingly hurt them? It shouldn't be this way, but in this case it's just one bad apple that spoils the whole bunch.

          September 19, 2014 at 3:05 am |
        • Palaniappan Rajaram

          "You are the one who ordered delivery. I never asked you to do that"

          Really? Does the customer call and ask for Jon and then place an order for delivery? You are nowhere in the picture. Your employer sends you to make the delivery. Talk to that person about how little you make. Your responsibility is in finding yourself a better job and stop bitching and moaning to people who have NO relationship with you. Whatever they give as tip, you should quietly take it and leave. Don't look the gift horse in the mouth.

          "You go to a movie and you pay the price of admission. There is no discussion about weather or not it’s fair."

          Ha HA! When one goes to the movie, the theater quotes the price X and the customer pays that amount. The guy behind the counter doesn't tell the customer sob stories about how little the theater pays him and that the customer should make up the rest and doesn't threaten to lick the ticket before giving it to the customer.

          "You now know what a driver gets paid per hour and that they also have all the other expenses just to get you your delivery. Ignorance is no longer an excuse."

          Oh, I get it. These are facts because you said so, right? .. !@#@*@!!

          September 19, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
      • Driver

        Mac, you want to know why the driver's company is charging the 4$ delivery fee and not giving that fee (or a portion of it) to the driver. Aside from the company being greedy and not really caring at all about the drivers, over the past fews years or so, food costs for the restaurants have skyrocketed and will continue to do so unless fuel prices drop down to a more fair price. ( and stay there ) The price of gas and diesel, over time, has had an extremely negative effect on company profits. Paying to have the food and supplies delivered, that are needed to keep the restaurant operating, is now at a level that has required a major revamp in the pay structure for employees (the Brunt of the cuts has been put mostly on the drivers, based mainly on the probability of them receiving tips to supplement the new unreasonable hourly pay they receive). Business owners have no reason to operate unless they are able to make profit. They will either find a way to make a profit or cut their losses and liquidate. Regardless of the fairness of paying drivers less money, if the company wants to continue to operate and make a profit , they will lower their most controllable expense, which is employee pay. In addition to asininely low pay they ( the drivers ) receive, that 3-4$ delivery fee being charged to you goes directly to pay each hour that the drivers work. Essentially, every time a customer orders a delivery they are paying for one hour of compensation on the drivers pay check. If the driver takes 3-4 deliveries an hour, the company gets to keep that 9-12$s above the 4$ that goes to the driver. This helps pay the company's newly jacked up operating costs, while at the same time earning them a small bit of profit. Regardless of economic reports that indicate that things are getting better, they really aren't. So many are struggling to find jobs and keep their heads above water, they will take any job that is available. The fact that I'm reasonably sure that you may have previously been unaware of this, in my view, excuses you for not wanting to properly compensate a driver who brings you some hot pizza, so that you can chill at the hizzie and check out what's on Netflix. It's totally understandable, I know you have principles and that's admirable. Hopefully, in the future, things will improve economically and we can all go back to a more reasonable scale of all around acceptable fair-priced, hot, delivered food. However, if, after reading my reply, you have a more enlightened view of what's going on, I hope you will make the decision to either splurge a bit and try to make the poor bastard, who is literally risking his/her life to satisfy your hunger, just a little easier. If you dont have an extra 5 bucks to do so, sacrifice 10 minutes of your life and go pick it up yourself. You seem like an intelligent person, be proud, that destinction puts you in the elite minority. There are plenty of embicilles who don't have a chance in hell of understanding one bit of this reply. I, for one don't think you are one them. Armed with this knowledge, I have a really good felling you will do the right thing. If you don't, what the hell!?!?!?,right, it's a free country ( for now ) and you have every right to make the wrong decision. Party on

        September 24, 2014 at 2:15 am |
  10. Tom

    Tipping a percentage is a rip off for a deliver driver. I order Pizza Hut on a regular basis and tipped $5 for $20 of food every time but eventually asked the driver how much I should be tipping. I found out that the $5 that I thought was generous was actually minimum. He explained to me my misunderstandings and explained to me a very detailed way to tip a driver.

    1) The company does add a deliver charge of $3 which the driver doesn't get a cent of. If your driver does see some of it then you can discount it from your tip.
    2) The companies do not give their drivers money for gas. If you don't tip your driver at all then they actually paid for your delivery after using that gas.
    3) Drivers don't make minimum wage and expect you to makeup the difference.

    The way you decide how much tip your driver is by finding out how much they make an hour and add however much to make it minimum wage and then add gas on top. If you have a large order or a specific and difficult order then you add more. And then ask how much of the delivery charge they get. Plus you should keep in mind the danger in their jobs and the wear and tear on their vehicles. Some people think it's a rip-off to tip this much and those people shouldn't order delivery any more. Don't make your driver pay for your cheapness and laziness. Go pickup your delivery instead.

    So say your driver makes $4 an hour, and drove about 3 miles to give you your food, then you add the $3 to make it minimum wage plus $2 or $3 for gas. That is minimum. Some drivers make less and some people live farther from the restaurant so $5 would be the very least you should tip.

    August 21, 2014 at 5:27 am |
    • Jon

      Very true but you arent just tipping for the driver to your house. You should be paying for the drivers gas to get there and back.

