What is an acceptable tip for a driver delivering a $20 pizza?
A TikTok video claiming to show a DoorDash delivery driver in Texas insulting a customer for the $5 tip she gave him has gone viral, sparking a new online debate about tipping culture in the US
“I just want to say it’s a nice house for a $5 tip,” the driver can be heard saying as he drives away from a house in the door camera video posted on TikTok more earlier this week by a user by the name of Lacey Purciful.
“Please!” the resident said, sounding surprised by the remark. “Fuck you,” the driver replies before walking away.
“So how much should I give for a $20 pie?” Purciful, who in a separate post said she herself had worked in the service industry for more than 10 years and provided “really good” advice, wrote in a caption.
Purciful, which did not immediately respond to an overnight request for comment from NBC News, said the driver was fired by DoorDash following the incident.
A DoorDash spokesperson confirmed that the worker was removed from their platform. They said the company also contacted the client about the incident.
“Respectfully requesting a tip is okay, but abusing or harassing someone is never okay,” the spokesperson said.
“Our rules exist to ensure everyone who uses our platform – Dashers, customers, merchants – has a safe and enjoyable experience,” they said. “We expect everyone to treat others with respect and we will enforce our rules fairly and consistently.”
The video fueled a growing debate in the United States about tipping culture, with some current trends complaining that they may have reached a tipping point.
“Tipping is out of control,” one social media user said, commenting on the video. They said they felt $5 for a $20 pizza was “more than” enough.
“I wear doors and most (not all) pizza delivery orders don’t tip. That was a tip from Rockstar,” another user said.
However, not everyone agreed with some calling Purciful “Karen” for contacting DoorDash about the incident.
A poster said it felt the driver shouldn’t have lost his job over the swap, writing: ‘What he said wasn’t right but he didn’t have to lose his job job because of it. Everyone is trying to make a living.”
Another commenter noted that the driver may have been concerned about the mileage, writing, “Maybe $5 wasn’t enough.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has shed light on consumers’ willingness to tip, especially in times of hardship, and many have taken to paying higher tips during the crisis, a study has found.
Figures provided to NBC News earlier this year by payment processor Square showed tipping frequency at full-service restaurants rose 17% in the fourth quarter of last year compared to the same period in 2021. Meanwhile, the frequency of tipping at quick-service restaurants, such as cafes and fast-food chains, increased by 16%, according to company data.
The apparent increase in tips came despite a period of record inflation, which eroded the discretionary income of many consumers.
While the pandemic has appeared to spur widespread shifts in tipping culture, the growing use of point-of-service, or point-of-sale systems, to process payments also appears to have made it easier than ever for customers to provide — and business demand – advice.
In a survey of restaurant executives by industry group Hospitality Technology, 71% of respondents said using data to “understand customer preferences and behavior” was their top reason for facilitating upgrades of the point-of-sale system, while for 57%, activating new payment options was the priority.
A recent Lending Tree survey found that 60% of Americans believe they tip more, NBC Boston reported. Around 24% said they felt compelled to tip when the option was presented, while 41% said they changed their shopping habits due to tipping expectations and 60% felt that tipping expectations had gotten out of control.