DoorDash driver caught on camera spitting on food for getting a small tip (video)

Originally published at: DoorDash driver caught on camera spitting on food for getting a small tip (video) | Boing Boing


Ugh. Yet another reason such workers should be paid fairly, instead of relying on tips for that.


Can you actually see the tip they are giving you before taking the job? I always assign my tip when I place the order. I usually tip more than usual, hoping they will not spit in my food, or eat it.


i don’t know for sure, but from the video it appears that the driver finds out after completing the transaction/photo proof of delivery. you hear him them complain about the tip and proceed to spit on the bags.


Yes, but you only have 30 seconds or so to “accept” it. And if you are also trying to drive when it comes in, I usually just accept without looking that closely.

But $3 for a short delivery is absolutely fine. Typically I’ll get $2.50 from DoorDash on such a delivery and another $3 in tip would make it $5.50. In my more rural area, I average about 3 deliveries an hour, so that’s only $16.50 an hour at that rate, but that’s not bad. And the occasional generous tip brings my average hourly rate close to $20.

As I tell my wife, that means I’m basically getting paid close to $20/hour to listen to books. When I read at home, I don’t get paid at all, so it’s a win-win for me! :wink:


I avoid getting food and other goods delivered if it involved me tipping, mostly because i end up spending way more than if i just get the things myself. Working for tips when delivering seems like such a miserable job


I’ve never used Door Dash or other similar food delivery services, but the business model is that they are not employed by the restaurant and are paid a whole separate delivery fee, right? I’ve always tipped the Pizza delivery guys, etc, but in this case the driver seems more like a FedEx/UPS package delivery guy than a restaurant worker who would traditionally be tipped. And if you pay in advance how are you even supposed to know anything about the quality of service to help inform how generous of a tip to give?

It’s hard to keep up with the latest tipping etiquette. Should we tip UPS drivers now? How about fast food workers? Grocery store clerks?

Employers paying everyone a living wage would really be the best place to start though. If the Door Dash delivery fees aren’t high enough to pay a good wage then they should increase the fees or exit the business.


Dear America(n corporations). Please stop pitting people of modest means against each other with ambiguous economic systems that invite misunderstanding and mistrust just to avoid paying reasonable wages.



If you factor in milage on the car (using the IRS’s $0.54/mile rate maybe?) I hope it still works out to an appropriate rate. Back when I use to order from door dash I use to tip much higher then that, but I’ve moved somewhere less urban and deliver times are now in the hour+ range, and I prefer my food actually hot so now I actually drive myself like an animal and buy things directly from restaurants myself (except we have a local pizza place that delivers, about ten minutes plus bake time, and it is only a half mile closer then the places door dash quotes an hour for…)

The business model is they aren’t payed by the restaurant, and that they are a contractor for door dash who also does their best to avoid paying anything. Mostly they get tips. DoorDash at one point had a guaranteed rate that you would earn at if you actually took all the delevries they handed you they would make sure the fees plus tips aded up to whatever that rate was and if it fell short they would pay you extra to make it work out. I think it was something like $14/hour which wouldn’t have been enough to get me to do the job, but it seems like a not exceptionally unreasonable rate. However people decided that constitutes tip theft because it is effectively DoorDash paying you less if people tip you more (until you hit Door Dash’s base rate which is quite low, low enough that you really are working for just the tips even if you aren’t actually working for only tips).

Yeah, that would be super nice wouldn’t it.


THIS. The tipping thing is crazy. I have no idea how much work it is to bring me my stuff. It’s not like a restaurant where I may make several requests, see how they’re being carried out, see how busy the restaurant is and how hard the person is working…

With delivery, not only do I not actually see the work performed; how the hell am I supposed to know if the person is going to do a good job until they’ve done it? What is a good job, when the job is just bringing me a bag? And what even is a tip, if you pay before you receive the service?

We pay for the delivery. The delivery people should be paid the greater of: a living wage, or the market rate for the skills required. If the tech bros who create these services are so smart, why can’t they build that into the app/business model? Why leave it to me, the consumer, who has no idea what’s going on, to decide what a stranger gets paid for their job?

I don’t want to be an asshole. I also don’t want to be fleeced, because hey: I’m not raking it in either. I don’t have any idea how to thread that needle, so usually just end up getting the food myself.


Hey, a real courier in the discussion :smiley: Can I ask you a question?

I had never used a courier service before, no pizzas or anything, not even during the height of the pandemic. I am/was pretty clueless. About a year and a half ago I ordered something online from Apple. I decided on courier delivery from their store at the Mall of America, to where I live in Minneapolis—about 12 miles, looks like that would be about 15 minutes by freeway.

