If you want to sign up to Deliveroo and make a some cash when you do (after completing 20 orders) then just click this Deliveroo Referral Link. But if you want to find out more about working for Deliveroo first then read on.
Ride, Scoot or Drive
Whether you ride a bicycle, scoot or drive the basics are the same. Yes, you get a fuel rebate for vehicles but of course that doesn’t cover the maintance of your chosen method of transport. Though most of the below is from the perspective of a bicyclist.
So while you can make a good hourly rate do remember to set a bit aside for that. And if you’re a bicyclist you can also claim for the miles done on your tax return which helps pay for the maintenance/ inner tubes you’ll inevitably go through. An app like Strava can be both excellent for mileage tracking and fun (there’s a Deliveroo group)
What’s Deliveroo like?
It depends a bit on your personality, but if you get a sense of satisfaction from completing tasks then you’re likely to love it. Everything is broken down, eg. ‘accept this order’, ‘head to restaurant’, ‘collect these items’, ‘deliver to customer’ and continue.
Do you have to be an athelete?
Nope, well I’m far from it. In fact many of the other ‘Deliveroos’ I’ve met don’t seem to be in that category either, indeed many are late 30s to early 50s.
Of course you don’t want to be slow or scared of traffic (healthy respect being useful in London!) but the breakdown above means you’re typically not biking for longer than 15 minutes at any one time.
Certainly there can be quick turn-around when restuarants have orders ready and your heart-rate does stay pumping, but not uncomfortably. Of course you then bike at whatever pace you’re comfortable with, but even in a few weeks I could feel the difference in power and my average speed going up.
A full time job?
Maybe … but not for me. Most of the other ‘Roos’ (does that sounds dumb?) seem to be doing it as a side gig to another job, indeed running a company. For example while waiting for one order with a Deliveroo driver we discussed their WordPress website needs and exchanged numbers.
The bigger reason is that people don’t eat takeaway all the time. Apparently lunchtime is slow (haven’t tried it), and unsurprisingly their ‘Super-Peak’ is 19:00-21:00 Friday to Sunday. In fact, you’re encouraged to do 12 hours during Super Peak so you can book the best hour time slots for the next week.
New Deliveroo drivers will be paid £3.75/delivery in London, and I think nationwide. So 2 deliveries an hour and you’re at minimum wage of £7.50, 3 and you’re talking £11.25 which is more reasonable. While you don’t get to see how long a job might take 3 seems do-able as long as you don’t slouch (see Tips).
However often there is a shortage of riders and they’ll offer £4.75/delivery which means you’re nearly at £15/hour, and if doing 2 hours at a time (one hour isn’t quite enough) then with tips you can easily be other this, though £20/hour would be a push. Sometimes you do get 2 orders at once but it’s not the norm for bikers, though moreso for scooters and drivers.
Onboarding / Application Process
The onboarding process does involve a number of checks of your documents and is mostly done on a laptop. Don’t have your documents, you’ll be sent home. Also know how to access your email remotely (i.e. remember the login details!).
It was thorough if a little ‘here is how to ride a bike safely’ watching some videos as part of an online lesson. It doesn’t actually cover the process of accepting orders but you get a little demo of the app.
Make sure your phone has a good charge before coming and some data ideally (though they do have wifi) as you’ll need to download the app then and there as well as confirm a few other things.
You can ‘bring your own’, that is, if you happen to have an insulated box which is certain dimensions and reflective. Who does? And you can bring your own jacket, but it’ll also have to reflective – mine failed.
Though the jacket is nice and means you can just wear a T-shirt undernearth and you’ll be fine. Also it’s helpful to be identifiable, especially when trying to locate customers and for restaurants to find the right order (they often use several companies).
However, the cost isn’t as bad as you may have seen reported, £45.00 being about right. You’ll be getting it at the onboarding process so be prepared, though you can have it deducted from your wages over time. This is done quite quickly and FYI you’re actually getting a Deliveroo Shopify account if that isn’t explained.
They’ll offer you lights and a helmet too – might as well take those, especially as they at least half offset the £45.00 cost above. Though you can make that back in under 5 hours of work, so week 2 you’re earning.
When you start a shift, you need to get somewhat close to the centre of the zone in which you’re working before you’ll be able to “go online”. You don’t need to reach the exact centre but it’s a bit of “am I near enough/ try it/ nope”. So especially if you’re new to a zone give yourself 10 minutes to get into the right place.
For most stops you’ll want to lock your bike or scooter, and with 3-4 deliveries an hour that starts to add up. Not to mention cold or rainy.
In reality it affects your profit, so find a way to lock up securely but maybe only one lock as you’ll be nearby that’s quick to add/remove. The same goes for lights, choose ones you can remove quickly if you’re in an area where you’re unsure.
Phone Battery Bank
So charge your phone fully before each shift and get a battery bank that you can carry and charge the phone on the go as hopefully you won’t be waiting around for long anywhere.
Phone Case and Mount
Unless you have a photographic memory, you’ll need the phone visible a lot of the time to follow the route to restaurants and customers. In fact you can also choose to use your favourite mapping function.
Speaking of which sometimes the app isn’t quite right and you might need to check the restaurant name or customers address in say Google Maps because it certainly isn’t in the middle of that construction site.
Of course it will rain, and so you’ll want something that you can use even in the rain. It’s not safe or easy to be pulling it in and out of your pocket.
A couple tips: Turn off the passcode too when on shift as TouchID or similar authentication doesn’t work well in the dark on a bike. Choose a bike holder that can hold the battery too.
Like any bit of custom software its … well not perfect. It’s not bad either, but frequently there’s a need to reboot the app once or twice a shift. It’ll pick right back up where you left off.
Of course it’s worth learning to love the app. Do check what you’re given by a restaurant, it’s all too easy to miss off a drink
Self Employed Deliveroo
This is made clear to you from the start, and is structured in a way that you really are self employed. Don’t hope you’ll be classed an employee and due back pay.
You really can choose when to work, when to clock off, whether to continue for another hour (if there’s spaces), be able to say ‘this is my last order’. Though if you book a session do try to make it as it will count towards your statistics.
Every two weeks, on a Tuesday, you get paid by bank transfer against an invoice that’s generated for you by Deliveroo. Save these, even if you generate your own invoices for proof of income.
Remember that this means you should register as self-employed with HMRC and need to save some of your income to pay Class 2 and Class 4 National Insurance Contributions.
You get to keep 100% of your tips, which are either given digitally via the app or sometimes in cash (remember these should be accounted for tax); or if you’re really lucky both! Adding £1-2 for some of your orders will take your earning potential up signficiantly.
Of course delivering food is just like any role in the service industry, it pays to be polite. Smile when you’re delivering even if you’ve just climbed a hill and it’s raining outside. Taking a second to connect rather than handing over the delivery and turning to leave is just good manners.
Deliveroo Final Thoughts?
I’m loving it, and didn’t expect to at the start. Yes there have been a few hills which have pushed me to the limit but I get home with an endorphin rush and feel like my time has been well spent and rewarded. And yes, that’s even in the driving rain.
It’s early days yet, but one or two evenings a week doing 2-3 hours a time is perfect to bring in a bit more income in a way that also helps to increase my health – my activity tracker is telling me that I’m doing personal bests after wearing it for 2 years.
Certainly I appreciate the person who delivers our take-away more now.