The British have an uncomfortable relationship with tipping. We are known throughout the world as bad tippers, yet we are also known throughout the world has having a high intolerance for unfairness. So, this begs the question, should we expect customers to tip our food delivery drivers?
With food delivery apps on the rise and more people than ever before ordering food delivered to their home, we are asking whether the delivery part of that service is worth a tip, or not.
The case for tipping food delivery drivers
There is a definite case for tipping the delivery driver. They don’t usually earn much, they work hard to get our food to us in time, while still warm and the work is often relentless.
Delivery drivers are also putting their health at risk by delivering to us during a pandemic. While (hopefully) temporary, that’s still something to bear in mind.
Having worked as a delivery driver myself, I know how hard it can be. Racing from one end of town to the other while staying safe and not getting a ticket. Racing back to the restaurant to load up, grabbing a bottle of water before you’re out the door again.
Not to mention the reception you get when you’re delivering food that’s a little late!
All for minimum wage.
If ever there was a job that deserved a tip, it’s delivery drivers.
The case against tipping food delivery drivers
Tipping is an American import. Shipping from a country that says it values service staff but isn’t willing to pay them properly. Waiting staff and delivery drivers know their base wage will be low because it will be made up with tips. There’s a whole system and culture there to support it.
There isn’t the same thing here.
Service staff get a decent minimum wage that is comparable to many other jobs. They are paid better than in the U.S. and aren’t expected to top it up with tips.
Plus, Brits expect people to work for tips and find it hard to imagine driving from a restaurant to a home as work.
We all work hard and don’t expect to be tipped for turning up and doing our job. This is one of the reasons we have so much trouble with tipping. It isn’t personal, it’s a fairness thing.
There is no right answer here. It would be nice if all delivery drivers who gave a smile or went the extra mile to get a tip. We shouldn’t expect it though.
Many people ordering food deliveries are having to watch their money as it is. Despite the rise in food ordering and deliveries, we don’t expect the British attitude to change anytime soon, even for a pandemic.
What are your thoughts on tipping? Do your drivers get tips? Do they complain about not getting them?