Data Series: Let's talk about tips!

Welcome to Driver's Seat's new series of blog posts, Data Series, where we crunch the numbers in the world of gig work and share the insights with you. We're kicking it off with a deep dive on tipping in rideshare and delivery!

First, we’re diving into the data behind tips. We’ve heard from new gig drivers that they want to know what to expect when it comes to tipping, so we’ve put together this Q&A to help you out!

All of this data comes from rideshare and delivery drivers who use the Driver’s Seat app to track their own work data and see how it compares to others. You can see the breakdown for your own data by downloading the app.

How do rideshare tips compare to food delivery tips?

There are some really important differences! Let’s look at three key aspects of tipping: tip frequency, tip size, and tip share.

Tip frequency: How likely is it that a rideshare or delivery trip will be tipped?

Tips only occur about a quarter of the time in rideshare. But with food delivery, tipping is standard customer behavior. Drivers are three times more likely to get tipped on a food delivery trip than on a rideshare trip.


Tips as share of total earnings: How big an impact do tips have on earnings?

Here is where it gets really interesting. If you do food delivery work, you know that tips are crucial. It really hurts anytime you aren’t tipped on an order. But did you know that tips make up nearly half of a delivery drivers’ income? Compare that to rideshare where less than 10% of take-home pay comes from tips.


Tip size: Do rideshare and delivery tips differ in amount?

Tips in food delivery tend to be higher than in rideshare, but not as much as you’d expect given how important they are to delivery drivers.​​


Bottom line, what do I need to know about gig driving tips?

After examining more than 16,000 data points around take-home pay from our random sample of Driver’s Seat users, two facts are clear:

  1. Tipping patterns in food delivery are significantly different from rideshare. 
  2. Food delivery drivers depend heavily on tips. Any changes that a platform makes to encourage or discourage customer tipping has a big impact on driver income.

What do you think?

Drop us an email or connect with us on Twitter or Facebook to share your experience.

  • Does the data we've analyzed from these drivers match your own?
  • What other questions do you have about tips?
  • What’s a topic you’d be interested in reading in our next blog post?

P.S. Did you know we recently launched automatic tracking for trips and earnings in the Driver’s Seat app? It’s the easiest way to see how you’re performing with gig work. Download the app on the App Store or Google Play and compare your performance to other drivers!

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