Complete Guide To Postmates Tipping Etiquette

These days, it seems as though you can get just about anything delivered straight to your door—and in many cases, you can get what you want without much of a wait. From grocery delivery to restaurant food delivery, and even housekeeping services, there are plenty of options available to you that can save you a lot of time and hassle.

Since 2011, Postmates has been providing grocery and food delivery services—though it has only been within the past few years that the popularity of this San Francisco-based service has really started to ramp up. In fact, if you live in or near a major United States city, there’s a good chance that Postmates is available in your area.

Of course, with any delivery service comes the issue of tipping/gratuity etiquette. Should you tip your Postmates delivery driver and, if so, how much? And when should you leave a tip? By having a better understanding of what Postmates is and how its workers operate, you can make informed decisions regarding gratuities.

What is Postmates?

Specifically, Postmates is a delivery platform that more-or-less combines the services of a restaurant-delivery app (like Uber Eats) with that of a grocery-delivery app (such as Instacart). The idea of Postmates is that you can get nearly anything you could ever imagine delivered to your door in less than an hour.

The Postmates app is available on both Android and Apple devices; when you log into the app, you can enable location services to instantly view a list of all the available stores that you can order from in your area. This can include anything from restaurants and bars to grocery stores, pharmacies, and even clothing stores. With the exception of a few types of items (including gift cards, firearms, and illegal substances), Postmates customers can get nearly anything delivered that’s available in their area.

Pros and Cons of Using Postmates

When compared to other delivery services, such as DoorDash or Instacart, Postmates offers the unique advantage of being able to bring nearly anything to your door in about an hour. While food delivery is the most popular service used among Postmates customers, it can be helpful for getting other essentials you need without having to leave your home. This can include anything from clothing and cosmetics to home goods and just about everything in between.

When compared to other delivery services, Postmates is also competitively priced. In general, you can expect to pay between $5-10 for delivery. However, during peak times for certain items, your order can be subjected to “blitz” pricing. During these peak times, delivery rates can increase due to high demand. For example, if you want to order tacos from a local taco stand that’s always busy around dinner time, you can expect to pay more for delivery during the dinner rush.

Another potential drawback to keep in mind when it comes to using Postmates is that the cost of your order isn’t guaranteed; with each order, you’ll be given a price estimate that is usually pretty accurate. However, actual costs can fluctuate based on service fees and other factors.

What You Need to Know About Tipping

If you’re thinking about ordering from Postmates for the first time, you may be wondering what to expect when it comes to tipping your delivery driver. When you go to place an order with Postmates, you’ll see that a delivery fee is automatically added to your order; it’s important to understand that this delivery fee is not a driver gratuity. You can compare this tipping to how much to tip housekeeping guide.

Should You Tip Your Postmates Delivery Driver?

The simple answer? Yes. You should always plan to tip a Postmates delivery driver. Many of these drivers rely on tips, as they typically make less than minimum wage when you calculate the “average” earnings from hourly deliveries alone. In fact, the Postmates app even automatically calculates and suggests a 20% tip for each order, though you have complete control over what you end up tipping your delivery driver.

Still not convinced you should tip your Postmates driver? There are a few other things to keep in mind. For example, consider the fact that most Postmates drivers earn about $4 per delivery. Even for those who are able to complete two deliveries an hour, that still adds up just over the Federal minimum wage. When you combine this with the fact that these drivers are also using their own vehicles and paying for their own fuel to get to your house, it’s easy to see why they rely on tips.

How Much Should You Tip Your Driver?

While the Postmates app will always calculate a 20% tip automatically, there are a lot of considerations you should keep in mind when deciding how much you should tip your driver. While you should generally expect to tip between 15% and 20%, there are cases where you may want to tip even more.

For example, if you used a promo code on your order that brings the total down to $10, a $2 tip may “technically” equate to 20%. However, you may still wish to tip your driver based on the original total of your order before any promo codes. If your order would have ben $15 before your promo code was used, this would mean leaving your driver with a $3 tip if you want to leave a 20% gratuity.

