The delivery driver: to tip or not to tip?

As many of you might know we decided to thank loyal delivery drivers around the country by launching our inaugural Delivery Hero Day in which we asked you to vote for your favourite driver. Some lucky readers even had the chance to participate against the five chosen ones in a go-kart race, with Kader Cam from Café Pizzeria in Essex coming up trumps! But there are other ways in which you can show some love for your local delivery driver….

One way to show appreciation to delivery drivers is to give them a tip after they’ve delivered your mouth-watering feast. At hungryhouse we decided to conduct a survey on the ever-debatable topic of tipping as we thought it would be interesting to find out what the general consensus amongst our customers is; how many of you tip, the amount you give and the reasons for doing so.
Out of the 2,942 participants, only 24% admitted to always tipping, 38% said ‘sometimes’ and the same percentage confessed to not tipping. When asked how much money tippers parted with, the results were interesting. 10% of the total bill is seen as standard in the UK, but 46% of people give less than that. A measly 3% of very generous customers gave over 15% of the total order value (or maybe the enticing smell of their Chinese takeaway order and the thought of devouring it made these customers extra charitable?).

It seems that our reasons for tipping vary, but a whopping 55% of you are most likely to tip when the driver has arrived quickly with the much-needed grub and if you know someone who suffers from the dreaded hanger you’ll know how important it is to feed them as quickly as possible! A good 35% of you believe snow warrants a tip (could go towards some extra thick socks for the drivers). Other tipping reasons include ‘it’s raining’, ‘it’s after 10pm’ and ‘it’s a Sunday’. It’s a shame ‘there’s a drawing on the box’ wasn’t a reason – I know it would be one of mine!

68% of us tip to show appreciation for a good service and if you’ve watched the videos of the five ‘Delivery Hero Day’ driver finalists you might have noticed how hard these guys work, battling the elements, navigating busy streets and making sure your pepperoni pizza, lamb vindaloo, cheese burger and chips or sweet and sour pork arrives piping-hot and ready to wow your taste buds.

Takeaway pizza in box

Tip him quickly so you can wolf down this beauty!

Let’s have a look into a few reasons for why we should and shouldn’t tip

FOR tipping

  • Most people tip at restaurants so why wouldn’t you tip a delivery driver? After all he’s bringing you your delicious meal just like a waiter would.
  • If delivery drivers continue to get tips, they’ll keep offering great service and will strive to bring you your meal as quickly and gently as possible (no-one wants a pizza smeared on the roof of the pizza box).
  • If the driver has battled rain/hail/snow/any type of precipitation to get to you, he deserves a bit of a treat, don’t you think? Especially if he made the journey on his wobbly Vespa.
  • Think of how much time and effort delivery saves you. It’s a luxury that means you don’t have to shower, get dressed and then drive to the takeaway to collect the food yourself. Being able to stay snuggled up in your onesie is worth a bob or two, isn’t it?

AGAINST tipping

  • Delivery drivers get paid to do their job so why should they be paid extra? You wouldn’t tip an office worker or nurse, would you?
  • The driver is just one part of the chain and it’s unlikely the tip gets shared so the chef that lovingly prepared the food for you might not see a penny of this gratuity.
  • If everybody tipped then drivers may not feel the need to provide exceptional service as they’ve become so used to always getting tips. Tipping isn’t ‘rewarding great service’ if everyone tips regardless.
  • A smile costs nothing and so if your driver greets you with a grunt or makes you walk out onto the street to meet him it doesn’t exactly make you want to part with your cash.

Whether you agree with tipping or not, you have to admit that these guys make your life a lot easier. A few clicks of the mouse and your chicken madras accompanied by a garlic naan will be with you before you know it. Delivery drivers are sometimes overlooked and unappreciated so that’s why we came up with the idea of Delivery Hero Day to show our support for the drivers that go out of their way (literally!) to give us exceptional service!

What are your views on tipping delivery drivers? Why/why don’t you agree?

Feature image via

Posted on: April 23, 2014 | by: Jennifer

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  • Bone

    “Think of how much time and effort delivery saves you?” If I made the time and effort I could eat for a quater of the price by make myself dinner, therefor I am already paying for the luxury of a takeaway. After all if they didn’t offer delivery (that they build into the cost of the food you order) I wouldn’t order from them

  • Anon

    Also surely if you feel that tipping a food delivery driver is necessary, what about tipping the postman every time he bring you something you’ve ordered online. After all, surely if the postman has “battled through rain/hail/snow…”.

