Q:

Tipping Etiquette: How Much to Tip Pizza Delivery Personnel?

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Quick Answer

It's standard practice to tip the pizza delivery person but figuring out how much isn't always easy. Fortunately, there are basic standards that make easier to know how much to tip pizza delivery people.

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Full Answer

Pizza Delivery Tip Etiquette
The person who delivers your pizza to you relies on tips to make a living. It's customary to tip the driver at least three dollars on an average-sized order of between one and three pizzas. Certain online food delivery services set the default tip at 20 percent. When you order from the same place often and you get to know the driver, it's a nice gesture to increase the tip to five dollars. The average salary for a pizza delivery driver is $7.92 per hour. This pay rate is usually minimum wage, plus a mileage reimbursement, which is why the tips are so important.

Tipping When There is Already a Delivery Charge
It's a common misconception that the delivery driver receives the fee that some establishments charge for delivery. This fee can range from a couple of dollars up to several dollars. While the fee is called a delivery charge, the money does not go to the driver. Therefore, the driver should still receive a tip of 15 percent of the order total.

Tipping for Large or Complex Orders
Some pizza places have extensive menus that include more than just pizza. They can include sandwiches, platters, drinks and dessert. When you place a large order for multiple people, it's customary to tip more. For orders such as these, a 10 dollar tip is appreciated. Some pizza patrons tip 15 or 20 percent on these types of orders. The reason for the larger tip is due to the increased work for the driver. The driver does more than just drive the pizza to your home. In most cases, it's the driver's responsibility to check to make sure the order is correct before it leaves the store. In some stores, they are also responsible for cleaning dishes and food areas.

Tipping When There is a Mistake
When an order is wrong and the driver has to go back for a forgotten item or something that was prepared wrong you're not expected to tip twice. If you tipped when the initial order was delivered, a second tip is not expected when the forgotten or replacement item is delivered. However, if you didn't top during the initial delivery, a tip when the driver comes back is always nice. After all, anyone can forget something and the mistake might have been the fault of someone else at the restaurant.

Encountering a Rude Driver
It's uncommon for a delivery driver to be rude to a customer when they are making a delivery. However, it can happen, such as if the driver had a bad day or an unpleasant customer before your stop. In the case of a driver who has a bad attitude, you are not at all obligated to tip. Take your order, sign the receipt, say thank you and go inside. You don't have to give an explanation to the driver as to why there is no tip.

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