You’ve placed your pizza order and maybe some breadsticks, wings, or salad to go with it. Now, the question that remains is do you give the driver a tip? And if so, how much to tip for pizza delivery?
Relax – we’ve got all the information you need to follow tipping etiquette and ensure your driver remembers you fondly in the future.
Tipping for Pizza Delivery
Delivery drivers work hard. They maneuver traffic, bring pizza and other food items to your door, return to their cars, and start the process over for the next house. With that in mind, we recommend you give a tip of 15%. For a bill of $20 or less, it’s fair to leave a tip of at least $3 dollars. A bill over $20 deserves at least a $5 tip.
Remember, this person is saving you from having to get into your car and pick up the pizza yourself. It’s a courtesy service, and if you order from that same pizza place in the future, you might have the same delivery driver. Leaving a nice tip today will help you get great service in the future.
If you get great service, such as food arriving well before you anticipated or a driver who consistently follows specific orders, a 20% tip is both fair and appreciated. A driver who forgot your soda or ran a few minutes behind still deserves a tip, although 10% makes sense here.
On orders of $100 or more, a tip of at least 15% is the standard. If this sounds a little high, think of the work that driver had to do just in getting your order to the car. They then had to safely walk it to your door, which is no small feat when you’re balancing multiple pizza boxes.
Why Tip Your Pizza Delivery Driver?
Drivers do more than take food to customers. They have a whole litany of tasks to complete in stores, including:
- Folding boxes
- Taking and making orders
- Loading freezers
- Unloading food trucks
- Mopping floors
- Washing windows
- Emptying trash
They are usually the last employees to leave for the night and often arrive early to get the store ready. In short, drivers work hard and earn every pizza delivery tip that comes their way.
What About Delivery Fees?
These charges are common for most pizza outlets, whether privately owned or franchised. The store usually retains delivery fees, but you can’t know with certainty until you ask.
If the fee does go to the driver, ensure it meets the 15% tip threshold; if it doesn’t, you should make up the difference with a gratuity. Tip as you normally would if the driver doesn’t receive this charge as his or her own.
To better understand delivery fees, we thought it important to explain they offset the costs of paying for drivers. Essentially, they ensure the shop doesn’t lose money while still offering the convenience of delivery.
What Does This Mean?
Delivery drivers fall under the slippery category of tipped employees, in which part of their hourly age is derived from customer gratuities. Tipping has a long and complicated history in the U.S. It became common practice after the Civil War, and in the 1960s, Congress agreed that tipped employees can receive a lower minimum wage from their employers.
This minimum amount varies by state but generally hovers around $2.50 per hour. You can therefore see why tips are essential in helping these employees stay afloat financially.
Pizza Delivery Tipping Etiquette
If you’re like most customers, you’re wondering if you need to leave a pizza delivery tip when the driver is late. It’s appropriate to leave the 15% if your driver is within 15 minutes. This was likely the fault of the restaurant, where orders tend to become backlogged, and not a reflection of the driver.
If the driver is more than 15 minutes behind, call the restaurant and ask for an estimated time of arrival. A driver who’s already out on his or her runs may be lagging without cause, and a 10% tip is justifiable in this case.
What About An Incorrect Order?
Don’t automatically blame your driver. A pizza shop has any number of working components, so pinpointing the responsible party may be difficult.
Your better option is to call the restaurant and ask for a credit on your next order. They’ll likely be happy to accommodate because they don’t want to lose your business. But don’t penalize your driver – tip as normal, since they still did their job.