Regardless of where you live, you can probably download multiple delivery apps, install them on your phone, and work via them in your city. AppJobs sat down with Emilio, a Foodora delivery driver from Stockholm, to get some insights into the realities of food delivery riders. We asked him about payment, working hours, and many more. You may join the fleet of another platform, but his answers will certainly help you have a better understanding of what it’s like working with on-demand food delivery apps.
Emilio, a Foodora delivery driver
What Is It Like to Work As a Delivery Driver? A Foodora Rider Answers.
To get started, please, tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Emilio, and I live here in Stockholm. It’s a beautiful city, I love it! I’ve been here since 2015. I work here. I have two jobs. My main job is at Systembolaget, where you can buy spirits, beer, wine and stuff. [Systembolaget is a government-owned chain of liquor stores in Sweden.] I work there ca 70%. And about two years ago, I saw some guys riding their bikes wearing a pink Foodora T-shirt. You can see them everywhere in downtown Stockholm… It was like a secret dream of mine to work as a bike messenger, so I went to the website and applied for the job. I’ve been working as a delivery driver with Foodora for two years now.
What else do you do and how did you end up here in Stockholm?
I live in a little house in Lidingö [a little bit outside of Stockholm] close to the ocean. It’s very beautiful there. Before coming to Stockholm, I lived in a small city called Hedemora in Dalarna [a county in Sweden]. People here saying it’s northern Sweden because everything above Norrtull is considered northern Sweden. It’s a beautiful city, a beautiful area. I was there for three years and, before that, I lived in Borås. I was born in Borås [a town in Western Sweden]. My mom is Brazilian and I moved to Brazil when I was a baby. I’ve been living in both Brazil and Sweden on and off.
You did explain how you started off with Foodora, but tell us a little bit more. Did you ever work with an app job like this one before? You maybe didn’t even have any idea of this world of making money with apps before.
Actually, I didn’t. I always felt that you have a “normal kind” of job, so you go to a store or an office somewhere and try a job there. I didn’t know that app jobs existed. This was kinda new to me.
But you tried it anyway!
Well, it’s very simple actually. Your office is your phone.
What was your motivation? Do you remember asking things like “Oh, why am I gonna try this out?” Was it riding a bike?
Yeah, I always liked cycling. I remember when I got my first road bike when I was 14 years old. I liked the speed. As I said earlier, working as a bike messenger sounded like a dream, so when I got the chance, I applied for the job. Before I started working with Foodora, I went out cycling twice a week. So I thought why not try this out if you can get paid for cycling?
But you were already working somewhere else, so working with Foodora is like a side job.
Yes, it is a side job, and I do it for fun.
A big question that a lot of people have is whether or not it’s enough to just work with Foodora. Do you think you could live on the income earned by working with Foodora?
I think a lot of guys at Foodora try it, but the contract you have is for ten hours a week, and you’re not going to make a living working ten hours a week. But, yeah, especially during the winter and autumn months, it’s possible to get a lot of hours. I have colleagues who worked 20-30 hours a month, some maybe almost worked full-time. Because as it is an app job, if there is a big need, the office puts out some more shifts you can do. And if, for example, your colleagues don’t want them, you can swap. There’s a swap function in the app, so you can get a lot of shifts.
We had a question on working hours on our YouTube account last week actually. Do you have time slots with Foodora or do you choose your own hours? Do you have blocks perhaps?
You can indicate one week in advance when you cannot work. For example, I can’t work on Monday, and on Wednesday between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. So, that’s my unavailability, and the rest of the time, I can get shifts.
You had traditional “normal jobs.” Can you make a comparison between an app job and a traditional job? How do you think they’re different? Are they similar at all?
I can only talk about Foodora, and the work with Foodora is very simple. Of course, you can get a bit more responsibility. With Foodora, you belong to a team with, I think, 15 riders, and every team has their captain rider. And when you become a captain rider, you have more responsibility. For example, you get more hours because you can work at the office.
Oh, so you can evolve inside the company?