Of course, you should also factor in the quality of the service you received when tipping. If your driver was rude or if he or she missed some items in your order, you might justify leaving a smaller tip. However, make sure that you’re not punishing your delivery driver for something that may not have been their fault. For example, if the restaurant you ordered your food from was extremely busy and your order was a few minutes late as a result, this isn’t the fault of your driver. The same applies if they hit rush hour traffic trying to bring your order to you.

When Should You Tip Your Driver?

The Postmates app gives you the option to add a tip to your order after delivery; if you have a credit card linked to your account, this is typically the easiest option available. Of course, you also have the option to leave a cash tip directly with your driver once your delivery arrives similar to tipping your movers once they are done with their service.

Many drivers prefer to receive cash tips because this allows them access to the money right away. When tipping through the app, drivers must wait for the money to be transferred to their accounts. Ultimately, when and how you decide to tip your driver is up to you. If you’re more comfortable with tipping cash, your driver will probably appreciate this. If it’s easier for you to tip through the app after the delivery is made, this is fine, too. The Postmates app actually makes it easy to leave a tip and will even calculate the amount for you based on your selected percentage, if you’d like.

The main thing to keep in mind that is when your driver makes your delivery and you tell him or her that you’ll leave a tip in the app, you need to follow through. All too often, customers will forget to leave a promised gratuity.

Other Considerations for Tipping a Postmates Driver

Remember that your Postmates driver is likely not making much more than minimum wage based on earnings from deliveries alone. He or she is also putting wear and tear on his or her personal vehicle, paying for gas, and possibly waiting in rush hour traffic to get your delivery to you as quickly as possible. Often times, Postmates drivers will also go above and beyond by contacting customers directly with questions related to their order preferences. With all this in mind, there is really no good excuse not to tip your driver.

While 20% may be the generally accepted industry standard, you may consider throwing a few bucks your driver’s way if he or she goes above and beyond. The same applies if you had an especially complicated order. Furthermore, because Postmates regularly offers special promotions that include free delivery credits, it’s never a bad idea to share the love by giving your delivery driver a few extra dollars.

The Bottom Line

While Postmates does not require you to tip its delivery drivers, it’s almost always a good idea to leave your driver a tip. In fact, this etiquette could be applied to most services in the growing gig economy. And when you need a little help cleaning up after enjoying a Postmates take-out order, a professional cleaning company is there for you. Maid Sailors offers a wide range of cleaning services. Contact us today or use our convenient online form to schedule your next cleaning!


  • Colleen Melton

    I’ve done about 25 orders with Postmates recently. I’ve gotten 2 cash tips. The average per order has been about 20/80. In other wards people seem to be very cheap. I can’t believe it. They would tip their servers had they gone to a restaurant, why not tip us. I drive an SUV it’s hardly worth it !
    Tip your drivers people. I got you the food you ordered so you din not have to leave the house during this pandemic !
    Be kind to your fellow mankind !
    From Palm Springs, Ca.

  • Cara Ryan

    What is the post mates service fee??

  • No Fuknway

    20% for already gouged prices? Yeah no. Sorry you get what the restaurant gives you.

  • No Fuknway

    20% for already gouged prices? Yeah no. Sorry you get what the restaurant gives you.

  • Adam

    Postmate costumers take advantage of platform that youd have to include tip after delivery, and they do not tip unfortunately. I stopped driving for postmate.
    99.99 of the customer on doordash or other platform do tip.

    If you are too cheap to tip then do not use delivery app

  • Jacob Tweet

    I suggest a program where the postmate and driver both finalize the order through furthering the GPS model ( certain amount of feet away from each other) and place the tip request immediately before finalizing while the Postmate is face to face with the customer.

  • Jacob Tweet

    I suggest a program where the postmate and driver both finalize the order through furthering the GPS model ( certain amount of feet away from each other) and place the tip request immediately before finalizing while the Postmate is face to face with the customer.

  • Wil Baxter

    People are just cheap. Nothing about Postmates prices are up to the driver. The driver is just trying to earn a living using their own vehicle, own gas and maintenance on that vehicle. If you can’t tip at least a couple bucks then go get your stuff on your own.

