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The sharing economy has lots of great paying jobs for all kinds of delivery drivers. You’re probably asking, “How much do delivery drivers make?” Many of these independent contractor jobs pay an average of $15 to $20 an hour. Increased delivery fees during peak times and other scheduled bonuses can raise that amount even more. And we haven’t even included what tipping delivery drivers adds to the payout you’ll get from each completed delivery. This is why we think being a delivery driver for an app-based, on-demand service is one of the best ways to earn extra income.
How to Earn More Tips as a Delivery Driver
We have compiled some great tips for earning more gratuities. These will work whether you’re delivering take-out food orders for Postmates or Doordash, or delivering groceries and/or household goods for companies like Shipt and Instacart. Here’s how delivery fees and gratuities work for delivery drivers. We’ll use Postmates as an example, as most of the delivery companies follow the same procedure.
Postmates charges its customers a delivery fee of around $8 per delivery. Postmates keeps around $2 (20%) of this fee, with the rest (80%) going to you, the driver. So you end up with about $6 per delivery, no matter what. This is NOT your tip. Your tips are on top of this delivery fee. Now, Postmates also adds a suggested 20% tip for the driver on the app for every completed order. So let’s say you deliver a $100 order to a customer. If they go with what Postmates suggests, you’ll take home an extra 20 bucks tip, along with your $6 delivery fee. If you’re lucky enough to do, say, ten $100 Postmates orders during the day, and as long as the customer agrees to the 20% tip, you could walk away with an extra $200 of sweet tip money on top of $60 in delivery fees! Not bad, huh?
However, customers always have the option to ignore the gratuity suggestions and leave a larger tip (GREAT) a smaller tip (NOT SO GREAT) or no tip at all (SAD FACE EMOJI). And a lot of customers think that the delivery fee IS your tip, which, of course, it isn’t.
That’s why we suggest you should always provide your customers with the best customer service possible anyway. If you impress your customers by fulfilling their orders perfectly or go that extra step to make their lives just a bit easier, you might just encourage them to reward you with a nice gratuity. Tips can be given to you in cash or through the smartphone app of the company you’re working for at the time. What’s cool is on-demand delivery companies allow you to keep 100% of your tips.
Let’s break down getting tips into two categories: take-out food delivery and groceries/household goods delivery.
Earn More Tips Delivering Take-Out Food for Postmates and DoorDash
These suggestions are great if you’re delivering a take-out food delivery order as a Postmates courier or Doordash Dasher. Postmates and DoorDash deliveries are usually completed by handing the food delivery to the customer at their home or sometimes inside an office building lobby. You might also meet the customer in their office’s parking lot. The Postmates and DoorDash apps let the customer know when you’re about to arrive. Here are some tips from successful Postmates and DoorDash delivery drivers to increase your chances of receiving gratuities:
1. Here’s a Pro Tip we got from an InstaCart delivery driver. Think about what you’d want a driver to bring you if you were the customer. In other words, put yourself in the customer’s hungry shoes. As long as it doesn’t cost the customer anything, bring them a few small containers of different salad dressings from the market salad bar, you know, to give them some extra choices. Did they order Mexican food? Maybe they didn’t put down what kind of salsa or sauces they like. Fill up those little containers and present them to the customer, even if they didn’t specify it on the app. Addressing a customer’s needs before they have to add it to delivery in progress provides them with an enjoyable and appreciated delivery experience. In turn, you could get a great review and a good tip.
2. Before you leave the restaurant with the customer’s order, always double check to make sure everything is properly packed in the take out bags. Remember to grab some extra condiment packages (ketchup, mustard, mayo, hot sauce, etc) napkins and plenty of plastic utensils.
3. Point out these extra items to the customer when you make the delivery. You might get rewarded for your extra efforts with a good gratuity.
