Delivery customers, help us help you!

Delivery customers, help us help you!

In this article, I’d like to share some tips to make your delivery drivers’ lives a little easier. These are some really simple things that you can do to show appreciation for the people delivering your food. Some of them can even help to make sure your food arrives in a timely fashion. Of course, the biggest way that you can show appreciation is to tip well, but here are some other things you can do (some of which are tip-related).

Tip in cash

When you do decide to give your driver a tip (thank you very much for doing so), it is much better for us if you use cash. Cash goes straight into our wallets and never needs to be reported to the government, while any tips through the app you’re using will just be added to our overall earnings and therefore be taxed. Basically, when you tip through an app, part of your tip is going to end up in the government’s pockets instead of your delivery driver’s. I am sure that you would rather be showing your full appreciation to the person who is helping you out by delivering your food.

Tip based on the work

The common convention around tipping in the food industry is that you give an amount of money based on a percentage of the food price. Personally, I’ve never been a fan of this convention, and this is even more pronounced in delivery driving.

Your delivery driver has no relation to the restaurant or to making the food, so why tip based on the price of the food? 

What makes more sense, in my opinion, is to recognize that some orders are more difficult than others, and require more work on the driver’s behalf. 

For example, maybe there’s construction or heavy traffic along the route. Maybe your delivery location is pretty far out of town, putting the driver far away from the urban, restaurant-filled areas where they can pick up the next order. Maybe the roads are icy or covered in snow. Maybe the restaurant from which you’re ordering doesn’t have a great parking situation. I’m sure you get my point. These are all things that would be good reasons to increase your tip.

Visible address

This one really gets to me when I’m out delivering orders. I will often find it difficult to see the address numbers on people’s houses. Part of the issue is that every house has its own unique place where the numbers are displayed. The navigation systems on our phones can only get us so close to your address, so your driver needs to be able to actually see the numbers on your house to make sure that they deliver your order to the correct location. 

Renters or people with strict homeowners’ associations in their neighborhood may not be able to do much to actually make changes to their homes, but if you are able, please get nice big numbers that are easily visible from the street, and hang them in a prominent location. Also, make sure not to hang holiday decorations over your address numbers (yes, I have seen multiple people do this). If you’re ordering food at night, make sure you have some light shining on your address numbers as well.

Clear communication

This applies to several different things. First off, if your home is a bit difficult to find, please give clear directions. Most (if not all) delivery apps offer you some way to communicate with the driver while they're delivering your order. Please use that feature to help us out a bit. For example, in a multi-building apartment complex, our navigation apps only get us to the main entrance from the street.

If you’re in building 28 of a 70-building complex, please tell us how to get from the main entrance to your building. Just try to think of the first time you ever drove to your home, and what directions you were given or would like to have been given. Keep in mind that the easier it is for us to find your door, the sooner you get your food.

On a similar note, please tell us whether or not you want us to ring or knock if you're requesting contactless delivery. Some people want their delivery driver to ring/knock, some don’t. If you don’t give clear instructions on this, then the driver is going to do what they prefer, which may or may not be what you prefer. 

It would also be great when you’re ordering a drink to tell us whether or not you want ice. Some people like ice in their sodas, some don’t, some want only a little, some want a lot, etc. When you don’t specify on this, you’re likely to get whatever the driver personally prefers.

One more thing on communication: Answer your phone, please. When I sign up to deliver orders and you decide to place an order, we both enter into an unspoken arrangement in which we might get a call from an unknown number that’s important. 

Maybe the restaurant doesn’t have some menu item that you ordered. Maybe your driver is going to be late for some reason. Maybe they need you to open the gate to your community. I know that not everyone is comfortable picking up a call from an unknown number, but this is a common part of the experience that you’re signing up for when you order food to your door.

Rate your experience

Some apps do this and others don’t, but if you’re given the opportunity to rate your delivery experience, then the app is going to use that data and it’s going to impact that driver’s ability to stay active on the app. Please give your drivers high ratings if they perform up to your expectations, and please give them low ratings if they don’t, to help get bad drivers kicked off the platforms and stop giving the rest of us a bad reputation.

The bottom line on all of this, really, is just to try and put yourself in your delivery driver’s shoes and think of what you might find problematic if you were doing their job. What would you appreciate as a driver? Thank you for reading this, and please thank your drivers.

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