Here’s What It’s Like To Be A Food Delivery Driver

I’ve been riding my lil scooter around the streets of Sydney for nearly a year now and, since I’ve managed to develop enough confidence to dodge peak hour traffic, I figured it was time for me to start using my scooter to make some extra cash. How the hell can you make money from a scooter, you ask? Delivering food, duh.

I have now been delivering food for a month, and I’ve received four pay checks to show for it, so I figured I should share with all of you what my experience with this side hustle has really been like.

The Application Process

Initially, I thought I should sign up for every single food delivery company I could think of because that would mean I could deliver more food and make more money (obviously). However, I’m still only on my learner bike license and the only company that would hire me as a learner was Menulog.

It was super easy to sign up to be a Menulog driver. I filled out a form here with my details, including my local delivery area. Unfortunately, I applied in March and the company had no active positions at the time but they told me that they would let me know when/if a position became available. The good thing about this is that there isn’t an overwhelming number of delivery drivers in one area. The company only hires a specific amount of drivers per area so that each driver has the opportunity to pick up a decent number of deliveries. I did need to enter an ABN because Menulog drivers are independent contractors, which means technically you’re operating as a small business (important to remember for when tax time comes around). You can apply for an ABN here.

After five months, Menulog finally emailed me to let me know that they were hiring drivers in my area. The application process was super simple and didn’t require much effort from me at all. The only thing I did have to do was pay $40 for a national police clearance check and pay $40 for a thermal bag because I didn’t already have my own. Before I knew it, I was on the road ready to start picking up orders.

Making Deliveries

The delivery system works on a specific Menulog courier app and basically, when you get matched to an order, you have sixty seconds to decide whether or not you want to accept it. The more orders you accept, the higher your acceptance rate and subsequently the more future orders you will get matched to.

Honestly, my first order was a bit of a shit show. I kind of panicked when I saw the order, accepted it and then realised that I had no bloody clue what to do. Luckily, the app gives you a step by step guide throughout the entire delivery run, from parking at the restaurant to handing over the food to the recipient. It also connects with Google Maps so you know exactly where to go. Sooo, despite being majorly stressed that I was going to park at the wrong restaurant or be half an hour later with the food, it was actually hard to stuff up the order that badly.

How Often I Work

So, delivering food isn’t actually as simple as just opening up the app and starting work whenever you want. The app schedules shifts for you based on availability that you set the prior week. So if, for example, you say that you’re available next Thursday night then you might be given a shift from 6pm – 10pm on that night. You’re also expected to confirm that set shift 48 hours before the beginning of the shift.

The app also has open runs available for anyone to pick up. I really like this feature of the app because often I don’t really know how I’m going to feel about making deliveries until the day of the shift. So, if I do feel like it then I might pick up open runs on the day if one is available.

Despite the app setting schedules, you can turn on the app and set your status to ‘available’ at anytime if you feel like making a run. However, the app prioritises drivers that are on a shift at that time, and I’ve never picked up any delivery runs this way.

In reality, you can work as much as you like. Seriously, you can set your availability to all day, every day BUT that doesn’t mean that you will get matched to orders. I work roughly 2-3 days a week, usually for a couple of hours at a time. On a busy shift, that will mean that I make 3-4 deliveries per shift.

How Much I Earn

Right, so this is definitely the most important thing to talk about because it’s the whole damn reason I’m making deliveries. I want to be completely open about how much I’ve made from the deliveries, and so here is a picture of my earnings over the past month.

In total, I’ve made $294.75 over the past four weeks. In those four weeks I made 24 deliveries.

This means that, on average, I earn $12.28 per delivery.

Also, I’ve done calculations after each shift to figure out that I earn roughly $20 per hour.

Is It Worth It?

Here’s how I see it…

If I was to consistently make around $294.75 every four weeks, that equates to over $3500 in extra side hustle income a year.

I also like to see it like this…

1 delivery covers the cost of my petrol for two weeks
2 deliveries covers the fortnightly cost of my gym membership &
6 deliveries covers the cost of my monthly phone bill

For me, riding my bike and delivering food is such an easy (and pretty fun!) way to make a decent amount of side money. It’s not for everyone, and definitely not something I would do forever, but it suits me perfectly for now.

Things I’ve Learnt

Just as a little side note, here’s a bunch of other things I’ve learnt throughout my Menulog experience.

#1. Don’t make your damn delivery driver come up to your apartment. Please. Not only is it kind of creepy for the driver to go into a random apartment block, but it also really slows them down. Just be a decent human, go downstairs and meet the driver on the street.

Delivering at night ain’t for me. Not only can I barely bloody see the street names and house numbers in the dark, but it’s also kind of strange to be creeping around dark houses looking for someone to deliver the food to (although I haven’t actually had any creepy experiences, thank god!). I’ll stick to busy daytime shifts, thanks.

#3. The unpredictability of the shifts is annoying as hell. Once I complete a delivery, I often don’t get matched to another delivery straight away. Sometimes I come home after a delivery and sit down for five minutes, only to receive a buzzing notification letting me know that I’ve been matched to another order. It can be a massive time waster.

#4. I have never been tempted to eat the food. Seriously, sooo many people ask me if I steal food from the orders and the answer is a resounding no. The food is usually wrapped up pretty tightly, and goes straight into my thermal bag so don’t worry, your fries are safe.

#5. People get super excited when I tell them I deliver food. I don’t know if it’s the novelty of the situation, or just the fact that people bloody love getting food delivered, but for some reason people just can’t seem to get enough of hearing about the job. Hence why I wrote this post!!

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The Stingy Bitch

Based in Sydney, Australia.
Created in 2020.

This site and all of it’s contents are provided for entertainment purposes only and do not constitute personal financial advice. All products that are mentioned are general product advice only, not personal product advice. Not all options are presented and my opinions are subject to change. All content and posts have been prepared as a general summary only and is not intended to be financial advice with respect to any particular matter. This post should not be relied on with respect to any particular matter. If you have questions about any aspect of the content or this site or otherwise require personal financial advice, you ought to seek financial advice. The author disclaims liability to any person who relies on this post.

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