The answer isn’t always straightforward.
TaskRabbit, Airtasker and Washio all say there’s no need to tip their workers for their services. TaskRabbit did try building a tipping option into its initial platform before removing the functionality last year.
“If a client likes the tasker’s work, he or she can tip via cash, Paypal or Venmo,” TaskRabbit’s head of marketing Jamie Viggiano explained, adding, “tipping is totally up to the client’s discretion.” Meanwhile, Airtasker is in the process of adding the ability to tip into its platform, according to co-founder Tim Fung, who said he was responding to feedback from users.
Instacart actively encourages users to tip its personal shoppers either in person or through an option given to customers via a follow-up email sent after each delivery (which unlike supermarket delivery services, delivers in an hour, not the next day or later). Options range from 5% to 15% of the bill.
Tip for dinner?
New websites like EatWith and VizEat that let users book a meal with locals at home have been dubbed “the Airbnb of home-cooked meals” with more than 2,000 home chefs in 50 countries signed up. But should diners leave a tip?
EatWith communications director Naama Shefi was adamant that guests aren’t expected to tip their hosts. “Instead, we encourage them to write reviews about their experiences,” she said. “This way future guests will learn from their experience and the host will get a higher rank in the search results.”
VizEat co-founder Camille Rumani agreed, noting that not tipping is “the key to preserving the authenticity of the encounter. What we encourage instead is that the guests bring a little present for the host, as you usually do when you go to a friend’s place for dinner. It's much more friendly and powerful than any tip.”