Until very recently, I was not aware that you are supposed to tip a delivery person as much as you would a waiter or waitress. I found this out when someone sent me an article online stating that it is etiquette to tip 15% of the total amount. The article also mentioned that most people do not know this. I can say that I am definitely one of those people that were not aware of this.
When I order a pizza pie, I usually tip the driver about $3. The place is only around the corner from my house so I thought that is a fair amount. When I first heard that these drivers should get 15% of the total amount, I figured, what difference does it make if he delivers $10 worth of food or $100? He/she is not doing anything different if I order more food, so why should they get paid more? After all, the driver is not acting as a waiter or waitress. He or she is just delivering to your door step.
A family member who works in a salon, told me that these people survive off of tips. I always give a tip for someone doing a service for me, but little did I know that at times I have been giving a lot less than I should to these delivery people. The concept just did not sit right with me at first, but if it is etiquette and it is supposed to be done, then I will start doing it.
A relative will be catering a party at my house next week. I have offered to pay the tip to the driver. The food will cost about $250. I could not believe that the tip would be about $37 especially that they are only coming from about 15 minutes away. Since I did not know etiquette and that they should get tipped 15% of the total amount, I would have figured a tip of $10. My relative could not believe that I thought it would be that little.
I have done some research on this topic and there are different opinions on this issue. Some people do tip on the total amount and some according to distance and weather. Then another question came to my mind. Are you supposed to tip someone who delivers an appliance to your house? If so, how much? If you buy a $500 dryer, are you supposed to give the driver 15% of that? In a case like this, I may just go by distance. I guess the call is up to you and how you choose to do it. I am not sure if there really is a wrong or right way. I can’t go by one article that I read online. The bottom line is that the driver does not walk away with no tip at all. Maybe in the future, this issue will be more understood.