DoorDash is warning customers that no tip orders might take longer

Tipping has increasingly become a hot-button issue in America, especially since both the pandemic and the rise of apps like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, etc. It seems like no matter where you go or what you do, you’re expected to add a tip. While I think you should show appreciation to the people who provided you a service, it’s also gotten noticeably more widespread beyond just the service industry. What feels like it started as a way to show gratitude to essential workers who were risking their health while the rest of the country was on lockdown now feels like consumers are expected to bear the brunt for companies who won’t f–king pay their workers a livable wage.

On November 1, DoorDash started testing a new system that warns customers that they may be SOL on their food delivery if they don’t provide a tip. If a customer chooses not to leave a tip, a pop-up screen appears warning them that tipless orders may take longer to get delivered. The idea behind the warning is to incentivize customers to leave a good tip, since DoorDash has the same model that Uber does, where the driver selects the customer. Gone are the days when you were guaranteed your pizza in 30 minutes or else it’s free. Now, you may have to get into a tip war just to get your pizza delivered at all.

“Earlier this year, we began piloting new information screens in the DoorDash app. When consumers choose to add their own custom tip instead of using one of our suggested default amounts, we let them know that tips can help motivate a Dasher to quickly accept their order,” reads a blog post on DoorDash’s website. The post says that if a customer chooses to not leave a tip, the app will also let them know that their order may take longer to be accepted as a result: “This is because — as independent contractors — Dashers have full freedom to accept or reject offers based on what they view as valuable and rewarding.”

DoorDash notes that since launching this test, it’s seen a decrease in no-tip orders. The screen is being randomly tested with customers in markets across the U.S. and Canada, and DoorDash says it’s planning to carefully analyze the results of this pilot program and open up the floor for customers to leave feedback before rolling it out further.

“Everyday, Dashers go the extra mile to help connect consumers with the best of their local communities. That’s why we encourage customers to show their appreciation by tipping,” DoorDash spokesperson Jenn Rosenberg tells

“As independent contractors, Dashers have full freedom to accept or reject offers based on what they view as valuable and rewarding While the vast majority of customers do leave a tip, offers that don’t include a tip can be seen as less desirable — this impacts our entire community, leading to longer wait times for customers, orders sitting longer at merchants, and less value for Dashers.”

DoorDash’s test comes after food delivery drivers have shared their experiences with deceptive customers on social media, noting the practice of “tip baiting,” in which customers entice a driver with a large tip only to lower it after the order has been delivered. Some drivers have used the phrase “no tip, no trip” to share their frustration with no- or low-tip orders, while others have gone so far as to confront customers who tip below a certain amount.

Colleen McCreary, chief people officer and consumer financial advocate at Credit Karma, says that for food delivery, an appropriate tip is about 20%, because, “You could’ve picked up the food yourself.”

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I think “tip baiting” is terrible, and I’m sorry to the drivers who have been deceived by sh–ty customers. I just checked and it doesn’t look like DoorDash drivers can give feedback on customers in the same way that rideshare drivers can. I know people who get really competitive about their Uber and Lyft ratings. Why can’t DoorDash do a system like that? And when the company says that they see a “decrease in no-tip orders,” does that mean people add a 20% tip or they’re adding in a dollar so they don’t show up as a “no tip” order?

Honestly, I am torn between my inherent belief that we’re all in this society together and need to take care of each other and my outrage that companies like DoorDash don’t have better systems in place to protect their drivers. I absolutely believe in tipping delivery drivers, but aren’t you supposed to tip for service after it’s been provided? This pilot program has been rolled out to increase their appeal to potential drivers. Hey DoorDash, you know what else increases your appeal to potential drivers? Offering them health insurance and other benefits! This is just one more case of yet another company that essentially places the burden of their employees’ cost of living onto consumers.

Photos via DoorDash’s Instagram

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