How to Successfully Manage Delivery Driver Tips in 2021

Posted by Brandon Tucker

Brandon was the Marketing Content Specialist for SpeedLine Solutions from 2019 to 2022. He ensured the content we provided was the top-notch quality we are known for by staying up to date on industry trends, tips, tricks, and best practices to help our customers' businesses grow.

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If you use in-house delivery drivers, then tipping is a major part of your day-to-day operations, with 95% of customers regularly tipping delivery drivers. Here are some ways to increase and manage driver tips in 2021. 



Have Drivers Drop Money After Each Run

If you have three or four drivers running around with hundreds of dollars in their pockets, you’re just asking for trouble, whether that’s in the form of muggings, employee theft, or simply misplaced cash. But there are still customers who will pay in cash for their deliveries, which means that your drivers are going to need some cash on hand at all times. 

A simple way to avoid any issues is to provide drivers with a small float at the start of their shift (just enough small denominations of bills to make change for $20) and have them drop off any cash they’ve collected every time they return to the restaurant. At the end of their shift, you can go into their bank, and hand over any cash that goes above the total order amounts for their deliveries. 


Have Drivers Drop Money After Each Run



Make Tipping Available Online and In-Person

There are far fewer people paying for delivery orders in cash, especially after the rise of contactless delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic. A lot of people don’t want to pay for their orders in-person at all, even if it’s with a card, which is why you should offer tipping as an option when customers prepay for their delivery. 

“I find that because we have free delivery, a lot of people tend to tip a little bit more because they don't assume that that delivery fee is going to the driver.” - Adam Shorter, Cosmo’s Pizza

Digital tips are not only easier to track through receipts, but they also improve driver safety and minimize other risks associated with carrying cash while on the job. 



Speedy Tip

It is estimated that 27% of customers still tip delivery drivers with cash.



It is estimated that 27% of customers still tip delivery drivers with cash.




Upgrade Delivery Dispatch Technology

When paying a driver a tipped minimum wage, you need the tips to make up the difference. So it’s in your best interest to help your drivers maximize their tip amounts, which is possible by upgrading your delivery dispatch technology. 

Having a visual dispatch screen will allow you to more efficiently bundle deliveries together and provide customers with accurate delivery times, which means happier customers. And happier customers tend to tip more, meaning you’re not on the hook to increase your driver wages. 

“We do a lot of delivery and SpeedLine works great for that. I think they do a great job with their dispatch screen and other features, and it just works for us.” - Domenick Montanile, Venezia’s Pizzeria



Choose a POS That Automatically Tracks Status of Drivers

Driver wages can vary, depending on whether they are out on a delivery run or not. When your drivers are in-store, depending on your local labor laws, they probably need to be paid minimum wage, which is anywhere from $7.25 to $15.20, depending on which state you are in. However, when they’re out of the store on a delivery, in some jurisdictions they can be paid a tipped minimum wage, which is anywhere from $2.13 (the federal cash wage minimum) to as high as $14 in some states. 

To avoid a wage nightmare, install a POS system that is capable of automatically tracking when drivers are in the restaurant versus out on a delivery, and applying the correct hourly rate. 

Between improving your delivery dispatching, conducting regular money drops, and integrating your POS with your delivery platform, you can make managing driver tips completely effortless. Find out some other simple ways to improve your delivery system by reading through our comprehensive delivery breakdown.


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Posted on Fri, Jul 23, 2021 @ 08:07 AM.
Updated on May 3, 2022 @ 10:01 PM PST.

Tags: Employee Management, Restaurant Delivery, Food Delivery

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