Tip if you’re making a stop that lasts more than a couple of minutes.
A couple of years ago, Lyft introduced a feature called “Taco Mode,” in which late-night passengers could have their driver stop at a Taco Bell for no extra charge.
Uber and Lyft passengers both have the option to add a stop or two on their ride.
Drivers hate stops on a ride.
Here are some facts about stops: Yes, I have to stop at them. No, I don’t have to wait for you for 10 minutes, and yes, I can cancel the ride if I decide that you are taking too long.
In my area (it varies geographically), I make $0.1275 a minute, or $7.65 an hour, which is right around the national minimum wage, but well below the minimum for a lot of major cities.
If my wheels are not turning, I am not making money. If you are taking too long, I will end the trip. Sorry, but this is a business.
But put some cash in my hand, and I will wait as long as you’d like.
I remember when I first started driving, I picked up a girl at a bar on a Friday night. After waiting for almost 5 minutes, she finally got in, and the first words out of her mouth were, “Yeah, we’re going to need to stop for some food.” Really? Who says that?
I should have ended the ride right then and there. But I was less experienced than I am today, and thought surely she would tip me if I stopped somewhere.
She wanted to go to Taco Bell. Great — I love Taco Bell! We pulled up and the line was around the building. Ten minutes after entering the drive-thru line, my mouth salivated as she ordered a Crunchwrap Supreme. And nachos. I wanted nachos, but of course, she didn’t offer to buy me any.
After leaving, we got caught by the train, and for 10 minutes, I heard the crunching of nachos in her mouth as we waited for the train to pass. I arrived at her house about 15 minutes later, and instead of hearing “I’ll leave you a good tip!” I heard her door slam shut. She never even said thank you. I looked in the backseat that was now covered in nacho chip crumbs.
She never tipped me.
Yes, I still remember that ride. Yes, I’m still upset about it. Yes, I really wanted some nachos. And yes, I only made $8 for a 34-minute ride.
Now, I refuse any stops at fast food places, and I don’t allow people to eat in my car.
If your stop is going to take more than a couple of minutes, you need to tip your driver. Don’t be the person that makes them have angry flashbacks months later. But more importantly, don’t be the person that causes them to make less than minimum wage.