      August 21, 2014 at 5:51 am |
      • Palaniappan Rajaram

        How about the customer .. wait.... each customer pays for the driver to get to the pizza place from his/her home? May be the customer should pay for all expenses the driver's parents had borne to raise him/her from birth 'cuz without that the driver wouldn't be bringing pizza to the customer today.

        Jon, if this job is not economically viable for you, go find another job.

        August 21, 2014 at 7:10 am |
        • Jon

          Is it so incomprehensible that people might actually pay for what they get? Most people do.

          And no you don't pay for them to leave their own home. You pay for them to leave the store and get to your house and back to the store. You should pay for all expenses that the driver has to endure to get your food to you plus extra for their time.

          August 22, 2014 at 3:55 am |
        • Cannery Row

          Jon, it's obvious that reading comp wasn't your major.

          August 22, 2014 at 6:43 am |
        • Tom

          Wow Cannery. Are we really resorting to trolling? All though I have to admit it is pretty funny that someone might think they could see spit on their pizza. Can you see the seaman in your marinara sauce as well?

          Nothing Jon has said is incorrect. Any expense paid by the delivery driver should be reimbursed. Since you already know that the franchise isn't going to pay it before you order delivery (whether you think it's fair or not) then you should be prepared to give whatever it takes. You could pick your food up but instead you ordered delivery and would rather someone else pay for it. Anyone who is being timed while driving should be given more than extra change at the bottom of your pocket. They are endangering their lives and cars for your hunger and should be paid accordingly.

          Half the problem is that you all think a tip is a gift because it isn't mandatory. Delivery is a luxury and expensive. If you don't have enough money to give a luxurious tip then get in your own car and pick it up yourself. Or starve.

          August 25, 2014 at 3:13 am |
        • annonymous

          Well stated Tom. Finally a reasonable, unemotional response.

          August 25, 2014 at 6:24 am |
        • Jon

          I never said I didn't make money at this job and I also didn't say anything about you paying me to leave my own home. This Palaniappan Rajaram person keeps making stuff up just to argue. I haven't read a comment by him/her that actually made a reasonable argument on this entire page. The worst thing was when PR said we should complain to the company. You are the one who orders deliver when you already knew the cost. You know before you order that the driver is paying for their own gas and doesn't make minimum wage. You know that you have the option to pick up your food but decides to rip someone off instead. You are the one who is cheating the system and you are the one who gets spit in your food without even knowing it. It is hilarious that you think you would know when someone spit in your food. Good luck explaining that one lol

          Palaniappan Rajaram has had tons of comments to his/her posts and hasn't replied to one of the challenges to theories. Although, I have to admit, if I was the one making these outlandish comments I don't think I would want to respond either.

          August 28, 2014 at 5:05 am |
      • Jamie Jane

        Jon: most places with delivery have a 5 mile radius. Even if all you were delivering in that trip was my personal food that's only a 10 mile round trip. Assuming your car gets at least 20 mpg that's 1/2 a gallon... Or around $1.50 in gas. Most of the time the delivery person is taking food to multiple people at once. Assuming you are delivering to several people at once & you're smart enough to plan your trip correctly lets say you're making 3 deliveries and you're driving 15 miles. That's still less than 1 gallon of gas for 3 people. So if you want me to pay you for gas that'd be more like 80 cents in gas. Why in the world should I pay you $3 for gas a tip for your time? If you weren't making $ doing delivery you would've stopped long ago.

        And if I found spit in my food I would be calling your boss & the health department. I don't mind tipping but I'm not going to pay 2xs the amount of what my food actually costs to get it delivered. At that point I might as well schlep out there & pick it up myself. $6 tip on $10 worth of food? Get real.

        August 21, 2014 at 9:05 am |
        • Jon

          LOL That's half my point. If you don't want to pay the driver what they deserve then go pick it up. Quit being a lazy ass or quit being to cheap. Pick one. I deliver pizza for extra cash and I do fine in my day job, I'm more worried about the drivers around me who depend on this money to feed their kids. Drivers who work for pizza hut aren't allowed to take more than 1 delivery at a time because of timed productivity sheets. And you are going to pay a driver less just because you want to make an assumption that they are delivering to more people? Are you really that cheap? It's disgusting.

          My job is profitable when I deliver to people who understand how much it costs to pay for gas and maintain a vehicle. Not all people are smart enough to understand that. I just wish I could actually explain this to people who think it's okay to tip three dollars.

          BTW The farthest delivery on my work map is 11 miles from the store. So drivers have to drive 22 miles round trip for 3 dollars? That won't even cover gas let alone time. I average 12 deliveries a night and drive about 80 miles. Most of the time I'll have about $50 after gas. A driver should make close to $10 an hour after gas expenses. Most of the time we do, but again, some people aren't smart enough to understand and those same people aren't smart enough to understand that you can't see spit in your food. LOL

          August 22, 2014 at 4:14 am |
        • Tom

          That's ridiculous to think that you should tip less because you have made the assumption that the driver is delivering to other customers in the same trip. Your food isn't carpooling with other pizzas. You should pay for your delivery and yours alone. You pay for the time, gas, and service. It isn't rocket science people. Delivery isn't cheap. Stop trying to giving excuses to make tipping sound convenient because it isn't. Delivery isn't cheap, though maybe you are. If that's the case then pick your food up. Anything below $5 is just insulting.

