Home Finance Expensive Penny: My Cheapskate Dad and mom Received’t Tip for Uber Eats....

Expensive Penny: My Cheapskate Dad and mom Received’t Tip for Uber Eats. What Can I Do?


Expensive Penny,

My dad and mom are of their 80s. They like to dine out, however like a variety of older of us, they’ve been avoiding eating places because of the pandemic.

I downloaded the UberEats app for them on their telephones so they may proceed to take pleasure in their favourite eating places whereas staying secure at dwelling. However I used to be not too long ago mortified once they talked about that they by no means tip the drivers. I’ve a number of pals who’re driving to make ends meet proper now, and so they depend on ideas.

My dad and mom refuse as a result of they are saying the supply charges are already too excessive as it’s. My dad and mom have at all times been stingy on tipping. They assume 15% for excellent service while you dine in at a restaurant is loads. I understand how onerous will probably be to get them to vary, however I really feel strongly about this. Ought to I drop it or maintain pushing right here?


Expensive N.,

I’m a proponent of the “if you happen to can’t afford the tip, you’ll be able to’t afford the service” philosophy. That applies whether or not you’re eating in or having meals delivered. Within the case of Uber Eats — or any meals supply app — if you happen to don’t just like the charges, that’s an argument in favor of choosing up the meals your self or cooking at dwelling. It doesn’t justify not tipping your driver.

You don’t say the way you responded when your dad and mom informed you they don’t tip or whether or not an argument ensued. However if you happen to went on to their historical past of being stingy tippers, I don’t assume that’s a very good strategy. Individuals typically don’t reply properly to being referred to as cheapskates.

I do assume that it’s price letting your dad and mom know the way drivers for meals supply apps are paid, although. If they only began utilizing Uber Eats, they could be somewhat shell-shocked by all these exorbitant charges. (And I’m solely calling out Uber Eats as a result of that’s the service you point out by title. All the pieces I’m going to say pertains to meals supply apps throughout the board.) Maybe they mistakenly assume that each one these prices are lining the driving force’s pocket.

Right here’s what you’ll be able to inform your dad and mom: Drivers are principally paid by the order, not by the hour. In the event that they spend 20 minutes ready as a result of the kitchen is backed up, that’s 20 minutes that they basically aren’t getting paid for. As a result of drivers don’t make an hourly minimal wage, they rely on tips.

Sadly, a variety of drivers will let you know that non-tippers are widespread. Ask any of your pals who’re delivering meals for an app, and I’m positive that they’ll affirm this. Maybe a few of these prospects are merely confused about how drivers are paid or whether or not tipping is the norm. I additionally suspect that it’s simpler to stiff somebody when you will have zero interplay with them — and with contactless supply, zero interplay is becoming the norm.

However tipping has taken on a brand new stage of significance throughout the pandemic. Earlier than coronavirus, we have been typically asking folks to ship meals to us just because we have been too lazy to choose it up ourselves. Now, we’re asking drivers to danger their well being so we will keep secure at dwelling. Plus, so many individuals have misplaced their jobs and try to cobble collectively a residing from gig work. It is a time to be as beneficiant as you’ll be able to afford to be. There’s no hard-and-fast rule right here, however the basic consensus appears to be that 15% for meals supply is honest.

All that mentioned, I feel it is a dialog you will have along with your dad and mom one time, and one time solely. Past that, you’re not going to make a distinction. You’re about as prone to change your dad and mom’ minds by arguing about it repeatedly as you might be to vary somebody’s thoughts by arguing politics at Thanksgiving.

I’ve a hunch that your emotions on this matter replicate a broader disagreement along with your dad and mom. Tipping has taken on a brand new stage of emotion in 2020 — even for individuals who have the luxurious of constructing this a philosophical debate as a result of their livelihoods don’t rely on ideas.

The pandemic has uncovered simply how frail the protection web is for thus many staff, notably within the restaurant and hospitality trade. If you happen to really feel strongly that that should change, you’re hopefully tipping extra generously nowadays.

Sadly, there’s solely a lot you are able to do on this one. You’re not going to repair the broader structural problems with the economic system by making your dad and mom into higher tippers.

Hopefully, although, your dad and mom will shock you. You’re not asking them to drastically change their habits. You’re simply making the case for tacking on a number of further bucks for the driving force. Within the meantime, maintain tipping generously figuring out that you simply’re serving to make up for all these non-tippers on the market.

Robin Hartill is an authorized monetary planner and a senior editor at The Penny Hoarder. Ship your difficult cash inquiries to [email protected]


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