    And “think about how much time and effort delivery saves you? It’s a luxury that means you don’t have to shower, get dressed and driver to the…shops… to collect your items. Being able to stay in and snuggled up in your onesie is worth a bob or two, isn’t it?”

    While we’re at it, if you do head down to your local shop to buy something, why not tip the cashier, or the company, after all they are providing you a ‘luxury’ that means you don’t need to get the item from the distributors warehouse. Wait, you could even tip the distributor for bringing it into the country, or tip the manufacturer for the luxury of not having to make the item ourselves.

  • hungryhouse_Blog

    Interesting feedback and of course those are all valid points – always good to get another perspective on this :)

  • Anon

    You would always tip the waiter – just imagine the delivery driver is the waiter, bringing your food right to your door – I tip for that service!

  • mike hunt

    “10% of the total bill is seen as standard in the UK” For eat-in maybe. Not for delivery. Eat-in the % concept reflects in some way the amount of time they’ve spent serving you (so more time for 4 people with 3 courses than 2 people just eating one course). For delivery the time (and money) is spent in reaching your house, it doesn’t make much difference whether that’s with 4 pizzas or one – you are tipping, if you do, for a taxi service, essentially.

  • Adz

    Ive been a delivery driver a few years now and it seemed to be only a few regulars thatwould tip. Even some regulars never did. Some nights working 6 hours with not a penny tip. To be honest I never hurried to the customers I knew didnt tip. Its just the way it works but sorry your food could have been hotter and faster even if you showed your appreciation just a tiny little bit. But 9 out of 10 customers are tight arses!

  • Me again

    And before you say… no I never expect any tips and any I do get are taken with great appreciation but the fact of it that you probably dont realise is that the driver knows most customers and will know if you tip or not, therefore if I have 5 orders in transit and I know 2 will tip, theyre gettin there food hot and fast and the rest can wait. You never see a postman again and you wouldnt pay a cashier a tip but a pizza delivery driver is different. If you want your food 1st out of the 5, pay a little tip, believe me it goes a long way. Or just wait an hour up to you xx

  • Fibo

    I might tip if I didn’t have to pay for delivery as it was. My favorite pizza place asks for a £5 delivery fee. I’m only down the road. So if I wasn’t paying an extra 50% already for delivery I might tip the delivery driver.

  • shazbat

    And then a charge for using a card

  • Jennifer

    Out of interest, would you tip a parcel man?

  • Jennifer

    I get paid minimum wage and a take away is a luxury, its not always
    about being tight, some people just don’t have money to give away, your
    job is to drive, people don’t tip a delivery man who delivers parcels.

  • Jennifer

    Surely a postman would deserve a tip more than a delivery driver? you both get paid wages, and the postman brings letters and parcels, and sorts the mail before they even start their round.. so why would a delivery driver you see now and again be entitled more out of interest? I think most people would love to tip more but don’t have extra money, and people that pay by card usually don’t have change.

  • alex

    you pay so much for take away food now that I would never tip a driver.

  • d

    seriously, if you don’t tip the driver, you’re a loser. that’s all there is to it. they WORK FOR TIPS. it would be nice if they did get paid a living wage, but they don’t. so, unless they do something incredibly rude or unacceptable, tip them. even if it’s 2 hours or more late. it’s almost never their fault that it’s late.

  • d

    you suck as a person. period.

  • d

    you too, you suck as a person. if you can’t afford to tip a delivery driver, then get off your bum and go to the store.

  • d

    no, they aren’t valid points. you’re trying to provide justifications for being a lazy cheapskate, when they’re just aren’t any.

  • d

    postmen get paid a LIVING WAGE. delivery drivers in almost every case do not. if you can’t afford to tip, don’t order delivery. period.

  • d

    well, delivery drivers get less than minimum wage in some cases. if you can’t afford delivery AND a tip, then don’t order. it is a luxury, that’s true. but, it doens’t justify you stiffing the driver.

  • Ian

    Most companies now charge for delivery so why should the customer be expected to tip the driver that’d be like paying delivery twice!!

  • Ian

    I take it d is a delivery driver!! This is a discussion between ADULTS you just sound like a bitter and twisted old queen!! It’s people like you that make the internet a bad place, as all your doing is giving people agro you need to either grow up or shut up!!!!!

  • Grandpa

    Grow up and realize that some of us can’t afford to tip.As someone said further up the page, you sound like a real queen and if you cant make the job pay, don’t do it!

  • Grandpa

    Delivery drivers don’t or shouldn’t work for tips. If you do your a sucker.

