If you use apps like DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub to order food, you already know that you can add a tip when you place your order.
But do you really need to tip? Does tipping before your order help guarantee a faster delivery? And can the driver see how much you tip?
Here’s why you need to tip before your order: Delivery drivers on most food delivery apps can see some or all of your tip when they receive your order request.
If you don’t tip during checkout, most drivers will pass your order to the next driver. That can mean cold food and long delivery times.
You are more likely to get a faster delivery if you tip in the app during the checkout process.
Read on to learn more about why tipping can guarantee faster delivery on Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Grubhub.
Can delivery drivers see when you tip? How it works on the top apps
Drivers can see some or all of tips left during checkout before they accept an order. Full tip info is revealed after the order is complete and the tip settlement period ends.
|Can delivery courier see your tip?|
|Uber Eats||Drivers see partial tip info upfront|
|DoorDash||Drivers see partial tip info upfront|
|Grubhub||Drivers see full tip info upfront|
Tipping in the app during checkout is like a bid for faster service
Here’s how the deliveries work from the driver’s perspective: Drivers are paid a base pay from the delivery app and keep 100% of any tip included with the order.
Most delivery apps show drivers an upfront estimate of the order payout that includes some or all of any tip added during checkout.
So when you tip during checkout, drivers will see a higher estimated payout for your order.
In a sense, your tip is like a bid for faster service. When drivers see a higher payout, they are more likely to accept the order and try to quickly get it done.
When drivers see a low payout, they skip the order and wait for a better one.
How much is a good tip for food delivery on Uber Eats, DoorDash, etc?
$5 is a good starting point for a tip if the restaurant is less than 5 miles away or less than a 10 minute drive. After 5 miles or 10 minutes, add at least $1 per mile.
$5 for a short drive might not be enough if you know that the restaurant will be busy, so consider increasing your tip for popular restaurants and busy drive-throughs.
Should you tip with cash? Drivers like cash tips, but in-app tips are better
Drivers always appreciate cash tips, but most drivers prefer in-app tips left during checkout.
In-app tips are included in the upfront payment estimate for every order. That gives your delivery person reassurance that a tip is coming.
Here’s an example of why cash isn’t as big of a motivating factor as you might think. If you leave a $5 tip in the app during checkout, your driver may see an upfront payout of around $8.
If you wait to tip $5 in cash after the order is complete, your driver will first see a payout estimate of only ~$3. They don’t know a cash tip is waiting for them, so they might skip your order and wait for one with a higher guaranteed payout.
Can delivery drivers see how much you tipped?
Delivery drivers can’t see exactly how much you tipped until the delivery is complete and a settlement period has ended.
If you tip during checkout, the driver can get a general sense of how much you tipped, but they won’t know the exact amount.
Each delivery app shares different info when they send an order request to a driver. Base pay from the apps varies, so a $10 estimated payout could mean a $5 tip and $5 base pay, or a $7 tip and $3 base pay.
Uber Eats: Delivery driver sees some tip info up front
When a driver receives an order request on Uber Eats, some or all of the customer’s tip is included in the estimated payout that the driver sees.
So if you tip during checkout on Uber Eats, drivers will see a larger estimated payout and will be more likely to accept your offer.
Here’s a side-by-side of what drivers see. On the left, no tip was included, and the driver sees a very low payout estimate.
On the right, a tip was included during checkout, and the driver saw a much more tempting payout.
Priority delivery on Uber Eats
Uber Eats has an option called priority delivery that will guarantee that your order will be delivered first if your driver picks up multiple orders.
It costs around $1.99–$3.99, and you can select the option during checkout.
DoorDash: Dashers sees some tip info up front
Dashers can see some or all of any tip that you include at checkout before they accept your order request. That means they can make an educated guess about your tip.
DoorDash uses a ‘hidden tip’ system that may hide some of the tip from the upfront pay estimate. Typically the app won’t show an order estimated payout beyond $8 or so.
When the tip on DoorDash is $0, the estimated payout may only be $3 or $4. When a tip is included, the estimate will be $6 or more, indicating to the Dasher that there is a tip.
Because DoorDash ‘hides’ the full tip after around $8, a very large tip might not actually help you get a faster delivery.
It’s a demotivating factor that can frustrate both drivers and high-tipping passengers.
If you leave a $20 tip, you might hope the driver sees it right away and gives you amazing service.
But DoorDash may only show a max upfront payout of around $8 and reveal the full tip after the order is done, so your big tip doesn’t function as a large bid.
Grubhub: Drivers see all of the tip upfront
Grubhub drivers see all of any in-app tip included with an order when they receive the order request.
When you don’t tip on Grubhub, drivers will see a low order payout and are more likely to skip your order.
The no-tip wall of shame
To show you what can happen when you don’t tip at checkout, check out what drivers call the no-tip wall of shame.
The no-tip wall of shame is a shelf full of orders sitting out and getting cold because driver after driver has declined the low-paying offers that didn’t come with a tip.
To avoid your order sitting on the wall of shame, add a tip during checkout. The likelihood of your order getting quickly picked up increases.
Tip baiting: When you remove your tip after the order
Tip baiting is when a customer leaves an in-app tip but removes it after the order is complete.
Drivers feel misled and manipulated when the upfront payout is for one amount and the final payout is lower because the tip was removed.
Sometimes customers lower the tip because they are upset with the service they received. It could be a delivery error, or a restaurant error.
But the most dishonest form of tip baiting is when customers leave an in-app tip to make their order more appealing, then remove it after the delivery even if there were no problems with the delivery.
Don’t tip bait! Only lower the tip if your delivery driver made a major error. Remember: Delivery drivers aren’t usually responsible for missing items!
Why your delivery still might be slow even when you tip
Unfortunately, it’s still possible for your delivery to be slow even if you leave a generous tip during checkout. Here’s why.
- Busy night for the restaurant, inefficiency – Busy nights happen, and not every restaurant has an efficient order process
- Delivery driver makes a mistake – Nobody is perfect
- Order batching/stacking – Your order may be batched with another delivery nearby, causing a slowdown. To avoid this, DoorDash has express delivery and Uber Eats has priority delivery
- App outages, tech issues – Sometimes the apps go down (especially DoorDash and Uber Eats)
Even though there is a chance your tip won’t guarantee good service, you should always tip during checkout to make your order as tempting as possible for drivers.
“No tip no trip” is a slogan making the rounds. Put yourself in their shoes. It’s a busy night and lots of order offers are coming in. Would you rather accept an offer for $2 or $10? You want your order to be the $10 order.
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