040 · Making money by delivering food

The food delivery industry has become very popular in the last few years, mainly due to the multiplication of platforms offering this kind of service but also thanks to the ease of use of their applications. As a result, the demand for delivery drivers has exploded worldwide, and it is nowadays quite easy to find a job in this sector. But is it really an interesting job? Let’s find out.

What is food delivery and how does it work?

This activity mainly consists in driving a certain distance between a point A (the restaurant, fast-food or bakery preparing the meal…) and a point B (usually the customer’s home or workplace). The means of transportation is not always provided, and in this case the delivery rider must either own his own vehicle (bike, scooter, small car…) or subscribe (monthly or yearly because the prices are often much more advantageous) to self-service electric vehicles (bike, scooter…) when available. The goal is to make this delivery as quickly, but also economically, as possible.

It is a job where you spend a lot of time outside to make these various trips. This can be restrictive, especially if you live in a country where it is cold or rains often, but since you determine your working hours, you can quickly find a schedule that will allow you to earn what you need without being too exhausted.

In order to carry out your deliveries, companies will provide you with an isothermal bag to carry the food, sometimes even a uniform with the company’s logo and colors. This equipment is generally designed to withstand bad weather, which compensates for the ugliness of some of them 😋.

The number of deliveries you can make in an hour will depend on the number of customers who have ordered on the application you are working for and also the speed with which you make your deliveries.

Another requirement is that you must always be equipped with a smartphone during your deliveries. This will allow you to be informed in real time of the orders that are entrusted to you, to quickly find the address of the customer via GPS, to communicate with the customer if necessary, etc. Above all, charge your phone well, and carry a backup battery in case you work for long hours.

A sector that is diversifying

Although Deliveroo, Uber Eats, Takeaway and even FoodPanda are the main players in the sector, there are also a multitude of more local platforms (e.g. Grab in Southeast Asia or Rappi in Latin America).

More and more of these platforms are no longer limited to food delivery but also include goods from supermarkets, liquor stores, pharmacies, etc. The Deliveroo application, for example, allows its customers to order from a wide range of stores (restaurants, bakeries, and other food shops), so if you choose to become a delivery rider for them, you can potentially receive a larger number of orders. In a similar way, you will also get a large number of orders with Uber Eats, especially with their grocery delivery service (general food). Takeaway, on the other hand, only allows for meal delivery at the moment (but that may change).

Un livreur de repas en trottinette blanche Electric scooters are a great way to deliver food. Photo by Norma Mortenson on Pexels

How much can you earn delivering meals?

Since delivery drivers are paid by the company they work for, not by the individual who they are delivering to, their pay will vary depending on their employer. When a driver is hired by a company, they often sign a contract stating how much they will be paid per hour as well as which benefits they will receive.

According to Indeed, the average salary is $16.92 USD per hour in the US. This amount is, according to Talent, £12.91 in the UK, $17 CAN in Canada, and $29 AUS in Australia. As stated, these figures are averages, and the amount you will receive may differ from this. It depends mostly on the company you work with and the number of hours you work. The best way to find out is to visit the websites of the different companies operating in your area.

You can earn even more by getting tips that are paid to you in full since companies won’t touch them. And if you ride a gas scooter, some companies will cover this type of expense.

How do I get a job as a food delivery driver?

There are many ways to become a food delivery driver. You can be sure to find an employer who offers this type of service in your area (except if you live in the middle of nowhere, of course). To do this, start by searching on Google by typing in “food delivery jobs”, for example, to find companies that might be hiring near you.

Alternatively, most platforms will communicate their job openings directly via their app or website. Dig into the navigation menus or the “footer”, and you should find it easily. You will then be redirected to a form that you just have to carefully fill out.

A precarious status

The only disadvantage is that you will not be an employee of the company you work for, but will have to be self-employed, which is a relatively precarious status. This means that you have no job security (you can be fired at any time without any explanation), no paid vacations, no health insurance, etc.

In addition to this lack of social benefits, we must add the low wages in some countries. This can sometimes be at the level of, or even below, the poverty line, which explains why many delivery riders demand better working conditions. This is what we call the “uberization” of work…

Conclusion

This is a relatively easy and fun job, that you can do full or part time, and earn a reasonable salary (It depends on the country where you live), or even a relatively high one if you can devote some time to it (and if you are in good shape, if you ride a bicycle). It’s no wonder that many students turn to food delivery. Few jobs offer such flexibility, and then there is no diploma or training required.

It is also a solution chosen by many people who are struggling to find a stable job. If this is your case, you could also consider this activity on a temporary basis, but it is rarely a job you choose to do for a lifetime.

EcoTips

Environmental and climate change issues are more than ever at the heart of the concerns of this 21st century, which is why I am proposing a few ideas that will enable you to limit the negative impact that the implementation of this idea could have.

These solutions that I suggest are sometimes largely insufficient to compensate for these negative impacts, such as carbon offsetting. Unfortunately, there is not always an ideal and 100% efficient solution, far from it. And if you have others, please do not hesitate to share them in the comments below.

In many countries, this type of delivery is done with relatively old and polluting vehicles. Moreover, it is generally very expensive for the user, especially since the price of fuel has exploded around the world. It is, therefore, to be avoided, as far as possible and within your means, of course.

In Europe, some US cities and in some other countries, electric transportation is often used, such as bicycles, moped or scooters. You don’t necessarily have to buy this vehicle since in many of these countries it is possible to rent them on a self-service basis for a very low price.

Pros

  • Simple and flexible work
  • No diploma required
  • The demand is high, so you can find easily.

Cons

  • A precarious status
  • Not always well paid
  • Can be tiring if you are on a bicycle
Disclaimer, please read this

Legal and administrative aspects of the ideas you'll find on Sweekr are rarely discussed because they vary greatly depending on the country you live in. I would advise you to check with your local adminitration before starting any business. Keep in mind that if you make money, the state will ask for "its share" in order to guarantee the proper functioning of schools, hospitals and other public services. Therefore, you will probably have to acquire a micro-entrepreneur status, or any other similar.

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