How Much Should I Tip For App Services?
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What should we tip when using new tech?
It’s hard to navigate proper etiquette when so many new services are booked through tech. Should I have a full blown conversation with my rideshare driver? How many notes are too many for the shopper tackling my grocery list? And the most commonly debated question—what’s the appropriate amount to tip? With insight from etiquette experts, we’re outlining the suggested tipping amounts for modern-day services.
Please keep in mind that these are merely suggestions. There is no definitive answer as to how much to spend when tipping, so use your best judgment and base your tip on the quality of service you feel you received.
Ridesharing services — between 10-20%
Uber originally boasted a “no-need-to-tip” policy, but that has changed over the last couple years. When in doubt, you can use this helpful scale developed by Julia Boyd, an international etiquette consultant. She recommends tipping between 15-20% for exceptional service, 10-15% for good service, and 10% for average service. That said, what’s considered exceptional, good, and average will vary person-to-person, but in an effort to make sure your driver knows how to perform “exceptionally”, let them know if you have a preference for the conversation level, music, or temperature.
Takeout delivery services — between $5-10
While many people say tipping 10% is fine, you should be tipping at least $5 for your order—and then more on top of that depending on the weather conditions. Coming from someone who lives in an area with unfortunately cold winters, we’re grateful for the delivery people who pick up our takeout while it’s snowing—they’re the real MVPs! Just make sure your tip is reflective of the delivery and not the food itself. The driver can’t help it if the chef had a heavy hand with the spices on your General Tsao’s Chicken.
Grocery shopping and delivery services — between 5-20%
Yes, this is a pretty big range, but all grocery orders are different. As outlined on Quora, a good rule of thumb is 5-20% for grocery orders under $200, 7.5-20% for orders over $200, and around $15-$25 on heavy item orders (ones that include bottled water or large quantity packs from warehouse stores).
Luckily with services like this, you can gauge a job well done after the shopper has left your doorstep. Are your frozen products still cold? Is the produce fresh and vibrant? Did they communicate about substitutions or out-of-stock products? Most grocery services default the delivery tip to 5%, but if you think your shopper did an outstanding job picking out the best fruits, lugging a large pack of water up your stairs, or suffering through inclement weather to get to your home, feel free to tack on a couple of extra bucks.
Hip Tip: Read why we’re huge fans of grocery delivery services!
Specialized delivery services — between 10-20%
Popular service: Postmates
For services that will deliver just about anything, like takeout food, office supplies, or a new computer, take into consideration what you’re asking when it comes to tipping. It also doesn’t hurt to acknowledge that these individuals are making barely over minimum wage and are worth their weight in gold when it comes to convenience. Small food orders probably won’t warrant much over the 10%, but when large, heavy, or bulky items come into play, you may want to consider upping that percentage.
Oh, and while you can hand over cash at delivery or tip through the app, don’t falsely promise that a tip will come to the delivery person later—they’ll probably out you on the Postmates subreddit. 😂
Miscellaneous services — between 0-10%
Popular services: TaskRabbit
This is a tricky situation, as you typically set the price for the task you’re asking (and people who commonly use the service feel the company discourages tips). This one is completely up to you and can be based on how long the person worked on your project or if they went above and beyond. Keep in mind there’s a reason you contracted out the assembly of your new IKEA bookshelf—deciphering those instructions can be a pain! Generally, a few dollars or 10% of the hourly wage should suffice if you’re looking to reward an individual for a great job.
Grocery store pickup services — 0%, seriously!
When ordering your groceries directly through a store for pickup, you’ll be happy to know that the price you set out to pay doesn’t come with any other financial strings attached. A majority of the stores that offer this type of service have policies in place to prohibit tipping as a safety precaution to their employees. Many store associates will let you know if they’re not allowed to accept tips should you try to slip them a few bucks upon pickup, but you can always call and speak to a store supervisor if you have questions about their tipping policy.
Do you take advantage of any of these convenient services?
Let us know in the comments which services you love and your thoughts regarding these tipping ranges. And remember, everyone approaches tipping differently so please be respectful of varying views in responses. 🙂