  • Kat 123

    I always tip sometimes just a pound sometimes 2 pounds , the most i tipped was 5 pounds but thats because they came from a favourite restaurant which was a fair distance away and they wouldnt normally deliver that far

  • Kat 123

    I always tip the driver sometimes 1 pound sometimes 2 pounds the most i have tipped was 5 pounds but thats because they came from a favourite restaurant and wouldnt normally deliver that far

  • bobjoe

    Seriously u expect us to tip a takeaway thats 2 hours late? Get fu**ing real you condescending tw*t.
    This may have escaped your attention as you’re to busy lectururing but we have this wonderful thing called ‘national minimum wage’ in britain which means the driver is getting paid a fair price for what he does regardless of whether we tip him or not!

  • Honest jay

    Tipping a driver is a crazy idea! Why would you tip someone who’s providing a short and sweet, and mostly late, service to you? May not always be the drivers fault if an order is late but they’re a representative of the business none the less so just like anywhere else, when there is a static food price, why would u tip? It would be like tipping the checkout staff at tesco because they served you quickly and you had a good experience! This 10% of the bill is even crazier. As if anyone else will see any of that money if it was given to the driver. Not the same at all! A lot of places charge for delivery too so there you go mate, I’ve already paid your tip!

  • Flynn

    The guy just said he paid £5 for delivery… why would he then have to fork out more for delivery. At that point his pizza costs less than the delivery!
    You don’t know any of these people, get back on your scooter and start being nice to people and you might get more tips.
    If I ever get attitude from a driver I don’t tip them. Nobody boosts my salary for doing my job to a mediocre standard. To expect it as the norm is a bit presumptuous.
    To come onto a public forum and slate people because they don’t always tip, makes you the kind of person who doesn’t deserve one.

  • Flynn

    The price expected from the sale to complete the agreement is listed on the menu and can be checked over the phone. A tip is an EXTRA gratitude issued at the discretion of the customer. To show appreciation for the service. Repeat custom also shows appreciation for the service to the entire company.

    Like I said to you before, coming with the attitude that you expect a tip in the UK is unlikely to land you with one. Genuinely nice folk who do a great job or go above and beyond will be tipped.

    If you’re not happy with your wage then its time to look at other employment or invest in retraining. That goes for everyone.

    Now get off the internet and back on your scooter and earn it.

  • Flynn

    Learn a skill, stop trolling. Use your time more effectively.

  • Flynn

    I would argue that if you’re a solely a delivery driver, no other job and not studying. Then infact, you’re the loser. Its time to sort your life out mate. You’ve spent at least 2 hours (judging by your post timings) complaining to people on the internet who don’t always tip.
    Delivering takeaways should be a part time job for people studying, or a 2nd job for people looking to top up their wage. If that’s all you do… Then good luck to you. You’re not going to go far…

  • Shab

    What a stupid question, ofcourse not, just like you wouldn’t tip a sales assistant in a clothes shop, but you would tip a waiter in a restaurant. Restaurants are all about service, good service deserves recognition, and there are 2 ways to do that, dine/order from there again, or tip those that you are in contact with, i.e. Your waiter/your delivery man. If the service isn’t good, for example it’s late, then don’t tip, but don’t say people shouldn’t tip drivers at all. Idiot.

  • james

    Wow – have just sat and read this through. Good job “d” doesn’t give his full name – he’d never get a tip again!! I always tip – but he’s made me think twice with his “I deserve a tip if im 2 hours late” attitude!!

  • Dene

    The only person who sucks in this thread is ‘d’. All my local takeaways offer 10% discount for collection so obviously getting food delivered has the delivery charges factored in. I dont understand the logic in paying them again, just because they choose to break UK employment law and work for less than the minimum wage!

  • TrickyDicky7

    I pay by card because I do not have any cash and therefore I cannot tip.

    If Hungry House could vet their restaurants to ensure all tips go to the drivers, I would be happy to add a tip to my bill of my favorite restaurants in a similar way to Deliverance…

  • Flynn

    She didn’t say that. Idiot.
    All she said is that for her, a takeaway is a luxury, and paying the factored in price for delivery is part of that luxury.
    She hasn’t told anybody to do anything, and only asked if people also tip servers in other sectors.

  • Ben

    Can I take a guess that you are an American who has stumbled into a British discussion? Tips are not used to make up a person’s wage in the UK, that is the job of their employer, tips are an extra on top for exceptional service.

