Delivery Riders Speak on the Ethics of Ordering Food on Rainy Days
Top Image: Zachary Tang / RICE File Photo

Having your meal delivered right to your doorstep is all too convenient. But when the weather takes a turn for the worse, does it become morally murky to send a delivery rider into the heart of the storm? 

We speak to food delivery riders for their verdict. Do they actually mind it when customers order food on rainy days? And do they expect more tips for their trouble?

“Ultimately, a job’s a job, and working in the rain is a part of that. But there is an unofficial line that needs to be drawn when the rain crosses from occupational hazard to full-on danger. 

I don’t think tipping is necessary. We are (thankfully) not Americans so tipping is purely optional, even in inconvenient weather. The act of tipping should come from the heart. There is no base nor limit to how much you wish to tip.” 

– Muhammad Arif, 23

“I avoid delivering in the rain as much as I can. But, that’s just a personal preference. I’ve met riders who really enjoy working when it’s raining. 

Rather than withholding orders and potentially depriving riders of their revenue, customers should just order, and then tip them afterwards as a reward.” 

– Gordon, 28

Singapore order food in the rain
Image: Zachary Tang / RICE File Photo 

“It’s fine with me. Delivering in the rain is a conscious choice made by the driver. When it rains, the incentives to deliver are huge so I actually prefer to accept orders then. At the end of the day, there is always someone who is willing to deliver so people should just give riders the chance to accept or reject.

Tipping is voluntary–it’s fine with or without. Anyway, riders aren’t reliant on tips for their earnings.” 

– Jackson, 24

“Yes, [customers] should still order. I understand the feeling of not wanting to leave the house to buy food when it’s raining. I’m also guilty of ordering food when it rains. 

I think that people should tip. For me, I believe that the preferable amount should be more than $4.” 

– Ryan, 23

“People should order food when it’s raining. Having a high demand for take-out orders translates into more orders for us, which means more money. 

Regardless, I still think it’s good practice to tip when ordering food in the rain. A sum between $2 to $3 sounds great to me.” 

– Aidil, 23

“I disagree that people should order food when it’s raining. The roads are so slippery, and it will be dangerous to ride on the roads and pedestrian pathways. 

I believe that tipping should be good practice. A tip between $1 and $2 would be good.” 

– Roy, 22

Singapore order food in the rain
Image: Stephanie Lee / RICE File Photo

“I think it’s fine to order food on rainy days. It’s understandable that those who order will feel guilty. But, as a contracted partner, my interest lies in profit-making. When it rains, the market actually becomes very competitive. Those of my colleagues who are riding electric bikes are wary of delivering food in the rain because they are afraid of skidding or short-circuiting their vehicles. So, it’s an economic benefit for me as a cyclist. Having orders in the rain increases my revenue with less competition. 

I don’t think that Singapore has a tipping culture. I mean, of course, if the tip comes, I’ll be more than happy to accept it. But, if it doesn’t, I’ll get my keep one way or another. Plus, if we were to start demanding tips, I fear that we might lose customers.” 

– Luqmanul, 24

“It’s good for Singaporeans to order in on rainy days because the weather may make it inconvenient for them to leave the house to eat. 

While tipping is a nice gesture of appreciation, it’s fine if there’s none because drivers already have other incentives. But if customers want to tip, any amount they are comfortable with is honestly fine.” 

– Bryant, 21

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