Food delivery services are more popular than ever during the pandemic, but with that popularity have come more problems, particularly delivery orders arriving late.
Business is bouncing back at Kung Food Chu thanks to delivery apps and a stream of takeout orders. However, owner Hana Chu has noticed a simmering problem in recent weeks.
"We noticed a lot of third party delivery drivers weren't coming to pick up the food," she said. "Some customers are saying it's over two hours."
Chu is getting more and more upset calls.
Delivery apps like Grubhub, Uber Eats and DoorDash have been life savers during pandemic restrictions.
"They have picked up our business," Chu said.
Driver shortages can lead to longer wait times, but there may be another reason deliveries are delayed: how much a customer tips.
"The most common excuse I hear among drivers and customers is 'no tip, no trip,'" driver Jason Barlow said.
Barlow and Kate are delivery drivers. We've agreed not say which service they driver for.
Both said if it appears an order has no tip, it may sit for as long as 30 minutes.
"If I see an order coming through that has no tip on it, I will decline that order," Kate said. "It will be offered to the next closest person, and then that person can choose to take it or decline it."
Drivers are not told in advance how much tip a customer is going to tip, but they say if an order shows it's only going to pay $3, $4, or $5, they will assume you are not tipping, and may pass you by.
"Sometimes, it's not even worth it, you just work for free."
Delivery services show you a suggested tip on their app. Jason and Kate suggest you be generous because you will be more likely to get your food faster.
I'm as frugal as anyone, but when it comes to restaurant servers or drivers, this is one case where you should open your wallet a little bit more to help them and so you don't waste your money.