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Can You Make a Living as a Delivery App Bike Messenger?

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You make your own schedule, work off your phone, and spend most your your day outside feeling the wind on your face. But what really goes into being a bicycle courier for food delivery apps, and is it possible to earn a living wage doing it? The Eater team explores. To read (and see, and watch!) more about bike messengers in the on-demand meal economy, check out the full feature on Eater.com: http://eater.com/a/bike-messenger-fitness Eater is the one-stop-shop for food and restaurant obsessives across the country. With features, explainers, animations, recipes, and more — it’s the most indulgent food content around. So get hungry. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel now! http://goo.gl/hGwtF0 Our Video Crew: https://www.eater.com/pages/masthead-video
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Text Comments (356)
Duskizm Bklyn (4 days ago)
I do this part time for ubereats, doordash and Postmates and one thing I must say is it beats panhandling or collecting cans, plus i also work full-time at a restaurant..
olll Blac (2 months ago)
I have worked these jobs for an year now and in the end overall it's not worth it. Your spending just as much as your making not worth it
Alfredo Méndez (2 months ago)
Dumb question: Why riding a bike instead of a motorcycle? Is faster and the gas price/number of deliveries relation is worth the cost.
d140 cool (2 months ago)
I do food delivery in downtown Miami and I use uber eats, Postmates and Doordash. I try to make 100 dollars everyday.
Kevin Williams (26 days ago)
I do it in downtown fort Lauderdale and in Boca Raton occasionally.
Hi (2 months ago)
This will be a super fun job when electric bikes become cheaper with longer range. You could just sit down, twist a throttle, and float around the city.
Guillermo (2 months ago)
Couriers with e bikes are a pain in the ass.
Sir Mók (2 months ago)
You call it food delivery i call it slavery! Should be banned. No healthcare insurance, the job force you to rush and risk your life and brake the rules. The worst is there are no salary if you can't do the ride in time.
Herminigilda Walang Dangal (3 months ago)
*I make $5000+ a month just by doing this job.*
arod9393 (4 months ago)
Jodie (4 months ago)
2:12-2:16. Isn't it dangerous?
nezzly (4 months ago)
whats that beeping i thought someone broke into my house
Martin Bajsić (5 months ago)
Can you work as a bicycle courier with a Work and Travel Visa?
Martin Bajsić (5 months ago)
@Jason Bui Thanks
Jason Bui (5 months ago)
Martin Bajsić u can only work with a work visa or your a residence of the country your working in
Melissa anderson (5 months ago)
yea it's slave labor ... man.. that's the truth..
Isauro Garcia (5 months ago)
not everyone is cut out for it - they cry and go home when it rains
Abhishek Balaram (5 months ago)
That's a fixie bike
Ian Arington (6 months ago)
What is this best time period during the day for deliveries? I want to work this summer break from college preferably 8 hours 5 days a week and be able to still go to the gym and lift weights 3 days a week too, think that would be pushing it too hard?
Iftekhar Ahmed (6 months ago)
It’s designed to profit the company , you’re just the mouse in the maze kudos to ya if you enjoy taking part in this experience no objections :)
First Last (6 months ago)
The narrator legit sounds EXACTLY like Lindsay from Big Mouth lmao
Zadius895 (6 months ago)
i promise you working for uber or postmates or any startup app as one of their minions is not worth your time. take it from someone in tech industry that you're getting the short end of the stick here. invest in yourself, not a dead end skill that will literally lead you nowhere.
RomansAte1Too (7 months ago)
The guy is texting with both hands, while riding a bike on a street in Manhattan; Unbelievably foolish and reckless.
Super Kyle (7 months ago)
Do you really want to be a bike courier or did you just watch "Quicksilver" and get caught up in the moment?
bitTorrenter (7 months ago)
Why do these guys ride the most simplistic bikes? Single gear? Really?
pizzahole (7 months ago)
The mostly used fixed gear there fast and a rush to ride YouTube them
Bikechanic (7 months ago)
That's a clean SOMA
Gian Angelo Arcaya (8 months ago)
Is there any bike messenger jobs out here in Sacramento?
