How to become a successful food delivery driver in 2021

Written by Chris Richards, Managing Director

Whether you want to pick up a few hours for extra money or are looking to make a career from it, food delivery driver jobs can be ideal. In a rapidly expanding industry, restaurants and dedicated food delivery services are always on the lookout for dependable drivers, and it can be a great, flexible way to make money.

But it is not as easy as you might think becoming a food delivery driver.

We will look at the most important aspects of delivering food in the UK, and how to compare fast food delivery insurance easily with Utility Saving Expert.

What key skills are important for delivery drivers?

Not just anyone will be suitable for delivery driver positions, and the major delivery companies will be looking for a specific set of skills to provide this service and represent their business.

Previous experience will help, but it is not essential. As long as you can display certain qualities, you will have a chance that they will hire you. Here are some of the skills that can make you a preferred candidate.

Customer Service

You will be dealing with customers face to face, so learning how to deal with queries and complaints courteously and professionally will give the customer a much better impression of the company as a whole.

Timekeeping and Scheduling

Estimated time slots for when food will be delivered are available to the customer. This is based on driver availability and food prep. If this goes wrong, the customer could be left waiting much longer than expected, and the quality of their food may even suffer if it has been left sitting for a period of time.

English and Maths Skills

This is a fast-paced job, and you will be expected to communicate clearly and efficiently with the restaurant.

Cash handling will also be a big part of the job; incorrectly working out change could result in you losing money or custom.

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Which food delivery driver companies operate in the UK?

There are many food delivery driver companies across the UK that are worth investigating if you are considering delivering food, including;

  • Just Eat - Just Eat represents a huge market share of the food delivery industry, working alongside tens of thousands of restaurants. In 2020 alone, Just Eat recorded 179 million orders in the UK.
  • Deliveroo - Deliveroo is a UK-based company that is going from strength to strength. Figures gathered by Statista show that it is the fastest-growing UK brand worldwide in 2021, with a growth of 51.9%.
  • Uber Eats - Although Uber Eats runs separately from their globally successful taxi alternative service, if you are already an uber driver, you can conveniently opt into the Uber Eats service as well.
  • Stuart - Not as widely known as the previous examples, Stuart offers an on-demand logistic service to order directly through the restaurant. They would then send the job alert through for the delivery driver.

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What do I need to become a delivery driver?

There are some basic requirements for drivers. These, and whether you will receive equipment or cover, will depend on the company you start your delivery job with. Here are some of the most important requirements for food delivery driver jobs.

Transportation

Transportation is the key factor - you will have to provide this yourself.

Different options will be available depending on locations and the employer's needs. The most common transportation options are listed later in this article, so be sure to keep reading.

Insurance

You will need to be properly insured for any bike, scooter, van, or car used to transport hot food, as this is a legal requirement.

The correct cover is essential, as any mistakes or information on your policy could result in it being invalidated with any claims being refused.

Finding the best food delivery insurance cover, no matter your mode of transport or if you are working with Uber Eats, Deliveroo, Just Eat, or Stuart is important, and finding the best deal could end up saving you a lot of money.

Utility Saving Expert is partnered with hundreds of insurance providers and compares various insurance policies to find the best deals for you.

Delivery Bag

If you are delivering hot food, heat bags are essential. To be efficient, you might take several orders out at any one time. Keeping them warm until you can deliver them is important, and the best way to do this is with specially designed heat bags.

Some employers will provide branded bags to advertise the company when you are on the move, so it is worth checking when enquiring about jobs.

Clothing

Food delivery drivers may be provided with a uniform if they represent one of the larger food delivery companies. As you will be representing the company and wearing their branding, you must conduct yourself professionally, not only when delivering food but also when travelling.

If you are on a bike or scooter, protective clothing would also have to be worn to protect you from any accidents or collisions and adhere to your insurance policy. You would be able to discuss with the food delivery company whether any protective clothing would be provided.

PPE equipment may be necessary for some situations, and you may need to discuss policy and procedures with the food delivery company directly. The vast majority of deliveries are now contactless, but this would be fully explained before starting your new position.

Mobile Phone

It would be best if you had a mobile phone to keep up to date with any job alerts that come through. A job alert is the companies way of letting you know a new order in your area has been placed.

Depending on how busy the area is, there might be a few food delivery drivers that service the same restaurants. Keeping up to date with job alerts means you will not miss out on potential deliveries.

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What type of delivery driver vehicle should I choose?

If you are hoping to become a food delivery driver, travelling between locations quickly and safely is key and having your own vehicle will stand you in good stead.

Depending on whether you live in a densely populated city or out in the countryside with longer distances between properties, your mode of transport will be important.

Delivery companies seek people that can deliver food using various vehicles, including;

Bicycle

A bike is a great option for deliveries in city centres where traffic can cause delays for larger vehicles. Cycle lanes that bypass lights and the ability to manoeuvre freely through stationary traffic is a major benefit.

Scooter

Like bikes, scooters offer a bit more freedom to manoeuvre through heavy traffic and are better for slightly longer distances that might be too much to ask for someone on a bike.

Car

If you have your own car and a full UK driving licence, a car is the ideal food delivery option. It means you can travel further and carry more while keeping the food safe and secure.

Not having a clean driving licence may impact your insurance premiums, which is why we help you save time and money by comparing the best food delivery insurance providers for you.

Van

Sometimes a car is just not big enough. If an event is being catered, there will be a need for food delivery driver jobs for those with vans.

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FAQ's

Earnings will vary depending on several factors, including;

  • Number of hours worked per week
  • The company you work for
  • Percentage of tips earned

The importance of responding quickly to job alerts will be important if you are looking to make many deliveries. Responding to a job alert quickly get you more jobs. This will also reflect well with the company you are working for.

Depending on the vehicle you use, you might get more or fewer job alerts as your travel time and ability to carry deliveries will be considered.

If a delivery driver breaks down, they would be expected to deliver still if this is safe and possible.

It might not always be an option, so contacting the support team as quickly as you can make sure they will make alternative arrangements for the delivery.

As a food delivery driver, the chances are some customers will tip you, especially if you are quick and offer great customer service. Most delivery companies would allow drivers to keep tips as it would be too difficult to police tips handed over at the door.

It is also possible to tip electronically, and the driver would usually keep 100% of these tips, too. Still, it is always best to check individual company policies on tipping or gratuities.

It is a popular misconception that delivery drivers only work in the evening, although this is one of the busiest times.

Traditionally, food delivery was only really available in the UK from fast-food restaurants that opened in time for most people's dinner, and they would have their own dedicated food delivery driver.

With food delivery companies allowing drivers to deliver from various restaurants, the market has increased dramatically.

Restaurants and cafes can now offer deliveries all through the day, so it offers greater flexibility for the food delivery driver to work hours that suit.