Do You Have to Tip Pizza Delivery if You Are Already Charged a Delivery Fee?

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Tips and tipping your food delivery person is known to be a kind gesture; it is never an obligation. However, more than a gesture, it can feel like a duty to tip the person for delivering your food right on time, while the crust of that luscious pizza is still crispy and the cheese still melting hot. 

However, the impregnable question here is, if you already paid a delivery charge to get your food delivered, do you really need to pay the delivery guy? Does the delivery charge not go to the delivery person anyway?

It is a legitimate question, and if you have been seeking an equally legitimate answer, this is the post for you. 

In this article, we’ll discuss if you should be tipping your pizza delivery person if you are already charged a delivery fee, how much you should tip, and if there really is a difference between tipping and the delivery charges you pay and a lot more.

Do you have to tip pizza delivery if you are already charged a delivery fee?

First off, you NEVER have to tip the pizza delivery guy whether you pay a delivery charge on order or not, but that does not mean you SHOULD NOT tip them. Tipping is considered a gratuitous gesture, and gestures are not obligatory; however, if you are sensible enough, you know your pizza delivery person is conscientious when they are beating the traffic and delivering your food hot. This is one reason (amongst many others) why you should tip the pizza delivery guy even if you are already charged a delivery fee. 

Most delivery workers receive lower wages than the kitchen staff and other employee groups involved in delivering your food, from boxing, packing, cooking to managing your order. This is because delivery people receive tips, which can be one way for them to make more than the federal minimum wage. 

However, most times, the tips are too low, and therefore they end up making less than the other staff segments involved. This is why they hugely rely on tips to make enough for the work they do, and this is exactly why tipping is important.

Now that you have the answer to your question, let us understand why tipping your pizza delivery is more important than you really think by understanding the difference between delivery charge and tips.

The difference between delivery charge and tips

Delivery charge is a constant fee, whether you are ordering from a local store or through a giant food delivery app such as DoorDash or UberEats. Depending on the chain, a part of the delivery fee may go to the driver, or it may not, at all.

For example, if you directly order from small food restaurants, it is possible that the entire or a major part of the delivery fee may go to the driver. 

The reason behind this is that when you order directly from the restaurant, they save on the charges they need to pay for setting up their business on a food delivery application. Therefore, the delivery charge makes up for the fuel and pays wages to the delivery persons. 

On the other hand, when you’re ordering from a food delivery application, the delivery charge is one way the applications make money for themselves, so most of the time, these charges do not go to the driver at all. The drivers are still paid a minimum wage. However, they never receive the entire portion of these charges you are paying to get your food delivered. 

If we look at delivery charges from a different perspective, it is one way for restaurants and delivery apps to make money. Here is how: It is a known fact that pizza is a VERY competitive market. 

When it comes to pizza, the three major competitors Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, and Domino’s, all three of them have similar and extremely competitive prices, so if one ups their prices even by a dollar, they lose a lot of their customers to their competition.

So, charging a delivery fee is one way to make an extra lagging profit, without really increas[ing the prices on their food chart. Clever enough, they do increase the prices of the pizza without really increasing the prices after all. 

Besides, every supply chain, whether big or small, has to pay for gas expenses and boxing and packing expenses whenever you order a pizza. The delivery charge mostly covers the cost of these while making some money for the supply chain, with very little to none given to the delivery person. 

Tips and Tipping

Think of it this way: You think you are doing your part by paying a delivery fee, which makes up a very small to small amount of your total order. A delivery person makes sure you get your order delivered on time, irrespective of the fact that there’s the Super Bowl, heavy rain, or gargantuan traffic. 

So, even if you are paying a delivery fee, in our opinion, it never makes up for the hard work that delivery guys do. This is why tipping delivery guys is a great way to show your appreciation for their efforts.

Also, if you do not have a problem paying a delivery fee to get your food delivered to your home, you really should not be having a problem tipping the guy that delivered it to you. Whether the delivery guy receives a part (or whole) of the delivery fee or not, the delivery fee usually covers the driver’s expense for gas and other expenses, while a tip goes straight to their pocket. 

