Want your late-night Big Mac order to arrive at least a little bit warm? Better tip your delivery driver ahead of time.
Driving the news: DoorDash is testing a change to its service that will ask customers to add a tip at checkout and warn them that failing to do so could mean their delivery will take longer.
DoorDash said delivery drivers are more likely to accept orders that come with a tip because they earn more from them, meaning those orders get delivered faster.
- The update is currently being tested in select cities in the US and Canada, and DoorDash said it’s “seen a meaningful decrease in no-tip orders” since it launched.
Why it matters: Tipping for delivery is standard practice, but pressuring consumers to tip for service before it’s even been delivered is a new — and some might say unwelcome — expansion of a tipping culture that’s grown more pervasive since the pandemic.
- The average tip amount increased from 16% in 2019 to 20% this year, according to payments company Square, and shoppers are being asked for tips at more places — not even using a self-checkout machine is a surefire way to avoid a tip request.
Yes, but: Gig workers, like those who deliver for DoorDash, often depend on tips to top-up base pay that is calculated algorithmically and sometimes leaves them earning below the minimum wage.
- Companies like DoorDash also have a strong incentive to encourage customers to tip more in order to make their platform more attractive to drivers, which in turn reduces wait times for users.
Bottom line: More precarious gig work in the economy means more pressure to tip, as marketplace-style platforms like DoorDash shift the burden of paying workers directly onto customers.—TS