This week, DoorDash introduced a pop-up message in its app to caution customers about potential delays for orders without tips. If you input $0 as the tip amount when placing an order, a warning prompt will appear, asking you to either add a tip or proceed without one. The message reads, “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.”
This initiative seems to be an attempt by DoorDash to inform customers that drivers are more likely to prioritize orders with higher tips. According to DoorDash spokesperson Jenn Rosenberg, the prompt is part of a testing phase aimed at enhancing the experience for all members of their community.
Rosenberg emphasized the importance of tipping, as Dashers, being independent contractors, have the freedom to accept or reject offers based on their perceived value. Orders lacking a tip may be less appealing to drivers, resulting in longer wait times for customers, orders sitting longer at restaurants, and reduced earnings for Dashers.
DoorDash plans to assess the results and feedback from this reminder screen, which is not yet active in all regions. In the gig economy, pre-tipping is a relatively recent concept, although customers can still tip their DoorDasher with cash or through the app after a successful delivery.
Driver preference for pre-tipped orders might be related to DoorDash’s payment system, which was restructured to ensure that drivers receive 100 percent of customer tips. Previously, DoorDash used a controversial “tipped wage” approach, where the driver’s earnings remained the same even if the customer tipped. Now, orders without tips are displayed at a base rate ranging from $2 to $10, depending on factors like estimated time, distance, and order desirability.
Drivers prefer orders with known tips, as they get to keep the entire tip amount. Without knowledge of a tip, they are more inclined to select orders where a tip is included. A former DoorDash driver mentioned on X that he often declined offers without tips because those with tips provided a more guaranteed income and advised customers not to skimp on a tip if they didn’t want to wait longer for their food.