Peeples is a married mom of three who is always looking for the best ways to get quality food for the lowest price possible.
How Much to Tip Your Delivery Driver
The quick answer: Tip your delivery driver no less than $3 if they provide proper service. A decent to great tip ranges from $3 to $10, and of course should be adjusted if you ordered a lot more.
Read about why I advise you to tip your delivery driver this much below.
My Experience as a Pizza Delivery Driver
So a few months ago my husband and I lost one of our biggest vendors for our company. With this we lost a large percentage of our income. I decided that I would go back to doing something I had thoroughly enjoyed doing 10 years ago.
We had given it much thought and I simply was not okay putting our daughter in daycare. So working a 5pm to close shift was perfect. I would only have to miss out on three hours of my children's day. I would be able to prep dinner before leaving, and I would be able to continue working one of my other jobs from home from 8am to 4pm.
Back when I was a delivery driver before, gas was around $2.00 a gallon (maybe a little lower, my memory has faded). Minimum wage was $5.15 an hour. The place I worked for then paid minimum wage plus $1.25 per delivery plus tips.
Since then my state has increase minimum wage to $7.25 and gas is currently $3.40 a gallon. To my surprise the pay for delivery drivers has really not changed. I was hired by a great company on my first interview. The pay would be $5.25 an hour, $1.25 delivery fee for each delivery, and tips.
After being there two weeks I realized something, what people tip hasn't change much either! So let me give you all a little insider perspective on how much you should tip your delivery driver.
How Much Is a Good Tip For a Pizza Delivery Driver?
What is your time worth? A good Digiorno pizza will cost you about $10. Then it will cost you the gas to go to the grocery store and back, so we'll say maybe $5 more. On top of that there is both the time saved by not having to go to the store and the time saved not having to cook that pizza. We won't even go into the cost and time involved if you have a large family to feed or if you were to purchase all the ingredients to make that pizza from scratch.
So again I ask you how much is your time worth? It takes about an hour to preheat and then cook a frozen pizza. So even if we do not take into consideration the time it takes to go to the grocery store and back, and using the average of your time being worth the low price of $10 an hour you have reached a total of around $25
Where I work, you can get a large deep dish pizza with everything on it all for around $14. So even if you tipped your delivery driver $6, you will still be below what ordering that pizza has actually saved between cost, time, and energy.
So how do you know how much to tip them? Well, think of it a few different ways.
- First how far are you from them? After all, they pay for their own gas. So they have to get to you and back to the store. Chances are most people can't get very far without it taking up an easy $5 in gas between sitting at traffic lights and driving.
- Also how heavy of a traffic area do you live in? I often deliver pizzas during rush hour traffic in one of the busiest places in my state. There is a traffic light every 100 feet it seems and quite often we are stuck sitting because traffic gets backed up. Do you like sitting in traffic? Of course not! That's why you're paying someone to bring it to you!!
- The next thing to think about is what time of day it is. Did you order your food 10 minutes before the store was supposed to close? Is your delivery driver suppose to be well on his or her way to the comfort of their homes? If you are ordering your food at closing time it should influence the amount you tip.
- Finally what is the cost of your meal? Did you just order $50 of food? Remember they have to load that food, drive that food to you, and bring it to your door. So if you buy 4 deep dish pizzas they are carrying close to 30 pounds of food!
Short and Sweet!
TIP TIP TIP TIP!!!!! Your measly $2 will not even cover their gas to get to you!!! A minimum tip in most areas should be around $4. That should be adjusted based on their attitude and the factors I listed above. A good tip is around $5 and a great tip is anything over $7!!
Things to Remember About Pizza Delivery Drivers
- They don't cook your food! If your order is wrong it is not their fault. They are a driver, not a prep cook, and not the person you should take out your frustrations on. Remember if your order is wrong they already have to come back out to your home AGAIN, using their gas money and time, even though it isn't their fault. So still tip. If you don't want to give up money to the driver because your order was wrong, maybe call the actual store and demand the amount of the tip be refunded from the bill since the store is at fault.
- They can not control traffic, so if it takes longer than usual remember you had the option to go sit in traffic yourself and chose not to! So if you order a pizza because you don't want to go sit in rush hour traffic, don't penalize the person who just sat in rush-hour traffic for you.
