HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
Apr 3, 2008 07:53 AM

Tipping for Delivered Groceries, Peapod, etc.

If you have your groceries delivered (I use Peapod here in the Northeast), how much do you tip?

In every other situation (dining out, takeout, delivery, etc.) I generally tip fairly well, a minimum of 20% unless something was really wrong. But clearly that's a bit extreme when it comes to a $150 or $200 grocery order. So, how much do you tip?

I generally tip $5-7 unless the weather is bad or I have really heavy items, then I go up to $10 (and have even done $20 when we were in the middle of a horrible snow/ice/wind thing.) But I have no idea if I'm being fair or not; so, what do others tip for groceries?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Until very recently, I was getting groceries delivered every week from Fairway (Manhattan). There is about a $6 fee for delivery and I would always tip at least $1 per bag. And then round up from there -- it's just easier to give, say, a $5 bill instead of looking for 4 singles.

    I too thought it weird to figure out a grocery-delivery tip based on a percentage of the bill. I thought figuring it per bag was a more reasonable way to do it. I'm not sure why I think this ... when calculating for food delivery (takeout), for example, I do tip a percentage of the bill.

    3 Replies
    1. re: LNG212

      Tipping per bag definitely makes more sense, except that the way Peapod does it, the number of items in each bag depends on the amount you got from that department. (They must have different people filling the orders for each dept). For example, if my order consists of all food and say one bottle of shampoo, that bottle will be in its own bag. If I have only one frozen item, that will be in its own bag, etc. I end up with about a million bags. This morning's order had one lone can of soup in its own bag. Thank God we can recycle them now!)

      I just had an order this morning & tipped $7. It took him three trips to the truck. (Also they don't have to go up stairs, or through rooms, they come right into the kitchen and put the bags on the floor. I'd probably tip more if the delivery situation was more work)

      1. re: dagwood

        I tried the Fresh Direct service which sounds more like what you are doing. And they do the same thing -- sometimes one lonely item in its own box. The excessive packaging (and the selection that wasn't better than Fairway) was the reason I never continued with them.

        I guess it's different if you are doing an ordering-then-delivery system rather than a trip-to-store-and-delivery which is what I was doing. In your case, I agree, it would be really hard to figure out a "tipping per bag" thing.

        Are you saying that they won't deliver to your upstairs? Maybe I'm misreading you. Our delivery people come upstairs, into the apartment and into the kitchen (I'm in a walkup). They'll drop wherever you ask them to put the stuff.

        In the past couple of years, there was also a lawsuit about delivery people's wages. The delivery people won. So at least we know they are supposed to be making a bit better wages than before (which is my guess as to why the delivery fee jumped from $4 to over $6).

        1. re: LNG212

          No, they will come upstairs, and put your bags wherever you ask them to. I'm saying that in my situation, the delivery is really easy because I live in a single family house, so they just come in through the side door, which puts you right in the kitchen. So they would do whatever you need them to do, but what I need them to do is relatively easy.

          I actually prefer to go to the store myself rather than have them delivered, but I'm a full time student and stay at home mom of two small kids, so my ability to get to the store is sometimes limited, and that's when I use it. But they make crappy substitutions sometimes and I've had ice cream arrive completely melted, my deli cheese that was supposed to be thin-sliced arrive thick as all get-out, bananas and tomatoes that were clearly stored in the refrigerated unit, and even loose dry ice in one of the bags, not once but twice (it was in a bag on the floor and I had a toddler at the time, big safety hazard!)

          The delivery fee here is based on the amount of the order, so I never place an order unless it's over $100, because thats the lowest delivery fee bracket. (I believe it's $6, it's higher if your order amount is less). They also give you a discount for certain times of the day, or if you can commit to a larger delivery time window. They recently added a gas surcharge as well, but I think that's less than $1. Clearly there are big problems with the service here, but sometimes the convenience of it just wins me over.

    2. We use "Planet Organics" in San Francisco and get a delivery of produce, dairy, eggs and assorted grocery items every two weeks. They bring the box and a cooler inside the gate and up to the steps of our house (they're bonded and insured). We do an annual tip in much the same way we do for our cleaning service, UPS driver (who is amazing), postal carrier and newspaper delivery person. Its possible that we miss someone who covered for a week here or there, but overall this has worked well, it seems.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ccbweb

        I use Peapod too! I tip about $5 too (for bad weather or multiple trips I tip a little more), and I always have an order over $100 that requires an insane number of bags.

        Here's my question - I write the tip in, on the bill that I sign (ie, I don't use cash). What do you think of this? Is that a bad idea?

        I've complained (via the 800 number/email comment) about fresh fruit and veg that have been frozen - I believe the costs were credited to me and it's no longer a problem; they must be more careful now. And I switched to the "no substitutions" policy (you can still opt to substitute things on an item by item basis) . . .

        Frankly, I just hate spending time at the grocery store and hauling groceries to my apartment. In season, I do try to buy my produce at farmers' markets, etc . . . but in general, I love Peapod and I don't understand why grocery delivery ever went out of style; it used to be very common in the US in the 1950s.

      2. I always preferred one of the old competitors to Peapod (at least here in new england), Homeruns precisely because they had a "no tipping" policy. Sadly, they went out of business. I haven't done Peapod in a while, I used to do 10-20% depending on a variety of things (including whim)

        1. I had groceries delivered once or twice when my ankle was broken. the guy was really sweet, even brought in the things UPS had delivered and would not accept a tip from me.

          1. I just tipped the driver $5.