Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we're all fully aware that only "essential" businesses are open for the time being: medical facilities, grocery stores, gas stations, and restaurants (but only for take-out and delivery options). Thus, if you're not considered an essential worker, for the time being, the likelihood of bringing home a paycheck is slim.
To flatten the curve, everyone is instructed to practice social distancing and stay home, which requires a lot of us to explore at-home cooking whether we like it or not. Admittedly, sometimes we need a break from it and that's why we go out to eat, right? I imagine what a lot of us want to do right now is go to our favorite restaurants with our family and friends, sit down and order some food, eat and enjoy each other's company. However, because of the current situation, it's not a possibility so we settle for ordering take-out and delivery.
If you're at all familiar with the article "An Open Letter To The People That Don't Tip Their Servers," you're aware of its controversy each time it's posted; the fact that some people don't tip their servers at all, or what's considered the appropriate amount, "are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars." I have my own stance on the topic that vastly disagrees with the point of the article, but to each their own.
A lot of people are out of a job because of COVID-19 and having to stay home right now. Some people can't pay their mortgages, utilities, rent, or any other usual bills, and unemployment has skyrocketed. However, we still need to eat and sometimes we get tired of home-cooking and want a break. I understand that.
Taking all of this into consideration, I firmly believe that a 20 percent tip for delivery drivers is an excessive expectation.
If they're expecting a tip anyway, shame on them.
Tips are meant to be earned income, not expected income.
It's OK if you aren't able to tip your delivery drivers, let alone tip them 20 percent.
A lot of take-out and delivery services, such as GrubHub, UberEats, and individual chains, include a mandatory gratuity charge to the final total anyway. Why should it be necessary, or an expectation, to give them a few extra dollars when they deliver food to your door?
Personally, It's not that I don't want to tip and help them out with a little extra, especially during a crisis such as this. It just falls to the simple fact that maybe I can't right now, and that's beyond anyone's control. The best I can do is be appreciative that they're willing to continue working and putting themselves at risk in order to deliver food to countless homes.
Regardless of the position you're in, be kind and understanding. If you can afford giving them a couple extra dollars, go ahead. If you can't, don't let anyone shame you for it. As far as funds go, it's every man for himself right now.