A Day In the Life of Your Food Delivery Driver
A Day In The Life Of Your Food Delivery Driver
by Bridgette Buccilli
DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub…Chances are you’ve experienced dining drop-off and ordered food to be delivered through one of these platforms. While you may be familiar with having food delivered, you may not be aware of your driver’s delivery experience which, despite being separate companies, is generally the same. Orders come through the app, and the drivers – who are actually considered independent contractors – have the option to accept the order or decline.
Declining the orders lowers the driver’s acceptance rate, which is one factor they are sometimes graded on. Other possible factors include completion rate, and whether the food is delivered in a timely manner, something that – believe it or not – is not always in the driver’s control. I recently had the opportunity to order food through one of these apps and was happy to give five stars for both the timeliness of the driver and the quality of the food. High ratings are welcomed because they show appreciation. And while drivers should always make it a point to communicate with their customers, it is worth mentioning that drivers shouldn’t be penalized for situations in which they aren’t at fault, such as slow wait times at restaurants or merchants being out of certain items.
Drivers usually work throughout multiple cities, say from Willoughby to the east, East Cleveland to the west, and Highland Heights to the south. Participating restaurants in the Euclid include Chipotle, China Sea, Paradise Island, Georgios, Panini’s, McDonalds and Sub City, among others. Most recently, Burger King has joined the pack. Like everything in life, picking up food from some establishments is more pleasant than going to others. Rotasu Hibachi across from Euclid Beach and Chic-fil-A in Willoughby are both quick and accurate in filling orders. There are, however, a couple of restaurants that don’t provide such an easy experience, where they’re always out of everything, the employees are rude, and the food’s never ready on time.
Due to COVID-19, some restaurants have closed their lobbies, resulting in longer drive-thru lines. To promote social distancing, there is a “leave at the door” option to allow for no-contact deliveries. Other things you may not know are that drivers pay for their own gas, and they aren’t paid by the hour. They are paid a base pay, which is determined by the distance between the restaurant and the customer, the complexity of the order, and whether or not the order needs to be placed or is being prepared ahead of time. Many orders – too many, in fact – have a $3.00 base pay, and it is a rare occurrence when a driver is lucky enough to get an order for $9.00 or $10.00. Even a small tip helps on a $3.00 order.
Think of your food delivery driver as a waitress that makes house calls and, like a waitress, should be tipped for their service. Fifteen to twenty percent is acceptable but, before completing the order, the customer is given the opportunity to tip on the app, and even presented with options as to how much they’d like to give. Even if you can’t afford to tip, a little kindness goes a long way. Just say thank you, or wish your driver a nice day. You might be surprised as to how many people don’t.
Bridgette lives in Euclid with her boyfriend, and her two cats, Bella and Scruffy. She loves reading and writing, and is teaching herself how to cook.