          The premise for the thread was not to get people to tip less. It was to inform cheap ignorant bastards how little they were tipping in the first place. Instead you all come here to argue the point?

          August 25, 2014 at 3:22 am |
  11. Caroline

    No, if you order 1,000$ in wine or a plate of 60$ tuna you still should tip 20%. Usually at places where there are high prices like this you're paying for the presentation, not the food. ALSO in places such as these most servers have to tip out based on their SALES, not their tips. So say you tip 10$ on that 1,000$ bottle of wine and the server has to tip out 3% (which in most cases is what it is) which equals 30 dollars you have now cost that server money, 20 dollars of money. Meaning they paid the host or bartender money while they worked for free, NOT COOL! And side note, if you come into a restaurant using a 25$ coupon or any coupon in general, it's proper etiquette is to tip based on the original balance, not the discounted price. The server still served you 50$ worth of service so why would it be okay to tip on 25$???

    June 18, 2014 at 11:45 pm |
    • Palaniappan Rajaram

      – Presentation is part of the cost of the product. Tip should be based on service and should be OPTIONAL!!!
      – We have heard this same song and dance a 1000 times that the servers are required to tip out based on their sales. Well, that is a BAD SYSTEM that they are willingly working in. That is not and should not be the customer's problem.
      – "they paid the host or bartender money while they worked for free" ... again, the waiter chose to do that. The customer didn't bring in that practice.
      – If you want to tip 20 or 200%, that is entirely your choice and feel free to do that. But, you do not get to make that a blanket rule and look down upon others who do not share your viewpoint.
      – How about if I ordered expensive caviar worth $5000? Should I fork out $1000 to the waiter who brought it over to me and may be while I'm at it, fund his/her new house?
      – "The server still served you $50 worth of service ..." The contract is between the customer and the establishment owner. It is not between the customer and the server. So, it doesn't matter whether he/she provided you with a product (not service) that is worth $50.

      June 19, 2014 at 9:21 am |
      • John Irby

        Please, for the love of god DO NOT ever EAT OUT AGAIN! Servers live on tips. If you think tipping is optional than DON'T EAT OUT! PERIOD. Don't order delivery either. My fiance gets paid just enough on her delivery job to pay for gas, stiffing her means she DOESN'T GET PAID!

        July 30, 2014 at 11:43 am |
        • Palaniappan Rajaram

          "Servers live on tips" .. This is the same story I have heard over and over and over again. Your logic is "I need the money, so pay me". That is stupid! Everyone needs to make a living but everyone should work towards putting together a system that is fair to EVERYBODY! Just because you find the customers easy to get money from, it doesn't mean that you should. The establishment creates that system because it is easy for them to push the responsibility on to the customer. Let them pay their workers a proper wage and bake that into the cost of the product.

          "DON'T EAT OUT! PERIOD" ... This, my dear Johnny boy, is not for YOU or your fiance to say. My contract is with the establishment and not with the server or the delivery person. Tipping in general is getting waaaaay out of hand. Ever increasing percentages, expectation of tip even when it is carry out .... it never ends.

          Ask your fiance to tell her employer that he/she needs to pay for gas. Ask her to change the bad system that she gladly accepted. Stop crying to the customer.

          I do tip and tip well but this DEMAND that you be tipped is very off-putting and I will never tolerate that. If you don't like it, do find another line of work.

          July 30, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
        • me,myself and i

          contract between you and server = tip
          contract between you and restaurant = subtotal + tax

          July 30, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
        • Palaniappan Rajaram

          Yea? Show me that contract which you claim exists between me and the server. You demand and you will get NOTHING!! You do your job and go on about your business, may be I will give you something. Got it?

          August 2, 2014 at 5:47 pm |
      • Jon

        That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. You decided to go to a place where they serve your food so you should be prepared to tip what's required. If you don't like it then don't go. No one is making you eat out. Buy your own food next time before wasting someones time.

        August 21, 2014 at 5:45 am |
        • Palaniappan Rajaram

          Put the "mandatory" tip as a service fee on the check and I will pay it. Before you read out today's specials, tell the patrons that they have to pay a minimum tip of 20% of the food and beverage cost, regardless of the quality of the food/service. Then you can claim "if you don't like it, then don't eat". Otherwise, do your job well and get paid whatever the customer feels like.

          No one is making you work for tips either. Remember? You chose to accept that work.

          August 21, 2014 at 7:17 am |
  12. sununderclouds

    Today after I tipped my regular standard $5 for driving down the street to where I work I jumped online to see if I was tipping too much or too little. This driver said, thanks for the tip. No driver has ever thanked me before.

    As to some prior comments – yes ordering online keeps my fat a$$ from having to cook or multi task beyond what I choose to handle. But sometimes I second guess whether I should even order with all the spitting comments. The thought grosses me out.

    And to those who don't tip – get off your fat a$$ or high horse and get tipping.

    I once worked as a waitress in the same company (diff location) as I now order from and the other waitresses ALWAYS sat the non-tippers in my section b/c I was ALWAYS polite and respectful and never treated those people or their children any different from those who tipped – but who do you think had to get extensions on the light bill or go with out groceries at home? It wasn't the other waitresses or the non-tipping customers.

    I will keep tipping the usual $5 for now.

