Online arguments about pre-tipping delivery drivers almost always boil down to a few essential points. Some customers state they always make sure to attach a tip to their meal beforehand to encourage drivers to pick up their order and bring it to them quickly.
Others, however, say they would never reward a service until they see the quality of said service—i.e. they won’t pre-tip on an order only to receive a cold meal with missing items. Some of these customers often remark that they’ll only tip after the fact and that they hand delivery drivers cash tips.
So, to test this theory, a TikToker named Clay (@adamclay8) who posts about his delivery hustles, decided to accept all non-tip orders that came his way during an Uber Eats shift.
He posted the results at the end of a trending TikTok that’s received over 30,000 views as of Saturday, and what ended up happening didn’t seem to surprise many folks who deliver food for a living.
@adamclay8 Accepting The Worst Orders On UBEREATS #sidehustle #moneytips ♬ Calm Down – Rema
“I’m going to accept every order with no tip,” Clay says in the clip. “So I constantly get people in the comments section saying that you should take the no-tip orders, that they’ll still give a cash tip, or that some people will only tip after their food is delivered to make sure it’s not tampered [with].”
He then shows a number of successfully completed Uber Eats deliveries in a variety of different locations for a number of different customers.
While he admits he did receive a .20-cent tip on one of the lower-priced deliveries he made, his experience fulfilling every order didn’t influence him to listen to commenters who suggested a tip would be waiting for him.
“What can we take away from today? I did a bunch of no-tip orders, and all of those no-tip orders I did not a single one gave me a cash tip or added an extra tip afterwards,” Clay concludes.
One commenter didn’t seem too surprised by the end result of Clay’s Uber Eats tipping experiment, writing, “There you go and people claim otherwise.”
Someone else echoed a popular colloquialism among delivery drivers, sharing, “Yep. NO tip NO trip.”
This appeared to be a sort of recurring chorus line in the comments section of Clay’s video.
“No tip no trip,” a user echoed. “I’ve only gotten a cash tip 3 times.”
Judging from the experiences of other drivers, it seems that they’ve been in similar situations as Clay’s.
“I never get cash tip after delivery,” a user shared. “But if you tip ahead, I drive a little faster.”
Another wrote, “Got my biggest tip of $22 earlier this week but no tippers never tip after or give cash in my area.”
However, one individual remarked they always give cash tips to delivery drivers when they complete orders.
“I always tip cash so workers don’t have to claim it on their taxes,” they said.
One user highlighted an expense reality many delivery drivers face, which can severely limit the amount of money they make per hour. “What was the total payout? Factoring gas expense, did you make or lose $? How much $ per hour?” they said.
U.S. Foods conducted a study on the frequency of tipping on delivery apps and the psychology of gratuities. Sixty-six percent of customers who responded to the survey said they base the amount of gratuity that they give to a delivery driver on what they’re being charged by the app and how much their food costs.
The analysis continued that while 95% of takeout customers tip on every order, 60% of drivers said their biggest gripe with their jobs is that these same customers either don’t tip enough or completely neglect to give any tip whatsoever.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Uber Eats via email and Clay via TikTok comment.