Delivery Drivers Don’t Want to Pick Up Orders Without Tips

If a meal isn’t retrieved, the foodservice provider ultimately pays.

June 16, 2022

Bags of food lined up for delivery pick up

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Are your third-party delivery drivers being tipped by the person who placed the order? New Paytronix data shows that there is a strong connection between the percentage of to-go orders not picked up and lack of tip.

On average, about 0.9% of orders with a tip over $2.50 are not picked up, and as tips become larger, that total drops to around 0.7%. If an order doesn’t have a tip associated with it at all, those orders are undelivered about 2.6% of the time.

A viral TikTok in April 2022 showed to-go orders waiting to be delivered at a California restaurant, and the account owner said: “These been sitting here for 4 hours because no dashers would take non tip orders….No tip no trip, the worker told me no dashers/Uber eats/grubhub went to get the order.”

The video had over 50,000 comments debating the need for tipping, but few comments addressed that if no one picks up the order, the business that prepared the meal ultimately pays for the wasted food.

Record-high fuel prices also may feed into this trend, as drivers are less inclined to pick up orders when the tip wouldn’t offset the money spent on gas, reports CBS News Boston.

DoorDash recently announced it is extending its gas rewards program aimed to offset high gas prices. Through August, Dashers with a DasherDirect business prepaid Visa card will qualify for 10% cash back on their gas purchases at the pump anytime, anywhere in the U.S. DoorDash says the program has saved its workers an average of $0.42 per gallon at the pump on every visit using the card.

The national average for a gallon of gasoline is $5.009, which is 53 cents more than a month ago and nearly $2 more than a year ago.

“The correlation between tipping and delivery fulfillment is likely to continue, particularly if fuel costs remain at the levels seen in the first half of 2022,” wrote Lee Barnes, chief data officer, Paytronix, in the report. “Once you identify problem locations, taking advantage of messaging capabilities in your platforms and apps will go a long way toward ensuring that your delivery drivers are tipped and your orders make it out the door.”

Paytronix recommends businesses encourage tips for delivery orders through messaging in the checkout section of their apps, if they are able. Paytronix research indicates that an average of 73% of delivery orders contain a tip, so most delivery drivers and customers understand that a tip is expected.

According to the NACS “Last Mile Fulfillment in Convenience Retail” report, 61% of retailers are satisfied with their third-party delivery partners. Concerns include high fees, little access to consumer data, difficulties delivering age-restricted products and service and operational issues. Read more about these challenges and what c-stores are doing to make delivery work for their businesses in “Delivering Convenience” in the December 2021 issue of NACS Magazine.