Do You Tip DoorDash? Understanding Delivery Etiquette

Published: October 1, 2023
Last updated: October 9, 2023

Food delivery services like DoorDash have become a staple for many of us. But with this convenience comes a question that leaves many scratching their heads: "Do you tip DoorDash?" Tipping can be a sensitive topic, and it's not always clear what the etiquette is, especially regarding delivery services. 

This blog post will explain the ins and outs of DoorDash tipping, helping you navigate this grey area with ease and confidence. Let's explore the best practices for tipping your DoorDash driver and understand why it matters.

Delivery Basics

Navigating the world of food delivery can be a bit daunting, especially if you're new to the platform. Before we discuss tipping, let's first understand the foundational elements of DoorDash, from its inception to its operational model.

What Is DoorDash?

DoorDash is a technology company that connects local consumers with local restaurants, making delivery possible through independent contractors. Founded in San Francisco, DoorDash operates an online food ordering and delivery platform. It has grown to become the largest food delivery company in the United States, holding a significant market share. The company's primary mission is to empower local businesses and provide consumers with the best their cities have to offer, all while ensuring a seamless delivery experience.

How Does DoorDash Work?

DoorDash operates as a bridge between customers and their favorite local restaurants or stores. Here's a simple breakdown of how the service functions:

  • Order Placement: Customers use the DoorDash app or website to browse through a variety of local restaurants, convenience stores, and in some areas, even grocery stores.

  • Order Confirmation: Once an order is placed, the restaurant or store prepares the items.

  • Delivery Assignment: DoorDash assigns a "Dasher" (an independent contractor) to pick up the order.

  • Delivery: The Dasher collects the order and delivers it to the customer's specified address.

Throughout this process, customers can track their order in real-time, from preparation to delivery, ensuring transparency and timely updates.

Cost Of Delivery Services Through DoorDash

When using DoorDash, customers might encounter several fees:

  • Delivery Fee: This fee is charged for the delivery service itself. It usually ranges between $1.99 to $5.99, though it can vary based on the restaurant or store you're ordering from.

  • Service Fee: DoorDash charges a service fee for every order. This fee typically ranges from 10% to 15% of the order's subtotal. It starts at $0.60 and increases based on the order amount. This fee helps support the platform and ensures continuous service improvements.

  • Small Order Fee: If your order subtotal falls below a certain threshold (often $10), you might be charged an additional small order fee.

It's essential to note that while these fees contribute to the operational costs of DoorDash, they do not directly go to the Dashers. Therefore, tipping remains a separate and optional expense that customers can choose to provide based on their satisfaction with the service.

The Controversy Around Tipping On DoorDash

DoorDash, like many other food delivery platforms, has faced its share of controversies, especially concerning its tipping policy. In the past, DoorDash had a tipping policy where tips given through the app were used to meet the minimum payment promised to its delivery crew. This meant that instead of the tip being an additional amount on top of the driver's earnings, it was used to subsidize the driver's base pay. This policy faced significant backlash, leading DoorDash to change its tipping model.

Why Do People Tip DoorDash Drivers?

Tipping is a customary practice in many service industries, and food delivery is no exception. People tip DoorDash drivers for several reasons:

  • Appreciation For Service: Recognizing the effort of the driver, especially if they deliver promptly or handle special requests.

  • Compensate For Low Base Pay: Understanding that the base pay might not always be substantial, and tips can significantly boost a driver's earnings.

  • Encourage Future Good Service: A good tip can motivate drivers to continue providing excellent service.

  • Cultural Norms: In many cultures, especially in the U.S., tipping is seen as a standard practice for service jobs.

How Much Should You Tip Your DoorDash Driver?

While tipping is subjective and varies based on individual preferences, a general guideline is to tip your DoorDash driver 15-20% of the total order price. For instance, a $5 tip on a $20 order, which is a 25% gratuity, is considered generous. However, factors like the complexity of the order, distance traveled, and weather conditions can influence the tipping amount.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Tipping Through DoorDash?


  • Convenience: Tipping through the app is straightforward and doesn't require cash on hand.

