In addition to standard Amazon Prime Now package deliveries, Amazon Flex drivers are expected to deliver food for their Amazon Restaurants program – commonly called “hotwheels” within the community. The idea and instructions are similar to that of delivering packages, but with several important differences. Continue reading below to learn more about delivering food for Amazon Restaurants customers!
You will (usually) not go to the Amazon Flex warehouse
1 hour before your scheduled delivery block, the Amazon Flex app will notify you of your starting location. If it tells you to head to the warehouse location, you are most likely delivering packages, but if it tells you to go to a designated waiting area, this means that you are on standby to pick up restaurant orders as they come in. In some areas, new delivery blocks that are restaurants only have been deployed – in these cases you can be certain that you will be doing restaurant orders and not warehouse package deliveries.
In some cases, you may be directed to the warehouse first, but may later be requested to head to the designated waiting area if they decide they have enough drivers delivering packages and / or they need more food delivery drivers.
Tap on “Acknowledge and Begin,” and the app will direct you to the designated waiting area.
You will be waiting often for orders to come in
Once you arrive at the designated waiting area, the Amazon Flex app will instruct you to WAIT. Keep in mind that these designated waiting locations are typically just general street intersections – and as such, Amazon should not mind exactly where you wait, as long as you are reasonably close.
Once an order comes in, you will receive an alert on your phone indicating that you have two new stops: the location of the restaurant and the customer.
Oftentimes, you may be assigned to restaurant deliveries on quiet days or hours, and the app will continue to instruct you to wait for sometimes an entire delivery block. This can happen frequently on weekday afternoons between lunch and dinner, and if you can find a coffee shop nearby can be a great way to get paid to wait!
Your restaurant delivery items are more fragile
Packages from the Amazon warehouse, for the most part, are pretty well packed. Restaurant deliveries, on the other hand, do not have any special Amazon packaging – they will typically hand the food to you in the same way as they do to regular takeout customers. If your customer orders something like a soup, extra care must be taken during your delivery to make sure that the contents do not spill. Spilled items = upset Amazon Flex customer + stains / cleaning costs for your car! Amazon Flex also requires use of an approved insulated bag for the food, and advises that you keep cold and warm items separate, which is an additional thing you must keep in mind.
You will likely receive fewer tips per delivery block
Each food delivery trip requires two stops – one at the restaurant, and one at the customer location. Furthermore, after completion of a restaurant delivery, you will be instructed to return to the designated waiting area to be on standby for the next delivery opportunity. During this entire trip, you will only have one opportunity to receive tips from single customer you delivered for, despite having made many stops. Conversely, you would have 2 -3x more opportunities to earn tips had you delivered packages to separate customers in the same time / distance covered.
That being said, customers tend to be more in the habit of tipping for food delivery rather than package deliveries. (You tip the pizza delivery guy, but usually not the FedEx guy). You might earn a more predictable or consistent amount through restaurant deliveries, but because of the lower number of tip earning opportunities, generally, you can expect to earn higher tips for regular Amazon Prime Now deliveries per delivery block.
Delivering for Amazon Restaurants during your Amazon Flex delivery block can be more difficult and unpredictable than regular package deliveries, and can result in fewer overall tips. That being said, if you can take advantage of down times during your delivery block, you might find food delivery blocks useful and convenient.
What are your experiences delivering for Amazon Restaurants? Let us know in the comments below!