    May 28, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
  13. XXX

    This is really inaccurate. Most of this sounds more like what to tip if you want spit in your food. I had to stop reading because it got worse and worse. We usually deliver 15-20$ worth of food and 3 is the absolute minimum that doesn't get spit. And yes there is a "no tip list' hanging in our store with all the names/addresses of those who continuously tip bad.

    April 14, 2014 at 1:49 am |
  14. JD

    The fact many non-Red states even waiters make at least minimum wage. There isn't a special lower rate like in say Texas were it could be as low as 2 something an hour. In California, New York or basically any state that voted Obama they get at least minimum age. So ask yourself, do these people deserve more than say someone who's working in some movie theater or fast food restaurant.
    I think delivering things is an easier job, at least you're in your car and can listen to music along the way. As long as they are getting compensated for gas, etc. And that's probably coming from the delievery fee.

    April 11, 2014 at 9:34 pm |
    • GG

      You clearly have no clue what you are talking about. Waiters in NY make below minimum wage (it's like $5 and change I believe). Waiters rely on tips to make a fare wage.

      Experience as both a waiter and restaurant owner

      April 25, 2014 at 11:52 pm |
  15. KLJ86_SadDriver

    OK I do agree with most of it to an extent.
    As a delivery driver I don't get more then
    $20 a day as my min. wage. After that its up to you.
    When you travel 10 miles for a 60¢ tip on $50 order it tends to make you want to tell them a thing or two. But as a representative of a company you keep your mouth shut to keep your job. Especially in this economic downfall Obama has put us in we really need to appreciate this service everyone takes for granted.

    This is what I go thru on a daily basis.
    Surviving the idiots on road for 10 mile to the destination, using up half a gallon of gas just to get there, once I get there I either watch them count pennies or stand there for 20 minute for the customer to come out of their office building. Once I have received money I head back to the restaurant. Using up the rest of that gallon of gas.livew gas these days are anywhere between $3-$5 depending on where you live.

    Today my thermostat on my truck when that cost $18 there goes my base pay, oh and my day got cut in half because of this issue so cut that base pay in half. My first 3 tips of the day were 60¢ on a $50 order, 1.77 on a $25 order and a big fat $0¢ on a $60 order. I made a whopping $15 tonight.

    Now I'm glad that I don't have children because this IS the ONLY job available for the last 2 years and a driving position was my last hope. I love my job, I meet wonderful new people everyday, I'm saving that single mother of 4 from cooking dinner after getting off a 12hr shift. The host of the party that forgot to feed the guests, that class full of 8 year olds that all got 100% on their spelling and math tests. I'm not by any means. Over glorifing a job any idiot can do. But I would like to point out that if it wasn't for me your fat a$$ would have to cook and clean and still manage everything else you had to do. Or maybe you would have to take your moo moo off and get your food your damn self. Ill trip over something in your yard and knock on the door again to apologize for breaking it, or tell you to becareful because the bag is full of wing grease that the ash hole that loaded the bag did. (And yes most times someone else bags the food not the drivers) Like ruining my upholstery because some didn't check the Togo box for the giant hole in the bottom. I'm the one that helps you catch your dog when it gets lose, I'm the one that makes sure your baby dont run in the street because you left your door open. I'm the one that grabs extra dressing for your salad because you've told me you like it.

    I was brought up by hard working americans that taught their children about respecting each other and to be generous especially when it comes to your food.

    Basically no one should ever receive less them $3 tip. And for those of you who don't think I deserve a tip...everyone has to start somewhere, especially if your one of the that have start all over from the bottom.

    March 29, 2014 at 6:24 am |
    • Delivery driver

      SadDriver, if I might ask, what part of the country do you live in? I'm asking because your hourly wage sounds ridiculously low. I'm in Florida and the lowest wage around here for delivery is like 4.50hr, while on delivery and 7.50hr, when working inside. Just wondering so I can make a note to never move there. Btw, a 10 mile delivery area is completely stupid. Without some sort of hourly raise and/or a delivery fee for you to keep, by my calculations, I think you may be spending money instead of making it. Also,what do you deliver?....pizza, steak,chinese? Lastly, don't sell yourself short, I've been delivering a long time and trust me, "any idiot" cannot do your job. I've seen quite a few intelligent folks give up after the first day.

      March 30, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
  16. ryan

    I usually just give them the chang if a order is $42 I give them a 50 and say keep the change this is because its easier and a lot of times the tips are what delivery drivers count on

    March 6, 2014 at 11:53 pm |
  17. comida a domicilio


    IT seems like every week now where there’s one holiday or another to celebrate, cook for or plan around. This time we’ve got Valentine’s Day popping up on the calendar, which means for those of you with significant others it’s Go-time for hurriedly surfing Amazon, checking out how many month’s salary a bouquet of roses is going to cost and subjecting yourself to the frustration of trying to make last-minute reservations. Well, from the team here at Delivery Hero, we wish you the best of luck! This guide, however, is for those of you that will be staying at home and commiserating over a bucket of Cookie Dough ice-cream. We’ve got a few takeaway suggestions to go with some classic movies that will help you win at Valentine’s Day…

    February 27, 2014 at 5:19 am |
  18. Thinking things through

    I seldom get food delivery, but i did last week in western Pennsylvania when I was travelling through, and had to stop due to snow at a motel earlier than I thought I'd stop. I was informed by the desk that several establishments delivered food, so I ordered pizza. I overtipped for the convenience. (I can tell, because the guy smiled happily on receipt of his tip, from someone at a motel he was not likely ever to see again.)