  • Jamma

    Bare in mind everyone, that most delivery drivers use their own vehicle. Many people, arguably those able to afford takeaway in particular, are in ownership of a vehicle, and should thus have some form of understanding of depreciation, let alone the effort and cost of maintaining a vehicle.
    Furthermore, I have heard of two fatal accidents involving delivery drivers on mopeds, both within the last six months, both casualties between the ages of 19-25. The dangers of a moped outweigh the monetary benefits by far; It is never worth risking your life for a minimum wage job in catering/hospitality.
    Having said that, a good, friendly service is always appreciated, and I believe a tip should be subject to the quality of the delivery experience.

  • Jamma

    I can’t see many people working for less than minimum wage if they can help it. And that 10%, the driver will never see a penny of, despite risking his neck on a moped. That’s just the business being cheeky, the driver has no say or input from the business perspective.

  • Jamma

    ‘National minimum wage’? You must be joking. Have you ever worked for minimum wage? Currently it’s at £6.31 for 21 years plus. £5.03 for 18-20 years. Anyone younger may as well not work as the minimum wage is laughable. Nobody can expect or support a good living standard from this.

  • bone

    Nice to see i started a heated discussion here…

    To address your point mr d, if everyone that didn’t tip didn’t order as you suggest the place would probably go out of business and then the driver would be getting no money.

    And as others have raised, why should delivery drivers be more deserving than other professions?

    Surely by the same logic tips should be given to all people on a low wage that do something that makes life easier. How about a McDonald’s drive through employee? Tesco food home delivery driver?

    In regards to not getting a living wage, there are legal minimum wages in this country. Drivers can Complain to the appropriate authority if they don’t receive it as it would be illigal for the business not to pay it.

    If drivers are not getting minimum wage then I would suspect that they are not legal in this country which really would render all the points you’ve made, moot. My advice, become legal, get paid minimum wage, pay taxes on your wages like other respectful citizens or leave.

    I feel a lot of the points Mr D has made are very much from a drivers point of view, with no respect for the customer or business owner.

    From a customers point of view, a driver can take as long as they like as long as it’s within the time period given to me when I ordered. And if it comes cold, I won’t be paying which ultimately hurts the business they work for.

    From a business owners point of view (which I am), if one of my employees was harming the business by not serving customer with a standard of good customer service, that could cost the business money and loss of future business, I would fire than employee.

  • bone

    So because its become the norm to tip food servers you do and and don’t tip other industries because its not yet the norm. I’m pretty sure the origins of tipping came from the fact that someone had a great experience and wanted to show appreciation to the person that provided it. This is mostly food services that have the most interaction which is why I guess it’s now normal to expect to tip is restaurants for good service, however the reason. For tipping should still be for above standard service and bit just because it is the done thing.

  • Ronnie

    “Most people tip at restaurants so why wouldn’t you tip a delivery driver?”

    Because in a restaurant, you are tipping for good service IF and only if there is no service charge included. As there are delivery charges included, then there is no need to top.

  • John Smith

    What you need is a facility to tip the driver via your site, because if you like to tip, it is a bit strange to have to go out to get cash/change to tip the person, sometimes driving just as far as the restaurant.

  • andi

    I have done this job for many years and I never expect a tip but it does help. Whether or not the customer tips makes no difference to me on how fast I get the food there, if I have more than one order at once, they are delivered in order of distance. If there are near each other than the order in which they came in.
    The truth is that delivery drivers don’t get paid much and the tips help in making there wage up. At our shop they are self employed and have to use there own car and cover the cost of petrol. Yes, I hear you say, well pay them more….. yes that would be better but the truth to the matter is that to keep your food prices to a minimum this isn’t an option. Some pizza chains charge £10 plus for a cheese tomato pizza and if we did that then we could pay more and tips wouldn’t be an issue.
    If more people just gave a driver 50p each time than it would help to cover there petrol and they would then have there wage left.
    Decent tips help to make the job more appealing and make more people want to do it, then you wouldn’t be waiting 2hours on a Saturday night for food. If no one wants the job then you would have to get your own food.
    They work to 2am sometimes and can be a bit of a risk of being robbed as if you are seen going to a door with food the likelihood is you have money on you….. I will say this doesn’t happen often but has and could.

  • andi

    if the driver is self employed then there is no legal minimum wagel

  • andi

    if delivery is charged then I agree that no one should tip

  • vic

    please don’t judge us all because of this idiot.
    I have done this job for years as my only job. I started as a driver and now I am the manager. I own a 4 bedroom home, a £40,000 car, have no balance on my credit cards and all my bills are paid on time and without any money from the government. ie tax credits etc, I have money in savings just in case :0)
    everything I own is paid for, the only money I owe is my mortgage. think I have gone far personally :0D

  • Gemma Stone

    I am a delivery driver and I’ve had more than my fair share of ‘attitude from stroppy customers!

