Tipping is an important part of US culture and has been for many years.
In fact, the USA is the leading country when it comes to offering gratuities according to World Population Review.
Getting your tipping game correct can make a huge difference to your budget.
Tip too little and you may fall foul of US customs and etiquette.
Tip too much, or when you’re not supposed to, and you’ll be expending cash faster than a drunk guy at a casino.
The complications with tipping arise when we come across situations we are not familiar with.
We’ve covered tipping etiquette in detail on this site and one of the key questions that often remains is how much should you tip and are small amounts as low as a $2 tip acceptable?
To help you out with that question, we’ve done some digging and will talk you through when it is and when it isn’t acceptable to tip $2 for delivery and other situations.
Keep reading to find out…
Is a $2 Tip Good for Delivery and in General? The Short Answer
In short, it depends on who you are tipping and the price of the product/service. $2 may well be acceptable in some situations but a big no, no in others.
We’ve covered this in detail below…
How Much Should We Tip in the US?
The general consensus in the US is to tip approximately 10-20% of the total cost of the bill or service.
You can apply this percentage in many situations.
Applying this percentage to a cafe or restaurant bill is unlikely to break the bank unless you’re dining out at a Michelin Starred restaurant, where you’ve splurged $1000 on a meal.
However, it gets a little more complicated in other situations.
For example, if you’re thinking about tipping after cosmetic surgery, such as CoolSculpting, or Micro-Needling where the cost of the service is usually over $1000, tipping 10-20% of the service becomes expensive very quickly.
In these situations, it’s perfectly acceptable to tip less than 10-20% and to apply a fixed sum of, say, $10-$30 which equates to much less than it would be applying the 10-20% figure.
When is Tipping $2 Acceptable and Enough for Delivery?
Well, it all comes down to the situation you’re in.
If you’ve just received a $10 beard trim at Great Clips, then a $2 tip is perfectly adequate and is unlikely to raise any eyebrows.
But what about delivery?
Again, this depends on the situation and context.
For example, $2 is certainly not going to be enough if a company like Rooms to Go has just delivered your new couch which the driver has lugged up three flights of stairs, nearly damaging his spine in the process.
Offering a measly $2 tip would likely add insult to injury.
Whereas, offering a $2 tip for Dominos pizza delivery is likely to be just fine.
In other words, whether tipping $2 for delivery will depend on many factors such as:
- The size and weight of the items being delivered;
- Whether the items are being lugged to a distant part of your property or up flights of steps;
- Whether any assembly is required. For example, for furniture assembly services a $2 tip would seem pretty tight-fisted;
- Whether the delivery is made in inclement weather. If a driver has driven through torrential, driving snow, then offering a $2 tip may be seen as taking the proverbial;
- If it’s around the holidays then a $2 tip may seem a little Scrooge-like.
Essentially, deciding whether a $2 tip is enough requires some thought and consideration, and much depends on the circumstances of the delivery and what is involved.
Is a $2 Tip Good Enough for Food Delivery?
With the convenience delivery company wars in full swing, you might be wondering whether $2 is enough to tip the delivery guys from these companies.
We’ve had a look into this and the consensus from USA today seems to be as follows:
- For DoorDash you should be tipping a minimum of $5
- For Uber Eats you should also be tipping a minimum of $5
- For PostMates you should be tipping a minimum of $3
It seems ethical that workers for these companies should be receiving a minimum tip amount given they are freelance, gig economy workers who are generally paid poorly, are not guaranteed work, and pretty much depend on their tips to make ends meet.
The same applies to taskers for companies like Task Rabbit and Handy – offering a $2 tip to this type of gig economy worker is just not cool for all the same reasons as with Doordash etc… workers.
In summary, $2 is likely to be seen as somewhat stingy when it comes to tipping gig economy workers and we’d recommend tipping $3 as a minimum even if that comes to more than the standard 10-20% of the total cost of the goods purchased.
What About in a Restaurant?
When it comes to the restaurant business, we’d usually recommend sticking to the standard 10-20% rate and aiming for about 15% of the total cost of the bill.
We’d only suggest diverting from this if your order was particularly cheap.
For example, if you’ve just ordered a couple of sodas that come to $6 your tip would only end up coming to $0.60 to $1.20 using the standard 10-20% rate.
In that situation, a tip of $0.60 to $1.20 might seem a little low and you might want to increase it to $2 or more.
We’re always conscious that workers within the catering business are generally low-paid and rely on tips to subsidize their income so we will often tip more where we can.
In summary, whether a $2 tip will be enough will much depend on the situation you find yourself in and the type of delivery it is.
In most situations, $2 is likely to be too small an amount for a tip (especially for lowly paid gig economy workers) and we’d recommend sticking to 10-20% of the price of the goods or services unless that brings about a sum lower than $2.
However, it’s important to remember that tips are generally voluntary unless a gratuity is added to your bill, and therefore it’s very much up to your good judgment as to when you should tip and how much.
You can check out our detailed guides in respect of tipping in our tipping guides category.