    February 23, 2014 at 9:01 am |
  19. adam

    Gas is $4 a gallon where I live. I get minimum wage, none of the delivery charge, taxed, my tips are taxed, we pay for insurance, taxes on our cars, wear and tear, drive through bad weather and dangerous areas, you need to tip. I took an $800 catering order the other day and got a $30 tip. That sort of thing makes us go slow. If we know you're a bad tipper we take everyone else's orders first, drive legally slow to your house, and are curt. Why bother? If you show us you don't respect us we'll return the favor.

    February 4, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
    • Dan

      Adam, you are absolutely correct. However, until restaurants make it a priority to explain the tipping system to its patrons (and even that won't have a huge impact) people will continue to game the system. I have delivered for years, (pizza, Chinese, steak houses) if people aren't told (about the need to tip) from a young age or have never done or know someone who has delivered they will never tip. It is simply seen as money they are saving, if they even think about it at all. In fact I would wager that if the restaurant gave them free food delivered for life, they still would not tip. Shameful

      February 12, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
      • Palaniappan Rajaram

        What is shameful is that you have been raised to expect that if you are nice to people then that action should translate into $$s. Instead, if your parents had taught you to be nice to others without any expectation and then ask the appropriate person for a raise when and where you deserve one, you wouldn't be going around talking about how shameful it is not to tip or to tip "poorly" according to you.

        People, I believe you meant the customers, are not gaming any system. The one who is screwing you royally is the employer to whom you don't have the guts to complain. The restaurants don't have to explain the tipping system to its patrons. They just have to add a service fee to the check and pay you at least the federal minimum wage. Then, the customers can decide where to eat. What you, the waitstaff or the delivery drivers, want and like are the higher returns which accompany the unknown i.e. the tip being optional and people tipping you an increasingly higher percentage. You should know that with any unknown with higher rewards, the risk is higher as well i.e. some people will either not tip or tip an amount that YOU deem as inadequate. The contract is between the establishment and the patron and NOT with the service folks. It is not a very difficult concept to understand.

        Other than you people's expectation that the customers should absolutely tip, no matter the service quality, what I find more laughable is this expectation that the tip has to be 15..18% or higher! Not one person has provided a rational explanation as to why the tip percentage has to climb.

        February 22, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
        • Dan

          I never said anything about being nice translating into $, it seems you came up with that on your own. No matter how much it pains me, I'm nice to my customers whether they tip or not, that's just part of the gig. Believe it or not sometimes it translates into $ in the future. When I was growing up, I guess we were sort of poor because I can only recall getting food delivered a few times, it was definitely a rarity. In the beginning of my working career, I did jobs that were considered "raise worthy". Generally jobs based on tips are not classified as such. In fact, recently most pizza places no longer pay minimum wage but instead, about two-thirds of that(while physically out on delivery). There is basically no possibility of a raise unless you go into management(which is not worth it, I've done it). As to your remark about "us" looking for higher returns, that's true, but take this into account: A fair wage for a delivery driver or wait staff member would be somewhere between 15 and 20 $ an hour( considering what those two jobs intail). In order for the employer to pay that much the price of your food would have to double, possibly triple. Would you be willing to pay as much as three times what you currently do, just to avoid a tip? Finally as tipped workers we do not expect a tip every time, we know when our service may be considered inadequate(hey,nobody's perfect). However, when the service is good, and there is no tip, that's not right. If you're trying to save a buck avoid restaurants and delivery entirely, there are plenty of other options. Thanks for your input on the subject, however misguided it may be.

          February 22, 2014 at 11:30 pm |
    • Delivery driver

      At my place if we are dead slow and I get a delivery to someone I know has never tipped in years, I will quote them 45 min delivery time and even if they are 2 blocks away, I'll drive around until its almost late and arrive just in time. I'll give them dozens of chances to tip before I resort to this practice. Having been around drivers in numerous different places, i can tell you this is a very mild retaliation, however I've heard many others say that they have done far worse, I'm just too nice to ever spit in anyone's food. Anyone out there who doesn't tip needs to be well aware of this and either start tipping or pick it up yourself. Not all drivers are as nice as I am.

      February 20, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
      • Palaniappan Rajaram

        That is passive aggression. If this is such a big problem for you, why don't you, with the same amount of aggression, talk to your employer and DEMAND that he/she charge the delivery customers a specific amount that is set aside for the driver as tips? If you don't have the stomach to do that, then you should continue to let yourself be at the mercy of the customers and accept whatever tip (you know, the amount which is entirely OPTIONAL and at the discretion of the customer) they give you. You may be better than those other drivers who spit on the food or do other things which are indicative of their very poor and classless upbringing but your behavior is not so much better than theirs that you can feel proud of it.

        "Anyone out there who doesn’t tip needs to be well aware of this and either start tipping or pick it up yourself." <– This statement is not yours to make i.e. the delivery drivers. The company which hired you offers a service and doesn't tell the customers that a tip is not a tip but a mandatory service fee. If they did the latter (you should tell your company to do that) then you won't be begging for tips. All of you waitstaff and delivery folks are barking up the wrong tree. TALK TO YOUR EMPLOYERS!!!

