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How Much to Tip Drivers For Delivering Food to Your Office

Business Etiquette Tips - Tipping Pizza and Other Food Delivery Drivers

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If you are having pizza (or other food) delivered to your home or office, the tip rules vary considerably. As in the case of a sit-down restaurant, tipping is optional but some restaurants add a delivery fee to your bill (usually about $3.00). In some cases, delivery fees are higher when food is delivered to an office.

A minimum delivery fees is not the same thing as a tip and does not mean you should not offer an additional amount to your driver. Sometimes, the restaurant owner may even pocket an upfront minimum delivery fee and not pass it along to the driver unless they do not make enough tips to at earn the federal minimum wage.

How Much to Tip Pizza And Other Food Delivery Drivers

For delivery orders of $20.00 or less, it is customary to offer a minimum tip of $3.00. For any amount over $20.00 tip 10-15% but never less than $5.00.

When to Consider Tipping More

  • During inclement weather (hail, sleet, snow, heavy rain, etc.) or any time driver conditions are more hazardous than usual;

  • When the driver has to travel more than 5 miles from a store location to make the delivery;

  • During peak order times such as major televised during sporting events when drivers must work harder and faster to get your food to you while it is still hot; and

  • If the driver gave you outstanding service or preferential treatment.

    Why Tipping Food Delivery Drivers Matters

    Typically drivers are paid about $5.15 an hour and earn more from tips. If a driver’s tips plus hourly wage does not equal federal (or if higher, state) minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference.

    This is why most restaurants now charge a minimum delivery fee - it safeguards the employer from having to pay the driver to make up the difference if they do not earn enough tips. In essence, the delivery fee collected from you guarantees the driver at least minimum wage without the employer having to kick in.

    Some drivers are paid a small commission for each delivery (averaging about $0.75 per delivery) to help off-set the cost of gas and use of their car. They may also receive a small stipend for displaying the company’s pizza delivery sign on their car.

    In addition to paying their own gas, insurance and increased costs for wear and tear on their cars, delivery drivers may have to pay higher insurance premiums or carry extra coverage, and pay uniform maintenance fees.

    In other words, being a delivery person is not lucrative and your tips do make a difference.

    What to Do If Delivery Service is Bad

    If the service is bad and you decide not to tip, at least call the store’s manager and explain why your service was bad. The problem with the delivery may have had nothing to do with the driver but someone else who prepared the order, or with a manage that required a driver to delivery too many orders at once.

    The business owner needs to know when service is lacking so that they can improve their service record and address problems at the store that may be unrelated to the driver's performance.

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