Tips for Uber Eats / Doordash Customers

From a Delivery Person on How to be a Good Customer

1. Tip Well.

Tip well, especially when it’s raining outside, which usually means fewer delivery people and more people ordering in.

With Uber Eats (to a certain degree Doordash too) the delivery people can see the total amount of the order including the tip before they accept (or decline) it. The higher the order amount, the more likely they are to accept it. If they decline it (they usually have 15 seconds to make up their mind with Uber Eats, and 30 seconds with Doordash), the order goes to the next person, then to the next, then to the next, etc, until someone accepts it. If no one accepts it, you would not get your food delivered. Also remember that, usually, with Uber Eats your order goes to the delivery person closest to both the eatery and your location (it's a bit different with Doordash, as it has a Top Dasher program which rewards with more delivery opportunities those dashers who have a high acceptance rate). So, the more delivery people (one after another) decline your order, the longer it would take for you to get your order (if someone eventually accepts it), as that delivery person would likely be (much) further away, plus factor in all the time your order is bouncing from one delivery person to another.

Also, consider that, if your tip is low but a delivery person accepts the order, arrives to the eatery, and finds out that the order would not be ready for a while, they are much more likely to cancel than if a tip is high. Once they cancel, the order again goes to the next delivery person to consider, and the delivery of your order gets delayed yet again.

What is a good tip amount to make sure the first delivery person who gets your order accepts it? During the slow times, $3-4 might do it. But, when it’s busy, try at least $5, if not more. Obviously, the bigger the better. And, if it won’t break your bank, be generous, as generous people not only tend to get their food fast, but live a better life as well J

 2. Do Not Order Soup.

Try NOT to order soup. Quite a few eateries do a very bad job packaging soup for transport, which greatly increases the chance of a spillage, especially if the delivery person is using a bicycle. Ditto for the drinks, though it’s not as big of an issue, since many eateries do a decent job securing the drinks, plus there are drink carriers available for delivery persons to buy and use (though not all buy and use them).

 3. Get Downstairs.

If you live in an apartment building, especially if it is a tall building (many floors), and especially if it is a busy time of the day (i.e. may take a while to get an elevator to go up and then down), if at all possible try to meet the delivery person at the front door of the building. It would save them at least a few minutes, and every minute counts when you are not making that much money to begin with, as the sooner they finish delivering your order, the sooner then will be able to pick up another one and make more money (plus, help the next person get their order faster).

 4. Make it Easy to Find You.

If your building or apartment is hard to find (due to the location), please be as specific as possible in your delivery instructions. Delivery apps usually provide good navigation up to the main entrance door, but not always, and the easier it is for a delivery person to find your building (and your apartment), the sooner you would get your order, and the sooner the delivery person would be on their way to deliver an order to the next person. If you have a tight parking situation where you live, please explain to the delivery person the best way to park. An ideal instruction for an apartment dweller would look like this: “I am at 123 Bubba Avenue, located between Dinner Street and Breakfast Street, on the North side. Parking is better on Dinner Street. If you are biking, we have a bike rack at the building entrance (behind the building, across the street, etc). Buzz 5533 to get inside, apartment 1207. After exiting on 12th floor, turn right. You can leave the order by the apartment door. Please (do not) knock after the delivery.” Or: “Please knock and wait for me to open the door and get the food from you.” If you live in a house which has several tenants with separate entrances, be very, very precise with your directions. Not just “door #2”, but “door #2 through the fence on the right side of the building (at the back of the building, etc).

 5. Don't Leave Your Phone Alone.

Have your phone near you at all times when you are expecting a delivery, in case a delivery person needs to communicate with you about your order or any issues which might have occurred. The longer they wait for you to reply, the longer it delays them, and that costs money, as they only get paid for delivered orders.

 6. Order Slow Food.

Reconsider ordering from fast food places during the busy times (lunch rush during weekdays, dinner rush  during weekdays, and every time it rains hard, unless it's early in the morning or very late in the evening). Or, at least, be extra generous with your tip. Fast food places (especially Wendy’s and McDonald’s) tend to get overwhelmed, with waits of 10-15 minutes (or even longer) to get an order ready not unusual. Remember that delivery persons don’t get paid while waiting for the order to be made. Plus, they need time to get to the eatery and then to deliver the order to you.

 7. Be Patient.

Be patient, as, fairly often, delivery persons get the so-called “stacked” orders. It’s when they get two (very rarely three) orders from the same app at the same time, usually from the same eatery (or nearby eateries) going to two (three) different addresses located relatively close to each other. Such orders usually pay more, and it helps the eateries to get more orders out more quickly, and more customers to get their orders faster, as the app automatically figures out the most efficient way to get the orders delivered. But this also means that, if you are not the first person to get your food delivered (a delivery person does NOT get to choose – the app directs them where to head first), you may see the delivery person go elsewhere before they get to you. It’s perfectly normal, and, while it would be nice to be the first to get your food, again, the delivery person has no control as to the delivery sequence while delivering a stacked order.

 8. Tip Well.

Did we mention tip well? Without tips, the orders tend to pay very little. While one should definitely not view food delivery as their primary source of income, life can be complicated, and this job might be all a person has at this time. And, once they get back on their feet, they will remember the kindness of those who supported them during the difficult times. And we will all be better off for that.

 Thank you, and enjoy your meal!
  Tips For Uber Eats and Doordash Customers From a Delivery Person