        February 22, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
        • Delivery driver

          Before gas went way high, (4$ a gallon) my place didn't charge a delivery fee. Now it's a 1$ charge, of which I get half. Even though gas has gone down a bit, the delivery fee has stayed in place. There were just as many customers not tipping without the fee as with the fee. I,along with many others,have requested that we receive a fair charge from the customer that we would get to keep, so as to not have to rely on a tip,but without some kind of union being formed, that will never happen. I enjoy my job,even when I don't make much money. I like to drive around and not have a superior constantly breathing down my neck. Like any other position, it has pros and cons. By and large I do much better than others with similarly low skilled positions. You seem to be trying to justify to yourself that you are indisputably correct when in reality you are just a cheapskate. If you don't want to tip a driver, buy a car so you can go pick up the food yourself. If you don't want to tip the waitstaff learn how to cook for yourself. Somehow I get the feeling that I won't be convincing you any time soon. It's a bit difficult to imagine that there are many others with opinions such as yours, I can only assume that you have never worked a similar job or had a close friend/family member that did. If you did,perhaps you might have a better understanding .

          February 23, 2014 at 2:54 am |
      • What?

        So you'd rather waste the company's and other patrons time, your gas, and durability on your car just to spite a non tipper? Sounds like a bad employee. Be thankful you have a job in this economy you unimaginable shit.

        March 5, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • Delivery driver

          I am grateful to have a job in this economy. Had it for 15 years. I think if I was wasting so much time theyd have fired me by now.Yeah, I know it sounds horrible but believe it or not,sometimes the non-tipping customer will stop ordering, making my actions justified. Obviously i dont have to resort to this very often but its effectiveness is undeniable.The owner of the establishment has had his/her time wasted by customers who don't tip as well. What's that you say? Why would they care? Here's why. First, people who don't tip, usually order the least amount of food they can. If most of the delivery orders that come in are for small amounts, the restaurant is doing a lot of work for very little profit. Second,if customers don't tip much or often, the drivers will quit. Delivering is an expensive job. If you don't manage your money and save for repairs and maintenance your done. Without enough tips you can't save anything. For every 5 drivers we get 4 of them are done in less than a year. Hiring and training people is not free. I am not a bad employee, I'm the best employee

          March 10, 2014 at 6:04 pm |
  20. Private personal training Long Island

    I'm a 20% to 25% tipper.

    January 24, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
  21. jelo

    Tip should be whatever the current price per gallon of gasoline plus a few bucks.

    January 19, 2014 at 12:20 am |
  22. Food Delivery Guy

    I worked for a restaurant as a food delivery guy. I am not a racialist, however 9 out of 10 Obama’s relatives don’t tip even in a very bad weather conditions.

    January 18, 2014 at 11:52 pm |
    • keem

      obama relatives..do you mean his White side, in which he was raised? or his african side?
      i think its economic scales. pretty sure if you deliver to a middle class- mixed ( all races) they will tip about the same. but if you are delivering to working poor, or lower class, whether black, white or whomever, or projects to trailer parks- they will tip the bare minimum.

      February 14, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
      • Jamie Jane

        My sister used to work at a bar, she said she hated it when black guys came in because they never tipped you unless you too were black. This was a college town, had nothing to do with economic conditions.

        February 14, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
        • Delivery driver

          In my experience it is somewhat true that African-Americans are less-likely to tip but I don't believe that it's based on economics. I think it's more of a philosophy, that is, its something that is not required, so they simply don't do it. Of course with anything this is not always the case. Many of my minority customers tip very well, it's just that by and large a majority of them do not. I've delivered to many lower class individuals who in fact tip much better than upper class ones. I've considered the reason for this over many years and have come to the conclusion that the lower class identify more and have more respect for the type of work I'm doing, while the upper class tend to look down on me. It is far more rare that I get a decent tip from a "rich" person than from a "poor" one. If anyone is wondering why I continue to do this job in spite being looked down upon, it is because I truly enjoy it much more than previous higher paying positions I've occupied.

          February 20, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
  23. Bobby P

    One daughter's first real (Non-babysitting) job was as a waitress. Often, after I picked her up, she would talk about customers and tippers and jerks and such, on our way home. That gave me (A cheapskate, even when I wasn't too broke to add a tip.) a new perspective on tipping, and a new appreciation of those who should be tipped.

    For the past decade or so, my wife and I have arbitrarily left grossly disproportionate tips on occasion. One time, we even did the sort of trite $100 tip on a trifling check.

    That said, we usually have a closer to conventional approach to tipping on a day to day basis. We still lean toward generosity, rather than hewing to some mathematical formula. 20% has been our basis for a long, long time. Occasionally, if the job isn't all that hot (no pun intended), we may slide down toward 15%.

    To give a bit of an edge, in case my math might slight someone, I round up all totals. Check for 3.98 or for 3.08 – rounded up to $4.00 - THEN the tip is calculated - and rounded up again - for a $5.00 total. Obviously, in this instance, there would be a significant disparity in the two tips. However, if you factor in the concept of arbitrarily over tipping, it all works out. And, on a more normal bill of $20 or $50, the extra $1 or $2 dollars isn't that significant. This rounding has an added benefit. If a restaurant charge shows up with any uneven amount, it is a target for scrutiny, and thus easier to notice/catch a fraudulent charge. Or a careless spouse. :)

    More often than 15%, but still infrequently, we may slide toward a target of 25%. Even higher, with the rare 50 – 100% on a small bill. If we would tip the same waitress in the same restaurant $10 on a $50 meal, it seems wrong to tip only $1.00 on a $5.00 dessert.

