A delivery driver says he left a note for a customer who didn't tip reminding them that he doesn't work 'for free'

·3 min read
screenshots from Esmond Fountain's TikTok video
Esmond Fountain posted a TikTok video about leaving a note for a customer who didn't tip on their DoorDash delivery. @frenchfrythug/TikTok
  • A DoorDash delivery driver said he left a note for a customer who didn't tip.

  • "If you can't afford to tip then you should go pick it up yourself," he wrote in the note. 

  • He posted a video about his letter on TikTok, where it sparked a debate on tipping.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

A DoorDash delivery driver shared his unconventional method for encouraging people to tip in a recent TikTok video.

On Tuesday, Esmond Fountain, who goes by @frenchfrythug on TikTok, posted a video addressing a customer who he said didn't tip. The video has been viewed more than 335,000 times. 

Fountain says in the video that when he dropped off the customer's order, he left a note that read: "If you can't afford to tip then you should go pick it up yourself. Who do you think you are to order food and have someone come and bring it to your door for FREE? FOR FREE?"

Fountain told Insider he had worked for the food-delivery app since December. He said in an email that the customer addressed in his video was a "habitual no tipper" and that he posted the video to "make a statement."

"This behavior is clearly inappropriate and has no place on the DoorDash platform. We are looking into this incident and will take appropriate action," a spokesperson for DoorDash told Insider in a statement.

An image of the letter Esmond Fountain left a customer.
The letter Fountain said he left a customer. @frenchfrythug/TikTok

According to his TikTok video, Fountain told the customer in his note that they could "right your wrongs below." He then included a Venmo handle where the customer could leave a tip. 

Fountain's video sparked a debate about tipping in the comment section. While some agreed everyone should tip when ordering food, many people defended the customer and their no-tip approach.

"It technically wasn't free. DoorDash paid you," one person said. 

"I never tip. I pay the service fees to DoorDash or UberEats, that's enough. If you don't make enough money then get a new job," another person added. 

Related video: How UPS drivers are trained to deliver 21 million packages a day

Others questioned why Fountain would accept the delivery since DoorDash drivers are shown the tip before they accept or decline any order. A DoorDash spokesperson confirmed that drivers have a guaranteed minimum amount they know they'll earn beforehand. 

Fountain told Insider that he didn't typically accept a delivery with no tip. This time, he accepted the order and left the note as a "learning lesson for everyone," he says in the video. 

Fountain also told Insider that he was shocked by the response to the video.

"I didn't realize these many people support not tipping drivers," he said.

Meanwhile, Fountain isn't the first food-delivery driver to go viral over tipping.

In June, Smithson Michael posted a video of himself crying after he said he received a $1.19 tip on a food order that took an hour to deliver.

"I just wish people knew what it was like," Michael says in the video. "I wish they understood what it was like to drive for these services."

Insider has previously reported that food-delivery drivers want customers to know that tipping is how they make the majority of their money.

Fountain said that was ultimately his goal with this video.

"I hope that people see the other side of things," he said, "and see what it looks like to drive 10 miles and wait in an understaffed restaurant to deliver an order for $2 and no tip."

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