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  • Anthony Houlahan

7 tips to earn 25 dollars per hour as a part-time foodpanda delivery rider

Updated: Jun 16



14 June 2020. Day 54.

Since late April, I have worked as a part-time food delivery rider to raise funds for the Children's Cancer Foundation.


Whilst my experience is very limited, I have learnt a few things and improved. I now make around 25 dollars per hour as a food delivery rider with foodpanda. There are many other riders who are far more experienced than me and who no doubt earn more. So, I share humbly what little I have learned in the hope it is useful to other 'newbie' delivery riders like me.


I summarize my learning in the form of 7 tips which are embedded in the post below.



The basic equation


A food delivery rider's hourly earnings are based on 2 factors:

  • earnings per delivery

  • number of deliveries per hour



How to maximize earnings per delivery?


With foodpanda, the location in which you work and your 'batch' (i.e. performance tier) determine how much you earn per delivery. The table below shows the fee per delivery for a bicycle rider.


The closer to the downtown area you work, the more you get paid. As you can see in the table above, riders who work downtown earn 1.50 per hour more than those working in Yishun or Woodlands.


Tip #1: work downtown.


It's also easy to see that moving to a high batch increases your earnings per job. Your batch is based on performance.


The following table explains how foodpanda score rider performance.


I learned that to get into a high batch (and earn more per delivery), these 3 things are most important :

  • Tip 2: accept all orders

  • Tip 3: start all shifts ahead of time and don't end early or take a break

  • Tip 4: work as many 'special hours' as possible (i.e. 6:30 PM - 10:30 PM on Saturday and Sunday)

But, it took me a couple of shifts to figure this out.


Teething problems


In my first few shifts I had some difficulties noticing new jobs in the rider app and failed to accept several jobs. These missed jobs negatively affected my acceptance rate.


Why did I fail to notice some of the notifications for new orders? Whilst I was riding my bicycle, I kept my phone in the pocket of my shorts and failed to see or hear the notification for new jobs. Now, I avoid this by keeping an ear piece in one ear at all times. Other riders have a mount on their handlebars for their phone so that they see the notification as it arrives.


When you see or hear a notification, safely pull over, stop and immediately accept it.


Tip # 5 : wear an ear phone or mount your phone on your handlebars to avoid missing notifications for new jobs.


As a new rider I started in Batch 5 in downtown (earning $7 per delivery). The teething problems (missed notifications and non-acceptances) in my first few shifts affected my performance rating for week 1 which meant I moved up only to Batch 4 for week 2.


During week 2, I achieved 100% acceptance rate; completed 99.99% (???!!! I am convinced this should be 100% and have asked foodpanda rider support to look into) of all shifts and worked some 'special hours' on Saturday and Sunday between 6:30 PM and 10:30 PM.


Here is my rating for Week 2.


So, for week 3, I was moved to Batch 3 and qualified to earn $7.50 per delivery whilst working downtown.



How to maximize deliveries per hour?


The obvious thing to do here is to move quickly and safely between restaurants and customers.


But, even in my short time as a food delivery rider, I learned that there are many more ways to improve your productivity than simply peddling fast.


I found, when I started as a food delivery rider, I spent a lot of time figuring out how to find restaurants; the quickest way to a restaurant through a mall; best place to park my bike; quickly finding the right block and lift in a HDB estate; dealing with security guards at condos and malls, etc.


By working in the same area every day, I naturally got familiar with things. After a while, I no longer had to look at my map to find a restaurant, condo or HDB; I learned shortcuts; I knew the quickest way into and out of malls, condos and HDB estates; I knew where the lifts were; I knew where to park my bike and how to efficiently complete security requirements.


This knowledge saved me time, helped me increase my jobs per hour and made working easier. I got this knowledge of an area only through the experience of delivering food in the same area every day.


Tip 6: Work in the same area every shift


The 'downtown' areas I worked most are Orchard, River Valley, Tiong Bahru, Chinatown, Tanjong Pagar and Bugis. In my experience, Tanjong Pagar and Bugis both had a constant flow of jobs and most with a short distance between them.


It is obvious, but it is worth stating: you'll get more jobs if you book your shifts and work when people eat! For most, that is breakfast time, lunchtime and dinnertime.


Tip 7: Work when people eat


The times I consistently did 3.5 - 4 jobs per hour are:

  • breakfast (8 AM - 10 AM)

  • lunchtime (11:30 AM - 1:30 PM) and

  • dinner time (5:30 PM - 8 PM).


Typically, working with foodpanda I complete 3 - 4 deliveries per hour. (I spend less time waiting in restaurants than I did when I worked for GrabFood and the distance to travel to pick-up and drop-off orders seems to be shorter than it was when I worked for Grab).


Here's a screen shot of my job history from tonight (11 jobs in just over 3 hours) .




25 dollars per hour


Returning to the basic equation, my hourly earnings are achieved like this :


And, based on my limited experience, these are my tips for other 'newbie' foodpanda riders:


Tip 1: Work downtown Tip 2: Accept all orders

Tip 3: Start all shifts ahead of time and don't end early or take a break

Tip 4: Work 'special hours' (i.e. 6:30 pm - 10:30 pm Saturday and Sunday)

Tip 5: Wear an ear phone or mount your phone on your handlebars

Tip 6: Work in the same area every shift

Tip 7: Work when people eat


If you're interested in becoming a delivery rider for foodpanda you can sign up here.


Chiong ah!!!

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