With dine-in restaurants currently not an option, and many individuals not yet quite comfortable even leaving their homes to pick up take-out, food delivery is on the rise. It’s such a hot commodity right now that Uber, which naturally struggles to keep customers in a time when six feet of distance is nearly impossible to maintain in a car, is looking to buy Grubhub. Food delivery can be a form of making money for those who’ve lost their regular jobs due to COVID-19. Of course, it poses risks for those who live with others, as their work naturally involves interaction with customers. Nonetheless, you see it everywhere now. The little green and red delivery bag and backpacks, bopping up the stairs in your apartment complex and soaring on the backs of bicycles and piled high in the back seats of cars. There were certain struggles that food delivery drivers faced when the world was normal, and people weren’t stressed about their health, and desperately relying on food delivery as one of their limited ways of getting food. Now those struggles are intensified in the time of COVID-19. There may also have been some dirty secrets of food delivery drivers, that were very much alive when the economy was open, and could be worsened now. Here are things your food delivery person doesn’t want you to know.
Your neighborhood may be too dangerous
Do you struggle to find places that deliver to your neighborhood? Perhaps you’re surprised to find that they deliver to neighborhoods further from the restaurant than yours, but not to yours. Well, that could be because your neighborhood is dangerous! Remember that food delivery drivers carry a decent amount of cash – which makes them a ripe target for neighborhoods where a lot of robberies take place.
For goodness sake, be home
If your food is arriving sometimes in the next 20 to 40 minutes, please don’t go run a quick errand or take your dog for a walk, hoping you can beat the delivery driver back to your home. Even leaving him waiting at your door for five minutes, if you’re not back, seriously messes up his schedule. Imagine if everybody did that—he’d quickly be running very late on deliveries.
People can steal your food
It happens all of the time. A food delivery person is trying to call you or find your apartment number. You aren’t answering. He’s lost. And then someone else from your building or block – an annoying neighbor – sees him standing there, and says, “Oh, that’s for me” and takes your food. Translation: be alert. Listen to your phone if you’re expecting a delivery. Maybe wait on your porch.
This may just be his COVID-19 job
Keep in mind that a lot of your delivery drivers are new – like coronavirus pandemic new. They may have lost their regular jobs when the economy collapsed, and this was the only way for them to make money now. So take it easy on them. Be nice and patient. Be respectful. This is a tough time for everybody. It’s not easy for someone to go from owning a business or managing a company to delivering pizza.
An extra tip in bad weather is appreciated
If it’s raining or snowing or hailing or super windy, give your delivery driver an extra tip. It was not easy for her to get to you. She doesn’t want to be out in that weather any more than you do. And also, if you need a few minutes to find your money or something, don’t leave your driver standing out in the rain. Offer her to step inside and stay dry for a moment.
This may be one of multiple jobs
Try not to be too hard on a delivery driver for not having the most chipper of attitudes or the highest of energy. There is a good chance that this is just one of her jobs. It’s nearly impossible for someone to make a full time living delivering food, so these drivers almost always have other jobs and are very tired.
Don’t rush them
Stop calling the place and asking when your food would arrive, when they told you from the start it could take 45 minutes, and it’s now just been 35 minutes. This can stress out the driver who is about to leave for your place, causing him to drive frantically, and putting himself and others on the road in danger.
Yes, they remember bad tippers
Your delivery person remembers the bad tippers. They remember the really good ones, and the really bad ones. The others sort of drift off into oblivion. Your driver probably won’t do anything to harm your food or put his job at risk if you’re a bad tipper, but he certainly won’t go the extra step of giving you free ranch dressing.
Please wear clothes
Your delivery driver doesn’t need to see you in your underwear. They don’t need to see hairy dudes with their stomachs sticking out. It’s just disrespectful to not put clothes on to answer the door – it’s almost a way of saying that your delivery driver doesn’t deserve the effort.
The bikers risk their lives
Delivery drivers who ride their bikes to do their jobs put their lives on the line to make money. They don’t just get to stick to pretty, paved bike paths. They have to go where the food is going, which could mean going through high-traffic areas and putting themselves in dangerous positions. So, again, tip nicely.
Put your phone down
Do you really need to talk on the phone when answering the door for your delivery person? Forcing him to remain as quiet as a mouse and whisper information to you? It’s just a 30-second interaction. Tell the person you’re talking to to hold on, put down the phone, and give your delivery person the respect of your full attention for half a minute.
If you want good food, it may take time
If you want to get delivery from one of the best places in town, then you have to know that your food may take a while. It’s not as simple as how long it takes them to make your order and drive to your place. There could be 10 orders ahead of yours. You can’t have it all: the best food and quick delivery.
Yes, your food slides around
Of course your food slides around. Your driver has a bunch of orders to deliver, is probably rushing, doesn’t know your neighborhood so is surprised by stop signs and makes sharp turns. So try not to freak out if your cheese on your pizza is a little out of place or the all the cucumbers on your salad slid to one side.
Some help finding your place is nice
In the section where you can leave the driver instructions, leave them. Never assume he can find your place on his own. There’s no such thing as too much information. If you are in an apartment, write something like, “Walk down the corridor on the left side of the building and go up the second flight of stairs.” And leaving a light on outside is always nice.
Sometimes they snack
Yeah, sometimes they grab a few of your fries or chips or whatever is easily accessible. Look, they can be so busy that they don’t get time to eat. Hopefully they don’t do that right now, when there is a virus going around. That’s why it could be best to order things that aren’t easy for your driver to snack on, like ramen or a burrito.