  • Transparency: The app provides suggested tip amounts, making it easier for customers to decide.

  • Safety: Digital tipping reduces the need for physical cash exchange, which can be safer for both the driver and the customer.


  • Past Controversies: DoorDash's previous tipping policies have made some customers wary of tipping through the app.

  • Lack Of Clarity: Some customers feel that the tipping process and distribution are not transparent enough.

  • Preference For Cash: Some drivers prefer cash tips as they receive them immediately and in full.

Are There Alternatives To Tipping Through DoorDash?

Yes, there are alternatives to tipping through the DoorDash app:

  • Cash Tips: Many drivers appreciate cash tips as they receive the full amount directly without any deductions.

  • Gift Cards Or Vouchers: Some customers choose to give gift cards or vouchers as a token of appreciation.

  • Positive Feedback: Leaving a positive review or feedback can also boost a driver's reputation on the platform.

Factors Affecting Tips On Door Dash

Tipping isn't just a random act; several factors influence a customer's decision to tip and the amount they choose to give. From the quality of service to the broader economic landscape, let's explore the various elements that play a role in the tipping dynamics on DoorDash.

Quality Of Service Provided By The Driver

The quality of service provided by the DoorDash driver plays a significant role in determining the tip amount. Customers tend to tip more generously when they receive prompt and courteous service. Some factors that influence the quality of service include:

  • Timeliness: Delivering orders within the estimated time frame or even earlier can lead to higher tips.

  • Order Accuracy: Ensuring that the order is complete and accurate is crucial. Missing items or incorrect orders can negatively impact tips.

  • Professionalism: Courteous behavior, neat appearance, and clear communication can enhance the customer's experience and lead to better tips.

  • Handling Special Requests: If a customer has specific instructions or requests and the driver fulfills them, it can result in a higher tip.

Potential Impact Of Minimum Wage Laws On Tips On Door Dash

Minimum wage laws can have a direct impact on the earnings of DoorDash drivers. In some regions, there have been pushes to ensure that gig workers, including DoorDash drivers, receive a minimum wage. For instance, New York City introduced a minimum wage law for delivery workers, ensuring they earn at least $17.96 per hour before tips. Such laws can influence tipping behaviors in two ways:

  • Reduced Need To Tip: If customers are aware that drivers are receiving a decent minimum wage, they might feel less compelled to tip generously.

  • Awareness And Empathy: On the other hand, awareness of the struggles faced by gig workers might make some customers more empathetic, leading to more generous tips.

Cash Or Digital Payment Options For Customers Making Tips To Drivers

DoorDash provides multiple payment options for customers, both for ordering and tipping. Here's a breakdown:

  • Digital Payments: Customers can tip their drivers directly through the DoorDash app using various digital payment methods. This method is convenient and reduces the need for physical cash exchange.

  • Cash Tips: Even if a customer pays for their order electronically through the DoorDash app, they can still choose to tip their driver in cash upon delivery. Many drivers appreciate cash tips as they receive the full amount directly without any potential deductions.

  • Digital Wallets: DoorDash also supports various digital wallet options for payment, offering added flexibility for customers.

Tipping Your DoorDash Driver

So, do you tip DoorDash? While DoorDash provides a convenient platform for food and grocery delivery, understanding the cost structure and the role of Dashers is crucial. Tipping remains a personal choice, but it's a kind gesture that rewards the hard work of the individuals delivering your orders. As with all services, practicing good etiquette ensures a positive experience for all parties involved. While the base pay and tips can vary based on several factors, understanding these dynamics can help both customers and drivers navigate the DoorDash platform more effectively. Whether it's the quality of service, the impact of wage laws, or the method of payment, each aspect plays a role in the tipping behavior on DoorDash.

Did you get your order wrong? Find out how to get a DoorDash refund by checking out our detailed guide. Visit Keep Driving and browse through the available resources to learn more.

Sales Development Lead Scott spearheaded a collective blog site before expanding his automotive knowledge and joining the team. Now he leads our team of experts by building ideas on our Sales Development department.
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