79-year-old Skip the Dishes courier
If you are the age of majority (19 in BC), you can become a Skip the Dishes courier. I decided to start when I was 77. I’m now 79 and still going strong. I find it is a good job for a senior to make extra cash.
I’ve been a courier for Skip the Dishes for around two years. In the past six months I’ve made significantly more money than I did in the first six months. That’s because I’ve picked up lots of little courier tips to work more efficiently. This web page is about those courier tips. (If you work for another restaurant courier such as Door Dash, most of these tips will still work for you.)
Tip #1, Shift availability
When letting the app know about your time available, select at least 4 hours. I was not getting enough hours. Tech support suggested I try for 4 hour shifts. Now all of the shifts I’m assigned are at least 3 hours long.
#2, Time of day for Skip the Dishes
Experiment with the best times are available in your area. In my area, I found that the tips are higher and there are more orders at suppertime. So, I usually say that I’m available from 4 to 8 pm. The shifts I get never start before 4 pm and never go beyond 9 pm.
#3, Number 3
Use memory tricks to remember things. In the past, I have forgotten my keys or my smartphone in the car. Now I always say the number three out loud. That reminds my that I must have 3 things with me — my keys, my smartphone and my thermal bag. BTW, I usually insert my little finger into the key ring and hold it tightly. That way is quick and I never drop the keys.
#4 Waze maps & Skip
Use Waze instead of Google Maps. Simply ask your phone how how to download the Waze map app into your smartphone. When you tap the “drive to customer” arrow, you will get a choice of using Google Maps or Waze. I find Waze is more accurate. When Google tells me I’m at my destination, that could be any one of 5 houses that are in a row. Waze is more precise. Also, sometimes Google would send me several kilometres away from where I was supposed to go. I used to tell people that Google Maps was correct 95% of the time.
#5, Any technology can fail
Don’t trust technology to be 100% accurate all of the time. When it is inaccurate, you will have to use your common sense to find a solution.
Once I went to an apartment block to make a delivery. The customer notes told me to phone her when I got there. She did NOT give her suite number or her last name. I phoned and all I got was some sort of voice mail that told me the customer was not available.
Fortunately I had a pen & paper with me. I left the order in the lobby with the customer’s name on it. Hopefully she went down to see if the order was there.
When we have trouble like that, we are supposed to wait at least 5 minutes. I spent around 5 minutes talking to tenants and just waiting around. One of the tenants let me into the lobby.
BTW, many times the number I phoned by tapping the phone icon has given me me a wrong number.
#6, Liquor & Skip the Dishes
Get a liquor serving license. You can ask customer service (firstname.lastname@example.org) to tell you how to do that.
You will get more orders and, on average, more tips per order.
#7, Write name & address
If you have time, write the restaurant name and the corresponding customer address on a sheet of paper. If there is an apartment or townhouse number, circle it. Before you get to the street, memorize the address if possible. It speeds up the delivery time after your smartphone has said that you are at the destination. If you know it is an apartment block, it will be easier to identify the location.
#8, Go to hot spot
Wait for orders in “hot spots“. Hot spots are areas where there are lots of restaurants. By waiting there, you increase the probability of getting an order quickly.
Have patience to wait for a good order. To maximize your profits, the app wants you to refuse no more than 20% of your orders. So, feel free to refuse one once in a while.
For instance, if you have to drive a long ways to a residential area that is 10 minutes away from a hot spot, you may be wasting time unless a large tip is involved. Or, you may not want to go to an area where there are lots of students who cannot afford tips.
#10, Pause button
Use the pause feature once in a while. You find that by tapping the 3 vertical dots in the upper right-hand corner. I use it when a delivery is too close to a poor tip area and I can reasonably quickly go to a more profitable hot spot.
Use your hazard lights when parked improperly. Sometimes I drive into a back alley close to a restaurant, drive close to the edge of the alley and put on my four-way flashers. Then I go get my order.
#12, Skip the Dishes acceptance rate
Skip the Dishes guarantees a minimum rate (presently $7.50/0rder) as long as delivery acceptance rates are at or above 80%. That guarantee is based on your past 10 payments. So, your tip #12 is to keep acceptance rate above 80%.
#13, Honk your horn
I was once driving at night in the curb lane of a main artery. My bumper was even with the bumper of the cube van to my left.
Suddenly the cube van slowly began to move into my lane. I stepped on the gas to escape the van. I was not fast enough. It ran into my rear wheel.
I did not have time to think. I just stepped on the gas.
After that experience, I decided that I should have honked the horn to let the driver know he should not change lanes. So, after the accident, I began pretending that I was going to honk the horn. I kept that up for a while so that honking the horn would be my first reaction in any type of dangerous situation.
A driver behind me was using a dash cam. Watch the video of the accident below.
#14, Leaving residential area
If you have just made a delivery to a home deep within a residential area, you want to get out of that area using the quickest route. If you are still waiting for an order, open Waze. It will give a list of the past 30 or so addresses you’ve been to. Tap on one to go to a hot spot. That will direct you out of the residential area the quickest way.
#15, Distance from Skip the Dishes hot spot
Consider the distance you have to drive to make your delivery AND return to a hot spot. Before accepting an order, look to see where you are going. If there are no restaurants on the way back from a 10-minute delivery, you may be wasting valuable time plus adding wear & tear to your vehicle.
#16, Skip the Dishes insurance
Go to your insurance office and tell them that you want car insurance to cover you when delivering with Skip the Dishes. The agent will make sure you get the right policy that covers your needs. Make sure you get Loss of Use insurance that would pay for a rental vehicle if you car is in the body shop.
Most address numbers are hard to find at night. So, if you deliver after dark, make sure you have a flashlight that can help you find the address numbers.