Confessions of a Deliveroo rider
Food delivery rider believes in not giving customers chance to be rude
Out of all the orders he receives, food delivery rider Mathew Quek, 29, dislikes sending pizzas the most.
There was once he had to deliver 25 whole pizzas, the largest order he has ever received in his almost two- year stint as a part-time rider for Deliveroo.
He told The New Paper: "They come in boxes, and we can't fit the pizza boxes in the small thermal bag. So when we see pizza orders, we know we have to carry them in the big bag all the way up and down office buildings."
He said it took three riders to deliver those pizzas.
Mr Quek, a full-time dyslexia therapist, said on average he delivers food three to four days a week, clocking in about four hours each time. Each hour, he makes an average of two deliveries.
He said the gig-based nature of the job allows him to use his free time.
What I believe is that if you don’t give customers the opportunity to be rude, then most of the time, they aren’t.Food delivery rider Mathew Quek
"The working hours are flexible," said Mr Quek. "When I am just at home lazing around, my hands get itchy, so I think about what I can do with my free time."
He said food delivery riders get paid for each trip they make. He declined to reveal how much.
Mr Quek operates mainly in the Central Business District (CBD), where he makes deliveries to both offices and residential areas.
"With offices, people usually get food in groups, so the orders are larger. But when it comes to home deliveries, it is smaller. It is not uncommon for people to order just for themselves," he said.
He has met friendly customers who have offered him a drink, but one rude customer stood out.
He said: "I delivered to one of the offices in the CBD, and this old lady was like, 'You all don't help us unpack the food?'
"She had asked to place it in the pantry, which I did, but I told her it wasn't our job to unpack it."
Mr Quek said explaining things calmly is the key to being a good food delivery rider. When the food takes longer to be prepared, Mr Quek will always keep his cool, even if customers are rude, to help move the situation along.
He said: "What I believe is that if you don't give customers the opportunity to be rude, then most of the time, they aren't."
Safety is a priority, he added.
Mr Quek's advice to would-be food delivery riders is that even though the heady chase for more jobs - and more money - can get addictive, it is not worth the risk of rushing and hurting themselves.
He said: "If you realise your life is more important than that trip, then I think you'll be fine. For me, rather than put my life on the line, I always believe that customers can wait for another five to 10 minutes."
Secrets of the trade
Know the roads well. There is the option to check the GPS (Global Positioning System), but it is better to have the area and its roads memorised.
- The bread and butter of any delivery rider is his motorbike, so ensure that it is well maintained. Send it for servicing when needed, and get it fixed at the first sign of trouble.
- People can get angry when they are hungry, so it is important to be level-headed and not take things too personally when customers voice their displeasure.