Order Pizza? Here’s How Much You Should Tip The Delivery Driver

Friday, February 7th, 2020
cash tip delivery driver

Everyone who has ever ordered a pizza or had food delivered has likely been faced with a common quandary: “How much should I tip?”

While the delivery driver isn’t in the same position as a restaurant server, they are still the ones who bring your order right to your doorstep—and you wouldn’t believe some of the wild things your delivery driver has gone through before arriving with your goods.

Although tips are not an obligation, they’re a sign of gratitude for the person’s service here in America. If, for whatever reason, you don’t plan on including a tip with the total of your bill, at least order your pizza for you to pick up yourself.

But, returning to the main issue at hand here: how much to tip your pizza delivery driver. There are several things to keep in mind when calculating how much gratuity to give. 

The truth about delivery fees

If you ordered a pizza to be delivered, you may have noticed that you were charged a delivery fee by the restaurant. These fees can vary in the amount, but usually run anywhere from $3-$10.

It may surprise you, then, that delivery fees hardly ever go to the drivers. So it should not be mistaken for a gratuity fee. 

Minimum delivery fees

You may also have noticed that in many places, if you must order a minimum dollar amount in order for your food to be delivered. This is called a minimum delivery fee. This shouldn’t be mistaken in any shape or form as going towards the delivery driver.

With a minimum delivery fee, the restaurant will take the up front amount and is not legally required to allot any sum for the driver (with several exceptions related to federal minimum wage)

With those two factors in mind, you can start calculating how much to tip your pizza delivery driver.

How much to tip the pizza delivery driver

Generally speaking, delivery orders that are less than $20 are given a minimum tip of $3. If the order is over $20, then it’s customary to calculate a tip that is 10%-15% of the order (but never less than $5).

How much you choose to actually tip can be influenced by several things (but should always follow those baseline standards). Some instances that warrant a higher tip amount could be: 

  • Deliveries made during bad weather. Heavy rain, snow, high winds, etc., are all hazardous to those on the road. A good rule of thumb is that if you’re ordering pizza to avoid having to drive in inclement weather, then you should generously tip the person who brings it.
  • When the delivery address is more than five miles from the store location. 
  • If the driver was particularly polite, performed an outstanding service, or arrived ahead of time.

Bad delivery experience? 

Wrong order? Cold food? Delivery mishaps happen frequently, unfortunately. But at the very least, you should still give the delivery driver a tip, then call the store and ask to speak to a manager and explain the issue. More often than not, the fault will lie with the store and not the delivery driver. 

Why tipping delivery drivers is important

Most delivery drivers only make minimum wage or less, along with tips. But if you factor in expenses such as gas, insurance, and repairs (from the wear and tear put on the vehicle from frequent driving) their costs begin to quickly cut into any profit. Additionally, there are many times where delivery drivers are required to carry extra coverage and pay higher premiums on their car insurance. 

In sum: it can be tricky to make a living as a pizza delivery driver. Tips can make or break the job! 

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