DoorDash has added a pop-up in its app this week warning customers that orders with no tip might take longer to get delivered. Upon seeing the prompt in a since-deleted tweet on X, formerly Twitter, The Verge confirmed that if you enter $0 in the tip amount in the DoorDash app while placing an order, an alert appears with the below warning, prompting you to add a tip or continue without a tip:
Orders with no tip might take longer to get delivered — are you sure you want to continue? Dashers can pick and choose which orders they want to do. Orders that take longer to be accepted by Dashers tend to result in slower delivery.
The move appears to be an effort by DoorDash to show customers that drivers are likely going to prioritize more profitable work. If they don’t see a tip, they may choose not to take the job. It appears the prompt is not yet live in every locale; one Verge colleague in New Jersey got it, while another in South Carolina didn’t. (Neither proceeded to place an order without a tip, however!)
While tipping isn’t something anyone who lives in America should be surprised about doing (or should ever consider not doing without a really good reason), pre-tipping is a relatively new concept in our gig economy.
It’s entirely plausible you might be planning to tip your DoorDasher with cash or intend to bestow a giant tip on the driver when they arrive promptly and with piping hot food or perfectly packed groceries, something you can still do in the DoorDash app post-delivery.
According to The New York Times, the way DoorDash’s payment structure previously worked was that if a driver got a guaranteed base rate of $6.85 for an order, but the customer tipped $3, the driver would still get $6.85. Now, it seems that an order without a tip will show at that base rate, which DoorDash says ranges from $2 to $10 “depending on the estimated time, distance, and desirability of the order.”
The difference is that the driver gets to keep all of any tip given, but without knowing they are getting one, you can see why they’d pick a $6 order (where the customer included a $4 tip) over a $2 order and the hope that the customer plans to tip.
A person claiming to be a former DoorDash driver posted on X that he often passed up offers where no tip was included, as those with tips had more of a guarantee for his time. “If you want to wait an extra 1-2 hours to get your food, then don’t add an extra dollar or two,” is his advice.
We’ve reached out to DoorDash and will update this story when we hear back.