Tipping for service has, in recent years, evolved into a subject of heated debate since, rather than sparing some change for good service, people have to tip significant portions of their order’s value. This trend is particularly noticeable in food delivery services, where even platforms such as DoorDash are now warning customers that orders with no tip might take long to deliver.
The message on the app reads, “Orders with no tip might take longer to get delivered — are you sure you want to continue? Dashers can pick and choose which orders they want to do. Orders that take longer to be accepted by Dashers tend to result in slower delivery.”
However, this message sparked some widespread debates on social media platforms, with people expressing disappointment and suggesting that the company should rather focus on increasing driver compensation. One user commented, “Like any service, capitalism works. If you want your food fast, be willing to pay a bit more. However, I prefer to tip after evaluating the service.”
While many expressed their dissatisfaction with the message, some also came out in support. This is because, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have relied on food delivery as a source of income, and tipping significantly contributes to it.
In response to the widespread debate, Jenn Rosenberg, a DoorDash spokesperson, clarified that this feature is presently in a testing phase, and the company aims to enhance the experience for both consumers and delivery partners. Additionally, he also argued that as DoorDash drivers have the liberty to accept or decline orders based on their value, orders without tips may be less desirable and consequently take longer to deliver.
“This reminder screen is something that we’re currently testing to help create the best possible experience for all members of our community. As with anything we pilot, we look forward to closely analyzing the results and feedback,” said the spokesperson.
Tipping as a culture
Tipping, as a cultural norm, is relatively new in the gig economy, whereas previously, people primarily tipped in certain service settings, such as restaurants or valets. However, with platforms like DoorDash modifying their payment structures, which now allow drivers to retain 100% of the tip amount in addition to a base pay of $2-$10 depending on distance, drivers tend to disregard non-tipped orders. This disregard has been evident in various reports, which highlighted instances of delivery partners intentionally delaying non-tipped orders and even verbally harassing consumers.