  • Jo cant

    20% is too much. They are delivering the food not serving it in a restaurant at a table. Yes they don’t make enough money expressione since they drive their own car. Better off getting a better paid job don’t expect me to make his wages.

  • Jennifer

    So, the reason I should tip is because, “they rely on it”? Here’s a better solution – how about the company be held responsible for paying their employees and leave me out of it. If I paid a delivery fee to the company, I would think it goes towards the delivery… To expect more & shame the customer is just entitled & rude. It’s a minimum wage job… You shouldn’t be a delivery driver if service on your vehicle is an issue. For the record – minimum wage should be higher, I do believe we should all be paid a livable wage. Just not making the customers directly responsible for paying it.

  • Grrr

    People complaining about how servers get tips but they don’t. Servers actually do something, plus only get paid $2/hr. You carry a bag and leave. You’re lucky you get any tips at all.

    Tipping is stupid. Do your job and get a paycheck like everyone else. If your company refuses to pay for your work, stop working for them. Don’t expect everyone else to bail out your company for not paying you enough. And what entitlement you people have to try to GUILT us into bailing out the millionaires that own your company and refuse to pay you properly.

  • Proletariat Jesus

    I cannot believe some of you saying that delivery drivers just put it in a bag and leave. That’s just not true. We battle 10,000 maniacs on the roads and highway to get to the restaurant, we make sure your order is right, and in some cases we actually have to place your order. Then we have to battle another 10,000 idiots going to your house, find your house, and have the nerve to walk up on your property and knock on a complete stranger’s door. In the case of grocery deliveries, we are hauling $200 to $500 worth of groceries and unloading them on your front porch.

    Maintenance being an issue? I’m sorry babe, but every7,500 miles an oil change with synthetic oil. Tires once a year. New suspension and steering on a car? We’re talking $300 if you do it yourself. You don’t seem to realize that a professional courier drives 5 times more miles than the average driver and the wear and tear on the car is 10 times worse, not to mention the 10,000 idiots and maniacs like yourself that cause property damage to a courier’s vehicle. 20% is fair. Honestly it should be more. We have a very dangerous job and many people do appreciate what we do. The asshats like you all should get your lazy fat behinds out off your couch and get in your own car and get your own McDonald’s.

  • M&M

    First of all to call customers names like asshats etc and suggesting customers to go get their own Mc Donald’s is the wrong approach in many ways!! First let’s say all the customers took your advice and went and got the McDonald’s themselves where would that leave you now sitting there in your car with no work without a job? Second calling people names never got anybody anywhere, everybody is different I think you should take what you get when you get it and be happy when you get it and to be happy that you do have a job and people that are putting their money into this service. I for I’m able to tip fortunately with my current living situation now there are others out there that aren’t as fortunate and should not be pressured by these comments in any way based on their living conditions and working conditions personal situations etc so that being said we should all be happy with what we got and what we get and try to make it with what we have I remember if everybody went and got their McDonald’s on their own you wouldn’t have a job not saying that I’m not going to tip because I am and I do I’m just speaking in general

  • MKD

    When it comes to a matter of whether or not the delivery driver can live off their income or how much trouble they go through for an inadequate amount of money the ire is directed towards tippers who tip less than a certain percent or amount when its the employer that is hiring the driver at less than a living wage. Why animosity towards customers or expect a certain amount for tip? Isn’t the real issue the employer’s low standard for wages?

  • Tpow


    There are a lot of Delivery drivers who just don’t get it apparently. First off, when delivering food, what makes you think that you should get more tips than a pizza guy? $3 is the standard tip for a guy delivering pizzas. PERIOD


    Let’s start with wrong calculations. The calculated tip in most of these APPS are dead WRONG, Postmates, GrubHUb etc…WATCH what they calculate the tip on. In most cases the 20% they are calculating on is the ENTIRE order total. They are calculating off the delivery fee, the service fee, the taxes, the merchant fee, AND yep the food. OK so did you know that you are not supposed to calculate a tip based on ANY fees including taxes? Ok so what do you base your 20% tip on, the SUBTOTAL. Watch these apps and watch for the SUBTOTAL, this is what your tip should be based off of.

