There are lots of great reasons to tip your delivery person when you have food delivered to your house, but unfortunately most people don't consider them. The thing is, drivers don't expect a huge tip; some only expect 10 percent, although 15 percent and up is better, especially if the orders are complicated. Either way, if you add $5 to your bill, it's not that much for having your food delivered straight to your home. So consider some of the best reasons to tip on deliveries; maybe these will change your mind, or help you convince friends who don't tip on deliveries that they really should.
1. The Myth of the Delivery Charge
A lot of people assume they don't have to tip delivery people because of the delivery charge they receive on their bill. While it's logical to think that charge goes to the delivery person, it's not true. In most cases, that charge goes to the restaurant; the drivers don't see a dime. One of the best reasons to tip your delivery driver is because they aren't getting paid well for the delivery. Generally, drivers get one wage when they're in the store. When they log out to go on a delivery, their hourly wage drops significantly. They'll receive sub-minimum wage while clocked out on a delivery, a paltry gas reimbursement that ranges on average between $0.80 to $1.19 per delivery, and that's it. The point is, they definitely don't usually see that delivery charge.
2. They're Still Waiting on You
“They're just driving the food over,” we say to ourselves. “They didn't make it, they don't have to keep bringing me food, they don't need a tip.” We say that about delivery people and the servers who run takeout deliveries out to our cars or get them together inside the restaurant. It's not true for either worker. In lots of restaurants, the drivers do actually have a hand in making the food, even if they're only prepping salad, slicing vegetables for pizzas, and things like that. Furthermore, they do their best to get your food to you in a timely manner, making sure that it's still hot and includes all the little extras you need – like ranch cups!
3. Car Maintenance
In most cases, delivery drivers use their own vehicles on the job. Aside of their gas reimbursements per delivery, they don't get anything for that. Their restaurants don't pay for upkeep, it doesn't matter if they run out of gas on a delivery, get rear ended, or slide into a ditch when they're delivering on cold, wet nights. Yes, it's absolutely they're choice to be delivery drivers, but without them, you'd be stuck with carry out.
4. The Danger Factor
Delivering food can be dangerous for a variety of reasons. There are angry pets, disgruntled customers, inclement weather, and crazy people with which to contend. Some strange customer might invite them inside for the wrong reasons, they could get lost in a dodgy part of town, or they might get attacked by a stray. They risk all of that every shift, taking precautions while still trying hard to make sure your food is piping hot when it gets to you. Don't they deserve a few bucks and a smile?
5. They See Your Undies (and Don't Judge)
My local delivery people see me in the most horrible states imaginable. Granted, I never answer the door in my underwear, but many people do. Still, I know I can come to the door with horrible hair, no makeup, and my Care Bear pajamas, and they won't judge me – at least not to my face. They see your stained boxers, the dog poop on your lawn, the smeared makeup, the tear stains; they probably know when you're fighting with your partner or when your kid just had a major tantrum, and they still smile and deliver your dinner.
6. They Work Hard
Delivery people work hard. They generally aren't just lounging around the restaurant, waiting for deliveries to come in. Lots of them have this job because the hours are flexible, allowing them to make extra money while they go to school or support their families. They're cleaning the store, doing dishes, working on the make lines, and hauling ass in rush hour traffic. I couldn't even handle that without losing it!
7. They Depend on Tips Too
Like servers in restaurants, they depend on your tips, too. Lots of people skip tipping their delivery drivers because they judge that they're not the same as servers. They aren't at your side all throughout a meal, bringing you drink refills, extra sides, and dessert. That's true, but the two jobs are apples and oranges; you can't really compare them, except to say that they also don't expect the same kind of tip you give your in-house servers. They won't say a word if you don't tip them, or if you give them $0.50 on a $20 meal – but it hurts, it stings, and it disappoints, because while $2.00 doesn't seem like a lot, it adds up for them.
I'm not trying to sound preachy; I used to think many of these things myself. However, there are lots of flaws in all aspects of the service industry, flaws about which I've only recently become aware. I appreciate everyone who brings me food when it's been a bad or stressful day and I don't have time to cook or don't feel like going out. Where do you fall on the debate? Have any of these reasons to tip changed your mind?