  • Gemma Stone

    The gu who deliver parcels probably get a van supplied. .a lot of takeaway delivery drivers use their own cars and have to pay maintainance etc

  • Gemma Stone

    I don’t expect a tip. ..its nice when it happens. .its not about whether or not I get a tip. ..its about a friendly face. . If the person is pleasant than sometimes that is all that is needed. . We don’t deserve abuse just because we do a job that is considered by some as lowly

  • Gemma Stone

    Not all delivery drivers are bad…There are gpod and bad…just like there are good and bad customers!

  • Gemma Stone

    That is why I would never use a moped. .I use my car. . Granted. …mopeds can nip through traffic thus getting there faster with customers orders…but having read some of the negative comments about tipping why risk my life just so the customer gets their food five or ten minutes quicker? ..I’ll stick with comfort and safety. ..After all. ..I’m still getting psid if its late aren’t I!!!

  • Gemma Stone

    I don’t know of any place that charge £5 for delivery. ..pull the other one

  • Gemma Stone

    I always look after the tippers first. ..have to keep them sweet!

  • Gemma Stone

    Most customers are brilliant. ..and they aren’t always tippers. .I’ve done this job barring a period of kidney disease for 12 years so I seen it all…only a handful of bad experiences ..its nice to have appreciation shown ..but its far more rewarding to know that you have kept composure and a nice smile. ..even when dealing with a difficult customer

  • Gemma Stone

    Make your own then if that is your attitude. .its dealing with people like this that is one of the less pleasant side of the job

  • Gemma Stone

    I don’t believe that £5 for delivery. . I think you’re telling porkies

  • David

    If a Chinese takes more than 2 hours do you have to pay theme

  • Victoria Bain

    I am a pizza delivery driver. I climb up to fourth floor flats on a regular basis as they are common around my area and they don’t have lifts. I once had to climb to the 17th floor after both lifts had failed in a high rise. I have been out in a storm, heavy rain, hail stones etc. I have found your home even after you gave the wrong address and didn’t answer my phone calls. I call you when your buzzer is broken so you can let me in whilst I stand in the rain. I run up lots of miles in my car which stinks to high heaven. I wait on you whilst you go to the cash machine because you only just realised you didn’t have any money (more common than you think!). I stay calm when your angry dogs looks like it wants to kill me. I always apologise if your order has taken slightly longer to get to you then predicted. I always ask how you are and if you are looking forward to your dinner. I always tell you to enjoy your dinner and thank you for your custom. Yet despite all these things over the past 10 full time shifts (7-8 hours) I have only had about £20 in tips. On one of those shifts I did 20 deliveries so you can imagine what my average tip per delivery is. Sometimes I don’t get any tips at all during a full shift. Paying online and through pay pal means people don’t think to tip. Our delivery commission covers our fuel but not the vast amount of wear and tear to our vehicles. So we are much worse off than our instore colleagues. But I do love this job even with its stresses. X

  • L

    I do tip for delivery almost always (partly because I’m american and it is a norm in my country and partly just because I can afford it), however, some of the attitude of the drivers here are really turning me off. Yes, I know you earn below a minimum wage, yes I know your life is not that glorious, but what does it have to do with me? why should I be the one that’s compensating you for that? I pay my taxes dutifully already so why would I be forking out more for your life? If everyone of the delivery driver in London/UK decided not to work for below the living wage then the restaurants will have to increase prices and pay you more, why not do that? why not ask for a delivery fee to be outright included? Put it in the bill and those can’t afford it just won’t order, but don’t come to anybody’s door expecting a tip, I think that’s a very rude thing to do. anything not included in the bill is extra and depends on the customer, be happy if you get it, but don’t expect it. Everything else is between you and the restaurant owners, if the owners are treating you like sh*t, don’t shift the burden to the customers.
    I’m not going to stop tipping because I do understand your hardship and can afford it, but stop thinking everyone should tip and maybe if you deliver fast and act nicely, you may get some more.

  • Roll

    I waited for the change back and the delivery guy tipped me back and rounded it. THAT is some attitude there… this is after I said ” i will try see if i have exact change”… This is the only time I didnt tip and I get this… thats Ok, its my wish, I tip most of the times and I know it.

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