Tipping at Restaurants: The Standards for Tipping Waiters or Waitresses
The number that was historically thrown out as the standard tipping percentage at restaurants in the US was 15%. In recent years, however, it seems like the restaurant tipping standard has inched up to 20%. That’s where I’m at if the waiter/waitress is likable and does a good job. I go down to 10% or 15% if I get subpar service. Most restaurants that add in the gratuity for large parties factor in 18% as a standard.
As a side note, if you’ve ever been out to eat with a former waitstaff, you’ll often see them go higher than 20%, because they empathize with how difficult the job is for the money.
But…. do the same 15 or 20% tipping rules apply to food delivery tips?
Tipping for Food Delivery: Not as Clear Cut
While most people have heard the general guidelines for tipping waitstaff in restaurants, it’s not as clear cut for food delivery, most commonly – the pizza delivery guy. CNN suggests the following for how much to tip on food delivery:
10% of the bill (excl. tax), at least $1 for bills up to $10. Should tip 15%-20% for a difficult delivery.
Here is a general guideline that I have seen offered elsewhere:
15% for normal service, with a $2 minimum; 20% for excellent service; 10% or less for poor service; at least 10% for orders of $50 or more.
My take on How Much to Tip the Delivery Person:
There are so many factors that go into it. If you have a decent size order and the place is within a mile or two of your house, I can see 10% being reasonable – but I’d never go under that. And if it is more than a few miles and a small order, under $10 or so, I’d probably go up to 20% or more.
One thing is for sure: you should tip for food delivery. Many delivery restaurants pay minimal wages, and do not pay per delivery, so delivery staff wages are heavily reliant on your tips.
If you’re curious about delivery apps, in particular, here’s what the apps say:
Base pay from DoorDash to Dashers ranges from $2-$10+ per delivery depending on the estimated duration, distance, and desirability of the order. Deliveries that are expected to take more time, that require Dashers to travel a longer distance, and that are less popular with Dashers have higher base pay.
Dashers also have the opportunity to earn more through promotions. Promotions include Peak Pay and Challenge Bonuses that we plan to roll out in the coming months. When it’s busy, Dashers can earn extra money on each delivery through Peak Pay, and Challenge Bonuses will better reward more active Dashers and help them meet specific earnings goals for the week.
Every dollar customers tip is an extra dollar in their Dasher’s pocket, and customers are able to tip at checkout and soon, after the delivery. The amount DoorDash pays in base pay and promotions will never vary based on the tip amount. All tips provided before or after the delivery will be shown in the Dasher’s earnings breakdown.
The amount you earn per delivery is a combination of your base pay and any applicable bonuses. Your base pay accounts for factors including mileage, delivery type, time spent delivering, and your local market.
You keep 100% of your tips, always.
Slow day? We’ve got you covered. This is us doing our part to make sure that you earn a minimum guaranteed rate for your local market when you Toggle on for a scheduled block and meet Acceptance Rate criteria.
Missions & Special offers
Grubhub delivery partners can boost their pay by completing Missions (exciting ways to earn extra cash by reaching goals in a set amount of time*), and participating in fun sweepstakes!
Uber Eats doesn’t get as specific.
3rd party wage aggregator websites peg driver earnings of around $12-$20 per hour. Unlike with standard restaurant delivery, however, app delivery drivers must pay for their vehicles, fuel, and other maintenance – which eats up a good chunk of their earnings. Something to keep in mind as you’re trying to figure out how much to tip.
How Much Tip Discussion:
- What are the rules you follow when tipping food delivery people?
- How much do you tip restaurant waitstaff?