Do You Tip Food Lion To Go? Ultimate Guide


Food Lion to go is one of the most popular grocery convenience stores in the US with a massive turnover of $20b per year.

Its business model involves allowing the customer to order online using the app and website and Food Lion then do the shopping ready for curbside pickup or delivery.

It’s a fantastic option for those with disabilities or limited time to go shopping in-store.

If you’ve recently made an order at Food Lion you might be wondering whether you need to tip for delivery or curbside pickup.

To help you there, we’ve looked into what the customary practice is, how much to tip (should you need to), how much Food Lion workers earn, and much more.

Keep reading to find out…

Do You Tip Food Lion To Go? The Short Answer

It is customary to tip Food Lion delivery drivers when they deliver your groceries. It’s less so when it comes to curbside pickup but we recommend doing so anyway given the relatively low earnings of Food Lion workers.

We’ll cover how much to tip and much more below.

How Much Do Food Lion Employees Earn?

In a survery we conducted with our email list, about 80% of people said that what a worker earns will determine whether and how much they tip.

This makes sense as we generally feel an obligation to help boost a worker’s income if they only take home a modest base pay.

But what about Food Lion employees?

Well, according to Zippia, the average hourly rate at Food Lion is $13.95 which is close to minimum wage in many states.

However, Food Lion also uses a third party company, namely Instacart, for its home delivery whose workers earn about the same an average of $13.88 per hour.

If we use a 40 hour working week that accounts to only $29,000 per annum.

That’s well below the national median salary in the US which stands at around $50,000.

On that basis we’d say Food Lion employees definitely fall into a category where a tip is justified if salary is a key factor for tipping.

How Much to Tip a Food Lion Delivery Driver?

The going rate in the US is generally 10-20% of the goods or services purchased. This goes up to around 15-20% in restaurants and diners.

It can also be lower in some instances. For example, Kroger automatically applies a 7.2% tip for delivery which suggests to us that figure is seen as adequate by them for their workers.

If you apply the 10-20% figure to a $100 shop, then expect to tip around $10-$20.

However, for some people that will be too much and reducing it to say $5-10 is still adequate.

However, we wouldn’t advise tipping below $2 in most cases as the tip starts to look meaningless.

How Much to Tip Food Lion Curbside Pickup?

food lion curbside pickup lady

Some people will draw the line when it comes to tipping for curbside.

They’ll say; but the worker is only bringing your groceries to your car, does that really warrant a tip?

While that’s one view, it seems slightly unfair given that Food Lion employees earn fairly measly wages on the data we’ve seen so it surely doesn’t hurt to tip even if it’s only curbside and not home delivery.

You might want to reduce your tip for this reason but we’d still encourage you to provide one at, say, $3-10 depending on the size of your order and the bulk of the goods.

How Much Does Food Lion Delivery and Pickup Cost?

Another important factor for most people will be how much the service costs.

If you’re paying a king’s ransom, you might be less inclined to dip in your pocket.

On the flip side, a reasonable delivery/pickup fee might mean you’re willing to tip a bit more.

We’ve pulled up the figures so you can make up your mind:

Home Delivery$3.99 for orders over $35 ($5.99 for delivery in one hour)
Home Delivery$7.99 for orders under $7.99 ($9.99 for delivery in one hour)
Pickup$1.99 for orders over $35
Pickup $3.99 for orders under $35

Compared to Kroger which charges around $10 for home delivery, paying $3.99 to $5.99 for Food Lion’s equivalent is a pretty good deal in our assessment.

Food Lion’s pickup charge of $1.99 (or $3.99 for orders under $35) is also fairly reasonable in our view, although it’s not the cheapest on the market given Target provides this service for free.

In summary, Food Lion charges fairly middle of the road fees for its delivery and pickup services, which are comparable to its main competitors, and are actually very affordable given the convenience and time savings you’ll make.

When to Tip More, Less, or Not at All?

We’ve covered a few scenarios when you might be inclined to tip a little more such as:

  • If it’s around the holidays such as Xmas and Thanksgiving
  • If the delivery has been made in bad weather like snow
  • If the driver/pickup has gone beyond the call of duty. For example, come down an icy path or taken your groceries to a remote part of your home
  • If you’ve received a professional and courteous service

On the flip, you might decide to lessen or withhold your tip if:

  • The delivery has been made to the wrong address
  • The delivery is late
  • Groceries are missing from your order
  • The delivery driver/pickup is rude or unprofessional

You should note that Food Lion does give you an opportunity to tip at the online checkout but you might want to refrain from doing so as once you’ve tipped, you can’t retract it, even if you’ve received a bad service.

That’s certainly something to keep in mind.

Final Thoughts

In summary, it is customary to tip grocery delivery and we see no reason to make an exception for Food Lion.

A tip of 10-20% or $5-10 is absolutely fine!

Whether you tip for curbside service is a bit more ambiguous but given Food Lion workers’ below average salaries, we suggest doing so.

About the author

Oliver graduated from law school in 2008 and has practiced exclusively in the field of civil litigation for the last 10 years. He has a wealth of experience and expertise in litigation involving large financial losses and a special interest in consumer law. He has achieved numerous 7 figure settlements and has been involved in multi-billion dollar class-action consumer lawsuits against companies such as the Volkswagen Group. Away from the law, he is a consumer information and personal finance writer, having been featured in key publications such as Yahoo Finance, GO Banking Rates, NewsBreak, MEL Magazine, and many more.

-Chief Editor and Founder

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