Working as a delivery driver can be extremely rewarding. This line of work allows you to earn money while retaining a flexible schedule and acting as your own boss. Not only that, but delivery services are increasing in popularity, providing an abundance of opportunities for those who wish to deliver.
When working as a delivery driver, your number one goal is to increase your earnings without increasing the number of hours you need to work. Optimizing how you work will allow you to make the most of every delivery.
If you are looking for ways to increase your earnings as a delivery driver, try implementing these seven tips.
#1: Go the Extra Mile
One of the best ways to increase the amount of money you make while delivering is to increase the amount you earn via tips.
While there is no way to guarantee a good tip, the following are all effective methods for building a better relationship with your customers, which often results in a steady increase in your tip earnings:
- Double-check orders: It only takes a few seconds, and it can make a huge difference in your customer’s happiness. Before you grab a to-go order and head out, pause for a moment to double-check the items against the order. If you notice anything is missing, ask a staff member to quickly locate the missing item.
- Grab extras: If a restaurant offers condiments, napkins, plates, silverware, or any other extras, grab a handful of items and include them with the order. When you deliver the order, let your customer know that you packed a few extras for them. Customers will appreciate the personal touch and will often say thanks with a bigger tip.
- Be courteous: It seems simple, but being courteous goes a long way in establishing a positive relationship with customers. When you greet customers in person, make sure to smile, use their names if possible, and wish them a good day. If you are leaving a contactless order, shoot your customer a quick, personalized note letting them know their order is ready and adding an extra touch, such as “enjoy your meal!”
- Dress professionally: One of the benefits of working as a delivery driver is that you don’t need to invest in business professional attire. However, while you don’t need to dress for a day in the office, wear something clean and presentable when driving. Dressing professionally can go a long way in establishing trust with your customers and demonstrates that you take your role seriously.
- Update customers: In some cases, things will happen that are outside of your control. A restaurant is taking longer than expected to make a customer’s order. A train has blocked your path, and you’re stuck waiting in traffic. Whatever the case, clear communication will help keep customers happy and will set clear expectations. Be sure to provide quick updates and apologize for any delays.
#2: Focus on a Specific Delivery Area
While it can be helpful to be willing to take on any delivery job you are offered, over time, you will probably learn which routes in your local area are the most profitable. Don’t be afraid to say no to a delivery that is too far away and will slow down your day.
Instead, focus on an optimized and limited delivery area. If there is a specific part of your city that you know well, you will probably be able to deliver orders more efficiently in this area, rather than working across a wide region.
Ideally, use a platform that will not penalize you for rejecting jobs. The more you can be in charge of where you want to deliver, the more efficiently you can work based on your experience in the area.
#3: Invest in the Right Gear
Delivering food cold that is meant to be hot or watching as someone’s dessert melts in the summer sun can lead to a poor customer experience. Additionally, if items fall over, they can be damaged in transit or even spilled beyond redemption.
While it might cost you money upfront, having the right gear in your vehicle will help increase customer satisfaction and, subsequently, your tips. Purchase a delivery bag that will keep hot food hot. Put together a system for storing items in transit that keeps them secure. Make sure that when you accept a delivery job, you have the right setup to handle the products.
These investments will quickly pay off as customers reward you for receiving their items in good condition.
#4: Be Available During Peak Hours
If possible, make sure that you build your schedule around the peak hours for demand in your area. Generally, hours around lunchtime and dinner time will be ideal for food delivery. You may also notice that there are specific late night hours where demand peaks again. Learn what these hours are and try to work the rest of your schedule around being available to deliver during these periods of time.
Over time, pay attention to other patterns. For example, if you are in a college town or a city with a major sporting team, there might be a strong uptick in delivery demand based on the team’s schedule. By being available during peak demand, you can work fewer hours while earning more overall.
#5: Commit to a Schedule
One of the beautiful things about working as a self-employed delivery driver is not having to conform to a specific work schedule. Generally, you are free to set your own hours, working as little or as much as you desire.
However, when you are looking to increase your earnings, make sure you are realistic about what hours you need to work in order to make the money you want. It can be easy to quickly lose track of how many hours you are actually putting into the job when you don’t have a boss telling you what hours to work.
Put together a rough schedule for yourself that will help you meet your goals, and commit to it. If you need accountability, ask a friend or family member to check in with you. The more established you become in your routine, the easier it will be to ensure you work the right number of hours to meet your financial goals.
#6: Look for Ways to Save on Gas
One of the highest costs associated with working as a delivery driver is your gas. To offset some of this cost, look for ways to save, such as the following:
- Use an app to find cheap gas stations: GasBuddy, Gas Guru, Waze, and other apps show you real-time gas prices in the area. Plan your routes to include stops by the cheapest gas station in your area.
- Keep your vehicle well maintained: Make sure that your tires are inflated to the proper pressure and take your vehicle in for regular maintenance. This will help your vehicle run optimally, lowering fuel usage.
- Don’t drive aggressively: Flooring the accelerator will cost you money at the pump. Accelerate slowly and stick to posted speed limits.
- Consider upgrading to a fuel-efficient vehicle: If possible, invest in a newer vehicle that is designed to be fuel-efficient. Hybrids and all-electric vehicles are ideal options.
#7: Keep All of What You Earn
Many delivery platforms charge drivers anywhere from 20% to 40% of what should be driver earnings in commissions. When you are already paying for gas, insurance, taxes, vehicle maintenance, and more, this can quickly cut into your profits.
Additionally, many platforms are not transparent about these numbers, and some even retain money that should be a driver’s tip.
Make sure that you work with a platform like Ally that allows you to keep all of what you earn. With Ally, you retain 100% of driver fees and tips. Not only that, but Ally is free until you earn at least $1,000 in a given month. Once you do increase your earnings to this level, you only pay Ally a once-a-month flat rate of $100. This allows you to earn more money in less time while driving also less.
Additionally, Ally allows you to work whenever and wherever you want and will never penalize you for not accepting a job. This allows you to optimize your workload and the area you drive in to make the most money possible.
If you are interested in increasing your earnings as a delivery driver, download Ally for free today. To get started, all you’ll need is to be 18 years or older, have a valid driver’s license and valid vehicle insurance, and provide your social security number to pass a quick background check. After that, what you earn is up to you!