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A Food Delivery Driver's Tearful TikTok Reaction To A $1 Tip Will Make You Rethink Tipping

"I wish people knew what it was like."

MTL Blog, Associate Editor
​Michael Smithson cries as he explains his experience as a food delivery driver.

Michael Smithson cries as he explains his experience as a food delivery driver.

A viral Tiktok of a tearful delivery driver describing grueling shifts and meagre tips is recirculating after hitting over 1.5M views on the platform. After driving around for an hour to make an UberEats delivery, the man got a $1.19 tip and two dollars in base pay from the app. "That's not even enough to cover gas," he says with tears streaming down his face.

"How am I supposed to survive like that?" he asks.

Michael Smithson, who posts on Tiktok as @its.smithsonmichael, said the video is intended to raise awareness for all workers in the food industry who "aren’t being paid what they're worth."

"I mean, would it hurt you all to tip us? Or throw us $5?" he asks, explaining that he is months behind on rent and already struggling to support himself.

"I wish people knew what it was like to deliver for UberEats, DoorDash, all of these services," he said.


#helpme #ubereatsdriver #traction #positiveforce

Smithson's Tiktok has since gained nearly 280K likes with many commenters sympathizing with his situation and calling out delivery apps for taking too much of a cut.

"I always tip but it really needs to be [the companies] paying more. They charged us a five-dollar service fee and the food is like three dollars above price," wrote one commenter.

"If you can't afford to tip at a restaurant, don't go to a restaurant. If you can't afford to tip your delivery driver, don't order delivery," wrote another.

A Quebec delivery driver who works full-time for UberEats and Skip revealed on Tiktok last month that his gross pay per year is $45,000 to $60,000, and nearly a third of that goes back into car-related costs.

According to Glassdoor, the average salary for an UberEats driver in Canada is $20 per hour, based on five salary reports from current workers. But earnings can vary greatly by hour and UberEats does not cover driving or car expenses, which workers pay for out of pocket.

Drivers are allowed to keep all of their tips though.

    Sofia Misenheimer
    MTL Blog, Associate Editor
    Sofia Misenheimer is an Associate Editor for MTL Blog focused on gas prices in Montreal and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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