Reading Time: 5 minutes

In some countries such as China and parts of Europe, tipping isn’t a common occurrence, but in the USA, tipping is part of our culture, and while it is not obligatory, there is an unspoken agreement that it is the right thing to do. We tip waiters and waitresses, taxi drivers, bar staff, and hairdressers, but when it comes to delivery drivers, what’s the correct tipping etiquette?

That’s the question we are going to answer in this article; in fact, we will look at one specific delivery app company, Postmates, and give you the lowdown on everything there is to know about tipping one of their delivery drivers.

As you are probably aware, Postmates is the ‘everything’ delivery app that lets you order meals and other items from local restaurants and stores straight to your home or workplace from a handy app. Postmates is one of the longest established on-demand delivery companies as well as one of the most popular.

Its rivals, such as Ubereats, Grubhub, and DoorDash, all use freelance couriers who are paid a base wage but rely on tips to supplement their earnings.

Postmates drivers will pick up and deliver your order, and keep you in the loop concerning any delays or issues with your order.

How Does Tipping Work?

We probably don’t need to tell you how tipping works, unless you have recently arrived in the USA from another country where the tipping etiquette is different. Typically we tip service workers 15 to 20%, but if they have performed an exceptional service or we are feeling overly generous, we might go as high as 25 to 30%. Service workers rely on their tips to provide them with a living wage; without the tips, most of them wouldn’t survive on just the base pay, and this equally applies to Postmates couriers.

Something else to consider is that a substantial tip won’t only put a smile on your delivery drivers’ face but also make you feel good. It’s been proven that performing acts of kindness can raise your serotonin, the chemical in your body that contributes to your feelings of happiness. So it’s a win-win situation; you’ll feel good, and so will your delivery driver!

How to Tip Your Postmate Driver

Tipping your delivery driver is very straightforward, and you’ll be prompted on the Postmates app anyway.

Once you have had your order delivered by your Postmates driver, you’ll receive a notification to rate and tip them. You can tap the notification, but either way, once you open the App up, you won’t be able to do anything further until you have rated and tipped. You’ll be prompted to select from one of three tip amounts; 10%, 15%, or 20%. You’ll also have the chance to leave a custom tip by tapping on ‘Other.’

Postmates drivers receive 100% of their tips, so they are guaranteed the full amount you send. After customer tips, it will take at least 24 hours to process so the driver won’t see it straight away in the dashboard of their App. This shouldn’t matter to you as a customer, but if you are a new delivery driver for Postmates and reading this, don’t worry, your tips haven’t gone astray.

Tipping Etiquette – How Much Should You Tip a Postmates Driver?

Before we look at how much you should tip, you should understand that the base rate pay for a Postmates driver is somewhere around minimum wage on average. Usually, they provide an excellent service; they collect and deliver your food or goods as fast as possible so that you can enjoy them in the comfort of your own home. As independent contractors, they don’t get sick leave and have to pay all expenses when it comes to insurance, gas, wear and tear, etc. Would you begrudge them a few dollars for their service?

We would consider 15% as the lowest amount you should tip for good service. If the driver’s service stood out, weather conditions were bad, or he delivered an exceptionally large order, we’d suggest 20%. If the driver provided a substandard service, then rather than not tip them at all, we would go with 10%; it might be they were just having a bad day or something out of their control happened. Often delays and issues with the delivery will be caused by the restaurant or merchant rather than the driver.

Can Postmates Ask Customers to Tip?

Postmates make a big effort to ensure that their drivers get tipped by adding a prompt on the App and notification after delivery. While Postmates can encourage you to tip, it is not compulsory. It makes sense for Postmates to encourage tipping as it boosts drivers’ pay at no cost to themselves. If customers don’t tip, it would likely result in fewer drivers on the road, resulting in higher prices for customers. So ultimately, the act of tipping benefits all parties.

Can You Tip in Cash?

Yes, there’s nothing to stop you from tipping your driver directly in cash. To be honest, you’ll find that most Postmates couriers will prefer to get paid in cash over the App. Getting tipped in cash saves the driver from waiting for it to show in their funds and then waiting for it to be transferred to their bank accounts. Cash in hand and ready to use will also be more appreciated though it is entirely up to you how you tip. If you prefer to use the App then use that method, you won’t be depriving your driver of any tips; it will just take a little longer.

Postmates Tipping Summary

While it isn’t a mandatory requirement to tip your Postmates driver, hopefully, we have convinced you why you should do so after reading this article. Service staff, especially those that work for on-demand delivery companies, rely on tips to make their side-hustle worthwhile. If they didn’t get tipped, many would be working for less than minimum wage. Remember, your act of kindness will not only benefit the driver but also boost your well-being!


Actual earnings may differ and depend on factors like number of deliveries completed, time of day, location, and expenses. Hourly pay is calculated using average Dasher payouts while on a delivery (from the time you accept an order until the time you drop it off) over a 90 day period and includes compensation from peak pay, tips, and other incentives.