Do you have to tip the delivery person even if they are late?

Like we mentioned before, it is never mandatory to tip the delivery person, but more customary to tip them, all for the right reasons. Now, the question is, do you have to tip them even if they are late? It is entirely your decision if you want to tip the delivery person even if they are late. On the other hand, if you ask us, we would say you definitely should tip them even if they are late for these reasons:

  1. There can be many unavoidable circumstances under which the delay happened, which means punishing the driver for the same may not be fair.
  2. It is possible that cooking your food took longer than usual, owing to either high demand or delay in arranging the exhausted resources, etc.

Besides, here’s the irony attached to not tipping the driver if they are late to delivery: If your delivery arrives late consistently, it is high time you check if you have been tipping the drivers in the first place.

People who don’t tip the drivers get bumped to the bottom of the delivery list, so you can not really blame the delivery person for arriving late. 

This brings us to the next topic… 

What happens if you don’t tip the pizza delivery person?

As mentioned before, if you have been known to consistently avoid tipping the pizza delivery driver, especially at times when they have gone above and beyond to deliver your food, you may get bumped to the bottom of the delivery list.

If you are bumped to the very bottom of the delivery list, most drivers would not be very inclined towards; picking up your order and delivering it on priority. 

If you’re asking whether you are charged a fine or penalty for not tipping your delivery driver, no, you’re not. However, your food arriving cold and crusty is penalty enough, which gives you all the more reason to tip the delivery driver.

How much should you tip the pizza delivery person?

This is a debatable question. How much you should tip the delivery driver is solely your choice. However, a customary tip is anywhere between $3 – $5. Most delivery drivers are happy with a $5 tip, which, in our opinion, is fair compensation for the work they do. 

However, there are two ways to look at how much you should really tip the pizza delivery person:

A standard fixed tip

If you’re ordering a pizza under $20, then it goes as a rule of thumb to tip your delivery driver $3. If you can not afford to tip your pizza driver $3, it is okay to tip them with $2, but if you think a 20 cent tip is acceptable, we will say it is NOT. 

Tipping based on the total amount of order

For a food order that comes in over $20, you would work out how much to tip the pizza delivery person by 10-15% of the total order. However, you might tip less if the service was not what you expected. As a general rule, you would tip 10% of the order if the service was poor, for example, if the pizza delivery driver was not friendly or the food was not delivered in a fit state; other than general wear and tear of the packaging or thing beyond the control of the delivery driver.

If the service was normal, you would tip15%, and if the service was excellent, you might offer a tip of 20%. If you are paying with your credit card, then you can still tip; this is done when you present the credit card, there is an option on the reader to add a tip.

Suppose you order a $50 pizza and tip the driver three dollars for the same – it is not only controversial but also raises the question that if you could pay $50 for pizza, could you really pay only $3 as a tip to the driver who got it for you? 

This is why we suggest tipping your driver a percentage of the total amount you ordered if the order is above $20. Now, what percentage of the total amount should you give away as a tip to the delivery driver? If you are not very happy with the service, or if you noticed the food was not in a fit state, while the packaging too suffered wear and tear, we suggest tipping 10-15% of the total amount.

Meanwhile, if you are happy with the service, or the driver did something above and beyond, such as delivering your food on time, besides heavy traffic or bad weather, you should tip 15-20% of the total amount of the order.

Key Takeaway

Whether you pay a delivery charge or not, it is always recommended you pay a tip to the delivery driver when they knock at your doorstep. More than being a gesture, a tip is one way to ensure consistent quality service on a quotidian basis.

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Author - Willa Carson
Happywayfarer author Willa Carson
Hi, I'm Willa Carson, a passionate traveler who has been exploring the world for 7 years. Whether it's trekking through the Himalayas, exploring ancient ruins in South America, or simply savoring a cup of coffee at a local cafe, I believe that travel has the power to enrich our lives in countless ways. So join me on my journey and let's discover the world together!
Read more about me here.

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