    So, for pizza delivery, I think around $5.00 should be the minimum. I live in suburban Houston, and driving here from the store is neither quick nor cheap. The average cost to operate a motor vehicle (Tires, Taxes, Insurance, and such in addition to gasoline.) is 60 cents per mile. $.60 X 4 miles = $2.40. So, if the distance is only two miles, the operating costs will gobble up half of a $5.00 tip. Obviously, if the trip is 8 miles round trip, the driver only winds up with a dime or two.

    Think about it: YOU would be paying the same 60 cents per mile, if you went to pick up the pizza!! So, as a minimum, the driver should get his mileage plus a couple of dollars. On a large order, there should be a large increase in the tip.

    If you would tip 15 – 20% in a restaurant, you should tip that PLUS the mileage. After all, you're sitting in the comfort of your home, and someone else is not only physically bringing you the food, as they would in the restaurant, but also paying the cost of the trip out of his own pocket. In a restaurant, a waiter/waitress can cover several tables at once. While a delivery driver may be able to make several stops in a given trip, the number of deliveries per hour is probably lower than the number of restaurant customers per hour.

    It's easy to think a delivery person should get the same - or less than - a server in a restaurant. It's easy to be wrong about a lot of other things, too. Use Mapquest. Find out how far the driver has to drive to you from the store. Pay for the operating expense - then add a tip.

    It's already been mentioned, but also easy to forget: Weather. As I was reading the article, while waiting for a delivery, I realized it was raining. Grabbed a bit more cash to hand the guy. The night before we - like everywhere else in the country - were beset by a record setting vortex of frigidity. I hope I would have considered that, if my order had been 24 hours earlier.

    January 9, 2014 at 9:18 am |
  24. bob

    "Shooting the messenger," as you say, is completely ridiculous. Other have mentioned it is often the employees who work the counter or in-store who misquote times and forget to bag items for the driver(s). So lets say its snowing and the roads are sh!t and there is only one driver working... yeah, your order is going to take longer and if you didn't speak to the person bringing your food then you aren't getting an accurate time. Quoting accurate times can actually be quite difficult if you don't understand the delivery area, road conditions, etc.

    Delivery fees typically do no go directly to the driver. The store I work at charges about $0.50 per item which I receive one of. For example, someone orders 10 things I do not receive $5.00, I receive $0.50 (on my paycheck, not in my hand).

    Tipping a person who is using a bike/walking more than someone using a vehicle is also ridiculous. For one, its not always feasible to use a bike or walk depending on the delivery range.

    Where I work receiving a $2.00 tip can be considered "decent" because people typically tip less than that (often times if a person's order is something like $19.14 they will hand you a twenty and basically tell you to f**k off). Its ridiculous that people still ask, "is it customary to tip?"

    "$3 for up to $15 of food, $5 for up to $25, and so on. I think 10-15% is a good start. Restaurant employees, of course, will argue for more." – This is an excellent scale and the people who are arguing for more? They are morons and don't realize how good they actually have it.

    Bottom line: if you can't tip don't order because you can't afford to eat at a restaurant. And if you live close to a store where you are ordering delivery and don't tip go pick it up yourself you lazy piece of sh!t.

    December 18, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
    • Josh

      Like your analysis. I worked delivery for a while in my late teens and into my mid twenties. I was pretty good at it. We had a 5 mile radius (maybe more?), and delivered in all sorts of conditions. While a buck or two was okay, three+ was really what made the night worth it. We also did work in-store, including dishes, floors, phones, making pies, etc... Made about minimum wage at the time +tips. There were no delivery fees at the time, but I did get $0.50 per run. Vehicle upkeep can be expensive! I was putting a lot of miles on my vehicle(s). I'm seriously glad I am not in the service industry any longer, and I try to remember those days when it comes time to calculate a tip....

      December 19, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
      • Josh

        ***Don't forget that technically, if you talk to your insurance company, you're supposed to carry commercial insurance (at least that's what they told me back then), which is A LOT more expensive than personal vehicle insurance.

        December 19, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • springsgranny

      BOB> Maybe your biggest problem is your gutter mouth!

      December 26, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
  25. Ty

    As a delivery driver myself i have a few comments on this. Most of us only make 3-4 dollars an hour. Most of us do not see any part of the delivery charge added onto a bill. A lot of times late deliveries are a result of understaffed stores or overworked drivers. Most drivers know what their doing and route themselves, knowing the quickest and most efficient order to deliver the food. Most counters or phone staff do not have any knowledge of where a driver is at any given time, therefore they are generally trained to quote times depending on amount of orders, not location of the delivery. Example, normal quote time is 35-45 minutes. if its busy it goes up to 45-55 minutes. This can sometimes result in multiple deliveries scheduled to arrive at the same time, usually leaving a customer or two irritated by a slightly longer wait than quoted. We try to make up for this on the road by using driver techniques we learn over time, but those can only do so much. The biggest thing, and i can't stress this enough, is most drivers remember both good and bad tippers. Whats more is we talk to our fellow drivers about those tippers and make mental notes. I still rush on all my deliveries, but good tippers do take priority over bad tippers when planning a route. I cannot speak for all drivers, only myself and those i have spoken to, but i will never tamper with any customers food, no matter how many times they have given me 2 dollars and change on a 50 dollar order. Understand we do it for our customers and enjoy what we do, but if everyone only tips a dollar or two we barely cover gas. If six employees at a store are ordering food and those six chip in a dollar each for tip it makes for a happier and faster driver.