Yes, and that’s a good thing. So that’s a bit similar to a traditional job. You’re able to get more responsibility and grow inside Foodora as you would in a normal company.
But then again, as you said, the task is very simple.
Yes, it’s simple. You get informed about the deliveries on your phone, pick up your deliveries, and you have a map that shows where you need to go. In the first month, I was like ‘How am I gonna find everything?’ After three months, you’ll know the city inside out, every quarter of it. It’s a simple job, anybody can do it with a phone and a bike.
Do you already have your favorite spots in the city? Secret spots?
Yes, I know a lot of secrets spots!!!
Alright, let’s talk about payments now. This is a very common question, too: How does it work with Foodora?
There are two salary models. One is based on your hours, and you get a fixed salary. So you work for a certain hourly wage during the week, and from 5 p.m. on Friday to Sunday the hourly rate gets a bit higher. The other model is performance-based, so you get paid based on your performance. You get a little smaller hourly salary, but you get paid for each delivery.
Which one do you choose?
The performance-based model. I think you can earn more money if you are fast and good at finding the places. I think most of the riders make two deliveries an hour, but the really fast ones can almost double that. This means you can get like 30-40 SEK (~$3-$5) more an hour, and, at the end of the month, you see the difference. I also like the kick, I get more motivated. I like riding, and I like riding fast. Often I start thinking that I’m gonna beat my own record, and today I’m going to do more.
We just talked about how it is possible to do this job full-time, well, not full-time but like you can live off it. There are a lot of people doing that in Stockholm, right?
It’s difficult to say because I work a little bit less than the others as I have another job. Some weeks I just work five hours. Last week I didn’t work at all, because it was midsummer in Sweden, when people drink more and a lot of things are going on. So, they needed me a little bit more at Systembolaget. The payment I get from Foodora is not enough for me, but it could be enough if I worked at least 20 hours a week.
You can work whenever you want, but is there some minimum required hours?
In the contract, it says ten hours, but during summertime, as people go on vacation, there’s not so much to do. I think you can get like a five-hour contract. You can fill in how many hours you can work. It could be like zero to two hours each week, two to eight, and so on. If you go to the website just by clicking on the apply link without actually applying, you can see the hours possible to select. In my case, it’s at least five hours a week. But it’s very flexible.
Yes, one of the benefits of working with an app job is flexibility… Tell us about your routine now. How do you start your day when you’re working as a delivery rider with Foodora?
Well, I usually work day shifts, but there are night shifts, too. The earliest one starts at 10:30 a.m. When I am doing that shift, I wake up, eat my breakfast and start to get ready. I get my clothes… Before we had a garage in the city center, where we could put our bikes and our bags, but I don’t know what’s happening now, we don’t have the garage anymore, so we have to bring our bags home.
Find out which platforms you can join in your city!
Photo by Kai Pilger on Unsplash
Foodora provides you with the bag and the gear, right?
Yes, it does. So, I bike right all the way to my working area, which is within a radius of 500 meters from the center. This means it can be anywhere within this radius. I sit down on a bench and wait for the first order. Normally, it can take five minutes to receive the first order. After that, I take care of orders continuously. Sometimes I start in the afternoon at the other work, so I have a two-hour shift before that. It’s good that I also have time for lunch and everything.
To finish off, I’d like to ask you about our platform. What do you think about AppJobs.com in general?
To find all of this information on working with your phone on your website is great. I saw that there are some guys working as tourist guides and I think this is awesome. I’m interested in tourism, and I think that would be something I would like to work with, too. I have also recommended it to my friends. I have two Brazilian friends. One is moving to Sweden, I don’t know when, but she’s been talking about it a lot, so I told her visit AppJobs.com. The other friend has a “normal job”, but yeah, you never know…
Find Delivery Driver Job In Your City!
Foodora might not operate in your city, but a few other on-demand delivery service apps have probably been launched there. Visit AppJobs.com, and find out which site is currently recruiting couriers. . We would also like to encourage you to continue reading—if you’re not busy running some errands.
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The interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.