New York City Sees Major Changes in Tipping and Fee Structure on DoorDash and Uber Eats

By: Georgia | Published: Dec 11, 2023

In a significant policy change, DoorDash and Uber Eats have removed the option for customers in New York City to tip at the point of ordering.

This change coincides with the introduction of an additional fee to the final bill. This development has raised questions and concerns among users, as it alters the conventional method of tipping delivery drivers.

Unexpected Changes in Tipping Options for Customers

Customers of DoorDash and Uber Eats in New York City have recently encountered a significant change in the platforms’ operation: the inability to add a tip when placing an order.

Close-up view of a smartphone placed on a wooden surface, displaying the DoorDash logo on its screen

Source: Marques Thomas/Unsplash

This unexpected alteration has been coupled with the introduction of a new fee, subtly included in the final billing amount, which has raised questions and concerns among the app users.


New Minimum Wage Laws Prompting Changes

The removal of the tipping option by DoorDash and Uber Eats is a response to the newly implemented minimum wage laws in New York City.

A delivery rider, outfitted in rain gear and a helmet, is navigating a bicycle through a rain-soaked urban street, with large delivery bags attached to the bike

Source: Clay Banks/Unsplash

These laws mandate a minimum wage of approximately $18 per hour for app-based drivers, a significant increase from previous earnings. The delivery companies’ decision to adjust their tipping policy is a direct reaction to these regulatory changes.

Post-Delivery Tipping Becomes the Standard

In response to the new wage rules, DoorDash and Uber Eats have now limited the tipping option to post-delivery.

A delivery person is standing on the sidewalk, viewed from the side, with a large black Uber Eats branded delivery backpack, waiting to deliver an order

Source: Claudio Schwarz/Unsplash

This means that customers can only tip their delivery driver after the order has been picked up or fully completed, marking a significant shift in the customer-service provider interaction on these platforms.

Reflecting a National Shift in Tipping Practices

The alteration in tipping policy by these delivery apps is indicative of a broader trend in the United States.

A close-up view of a person's hand holding a brown paper Uber Eats delivery bag. Attached to the bag is a receipt with the name 'Dylan' and an order for multiple iced lattes, including details of the order placed and due time

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There is a noticeable shift in the country’s tipping culture, with a general decline in the practice of tipping, even as an increasing number of services start requesting gratuities.

Adjusting to Increased Operational Costs

Delivery companies assert that the increased costs due to the new minimum wage laws leave them with little choice but to revise their fee structure.

Over-the-shoulder view of a person using a laptop displaying the Uber Eats website with the text 'Discover restaurants that deliver near you' and a 'Find Food' button visible on the screen

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As stated by DoorDash, the new regulations necessitate an increase in fees for orders in New York City, leading to changes in their operational model.


Introduction of New 'Courier Fee' in NYC

Residents of New York City will now experience an increase in the cost of their orders due to new service fees implemented by DoorDash.

A close-up view of a smartphone being held by a hand, with the screen displaying a food delivery app's menu where various pizza toppings are listed with their prices

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These fees are attributed to the need to comply with the city’s new wage regulations. Uber Eats has also communicated to its customers in New York about the addition of a new fee to offset the costs of paying couriers.


Evolving Tipping Strategies by DoorDash

DoorDash’s approach to tipping has seen significant changes over the past year.

An LED sign with the words 'Order Online' and 'DoorDash' illuminated in green and red lights respectively, displayed in the window of a restaurant during evening hours

Source: Erik Mclean/Unsplash

While earlier in the year, the company had implemented strategies to encourage tipping, such as sending reminders to customers, the recent policy change in New York City represents a departure from this approach.


Revised Pay Structure for Delivery Drivers

In response to New York City’s minimum wage requirements, DoorDash has stated that its drivers are now earning $29.93 per active hour.

Rear view of an Uber Eats delivery person on a motorbike, waiting at a traffic light. The delivery person is wearing a helmet and a black jacket, and the motorbike is equipped with a large square insulated delivery box branded with the Uber Eats logo in green and white

Source: Zhuo Cheng you/Unsplash

However, this rate applies only for the duration of picking up and delivering orders, excluding any waiting time between orders.


Uber Eats Aligns with DoorDash in Tipping Policy

Following DoorDash’s lead, Uber Eats has also removed the option for customers to tip upfront.

A delivery person from Uber Eats is seen from behind at a crosswalk at night, wearing a black jacket and cap, with a large square delivery backpack prominently displaying the Uber Eats logo. The delivery person is on a bicycle equipped with a front basket, waiting to cross the street

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The company stated that tipping would now be possible only after the delivery has been completed.


Delivery Companies Respond to City Regulations

The response of delivery companies to New York City’s new wage regulations has sparked a debate. Uber Eats has suggested that these changes might lead to reduced employment opportunities and discourage tipping.

View through a metal gate of a restaurant window displaying a red DoorDash sticker with white lettering that states 'We deliver with DOORDASH'

Source: Getty Images

In contrast, the city’s Consumer and Worker Protection Department asserts that the decision to alter tipping policies rests solely with the companies and is not a directive from the city authorities.


The Future of Food Delivery in New York City

These changes in tipping and fee policies by DoorDash and Uber Eats signal a significant shift in the food delivery sector in New York City.

An Uber Eats delivery person is captured from behind, riding an electric scooter across a city street. They are wearing a large insulated backpack with the Uber Eats logo, navigating through a crosswalk, with pedestrians and vehicles in the background

Source: Getty Images

The impact of these changes on customers, drivers, and the overall delivery experience remains to be seen as the industry adapts to the new regulatory landscape.