Grocery Delivery Tip Guide
(Important updates added Nov 5th, 2018)(General updates May 29, 2020)
Do you tip for grocery delivery?
In my last post, I went into of detail about why, how, and when to tip for grocery delivery. You ask, “Do you tip for grocery delivery?”, and “Do you tip Instacart grocery delivery?”, “Do you tip on Instacart?”, and “Do you tip Publix delivery,” “Should I tip for Walmart grocery pickup?”, “Do you tip Shipt?” and other search queries that mean people want to do the right thing. These rules are correct for all gig-economy related contracting jobs as most of these companies only write software to be the interface between the customer and the services or goods they want.
The answer to “Do you tip?”, is yes. Below is the calculation you should make (Pulled from the in-depth article):
The Grocery Delivery Tip Calculator
I’ve packed this blog post with facts and in-depth information pertaining to your grocery shopping and delivery contractors. I hope the next time anyone Google’s “How much should I tip grocery delivery” means intentions are to tip but not sure where the figure comes from.
This is how you should calculate tips for grocery delivery:
- Did you order groceries online and have someone bring them to you? Tip 7-10% of the total grocery bill and Go to #2.
- Did you like the service and they shopped for you (not a corporate shopper with benefits)? Add 5% to the 10% and Go to #3.
- Did your experience go above and beyond? Add 5% to 15% and go to #4.
- Tip in Cash whenever possible. (Or, add a 5% tip in the app and then add 10% at the door.)
It’s that simple. If you can pay a 10% premium on grocery prices and pay a company like Instacart and Shipt for the ability to do so, then adding a 10-25% tip should not be very hard. Instacart and Shipt are companies that develop the interface between the customer and the food they want all the while charging premium prices.
It is peers in your communities who are shopping and delivering your food. This includes Doordash, Postmates, Uber Eats and any other company that provides delivery. No company (yet) pays enough income to afford driving all day to offer these extra services you have come to expect.
Do you tip for grocery pickup or curbside?
Since I worked part-time at Kroger and Target as an e-commerce employee, I can’t definitively answer that. I will tell you that the e-commerce Clicklist associate (and I would imagine similar at Walmart) shops for sometimes six customers at a time and loads at least five times as much weight as an Instacart or Shipt shopper. (A Target fulfillment associate never does curbside delivery.) A typical e-commerce shopper drums out around 8,000-10,000 steps on concrete each day as they shop your orders and only sit down on a 15-30 minute break. A Shipt and Instacart shopper sit when they drive to and from customer homes and stores.
As a part-time employee for less than six months, I did not receive medical insurance. The starting salary for a typical associate is $7-12 per hour. I think if you are relatively smart about this decision you can quickly get to the answer.
Tipping for Grocery Delivery Mechanics
Companies that provide premium services like driving or shopping and delivering groceries want to know what their contractors are being tipped. It reflects any adjustments they may make in commissions. Prior to Instacart’s latest change where shoppers can now see how much the customer is tipping before acceptance, they only knew the tip when the transaction was completed. Shipt as well. As of the update on Nov. 5th, 2018, Instacart added much-needed transparency into the batches those shoppers receive, but it also makes leaving a cash tip less easy. If you were an Instacart shopper and wanted to decide over a batch but the estimated earnings seemed low because the customer wanted to tip in cash, then a shopper may not accept it. When an Instacart shopper sees the order they only see a total estimate of earnings, not how it was created. If you plan on giving the shopper 15% at the door in cash, then the estimate they saw for the order on say a $75 bill, then they would have seen a low earning estimate in comparison to shoppers who leave the tip in the app.
My advice is to put a nominal amount of tip in the Instacart app and then add a cash tip at the door. Also, consider this, most new Instacart shoppers aren’t hours savvy like the experienced ones, so whatever orders they do get, are grateful. Also, they are nervous on the first few shops and will bend over backward for a five star (they now get a $3 bonus for that). This means if you put $0 tip in the Instacart app and then hand over cash at the door, you will really be making a difference in the overall future experience for a contractor.
With Amazon Now (ordering from Whole Foods), I put a note on the order that tells the delivery person I tip in cash at the door. If they don’t read my note and don’t ring, then no tip (keep in mind Whole Foods employees shop the order, not the delivery person).