Rob (8 months ago)
You have to watch for people more than cars - everyone is constantly looking at their phones and stepping out into the bike lane. I've been knocked off my bike a few times. I try to take it slow, but then I start having fun and taking risks.
Antoinette Bickham (1 month ago)
The people!!!! Heads/eyes are literally glued to their phones. Frustrates me
Sean M (8 months ago)
is it viable to do this on inline roller blades?
Vagabond (9 months ago)
the modern day slaves. while these tech companies make bilions, regular workes get scraps and risk their lifes, with no benefits or healthccare and insurance. how is this legal?
Ben Cafri (10 months ago)
If this guy is making 9 bucks an hour in a city hes doing something wrong. Because some days I average out 27 bucks an hour I can make over 200 dollars in a day very easily.
shayran ahmed (10 months ago)
VoltageXx High (11 months ago)
You can do it germany
albasir Isnain (11 months ago)
Do the delivaroo available in philippines if yes let me know i am so inerested
ab cd (11 months ago)
Yes why not. This is not the job one can do for the whole life but one can at least for some years. Then it can not be called an exhausting job. It all depends on how trained one is. there are much more exhausting Jobs than this one. Yes then of course, if one who isn't in shape chooses this job, probably has chosen the wrong one. But it might also be the chance to become fitter and lose weight.
mysterygang 10k (11 months ago)
Every time i sign up theres no option for bicycle, only scooter, how do i sign uo for bicycle!!!!!!!!?
jeIIy (11 months ago)
I wonder how many people who complain about dangerous cyclists also complain if their ubereats is late...
GreenPedal (10 days ago)
All of them!
plutoplatters (11 months ago)
Hurrrrrrrrrrrry…..hurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry……….hurrrrry !!! the American way
overthehill91 (11 months ago)
Why would you do this on a fixie?
Boyerz Urashima (1 year ago)
I tried to apply for GrabFood in the Philippines but i kinda change my mind. I dont want to add mileage on the scooter im at 16km dunno for miles but i know i cant see those food delivery apps as a career but something to enjoy rather than staying home and play games
StormRider2 (1 year ago)
I enjoy cycling and motorcycling and did try uber eats for a day in London by bicycle the amount of traffic that have no patiences just makes it feel risky. It's definitely better to do it with a moped.
dalton skids (1 year ago)
these companies have no insurance or workers protection overhead. and no obligation to the couriers. just like uber
Uganda's God (1 year ago)
its better if you do in london..
David Tinnerello (1 year ago)
If he had multiple gears, or an electric hub, he migjt have an easier time.
Allan D (1 year ago)
Started doing deliveries after work for a couple of hours a day just to put change in my pocket. If you have a good bike you'll be alright. If the streets are terrible where you live be prepared to pay for bike maintenance
Aaron Bassett (1 year ago)
been doing it for like 20 years, yeah 1998 when iphone 10bc was out xD
Hilary Trump (1 year ago)
If I go to America for a vacation can I do this job ?
Hilary Trump (1 year ago)
el komquistador ha I’m going next year
el komquistador (1 year ago)
Hilary Trump curious to know too because I'm planning to do the same. (do you want to go with me? :b)
Owen Chua (1 year ago)
Deliveroo is too
jimpachi haihachima (1 year ago)
I don't make much money, but it's just fun. Don't really use the money to maybe pay utilities. I enjoy the rush, and it's faster than any car in rush hour
革命チョコ (1 year ago)
I am a student and I do foodora occasionally in Toronto. I earn about $30/hr CAD (sometimes way more or a bit below) with the tip but I am the top 5% rider in term of number of deliveries per hour. It is enough to afford a living for a part time job i.e. rent and food and some entertainments, while in a school. BUT, it is not easy. You have to go all out in rain/snow, and must be very swift, not at just riding but also locking bike, finding the building, etc. When the restaurant makes me wait, I get paid less and I get very angry (inside).
el komquistador (1 year ago)
I'am interested in your experience working in Toronto as a courier. I'am from Spain and I'am planning on going to Canada as a Work Holiday. I love riding and when I found out about this I knew I had to give it a go. Here's some questions that I would really appreciate if you can answer. 1. Foodora pays you based on what? (km ridden?) 2. How many km do you do on average? 3. How do they give you a task? Do you mark yourself as ready and wait till the app notifies you? 4. Do you know about other apps also possible in Toronto(your experience or friends)?
joe schmo (1 year ago)
save up for an electric bike. boom, easier way to get around
GreenPedal (7 months ago)
There is not enough money in the game to save up and buy an ebike. Everytime I see an ebike courier/ messenger I have to wonder how it was funded.
