Finance Expensive Penny: My Cheapskate Mother and father Gained’t Tip...

Expensive Penny: My Cheapskate Mother and father Gained’t Tip for Uber Eats. What Can I Do?


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Expensive Penny,

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

I downloaded the UberEats app for them on their telephones so they might proceed to get pleasure from their favourite eating places whereas staying secure at residence. However I used to be just lately mortified after they talked about that they by no means tip the drivers. I’ve a number of associates who’re driving to make ends meet proper now, and so they depend on suggestions.

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 all the time been stingy on tipping. They suppose 15% for nice service once you dine in at a restaurant is lots. I understand how exhausting it is going to be to get them to alter, however I really feel strongly about this. Ought to I drop it or hold 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 residence. It doesn’t justify not tipping your driver.

You don’t say the way you responded when your dad and mom advised 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 suppose that’s a great strategy. Individuals typically don’t reply effectively to being known as cheapskates.

I do suppose 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 slightly 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 identify. All the things I’m going to say pertains to meals supply apps throughout the board.) Maybe they mistakenly suppose that each one these expenses 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 primarily aren’t getting paid for. As a result of drivers don’t make an hourly minimal wage, they rely on tips.

Sadly, quite a lot of drivers will inform you that non-tippers are widespread. Ask any of your pals who’re delivering meals for an app, and I’m positive that they’ll verify 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’ve got zero interplay with them — and with contactless supply, zero interplay is becoming the norm.

However tipping has taken on a brand new degree of significance throughout the pandemic. Earlier than coronavirus, we have been usually asking individuals to ship meals to us just because we have been too lazy to select it up ourselves. Now, we’re asking drivers to threat their well being so we will keep secure at residence. Plus, so many individuals have misplaced their jobs and are attempting to cobble collectively a dwelling from gig work. This can be 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 this can be a dialog you’ve got 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 more likely to change your dad and mom’ minds by arguing about it repeatedly as you might be to alter 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 degree 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 depend upon suggestions.

The pandemic has uncovered simply how frail the protection web is for thus many employees, notably within the restaurant and hospitality trade. In the event you really feel strongly that that should change, you’re hopefully tipping extra generously lately.

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 just a few further bucks for the driving force. Within the meantime, hold tipping generously understanding that you just’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 tough cash inquiries to [email protected]


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