Food delivery services are more popular than every during the COVID-19 pandemic. But with that popularity, some problems have become more frequent, especially orders arriving to people’s doorsteps later than usual.
Business is bouncing back at Kung Food Chu thanks to delivery apps and a stream of takeout orders.
But owner Hana Chu has noticed a simmering problem in recent weeks.
“We noticed a lot of third party delivery drivers weren’t coming to pick up the food,” Chu recalled.
And she is getting more and more upset calls.
“Some customers are saying its over two hours,” Chu said.
Delivery apps like GrubHub, Uber Eats and DoorDash have been life-savers over the past year.
But driver shortages can lead to longer wait times. Another ream may be because of how much customers tip the delivery drivers, as well.
“The most common excuse I hear among drivers and customers is ‘no tip, no trip,'” said delivery driver Jason Barlow.
Barlow and “Kate” are two delivery drivers (abc27 agreed not to say which service they drive for).
Both say if it appears an order has no tip, it may sit for 30 minutes.
“If I see an order coming through that has no tip on it, I will decline that order. It will be offered to the next closest person, and then that person can choose to take it or decline it,” Kate explained.
Drivers also say they are not told in advance how much of a tip a customer will leave. But, if an order shows it’s only going to pay $3-5, they will assume a customer is not tipping and may pass them by.
“Sometimes it’s not even worth it, you just work for free,” Kate said.
Barlow says a small tip is not realistic for delivery drivers.
“Can you make money as a driver on 3 dollars? On 3 dollars? Realistically no,” Barlow said.
Delivery services show customers a “suggested tip” on their app. But Barlow and Kate suggest being generous.
“You are more likely to get your food faster,” Barlow said.
When it comes to restaurant servers or drivers, this may be one case where a customer should open their wallet a little bit more to help them.