    Next…Let’s go with why we tip 20% in a restaurant. These servers have to spend a minimum of one hour with you, running back and forth getting any little thing you desire and cleaning up juniors messes, washing the tables, and cleaning up your trash and germy plates! AND at least I believe, they are not reaching into my bag and stealing a french fry or two. Guess what delivery drivers, you do NOT provide this level of service, they drove to work for me too. As a matter of fact you will shove as many deliveries as you can going into the same direction causing my food to get cold. Why should I tip you 20% when you don’t go from restaurant straight to MY door without any in betweens, so my food is fresh and hot. So lets’ get real here. Drivers pick up, since most bags are sealed they do not check to ensure the order is correct, as a matter of fact 90% of my orders have been wrong. SO apparently if you are a driver who does check the order, bully for you then you DO get 20% from me. You as a driver have the opportunity to convey a message to your customer via the app to let them know when there is such an issue. In these cases when you have to re-place an order and or double check it, you can convey this. I have definitely tipped drivers 20% in these cases. Open your mouths, this usually gets you a higher tip if you have to go out of your way.

    Next let’s look at WHAT is being delivered and how far. Driving 3 miles or less, one bag of food? 10% tip. Carrying drinks, more than one bag? Add 15% I feel adding drinks causes issues with balancing this and ensuring it doesn’t spill while driving. Coming 7 miles or more? I start at 15% and then consider if I am having your bring drinks. If the driver is riding a bike? Yeah 20% more exercise and work to get my order to me. AM I at a hotel where they have to get to my door with an order? 20% for the walking.

    Let’s face it, if you are driving 3-5 miles or less, fetching more than one order for other people in your go round, and dropping at the door and leaving, you do NOT deserve more than 10%. You are essentially delivering a pizza, what do you as a delivery person tip YOUR pizza driver. It just does not equate to a server that has to spend 1-2 hours with a customer face to face dealing with peoples attitudes. Dealing with other drivers and their driving? You can actually pull over between drives and take a break or go home or not take a job, servers in a restaurant cannot do this.

    Last let’s talk about grocery delivery. Yep they shop it, in some cases pack it and have to haul it. YOU hate grocery shopping, don’t you? Imagine someone trying to find the stuff you normally get, but THEY don’t use that product, never heard of it or used it. Now tell them to go find it lol. Poor peeps. Then they have to haul it to your door, up steps down steps, several bags. YEP these are the ones you want to tip higher. I tip them a minimum of $10 if I buy $50 of groceries or less. Then I go up from there based on canned goods, and other heavy items like milk, juice bottles, and laundry detergent. These guys really truly WORK for their tips but get paid the same as your Fast Food deliverers. SO you there, complaining about delivering McDonalds? I mean really? You did NOT just haul fifty pounds in groceries. Sorry, these particular deliveries DESERVE more!

    Ok so let’s summarize.
    1. Tip on SUBTOTAL
    2. Tip on mileage and amount of food being hauled. Are drinks involved? 10% is good for 3-5 miles and under and no drinks. 12% on 2 drinks and one bag of food. 15% on more food more drinks.
    3. Tip on Physical exertion. POUNDS carried and hauled and time spent shopping for items. 20% or more.

    There ya have it. It’s based on what is right and not what they THINK they deserve. The drivers who complain and whine about a $10 order are doing the WRONG job.

  • Master Chef

    Tips on Postmates don’t go to the chefs that prepared the food nor to the servers or cashiers that took the order and gave it to the kitchen. There’s already a delivery charge and service fee added in a Postmates bill to compensate the Postmates driver. If they want more money, take it up with Postmates, the employer. Not about to tip a driver that can’t read clear notes on where to drop off food while I’m busy at my desk or in a meeting

  • L D

    Postamates replaced an existing service for food delivery in NYC. It is much more expensive than the previous service even without including tips. I can’t help it if private equity has decided to take their profits from the delivery people’s pockets.

  • DazzDeals

    I’m done with these shop & deliver otders. I swear they go to the store, write down what is out then order those things. Had a good paying HyVee order only 2 items. Didn’t have either. Sent several substitutions & didn’t have those either. Got pissed & unassigned. Going to be @ 80% soon because of shit like this

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