One of the most common questions we receive from our customers is “how much should we tip the driver?” That is a difficult question to answer for several reasons, but here goes… If you simply want to be in line with what others typically give the driver, 10% is the average and is a good rule of thumb, but a gratuity is a reward for going above and beyond what is expected. Here lately, gratuities are expected for nothing extra. I see gratuity jars at cash registers which are supposed to reward the cashier for actually ringing up my purchase. Panera Bread encourages me to pay a gratuity with my purchase and they also expect me to clear my own table, sort my trash and dishes into the proper bins before I leave…really? The best way you can express your group’s appreciation for the service our drivers provide is to extend a gratuity. While a gratuity is “customary, but not obligatory” we do encourage our customers to tip our drivers if they are pleased with the service. Some groups “pass the hat” and give it to the driver at the end of the trip. Other groups set the money aside before the trip and present it to the driver personally. And still others take advantage of our prepayment option and include a gratuity with the cost of the trip. All of these are perfectly acceptable. Our drivers never expect a gratuity, but they love getting them. They don’t expect gratuities from school children on field trips. They don’t expect it from shuttle type work where the passengers are not paying for the service directly or indirectly and they certainly don’t expect it from anyone who cannot afford it. You should give what you want to give, not what you feel compelled to give. You should get a good feeling from giving it and you should get a grateful reaction and a thank you for the gift. It’s a personal thing.
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