There are few things sweeter in this industry than waking up after a long day on the road to see that a tip was added to your order or ride.
When you’re putting in the hard work, you deserve the same courtesy afforded to others in the service industry. Unfortunately, not every user agrees — and the amount you earn varies based on the industry and area you drive in.
Here’s what we found after pulling the anonymous data from 150,000+ drivers for each of these industries:
How do gig drivers get paid?
While it varies between apps (and sometimes states depending on minimum wage requirements), most gig drivers get paid through some version of this equation:
Cost per mile + cost per minute + % of order value (if food/grocery delivery) + 100% of tips
That last bit of the equation is the reason that tips can become the focus of many drivers. But how much do gig drivers earn in tips? And is it worth so much of their attention?
How much does a grocery delivery driver make in tips?
Grocery delivery drivers work for companies like Instacart and Shipt (or even Uber in the future). These orders typically take longer and have a higher cart value than food delivery.
And the tips reflect that.
Grocery delivery drivers made an average of $7.33 per order just in tips in 2021.
However, that number is on the decline. From January to October 2021, tip earnings dropped from an average of $8.87 to only $6.05, nearly $3 per order. This is likely a reflection of the return of shoppers to grocery shopping as lockdowns lifted.
Even though they’re on the decline, grocery delivery drivers still earn the highest tips on average compared to rideshare and food delivery.
In fact, grocery delivery is one of the highest-paying gigs overall. Shipt delivery drivers can earn up to $18.15 an hour, and sometimes even more. Here’s how much Instacart and Shipt drivers earn and which app is better for drivers.
How much does a food delivery driver make in tips?
Food delivery drivers for companies like Grubhub, Uber Eats, and DoorDash typically takes more deliveries per hour but have a lower cart value — and slightly lower average tips.
In 2021, food delivery drivers earned an average of $4.18 per order in tips.
While the higher volume of orders can help make up the difference, food delivery is a lot more about strategy. Try these tips to increase your earnings:
- Be selective about the orders your choose — higher value orders from dine-in or more upscale restaurants are typically more likely to earn your higher tips
- Become a multi-apper — this helps increase the overall volume of your orders and make it easier to deliver more of the high earners
- Use Gridwise app to track miles and earnings from all your driving apps, and find peak earning hours with the “When to Drive” feature.
How much does a rideshare driver make in tips?
And now the one you’ve been waiting for. Rideshare drivers are constantly fighting the battle for higher tips and better ratings, with some even going the extra mile to add disco lights, snacks, and other unique benefits for their riders. But does it work?
Rideshare drivers earn the lowest tips in the industry at an average of $3.32 per trip.
Of course, that’s not the whole story. Rideshare trips are typically much shorter than grocery delivery and often even food delivery. That means drivers can rack up more tips per hour to make up the difference.
On average, Uber drivers are earning $16.77 per hour in 2021, while Lyft drivers are earning an hourly average of $16.33. Here’s how to decide if Uber or Lyft is better for you as a rideshare driver.
Should you switch gig apps for better tips?
Tips are only part of the story. Earnings are decided by many factors, and deciding which app to drive for is mostly a question of your style and preferences.
Like to browse the grocery store and work consistent hours? Then consider grocery delivery. Prefer to spend time alone in the car while still making consistent earnings? Then food delivery might be right for you.
Or if you want to get out and meet people while bringing in reliable income on your schedule, then rideshare is probably your gig.
Or, you can take the road many gig drivers are on and choose to drive for a combination of apps to increase the earnings possibilities.
To help you make the decision, Gridwise pulls together all of the data you need to make better decisions about your gig driving business. Whether that’s tracking earnings and miles or showing you the best time to drive, Gridwise can help you find a clear answer on how to earn the most from your time on the road.
Note: If your tip earnings look different from these charts, please remember that these are nationwide averages, and do not reflect earnings for every city and app. This is not representative of each driver’s earnings.