Do you drive in the gig economy’s food delivery space? Have you thought about stacking platforms to make more money?
Many couriers in the gig economy seek out a food delivery platform that works for them and stick to that platform. Some jump around platforms before settling down on one platform. But some, like me, sign up for several platforms and stack jobs to make more money whenever possible.
If you are considering stacking jobs, here are the five things you need to do before going out and stacking.
Get and set Waze
By stacking, you’re signing up for a race against the clock. Anything that can slow you down is to be avoided. Even the cop waiting to give out a ticket. The navigation app that will let you do this is Waze. Waze provides real-time traffic updates and routing. This will save you a lot of time on deliveries. It’s free to download and no they’re not paying me to write this.
Once you have Waze, go to the setting and set it to give you the Fastest route.
Work each food delivery platform independently first
Whichever platforms you plan on stacking, get out there and deliver for them without stacking. This allows you to get familiar with your city and each of the platforms you’ll be driving for. Each app has a different user experience so get used to all of them.
Another reason you should do each platform independently first is to establish your courier rating. Some platforms (such as Postmates and UberEats) let customers rate you after a job is completed. Stacking jobs could potentially result in less than 5-star performances because customers can see in the app that you’re not heading directly to their location. Don’t stack jobs until you have completed a large number of deliveries and have an excellent rating on each platform. The good rating buffers the impact of low ratings you might get from stacking and prevent you from getting kicked off the platform for customer service issues (Postmates kicks people off if their rating dips below 4.7 of out 5.0).
Know the delivery zones you’re stacking
Each food delivery service has its own delivery zone. Make sure you know how big each delivery zone is. When you’re stacking jobs, the goal is to always stay within the region where the platforms you’re stacking overlap. This way you get assignments from both services.
The previous three things ensure you are comfortable with the food delivery gigs, can navigate traffic quickly, and do get jobs that you can stack. The next two things will help you make more money.
Determine your Scheduled Platform
After driving for different platforms for a while, you will have an idea what each platform offers money-wise. Now, if you want to stack platforms, you need to decide which platform is your Scheduled Platform. This is the service that you will sign up for shifts with.
Ideally, your Scheduled Platform has most, if not all, of the following characteristics, from most important to least important:
- Good commission per delivery – You’ll be accepting most, if not all, of the jobs for this platform, so make sure it’s going to pay you well.
- Priority dispatch for scheduled couriers – This reduces the amount of time you wait for an assignment.
- The platform allows in-app tipping.
- No courier rating features – A rating system puts a lot of pressure on the courier to perform. Ideally, you want to avoid this source of anxiety when stacking.
Determine your Freelance Platform(s)
Once you have your Scheduled Platform, you can decide on your Freelance Platform(s). The name implies that you’re not scheduled for a shift. You’re just turning on the app and seeing what jobs come your way.
You can have multiple Freelance Platforms. Just turn them all on and accept jobs that are along the way with the jobs you are working on for the Scheduled Platform.
Here are the ideal characteristics of a Freelance platform, from most important to least important:
- A large delivery zone – A large delivery zone means more opportunities to pick up a job while delivering for the Scheduled Platform. Most couriers will likely turn down jobs that are not convenience for them in a large zone, making those jobs available for couriers who are on duty but do not have priority dispatch.
- Lots of jobs available – You want to be able to pick and choose jobs with your freelance platforms. So since you don’t have priority dispatch you need to make sure it’s one with a lot of jobs available.
- The platform allows in-app tipping.
- No courier rating features – Again, you want to avoid this source of anxiety when stacking if possible.
You can also stack multiple jobs from the same platform. In fact, it’s easier to do that. The information I’ve provided here focuses on cross-platform stacking, which is stacking jobs from different platforms.
If you want to boost your earnings as an on-demand food delivery courier, try stacking jobs from multiple platforms. Research the on-demand food deliveries companies in your market and sign-up for all of them. Do some deliveries for each one in your spare time and get familiar with them. Then, figure out your Scheduled and Freelance platform.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments or forums.