JQ LLC (1 year ago)
This is ridiculous. These app companies are running a scam here. Labor standards for bike messengers were atrocious enough (It doesn't help that the workforce doesn't have a union) but this shows that it will added stress and pressure on the workers. And as this fool illustrates, bikers will ride recklessly and jeopardize the safety of people as well as themselves. And this biker is a moron riding a bike with no brakes.
Alejandro Andon (1 year ago)
I won't say my secret, but I deliver in New York. And I make over 1,000 in a week.
hector madera (1 year ago)
Brah lol I make 700 on a slow week as a delivery guy
Connor Rideout (1 year ago)
I work with foodora and make minimum 20$ an hour which is rare, i often get nearly s30
Observing Rogue (1 year ago)
Get a motorcycle, or at least a scooter. Learn how to ride it, practice mastering it in wide open parking lots. And always ride like you are literally invisible. Still signal and safely lane split/filter, to avoid getting rear-ended & crushed. But always act like vehicles & pedestrians will run into you.
Guoenyi (1 year ago)
4:17 this rider looks sick
Nizzar Alexander (1 year ago)
I worked for Deliveroo in Singapore as a CYCLIST not a rider. That means I’m doing half of what they’re doing coz of speed and time. Im making between 3-4K USD a month. There you go whoever thinks it’s impossible. Just don’t be lazy
Samuel Torres (1 year ago)
Remember that these apps constantly update. If you are in a metropolitan area than you will make a lot of money! Uber eats is booming right now. On bike it’s super easy if you learn how the app works.
Aztek195 (7 months ago)
UberEats in New York is bad they only give you the option to tip 2-6 dollars
Samuel Torres (1 year ago)
Yea I am Puerto Rican
el komquistador (1 year ago)
Samuel Torres Oh, ok. I was curious because your name seems spanish or portuguese.
Samuel Torres (1 year ago)
Yes I do uber eats in Boston
el komquistador (1 year ago)
Samuel Torres do you work as a courier?
Garfield Jones (1 year ago)
He’s true blue.
Rahul And His Planet (1 year ago)
I do it because there are no other jobs but risking your life, destructing your body for less then minimum wage is not worth it. In the winter I can make more then minimum with uber, but the summer it’s dead and they pay lot less. But the good part is I can work whenever. If I don’t feel like going to work, I don’t. If I need couple more hours before going to work, I can do that.
Piotr Skreczko (1 year ago)
Hmm I bought a 50cc scooter for 3 thousand dollars brand new and now I'm making 150- 250 a day without much hard labor. Many delivery's are much more than 5 dollars after receiving a tip.
Jamei McLeod (1 year ago)
Waiters who are paid tips don't need to claim them, same thing as panhandlers who receive gratuity. Might be different in other countries but as far as I know in Canada you don't have to pay tax on gratuity. Tips are used by these app companies to subsidize your wages which are working out to less than minimum wage without tips. Also someone tipping shouldn't have to 'shore up' what others are paying without tips to equal out your pay. Tips should be cash only!
Piotr Skreczko (1 year ago)
@Jamei McLeod but they are part of my wage and are in the taxes.
Jamei McLeod (1 year ago)
don't include your tips as your wages, they are gratuity and exempt from taxation...
Piotr Skreczko (1 year ago)
@Tom O’Connor I think it's definitely safer than a bicycle and never get tired.
Tom O’Connor (1 year ago)
Piotr Skreczko Nice. I’m thinking about getting a scooter, but it’s dangerous in Miami Beach, and especially in the rain. How much different is it than riding a bicycle?
Jay's Brick Co. (1 year ago)
Stay Dashy, Boston delivery Cyclists
Jonathan James (1 year ago)
These bum cops need to get off their asses and start ticketing those that park in the bike and bus lanes
SZEM (1 year ago)
I'm taking a bike messenger job mainly of the fittnes aspect, the money is just a bonus,
bob thebuilder (1 year ago)
How have ppl been doing this for 20 years internet is like 30ish years old lol.
