Automated Nudge Aims to Reverse Trend of Decreased Tips
Americans are tipping their delivery drivers less frequently than in previous years, prompting DoorDash to take action. The food delivery service is testing a new in-app warning that urges customers who select a $0 tip to reconsider their decision. The warning message, which highlights the potential delay in delivery for non-tipping orders, aims to encourage customers to tip their drivers.
Pop-up Message Highlights Potential Consequences
The pop-up message, now appearing for customers who choose not to tip while placing their orders, cautions that these orders might take longer to be delivered. The message reads, “Orders with no tip might take longer to get delivered — are you sure you want to continue?” The introduction of this “reminder screen” by DoorDash is intended to inform customers of the impact that their tipping decisions may have on the delivery process.
Driver Autonomy and Value Perception
DoorDash drivers, also known as Dashers, have the freedom to select which orders they want to fulfill. They can see the expected payout before accepting an order, and low payouts may result in longer acceptance times. While Dashers are not provided with precise information about the amount of the customer’s tip, experienced drivers can identify unusually low tips. This discretion allows drivers to prioritize more lucrative opportunities and ensures the delivery process remains efficient.
Jenn Rosenberg, a spokesperson for DoorDash, emphasized the impact of non-tipping orders on the entire community. Longer wait times for customers, delayed orders at restaurants, and reduced value for Dashers are consequences that can arise from a lack of tipping. Acknowledging the majority of customers who do tip, Rosenberg states, “offers that don’t include a tip can be seen as less desirable.” DoorDash has already observed a decline in $0 tip orders since initiating the test.
A Changing Landscape in Tipping Etiquette
Tipping etiquette has become a topic of confusion and resentment in the wake of the pandemic. However, not tipping for food delivery remains a clear faux pas. DoorDash’s new pop-up message does not alter the ordering process or the delivery experience; it serves as a behind-the-scenes warning for customers. The model employed by DoorDash, which encourages tipping before the service is received, challenges traditional conventions. While it offers transparency to drivers, it may disadvantage customers who prefer to tip in cash or base their tip on the quality of service provided.
The DoorDash pop-up arrives at a time when tipping attitudes are shifting. According to a Bankrate survey conducted in June, Americans are tipping less frequently compared to previous years. The survey found that 50% of respondents always tipped their food delivery drivers in 2023, down from 57% in 2022 and 59% in 2021. Additionally, 7% of respondents admitted to never tipping delivery drivers, while 18% said they tipped “only sometimes.” As tipping culture is scrutinized, 30% of respondents believe it has gotten out of control, and 41% argue that businesses should pay employees better instead of relying heavily on tips.