As the second biggest retailer in the US with nearly 3000 stores, you’re probably well familiar with shopping at Kroger for your groceries.
Like most grocery stores in 2022, Kroger now offers home delivery and curbside pickup service which make shopping there a whole lot more convenient.
If you choose the home delivery or curbside pickup options then you might be wondering what the etiquette is for tipping the driver or curbside assistant.
With that in mind, we’ve crunched the data by looking at exactly what the customary policy is for tipping grocery delivery drivers, when you should tip and how much you should offer.
Keep reading to find out more…
Should You Tip Kroger Delivery?
It is customary to tip a grocery delivery driver and the Kroger app/online shop provides a 7.2% tip by default when you reach the checkout. You can of course change this and tip whatever you want or simply tip in cash when the driver arrives at your address.
How Tipping Works at Kroger
As above, a tip of 7.2% is applied to your order at checkout when using the Kroger app/online store. You will see it when you reach the order summary page as below:
You can also change the tip amount by clicking the button which reveals this screen:
As you can see, this then brings up the option to pay other fixed amounts up to 20% and you can also change the tip to whatever you like by using the “other amount” option.
There is also the option to pay no tip.
You should note that Kroger generally uses Instacart to deliver its groceries so your tip will go to the Instacart driver rather than Kroger.
Of course, you do not have to pay a tip when you checkout and you can simply pay the driver in cash when the delivery is made.
What is Kroger’s Policy on Tips?
Kroger actually stipulates on its website that there is no requirement to tip but then again they do go on to say that their partners (i.e. Instacart) do accept tips:
We assume they mean from this that there is no need to tip if it’s a Kroger delivery driver rather than an Instacart one, although there’s no way to distinguish this as far as we are aware.
Suffice to say, it is customary to tip delivery drivers as we discovered when we asked whether you should tip Bob’s delivery, so we do recommend tipping Kroger delivery no matter whether it’s Instacart or Kroger’s own driver.
We found something similar when looking at whether to tip AAA tow truck drivers.
Do You Tip Kroger Curbside Pickup?
There is no requirement to tip a curbside assistant and the Kroger checkout doesn’t actually provide an option to do so:
As you will see, there is a fee of $4.95 for the curbside pickup service but there’s no option there to leave a tip.
If you wish to provide the curbside assistant with a tip, then we’d stick to the standard percentage found across the US (i.e. 10-20% of your order) or a flat rate of $1 – 10 depending on the total value of your order.
How Much do Kroger Delivery Drivers Make?
One thing many people will want to consider when deciding whether to leave a tip for a Kroger driver is how much they earn.
In our experience, people are more inclined to tip and tip well if the worker earns a below-average wage.
As above, Kroger uses Instacart for their deliveries, and according to Nerd Wallet, they pay at least $5 per delivery and $7 – $10 if they complete the shop and delivery together. This seems fairly measly to us.
In terms of yearly salary, according to Indeed, the average salary per annum for an Instacart driver is $26,619:
With the average yearly salary in the US being $41,535, $26,619 is well below average.
With that said, it seems that Instacart drivers earn poorly and this may well persuade you that a tip should be provided.
You should note that Instacart’s company policy is to pay drivers the tips they generate so there shouldn’t be an issue with them receiving what you give.
Instacart drivers are expected to make up their earnings in tips so this is another good reason why you might want to dip into your wallet.
How Much Does Kroger Delivery Cost?
One further consideration you’ll want to give thought to is how much Kroger delivery costs.
We suspect many people will want to reduce or withhold a tip completely if the delivery cost is above average.
Kroger delivery costs between $9.95 to $11.95 depending on your location.
This is actually well above the median grocery delivery cost in the US which, according to Quartz, is just $5 per delivery.
However, in our experience, expect to pay a lot more than that, especially for next-day delivery.
Despite the data, we actually don’t think $9.95 to $11.95 is that steep but we’ll leave that to your own judgment and assessment.
How Much Should You Tip Kroger Delivery?
We recommend sticking with at least the 7.2% of your order value that is set as the default tip on Kroger’s website.
It is common in the US to provide a tip of 10-20% so 7.2% is probably the minimum you should offer.
If you’d rather pay a fixed tip rather than a percentage then we’d suggest $5 – $20 is appropriate depending on the value of your order.
When You Should and Should Not Tip
If you’ve tipped the Kroger driver at checkout then it’s probably too late to withdraw that sum unless you make a complaint and demand your money back.
For that reason, you might think it is worth withholding your tip and providing it in person when the delivery has been made rather than on the website/app.
You might want to withhold a tip if:
- The delivery is late
- The delivery is made to the wrong address
- Items are missing or the order is incomplete
- The driver is unprofessional or rude
- The delivery is left in an unsecured location
Alternatively, you may decide to tip or tip more if:
- The driver is professional and courteous
- The driver goes beyond the call of duty (for example, by taking your shopping inside or helping you pack it away)
- It’s the holiday season
It is considered good etiquette to tip delivery drivers in the US and we don’t see any reason why Kroger should be any different.
Kroger’s third-party delivery drivers from Instacart earn well below average yearly earnings, especially next to other delivery drivers like ABT delivery, and it is expected that they will supplement their wages with tips.
While on the face of it Kroger delivery seems quite expensive, in our experience, it’s about what we’d expect to pay at other popular grocery stores in the US.
We, therefore, consider that it is in good conscience to offer a tip to your Kroger delivery driver, especially if the service provided has been of high quality.
We think it’s also a good idea to tip Kroger curbside assistants for the same reasons.
Offering a tip is always a personal choice and you shouldn’t be scared to withhold one especially if the service provided is below par.
However, remember that a tip is added automatically to your order at Kroger’s checkout and you may wish to hold fire until the delivery has been made if you want to evaluate the quality of the service before parting with your hard-earned cash.