Food delivery is a fast paced and often fun way to get yourself out of the house and exploring your city. With flexible working hours and an easy application process, this job may be perfect for you – however, due to changes in payment structures, lack of job security and an unknown amount of work, it will not be for everybody.

What is required from you

The job requires you to deliver a range of different food items via your own car, scooter or bicycle. You will need your own transport, see our guides on buying bikes and cars for more information.

You also need your own ABN (Australian Business Number) as the companies treat you as an “independent contractor” not an employee. Obtaining your ABN is easy and takes only a few short steps – see here for more information and click the “Apply for an ABN” button to begin the process. Please be aware that you may need to pay tax on the amount that you earn at the end of the financial year. We have an article on paying tax that you should read, here.

You will also require a smartphone to operate their delivery app.

Delivery companies

There are three major companies working in the food delivery field; UberEATS, Foodora and Deliveroo. Each organisation has essentially the same process to join their teams, with some minor differences (see below).

Pay and hours

Use below as a guide; alternate pay rates and hours may be divulged during the application process and information sessions.

UberEATS

Operates in Adelaide, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney only.

You are able to log-on and off as you wish; this way you are in control of when you work and when you don’t.

The pay structure for couriers has recently changed. Pay used to be based upon a delivery fee of $10 + $x per kilometre travelled (the rate per kilometre is different in each city). Now the payment structure is calculated by $5.50 per pickup + $3.50 per drop off + $y per kilometre travelled. In Melbourne, this has resulted in a drop of the minimum delivery fee from $13.50 to $11.20.

To combat this fall, UberEATS has introduced a ‘promotion boost’ which is similar to the surge pricing of their regular Uber car service. This was introduced in Canada and the UK, where it was quickly protested by couriers who argued the new model drastically cut their pay.

In Australia, UberEATS couriers have been discussing the new payments in online forums, “the pay keeps dropping, making it difficult for deliverers to stay in the game”. Another user noted that while previously if you collected multiple orders from the one restaurant you would get paid for each order, now “the pickup fee only applies to the first order. So if you’re picking up multiple orders from the same place, you will only get the one pick up fee…”

Foodora

Operates in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney only

Foodora operates with assigned shifts, rather than log-on and log-off as you choose. You can elect the suburbs and shifts you wish to do, however they only require a certain number of riders during each shift and suburb. You can’t always work when and where you want to.

Thomas, a French traveller who works the inner north suburbs of Melbourne, spoke to us about his experience working for Foodora.

“I love it… it isn’t great when it starts raining, but the rain makes the work busier and therefore I get more money, so it isn’t such a bad thing.” When asked about tips, Thomas said: “you only get tips if you work in affluent suburbs, they can be good but you should not rely on these.”

Foodora is currently in the process of changing the contracts for their riders. While previously they paid $14 per hour + $5 per delivery, they will now pay a flat rate of $10 per delivery.

Deliveroo

Operates in Adelaide, Canberra, Darwin, Gold Coast, Hobart, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth and Sydney only.

You can choose which hours you work and the suburbs you prefer.

Like Foodora, Deliveroo is also in the process of changing the rates that they pay riders. Previously it had been $16 per hour + $2.50 per delivery – this is now a flat rate of $9 per delivery for bicycles and $10 per delivery for scooters.

One of their scooter deliverers, Jerome, used to ride a bicycle – “I rode a bicycle for the first three months and then bought this scooter – riding just got too tiring.”

Jerome also thought that Deliveroo was the best out of the delivery service companies to work for. “If I don’t want to work, I just don’t. I don’t have anyone telling me I’m late… it works well for me.”

Pros, cons and things to consider

  • You are your own boss, so you can set when and how much you work (Foodora is not so flexible).
  • You can choose to leave at any stage – you can easily try it out and see if this is the right job for you, then leave if not.
  • If it rains, you will get wet (unless you are driving a car) and you are not paid any extra for these deliveries.
  • Currently, you are encouraged to get insurance, but it is not required. Insurance comes at your own personal expense, (though these organisations are currently working on ways of providing and internal offering for their riders). If you get injured, you will not get sick pay and if you damage your vehicle you will not be covered by the company. For more information on your rights, read here.
  • In busy cities, it is often hard to find a park if you are in a car. Therefore, you may risk parking fines trying to collect the food. It may be easier to use a scooter or a bicycle
  • The busiest periods are during lunch and dinner, outside of this there are often not many deliveries to attend to.

Applying for a job

To apply click through on one the direct links at the bottom of the page and fill out the details. You then need to complete a background and police check; this is undertaken as part of the application process and comes at no cost to yourself.

Finally, you need to attend an in-person information session; it is here that you will supply all relevant paperwork (licence details, ABN etc.). You will also learn more about your role and receive your carrier boxes. These information sessions can often be undertaken the very next day.