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A Comprehensive Guide to Tipping Delivery Drivers

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

Nothing tastes better than your favorite food delivered right to your door. As a college student, I’m a frequent user of delivery apps like Grubhub and DoorDash that can deliver just about anything. When I go out to eat, I’m used to always tipping my server. But in the age of the pandemic, takeout and third-party delivery services are what keep many restaurants afloat. So my question is, is there proper etiquette for tipping our delivery drivers? Consider this a “how-to” guide of sorts. A Ned’s Declassified, if you will. There are a few factors to think about when it comes to tipping, and I’m here to walk you through the steps.

 Inclement weather

Like many people, I’m guilty of ordering delivery in a rain or snowstorm. It’s just so much more appealing than the idea of walking to the dining hall, getting soaked, and eating a mediocre plate of pasta. The important thing to remember though is that your delivery driver is still going to have to brave the elements to get you your food. When the weather is far from desirable, I always make sure to tip extra. So next time you order Domino’s in the freezing cold, consider adding on a few extra dollars to reward your carrier.


Next time you’re on a delivery app, take note of the number of miles away a restaurant is from your location. If you want food that is out of the way, I’d recommend tipping a higher percentage as a courtesy for having to travel further. Drivers rely on tips to make their living, so it’s considerate to recognize if they’re traveling to the other side of the city to deliver your food, instead of taking a closer and more convenient order.

Time of day

Before you hit “order delivery” ask yourself if the time of day is going to affect the delivery driver. For example, is it rush hour? This question is especially important in relation to distance. If you’ve placed an order 10 miles away, at 4 p.m. on a Friday, please give your delivery drivers some extra love. And be patient and understanding if your order takes slightly longer to arrive than it usually does.

Number of items in order

Lastly, think about the size of your order. The general rule of thumb is that you tip 10-15% of your order (pre-tax) for orders over $20. But, if you’re placing a smaller order, it’s better to tip between $2-5. Keep in mind that you should tip on the higher end of the above factors of weather, distance, and time are applicable. 


Food delivery in the era of COVID-19 has become a modern luxury and we should show our gratitude to our delivery drivers. Go forth with this wisdom as an expert tipper and order some food to celebrate!

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Mariel is a junior at Boston University studying Advertising and Film/TV. She loves fashion, trying new restaurants and food spots, and chatting about all things pop culture.