    December 12, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
  26. capriciousArachnid

    On the one hand, I really think a lower minimum wage and having the difference (supposedly) be made up by tips is a pretty lame idea; but, since tipping just *is* a thing, I always tip at least 20%, sometimes between 21% and 30% and if I can't tip at least 20% of the total bill (tax included) I don't order food. I just feel like tipping is a nice thing to do, and I like to be nice.

    December 6, 2013 at 12:39 am |
    • capriciousArachnid

      Oh – forgot to add this, but the food delivery people always come in cars, not on foot/bicycle; the latter would most likely lead me to tip more~

      December 6, 2013 at 12:42 am |
  27. Lili


    as someone who frequently bikes the streets of new york and frequently orders out, i have to say that every time a delivery man arrives via bike–which is almost always the case– i tip extra because i know that he/she puts his life in danger every day just to bring lazy people like me food.

    Also, if they do not have change I will tip extra for making him/her wait while i get it. I think i may be a little too liberal with tipping ,but i really feel that to tip anything less would be wrong.


    November 29, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • RavenLette

      Even in a car, the driver is still risking their life for someone else's convenience. But whether it's a car or bike, you're still one of the few who realizes that.

      December 10, 2013 at 2:46 am |
  28. Marcene Tatevosian

    yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one today.|


    November 24, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
  29. 20 Year Old Delivery Guy

    I started working at a small mom and pop pizza place right down the road from where I live my junior year of high school. The area in which I live is somewhat bad, lots of run down trailer parks and unpaved roads and missing mailbox numbers. I worked there for two years and I can say that yes, we definitely do remember who tips well and who doesn't because when you're putting almost 100 miles a night on your vehicles and only getting $30 in tips from 17 different deliveries a night. It sucks, especially when you get the food to the house as fast as humanly possible. That's why I quit.

    November 20, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
  30. adam smith

    All really good points. It should never be less than 20% with everything we have to deal with.

    November 12, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
  31. gary

    If the bill is between $15 and $18.00 I just hand the delivery guy a $20.

    I have been on the other end of that spectrum, bring people pizza. However, back in my day fuel was more affordable, but I never walked away from a house with at least $1.00 or $2.00

    Today, You're charge a fee which the driver doesn't even get. I even went down to my favorite spot and spoke with the manager asking him why do I pay $3.00 fee and then learn the driver gets nothing of it?

    I said he should be giving it to the driver for gas or at least 2/3 of it. as compensation because he pays his drivers the same as his wait staff they minimum required by law

    October 30, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
  32. Kim

    I always tip on the cost of my items only, and in cash. I don't feel the need to tip out on the cost of the tax & additional delivery charge. In restaurants I do the same. Meals tax is not a part of my meal & I wont tip on it.

    August 12, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
  33. European

    I'm from Europe, where tipping is not the custom, so I don't. Ever.

    August 5, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Delivery driver

      You should never order food delivered or go out to eat.

      September 29, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
      • Palaniappan Rajaram

        Or, we can switch to a common sense system that is followed in Europe, Japan.. oh .. pretty much everywhere in the world. Everybody gets a clearly specified livable wage. Customer pays for what he/she uses. No one looks to waiting as a job to make loads of cash in a short period of time. No one looks down at a person who CHOSE to give AN amount which was ENTIRELY optional.

        September 29, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
        • Davis

          Or you could join in our nation's customs like any immigrant should do.. or you can go back to your homeland.

          September 30, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
        • Palaniappan Rajaram

          To which native american tribe does the name "Davis" belong? So, if you changed their customs to yours, other immigrants will change yours to theirs. There is nothing really you can do about it. How is that for a thought?

          September 30, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
        • Davis

          I'm actually a member of the Seneca Tribe in southwest New York.

          October 1, 2013 at 10:14 am |
        • Palaniappan Rajaram

          Ah! a fellow Native American brother. Comanche here! Just wondering why my poor Seneca tribe member is begging for tips... So, considering your welfare, I hereby decree that everyone should be paid a livable wage (say, federal wage) and no tips other than if the customer FEELS like giving some money to you.

          October 1, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • europian too

      I am from Europe too and yes we do tip. I am ashamed for you. those people work very hard and most of them live just from tips.

      December 4, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
  34. Lindsay lillypie

    I'm sorry, but if you live in or near a major city and go to eat at a dine in restaurant, you should NEVER leave less than a five dollar tip, regardless of overall cost. (did you drink coffee? Pop? Did your server give you refills? How long did you stay, taking up their booth, requiring their attention?)

    I haven't been a server in 14 years or so (when things were a lot cheaper) and I live alone and certainly don't make a lot of money. But I know how to tip and understand inflation – and five dollars is my bare minimum. (of course assuming the service was good. I'm referring to your standard, every day restaurant experience)

    As far as tipping delivery drivers I'm a bit conflicted, which is what drove me to this article. It seems the advice given here was pretty good in that regard.

    Bottom line is, if I can't afford to at least leave a five dollar tip (even in my check of nine dollars) than I can't afford to go out to eat, period.

    January 5, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
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