Juan Martinez (1 year ago)
I got myself a scooter I do postmate and caviar in Brooklyn
Lex Macdougal (1 year ago)
The first guy makes me think of Peter Parker hehe
I Hate Everything (28 days ago)
Yez he is true parker
Freddy Duran (1 year ago)
Hoe do you lock your bike like this maaaaaan plsssssssss
Pretty Boy Pete. (1 year ago)
I did Door Dash on my bike and next day my knee and legs start to hurt, I had to figure out plan B.
GreenPedal (1 year ago)
To be a cycle messenger (or courier as we call it in the UK) you must be prepared to work very, very hard, be fit and healthy, have very low living costs, have a casual temperament and be brave in traffic. If you have any mental health issues - forget it - you will never handle the pressure!!! Oh yes and you must LOVE BIKES.
el komquistador (1 year ago)
GreenPedal Do you think it's feasible for someone from Spain to go there to work as a courier? I love riding and this seem like the perfect job for me. But I would have to pay for a place to stay and including other expenses, would this work out for me?
nightmare in action (1 year ago)
I cheat a bit I use a ebike the goes 38mph I built with 50 mile range after I do 48miles I stop so I don't get stranded
Tom O’Connor (1 year ago)
nightmare in action Does it show you the mileage, I’m assuming? Thinking about getting an Ebike or a scooter, though I prefer an ebike because I can ride safely on the sidewalks if cars are too aggressive.
Brian C (1 year ago)
I get $18 an hour working for grubhub in hawaii. not bad at all.
Burger Hobo (1 year ago)
This is worth getting sandwiched between a 🚌 and a 🚄 and ending your life the thickness of a pancake
Blue Mountain Edward (1 year ago)
Frankie needs some brakes and reflectors on his bike. And a rack and real fenders.
Blue Mountain Edward (1 year ago)
Dude is gonna crush the food in his messenger bag. Oh no sodas and soup, big problem. Get a rack and panniers or a basket, problem solved.
A K (1 year ago)
My next start up is going to be UberWEED.
Barry aLLen (3 months ago)
I hope so
The White Algerian (8 months ago)
@Srbistanik 01 yeah and now there's other markets that replaced silk road 😂😂😂
Ryan Masterson (9 months ago)
Elli Martelli (11 months ago)
Do it bro! It'll sell like candy - just drop the name; Uber is going to sue the life out of you :/
Zoë Lkjsdhf (1 year ago)
Uber cut its pay once again so you make even less. Uber is an evil company.
Certified Critic Media (1 year ago)
Most Gig apps that I've tried don't pay as well as they claim, especially in Chicago. The best tip is to use as many as possible and learn about the market you're in.
sanjid himel (1 year ago)
In my country u get less then 1$ per delivery
Newyork 456 (1 year ago)
Was that one guy on a bike with a flat screen TV or just me
Newyork 456 (1 year ago)
I think food delivery is better on a bike than a car specially in New York.
Blue Mountain Edward (1 year ago)
Newyork 456 True, nowhere to park.
Newyork 456 (1 year ago)
You definitely can make money in New York on a bike because there's so much traffic a bike is the easiest way to get from point A to point B you definitely can make money
Jezz Dogg (1 year ago)
Doesn't have brakes on his bike
Jamei McLeod (1 year ago)
the law only requires that the back wheel can skid...
RazzelDazzel (1 year ago)
Back in the day in the 90's 00's you could make a killing as a messenger but not any more, its just not worth it.
spyralspyder (1 year ago)
You can live easier in the burbs with a cheap car.
DragonPupEclipse (1 year ago)
It's fun and interesting exerpeince. But for career, there are better options.
wallyhoo (1 year ago)
Jak carn (1 year ago)
i work for deliveroo here in the uk. so long the weather is fine its great. The problem is far too many riders and not enough deliveries . The number 1 issue
leonf1111 (1 year ago)
I'd use electric bike or gas bike, less tired, get to deliveries faster!!
Arthur Roman (1 year ago)
For about two weeks I've been using an electric bike for deliveries here in NYC and have been making a little more than minimum wage so far. I only use pedal assist however but even then it's been proving as a fun and active way to make some cash.