- They do not get the entire delivery charge you pay. So if you pay $2.50 in delivery charges they only get half of that and they do not always get it that night. So their partial gas money may not get reimbursed for 2 more weeks.
- They have your food! Be nice to them! This is pretty self explanatory. Always be respectful to people in control of your food.
- They work for tips just like a server in a restaurant. The biggest difference is they actually have to use their own money to do their job. Tip accordingly!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Alysheba on March 08, 2018:
I typically never order anything over $15, once fees are applied. But I always tip $5. It's what I would tip even if the minimum wage was $15. Delivery drivers and waiters/waitresses are doing me a huge service, and I'd like them to know I appreciate it. Heck, if I could afford to and it was actually allowed, I'd tip the mail man and garbage men as well.
Nicole K on July 09, 2017:
Thanks for this hub. You bring up some excellent points. I used to work at Round Table Pizza, but not as a delivery driver. I was a cashier/hostess, and also prepared the pizzas, too. I really enjoyed working there! All that to say, even I have been tipping a bit on the low side lately because money is tight and when I do order pizza, I feel super guilty about spending the money. However, your hub just confirms what I already knew-- that I need to give these hard working people the good tips they deserve! From now on they'll get over $2.00 for sure!
Lisa on April 28, 2017:
Great informative article, however the digorno bit I have issues with. I pay $5 for a 3meat digorno and can't really include gas because I'm at the grocery store for other items as well. Right now I paid $10/pizza (same size) delivery so that kind of sucks, but I would never tip less due to that. Also, what delivery people make depends on the state and company, just like servers. Nevertheless, the advice on how much to tip is relevant in any case here.
peachy from Home Sweet Home on June 11, 2015:
we are not allowed to tip them, regarded as bribery. So we are taxed by the company
Rithik on December 10, 2014:
Now we know who the sesbinle one is here. Great post!
swilliams on September 02, 2014:
What an interesting article! Great advice. Some are saying that delivery pizza tip is now added in the bill, but I still tip anyway. Voted u!p Tweeted out!
Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on May 14, 2014:
Personally, I usually tip $3-5, but my town is small and does not have a lot of stop-and-go traffic, which saves a bit on gas and the driver's time. Very good insight into the pizza delivery profession.
Peeples (author) from South Carolina on November 14, 2013:
Love, I want to make sure you read the part about them being paid less than minimum wage. They provide you many services exactly as I laid out in the above article. They actually spend more time and energy getting you a pizza than a server would spend on you. Standard tip in the restaurant business has been at 20% here for years. 15% has been long gone as the standard. You should tip more than the standard because unlike a server, they bring your food to your home. They prove their worth by bring you a hot, still put together, pizza in a timely manner with a friendly greeting. You don't come off cruel, though it does come off a bit selfish, no offense because I'm not sure you intended to sound that way. To each their own, but just remember if you are tipping less than $3 on any delivery, you are tipping below average.
Loveofnigjht Anderson from Baltimore, Maryland on November 14, 2013:
I truly understand your view but why would someone give more than the standard 15% tip to a delivery person who is only bringing them a pizza. I can't see giving a 5 dollar tip on a 15 dollar check. I usually tip greater than the 15% but only if I believe they are deserving. At a restaurant there is no limit on what I will tip a good server, they have proven themselves worthy. Not being cruel but although I did not know that the delivery man has to pay for his own gas as well as deal with traffic it is not my problem. Instead it is part of his job function and I would not feel obligated.
CalebSparks on September 09, 2013:
A real eye-opener, peeples. I agree that tipping is important. My wife and I usually tip well.
Sparklea from Upstate New York on July 20, 2013:
Thank you for this very informative hub. Tips are important, VERY important. I usually over tip at restaurants, and I would certainly give a generous tip to a pizza delivery person for all the reasons you mention above. Blessings, Sparklea :)
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 19, 2013:
I completely agree with you. Bev and I always tip well because we have been in that situation where tips are important....unless....if the service is horrible or the delivery person is rude, all bets are off. :) I won't pay money for rudeness.