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. According to DoorDash spokesperson Jenn Rosenberg, the prompt is “something that we’re currently testing to help create the best possible experience for all members of our community.”
If they don’t see a tip, they may choose not to take the job. It appears the pilot is not 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!)
When consumers leave a tip, Dashers are more likely to accept their order because of the value they find in it. This drives positive delivery experiences for consumers, which in turn drives satisfied, repeat consumers for merchants.
On the flipside, orders without a tip are less appealing to Dashers and thus are more likely to be rejected by them, which may result in a consumer’s food sitting longer at a merchant’s restaurant. That leads to consumers experiencing longer wait times as Dashers potentially decline their orders and in turn, a lower quality experience for all members of the DoorDash community.
To be clear, consumers still have the option not to tip if they choose not to. The test does not impact DoorDash’s commitment to quality or how orders are fulfilled. Our goal is to deliver the best possible experience – regardless of the amount a consumer tips – each and every order.
This screen is being randomly tested with customers in markets across the United States. As with any pilot we conduct, we will carefully analyze the results of this test and engage with members of our community for feedback before further roll-out.
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.
The driver preference for pre-tipped orders may be linked to DoorDash’s somewhat convoluted courier payment method, which was reworked following revelations that DoorDash was not giving drivers the full amount of customer tips.
In 2019, DoorDash restructured its payments to drop the controversial “tipped wage” method and pay a base rate with 100 percent of tips going to drivers. The knock-on effect of this, however, makes orders without tips less appealing to drivers.
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.
Update October 31st, 4PM ET: Added statement from DoorDash confirming the message is part of a test.
Update November 2nd, 12:49PM ET: Added link and statement from the DoorDash press release.