4. We also recommend texting the customer through the app to tell them you’re on your way with their order. This will prepare them to expect your arrival. This will also help you to complete the delivery faster so you don’t have to wait around for them to answer the door. The more deliveries you can complete in an hour the more delivery fees, and hopefully, tips, you’ll receive. Make sure you check for gate codes (if the customer lives in a security building) or special parking instructions from the customer. Customers will appreciate you not bugging them to open a gate or asking where to park when they’ve already entered this info on the delivery order. They want their food as quickly and as hassle-free as possible. Providing that service will more than likely result in a tip.
5. When you arrive at the customer’s location, greet them with a big smile and call them by their name, like you’re a good friend doing them a favor. Read the order to them so they know what you’re delivering is exactly what they ordered.
6. If you’ve personally eaten at the restaurant they’ve ordered from, engage the customer in a little conversation about it. You know, something like, “I love Pita Palace’s chicken kabobs! Have you tried their gyros?” You might impress the customer by showing them you’re not a driver who’s only interested in dropping off the order and speeding off to the next delivery.
7. If the customer doesn’t answer the door when you arrive, text them or call them to let them know you’re there. Their contact information is included in their order. Ring their doorbell and knock on the door. Wait at least 10 minutes. Contact Postmates Fleet Support or DoorDash driver support through the companies’ apps and tell them you did everything you could to complete the order. You’ll get specific instructions as to how to proceed.
8. This is key: accept lots of delivery orders when the weather is really bad or when a big sporting event, like the Super Bowl, is on TV. People don’t like leaving their homes to pick up food during lousy weather or when they don’t want to miss a second of the big game. You’re doing the customer a big favor by providing this service for them, so chances are good you’ll get a pretty decent tip.
9. Accept as many big take out orders, like $100 or more, as you can. Customers usually leave bigger tips for bigger orders.
Earn More Tips When Delivering Groceries and Household Goods for Shipt and Instacart
We’ve covered how to earn more tips when you’re delivering take-out food orders. But how about when you shop and deliver groceries and goods as a Shipt delivery driver, aka a Shipt Shopper, or an Instacart Full Service Shopper? Again, it’s all about customer service. Here are some excellent suggestions from a few Shipt and Instacart delivery drivers we spoke to:
10. Make sure you’re dressed nicely. Wear the company’s T-shirt if one is provided to you. Your first impression should be a professional one.
11. Since you will be shopping for the customer as well as delivering their order, make sure you follow the customer’s instructions to the letter. Check the order on the app for any special requests or instructions. Show the customer how much you care about giving them exactly what they want. That’s the kind of customer service that pays off with a gratuity.
12. Always offer to bring the delivery bags in for the customer even if they don’t ask you to. Elderly or busy customers might really appreciate you saving them some time and physical effort.
13. Do everything you can to complete the order. If the customer was unable to answer the door when you first arrived, they might appreciate the fact that you waited for them. If the customer does not respond after about 10 minutes, contact driver support for further instructions.
Let’s face it; some customers will never give you a tip no matter how great you are as a delivery driver. That’s just the breaks. But you can “tip” the odds in your favor by following the suggestions we gave you. Bottom line? Do the best you can to provide your customers with a five-star delivery experience. Tips add up and even if you only get tipped a dollar, fifteen deliveries equals an extra $15 in your pocket. Worth it!
Need a Car to Be a Delivery Driver? HyreCar Can Help!
If you want to be a delivery driver but don’t have access to a car, relax! HyreCar can turn that impossible scenario into a possible one. HyreCar will help you rent a high quality, reliable car from our online marketplace in less than 24 hours. That goes for all 50 states! You’ll be making deliveries and earning extra income in no time. You can try us out for a minimum 2-day rental or for as long as you want. Thousands of rideshare drivers and delivery drivers find their vehicles through HyreCar. Car owners set their own rental fees, competing with other car owners to offer the best prices in the industry. There are no long-term contracts and rideshare insurance is included with every rental at no extra charge. Stop shopping around for a boring job. Rent a vehicle from HyreCar and start your fun, a new career as an on-demand delivery driver today. Now that’s the biggest tip we can give you!
Happy Delivering and Tip Earning from Your Pals at HyreCar!
By Rob Izenberg – HyreCar Staff Writer