Delivery Driver Tips And Tricks
1. Invest in Delivery Driver Gear
Delivery driver walking up to door with delivery bag.
Investing in the right equipment can give you an edge as a delivery driver. Some employers might provide you with basic equipment, but others might not. See if it’s possible to acquire the following items before you make your next delivery.
*Insulated delivery bags: An insulated delivery bag is perfect for transporting food from the restaurant to your customer’s door, and it is essential for keeping hot foods like pizza, wings, and subs warm.
*Use a cooler: If a customer orders a drink with their food, consider storing it in a cooler to keep it cold and refreshing until the delivery is complete.
*Use a divider: Creating a divider for the back of your car allows you to physically separate each customer’s order from the next while you’re on the road.
*Keep a takeout supply stash: Keep a stash of takeout supplies like paper plates, straws, napkins, and condiments in your car in case customers need them. These supplies are small enough to keep in the car, and might even fit in your glovebox or delivery bag.
2. Choose a Delivery Job That Works for You
There are two options available for businesses when it comes to deliveries. Restaurant owners can establish their own delivery service, or they can choose to partner with an independent delivery service. To be successful as a delivery driver, it’s important to recognize the differences between the two and make a distinction as to which is more compatible with your lifestyle.
*Your work schedule: The most glaring difference between driving for a restaurant and driving for an independent delivery service is your schedule.
*Transportation: You may be lucky enough to land a job with a restaurant that provides a company vehicle, but more likely than not you’ll need to provide your own form of transportation.
*The hiring process: In most cases, you’ll need to go through a formal hiring process to get a job making deliveries for a restaurant or pizza place. Signing up for an independent driving service doesn’t require an interview. In its place, drivers simply need to create an account, submit personal information, and wait to be approved.
3. Create a Delivery Kit
A delivery driver kit will help you stay organized, provide great service, and avoid a customer complaint. Whether you’re transporting a large amount of food in your car or just want to stay on top of every order, consider keeping these materials on hand to improve your performance.
*Keep a locked cash box: When customers order online or over the phone, they might not have cash on hand. Keeping a locked cash box can make it easy to give a customer change if they need to break a larger bill.
*Buy a clipboard: A clipboard is useful for holding onto receipts and other important documents to prevent them from getting lost or scattered.
*Carry a pen: Keeping an extra pen in your pocket or in the car can save customers from the hassle of looking for their own.
*Use sticky notes: As a delivery driver, it’s essential that you make sure each order goes to the right person. Use sticky notes as labels so they don’t get mixed up.
4. Practice Delivery Driver Safety
As with any job, it’s important to prioritize safety over anything else. Understanding how to manage the risks that come with driving is essential not only for staying on time but for keeping yourself safe. Follow these driver safety tips to make sure every delivery you make is safe and successful.
*Check the weather and traffic: Inclement weather can create hazardous road conditions, so stay prepared in case you find yourself driving through a storm. Research any road closures or alternate routes that might be available, and check the local weather forecast ahead of every delivery to avoid delays. Additionally, it’s recommended that during bad weather you drive 5 to 10 miles under the posted speed limit and leave 2-3 times as much space between your car and the cars around you to increase your reaction time in case of an emergency.
*Keep your car in good condition: Make sure that your windshield wipers, tires, and defrosters are in working condition before you set out to make deliveries. Additionally, check your oil levels, gas tank, and tire pressure to avoid making emergency stops.
*Keep important documents up to date: Always be sure that your car registration, proof of insurance, and driver’s license are up to date. If any of these seem out of date, be sure to visit your local DMV, insurance agency, or mechanic and get them updated as soon as possible.
5. Improve Your Navigation Skills
Phone on dashboard showing navigation on screen.
One of the most important parts of making deliveries is knowing how to find your destination. Getting lost can increase the length of your trip, and if you’re late the customer’s food might be cold. Consider following these navigation tips to get from place to place efficiently!
*Avoid unfamiliar areas: If you’re unfamiliar with an area, you might not want to make deliveries there. Independent delivery allows you to choose your delivery locations, so stick with neighborhoods you know well.
*Use a reliable GPS: Make sure you’re using a reliable GPS unit or smartphone app so that you always have a way of knowing where you are. Whether your destination is right down the street or miles away, having a strong reference of where you’re going can relieve some stress and make deliveries easier.
*Find shortcuts: Make a note of any shortcuts or time-saving routes you could take in case of traffic, accidents, inclement weather, or other unforeseen delays. An alternate route can be a helpful backup plan when needed.
*Remember repeat addresses: Be sure to keep track of repeat customers and their addresses to get more familiar with your route. It might be helpful to make a mental note of where to park, which house is which, or how to enter an apartment complex in order to find your customer faster.