Tom O’Connor (1 year ago)
leonf1111 Yup, though, even better than an E-bike is a scooter (like a Vespa). I do deliveries in South Beach, it’s great down here. I’m sure it’s hell in NYC.
leonf1111 (1 year ago)
Matt Sezer that's messed up, they should be completely legal, especially with traffic in NYC!!! I drove there one time, can't be a nice driver there, had to be aggressive to get anywhere.
Matt Sezer (1 year ago)
They are getting tickets and having their bikes confiscated. However, there are a lot of delivery people on E-bikes and the crackdowns are only in certain areas at certain times; some people also say it's racially motivated. They've somewhat turned a blind eye to E-bike use in general, but I sure as hell wouldn't want to risk having my $2K+ E-bike confiscated if it was my only way of making a living. I've personally seen it happen several times, so it does happen.
leonf1111 (1 year ago)
Matt Sezer well people are using them in NYC, so how are those people not getting tickets?
Skater X Days (1 year ago)
i do it in los angeles 2018 , i have been make good money 500 a week , no joke , i do ubereats and postmates , check out my vid , i love it , its a hobby and it pays
Jamei McLeod (1 year ago)
500 a week...that's it>>? do you even have energy left to pick up the slack?
Guoenyi (1 year ago)
just eat less
Chad (1 year ago)
Skater X Days Do you think I can lose fat if do it ?
7arsenal (1 year ago)
I was making $12 an hour back in 1992 when I was a bike messenger in downtown LA. It was decent money back then and it was a lot of fun. I was in the best shape of my life. Now I want to do it again for the fun of it.
theBateman T (1 year ago)
7arsenal do it bro, u can still make good money with that messenger mindset u already have !. I smash 50+ Hrs a week working as a courier and I love every day
D.M. App (1 year ago)
I really liked hearing Frankie's perspective from October 2016. I'd like to hear an update on how it's changed heading into 2018.
John Price (1 year ago)
Cool Soma! I'm riding a Smoothie ES at the moment!! Rubber down !
MessyVids (1 year ago)
i love this job i would do it for free..i have anexity too and going out all day and cycling will keep me going... i even did cutting woods for the sake off staying active hahah and i loved it ...
Briseyda Martinez (1 year ago)
Who gets more tips a postmate s driver or righting
Finn yO (1 year ago)
I might be doing this on the weekends or days off i just need a to get a road bike
EMC2Scotia (1 year ago)
I wonder if, from a legal stand point, once you accept a job, can you then be an employee whilst you carry that delivery? Governments need to regulate this industry as essentially its a promise of flexible work hours disguising a desire to exploit a vulnerable workforce.
Tunnel Rat (1 year ago)
Bike messengers since their creation have always been exploited.
Jamei McLeod (1 year ago)
Quite simply they are not on the list of companies exempt from paying minimum wage...
Brandon Hinkle (2 years ago)
I would highly recommend BlueCrew. It is the best on demand job app i have found. https://go.bluecrewjobs.com/M91p/kgxdljYt3H
Romhel Francis (2 years ago)
I didnt know ubereats, postmates, etc.. was around 20 years ago.
Finders 13 (2 years ago)
Eh, Canadian Gamer (2 years ago)
I dunno why, but I wanna do that. Cause for one, the pay you get largely depends on how much work put in. And secondly, I like how jobs such as this keep you on the move. Probably be good for me considering I sit on my ass most of the time.
Dustine Jao (2 years ago)
uber eats
Tyler Williams (2 years ago)
lol when I do postmates on the bike I always reject deliveries that include drinks. I once took a delivery with a drink and had to ride 3 miles in downtown portland traffic while holding a soda in my hand.
Young Keazy (4 months ago)
Jason Bui dc
Jason Bui (4 months ago)
Young Keazy where do u ride?
Young Keazy (4 months ago)
@Jason Bui I don't have one I just carry the drink with one hand, you really only need one hand to bike for the breaks, otherwise I just ride no hands
Jason Bui (5 months ago)
Tyler Williams u are so dumb dude if they give u a drink just put it in your bag and don’t tell me you don’t have one every delivery partner has one