by Bodo von Braunmühl
26 truths about being a rider – From A (Ability to participate) to Z (Zero Emission)
Amid the current debate on the working conditions of food delivery riders, we observe a tendency towards one-sided or even factually incorrect comments – often showcasing the rider job as utterly horrific. But is it really that bad? To clear up some misconceptions, let’s have a look at Germany, where foodora maintains one of the largest rider fleets within the Delivery Hero Group.
Ability to participate
One might think that riders have no voice within larger corporations. However, the real story is quite different. Delivery Hero just turned into a SE (Societas Europaea), and 50% of Delivery Hero’s Supervisory Board seats will be taken by employees – one of them being a rider.
Since riders use their private bikes for food delivery, foodora contributes to the repair costs for bike parts. Riders get a 0,25 Euro credit per kilometre that can be used at several partner repair shops, or for the online purchase of spare parts.
Companies need a reliable political framework ensuring that competitors don’t operate on different wage levels. In Germany, foodora’s main competitor is working mainly with freelance riders, whereas foodora riders are employed. This means foodora compensates this competitive aspect with a higher degree of efficiency and advanced technology.
The employment contracts, whether office employees or riders, generally start with a limited time period. These contracts are usually transferred into permanent contracts after expiry of this period. Note: the vast majority of our riders prefer to work part-time.
All foodora riders in Germany are regularly employed, i.e. foodora carries non-wage labour costs including social, pension, healthcare, nursing care, accident, and business liability insurance.
Being a rider gives you a high degree of flexibility and autonomy, i.e. riders can pick shifts which best fit their lifestyle. While one could argue that this working model lacks the consistency of a 9-to-5 job, most foodora riders – many of them students – strongly prefer the flexible model that meets their personal needs.
The so-called gig economy usually describes employment relationships in which people are not permanent employees with social security, but supposedly self-employed freelancers of digital operators. For foodora Germany, please check E as in Employment.
Contracts include paid holiday.
Contracts include continued payment of wages in case of illness.
Once riders are onboarded they are provided with a starter kit consisting of a helmet, winter and weather jacket (for rainy and snowy days), shirt, backpack, powerbank and thermal bag.
Being kind and being reliable – these are two basic requirements when hiring new riders.
Leipzig is one of the 37 German cities in which foodora offers its food delivery service.
The compensation for foodora riders lies above German statutory minimum wage and starts at 9 Euro per hour. Maximum is 12 Euro per hour, depending on performance criteria. Of course, riders can keep all tips they receive, which adds an average of 1 or 2 Euro per order.
Number of riders
Delivery Hero has 20,000+ riders globally.
Own delivery fleet
Ever wondered why Delivery Hero runs an own delivery fleet instead of solely relying on the service of their restaurant partners? Basically, having control over the delivery process is key to improve selection of high-quality restaurants which don’t deliver themselves. Control over delivery process also allows for a more consistent customer experience
Successful riders can advance to rider captains or senior rider captains, taking over more responsibility in the foodora office and being rewarded with higher hourly wages. Also check M as in Money.
Let them speak for themselves. Chris from Brighton, UK says: “A standout moment for me has to be the very first delivery I did for foodora. It was smashing down with rain, it was cold and I had to pick up some food and take it to a guy at 33. Karl Marx Strasse ….but I could not find 33. There was 32 and 34… so I phoned him and asked: ‘do you actually live in Berlin?’ And he said: ‘No, I’m from the South… he gave me a city in the south of Germany and I said: “Alright, you’re gonna have to give me a serious tip to come down there to bring you this food”.
We constantly test delivery robots, which in the future could be used in peak times and extreme weather conditions once the regulatory framework is set up.
According to recent surveys 80% of our German riders like or even love their job – not that bad!
While riding seems to be a pretty straightforward activity, there is a lot of technology involved in the delivery process. If you don’t believe us, just visit our tech blog.
Globally, Delivery Hero operates own logistics in 260 urban areas.
Meet the crew here:
foodora is the only food delivery service cooperating with the Work Councils (“Betriebsräten”) in Germany. Also check A as in Ability to participate.
X-treme weather conditions
Our fleet managers closely monitor weather conditions to make sure that delivery activities are stopped when the weather could potentially put our riders at risk.
foodora rider Semih Yalcin heads the Works Council in Cologne. He also represents the riders as a member of Delivery Hero’s Supervisory Board.
Riding a bike is of course physically more challenging than delivering by car or motorcycle. On the other hand, most of our riders love doing sports, and it’s definitely the most eco-friendly way of delivering.