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Stop Forgetting Drinks And Sides In Your Delivery Jobs

Updated: Apr 7

McDonalds drink
Forgetting this innocuous looking drink causes big problems.

One of the most annoying things for customers is drivers forgetting their drinks. Guess what? It’s annoying for drivers, and annoying for store owners and managers.

In the fashion of the "Just say no" campaign of long ago, it's easier said than done for drivers. Stop forgetting drinks and sides in your delivery jobs.

It drives down the customer satisfaction rating of the driver. It makes the driver, restaurant, and gig company look incompetent as well. And it affects driver tips.

And it’s been going on since at least the first pizza joint started delivering...

Why is it such a big deal? It’s just a drink…right?


In the past, when a customer ordered a pizza or ten, the only drinks that were available were Coke, Pepsi, etc. And while it was a big deal even then to forget the drinks, sides, desserts, etc.,it’s a bigger deal today.

With the gigs come a host of independent restaurants with diverse menus and specialized drinks with specialized ingredients that can cost a small fortune to make and to buy. You aren’t simply forgetting a fifty cent Coke now. You’re forgetting a major menu item that can cost over ten bucks. It’s part of the experience, not just a drink. Don’t even get me started on sides as they can start at eight bucks and move into double digits…fast.

What’s the problem with drivers forgetting drinks and sides? It’s almost like a rite of passage to forget side items like drinks. Sides, especially drinks, require being handled separately. There’s some sort of mental block with a driver and the extra. Drivers have a lot to focus on between knowing the nuances of strange restaurants, staying alert in traffic, juggling multiple orders, and working with annoying apps.

I don’t know when cars first got cupholders but it must have coincided with a drastic rise in missing drinks off delivery orders. There’s got to be a chart somewhere showing the correlation. There’s a simple fix to this problem - it’s called packing.

When I’m picking up an order with drinks or sides -something cold and something hot- I ask for another bag (preferably plastic) that I can fit multiple items in and condense the order down to one bag. Voilà! No need to remember anything but that one bag. This even works for the restaurants that don’t provide drink carriers (shame on you).

But you may say that there is a problem with putting hot and cold items together but I tell you that usually these items are individually bagged or wrapped before placing them altogether in a single bag. See the biggest innovator in the game, McDonalds, for reference. Starbucks is another example. Two of the biggest companies in the world at what they do and they don’t have a problem with it. They design it that way.

They have deemed this method as the best way to move their product while maintaining their quality standards. Who are we to argue? McDonalds was the first major player that was an early adopter of delivery. That might be an indicator to other restaurants that want to be forward looking.

Mickey D’s saw the packing dilemma right away and solved it while pizza joints were (and still are) struggling with forgetting items. To be fair, the pizza, flat, individually boxed, presents challenges as other items won’t go in the box so it is doomed to be an issue for eternity I’m afraid.

For me it’s all about simplicity. Anything to make my life easier and error free. Anything to simplify my job. One less thing to forget while I’m juggling multiple delivery apps. Is it perfect? No. But until perfect comes along, getting through the shift will do.

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