The item I bought was $999 + tax, so $1,088.89 and I think the driver surely knew what the item was. The added charge for courier delivery was $9.

I’m used to tipping in restaurants, I usually do 20% of the price of the meal before tax. More for pleasant servers.

But I didn’t know what to base the tip for the courier on. The value of my purchase? The charge for the delivery itself?

20% of $999 would have been $200—I knew that was too much. But 20% of $9 is $1.80—much too low. Plus I felt there should be some consideration for the fact that I was trusting him with an item that was much more valuable than a food order. I settled on $10, thinking that 100%-plus of the delivery fee might be okay. But now I feel like it was too low.

So I gave the guy $10 in cash when I answered the door and he thanked me. After I handed it to him I said, like, “Now that I’ve given you that, I have a question, I’ve never used a courier service before, I had no idea what to tip, how much do people usually give you, etc.” He replied, “I don’t even know what to tip!! I never know what to do in restaurants!! Etc.” He stayed and chatted for several minutes, we had a very pleasant conversation. But, as I pretty much expected, he never did answer my question. (I mean, I hoped he might, but how could he, really, it’s just too awkward.)

I told him I was super happy to be able to have it delivered and not have to take the light rail to the MOA and deal with the crowds. I’m sure he could guess by my living place that I’m not rich. And I’m an older woman going gray, and it was graduation time of year, so he may have thought that I was buying this tech item for a grandchild rather than for myself—meaning that if $10 was too little, he could have just thought I was out of touch. He did seem pleased enough overall. And at least I let him know that I really wasn’t sure at all.

So that’s a long story, and my question is, what would have been an appropriate amount???


Restaurants are even crazier, because regardless of how bad your experience may have been, leaving a poor tip only stiffs everybody who works there if tips are pooled. For example, if one person in the kitchen messes up your order, it’s not right to blame the server and then leave a low tip because everybody will suffer for it.

Long story short, I use tips as a way to reward extra good service rather than punish poor service (except in extremely rare cases where it’s very obvious somebody screwed up big but nobody acknowledged it, let alone apologized).

1 Like

Yeah, but at least for restaurants there’s a fairly well-defined range of socially-acceptable tips based on a percentage of the meal cost, so people at least know roughly what’s expected. For meal delivery (or other 3rd-party deliveries as @ginniecat mentioned) it doesn’t really make much sense to base the tip directly to the cost of what was purchased. It doesn’t take any more or less work to deliver a $1000 iPhone than it does for a $10 USB cable, and it doesn’t take (much) more work to deliver a $100 take-out meal than it does to deliver a single hamburger. It’s really understandable that so many people don’t have any idea on what the “right” number should be in these cases.



Leaving no tip is unacceptable



Seems that’s a big legal no-no, biohazard and all. What would the charge be for that? Tampering with food products?

Because you’re saying you don’t give a shit about others getting a living wage?

Until our system is changed, the tip is part of your payment for the services being provided for you. Yes, it sucks that businesses don’t pay their employees, but we have a system that lets them, so most of them will. You can either pretend like it’s not happening, or you can act in solidarity with others and push for change. :woman_shrugging:

1 Like

In UK I think it is nearly unheard of to tip deliver drivers/couriers re parcels. There is no way to do it other than cash at the door, anyway, and they never ring the bell, they just drop the parcel and go. No courier expects to be tipped. But then we do have a minimum wage here.

As to food delivery drivers (a slightly different category), I do not use such services. But if I did, I might tip in cash at the doorstep.
(Side question - what’s with leaving hot food on a doorstep for fuck’s sake? The customer wants it NOW not when they get an email saying it has been delivered - which may be quick but is not instantaneous, unlike ringing the bell and handing it over with a smile - and maybe getting a cash tip.)
If I did use such services I would certainly NOT tip in advance or on the app. Those apps should have a button for ‘tip on arrival’.

In restaurants, if I want to tip (and usually there’s a 12.5% service charge to cover that anyway) I’d leave cash on the table for an especially helpful, attentive and efficient waiter.

1 Like

Here in Japan, the food delivery apps introduced that in response to the pandemic.


Understood, but, nobody, least of all the TechBro corporations, are behaving like there’s a pandemic now. So why not ring the bell?
And on the doorstep surely a safe social distance is easily maintained for the 20 seconds or so it takes to put the delivery down, and let’s be honest, the viral load in a two second handover of a couple of notes is neither here, nor there. (And I say that as a ‘vulnerable’ person (according to the UK govt’s definition) as I am immunosuppressed.)


Is it not an option in the settings? I think that it became the default, but you can specifically request face to face now.

I prefer to have them leave it because the ETA given by the app is always off by just enough that I’m in the bathroom when they ring the doorbell every single time.