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How Much Should You Tip Food Delivery Drivers During the Coronavirus Outbreak?

A tip for tipping during coronavirus

TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images

From small local favorites to the best restaurants in America, dining establishments have been forced to close their doors due to the worldwide spread of coronavirus. Social distancing orders have changed the world as we know it, and even something as simple as eating dinner with friends is off the table.

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However, as we remain indoors, there are thousands of employees risking their lives each and every day to serve communities and hungry customers. Although we can’t take a seat at our favorite pizza chains, food delivery drivers are ensuring our stomachs are full and our families are happy.

You should always tip your delivery drivers, but if you’re wondering how to show extra gratitude and appreciation for those working through the pandemic, there’s a little more to it.

According to Diane Gottsman, a national etiquette expert, author of “Modern Etiquette for a Better Life” and founder of The Protocol School of Texas, adding what aligns with your budget in addition to the customary tipping amount is the way to go.

“Just as you would tip in a restaurant, so should you when someone is delivering that food from the restaurant to your doorstep,” Gottsman said. “You should always tip the driver 20% of the bill or $5, whichever is higher. And if you use a coupon, tip on the full amount, not the discounted price.”

If your finances allow for you to give more, Gottsman suggests tacking on a few extra dollars. And if you’re having food delivered to a sick friend, relative, or someone in a retirement community, don’t forget to tip for that person.

“You have to think about it this way: you’re not having to drive across town to pick up an order and you’re not putting yourself at risk while your delivery drivers are,” Gottsman said. “And although most apps, like Uber, might include a service charge, it’s different from the tip.”

Gottsman’s final suggestion: don’t forget to rate the driver.


“If for some reason you have a bad experience, reach out to the support team and let them know, but also do it kindly and express the good experiences,” Gottsman said. “We tend to reach out when there’s something negative, but we should be sure to express the positives as well.”

Industries across the nation have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Many workers have already been furloughed or laid off entirely. Supporting local businesses is now more important than ever. Here are small acts of kindness that can be done from your home during the coronavirus pandemic.