Welcome To The Gig: Old School vs New School

Updated: Jun 14, 2018

New to the delivery segment? Old school pie delivery vet? Where’s the money? Should you make the move from pizza to pirate? Gig job or conventional job?

New To Delivery? Pick Your Poison.

If you’re new to delivery this probably isn’t going to make much sense to you, but I’ll try… You basically have two choices. You can go to work under the old pizza delivery model as an employee, or you can go to work for the on-demand model like UberEats, as an independent sub-contractor. It really depends on what you’re comfortable with.

The pizza delivery model is the old school employee/employer relationship. They pay you an hourly rate, a mileage stipend, and let you keep your tips. They deduct taxes and (typically) report tips. You wear a uni, do prep, clean, and you adhere to a schedule. You drive out of a one-unit location – a mothership – if you will, and you go to and fro picking up orders from the store and dropping them off. Rinse. Repeat.

By contrast the on-demand model, is def new school. You’re a sub-contractor for one or more on-demand contractors. They don’t pay you an hourly rate. They do pay you a mileage stipend, a pick-up fee, a drop-off fee, and allow you to keep your tips. They don’t deduct taxes but do report in-app tips. You usually aren’t asked to wear a uni, don’t prep, don’t clean, nor do side work, and a schedule…what’s that?

Your constant companion is the GPS on your phone. It is your map, your guide – and for better or worse – your Hal 9000.

Veteran Pizza Delivery Driver?

So you have vast experience in delivery; don’t expect anyone to be impressed…there is no one…literally. Don’t expect anything – period. For one thing, you don’t really apply for a job. I’m not sure what you call it, but I don’t think it’s called applying – joining maybe? You’ll have to make a compulsory adjustment of thought in accepting this avant-garde approach to work that’s basically free-lance…and here to stay. This is the greatest problem you’ll have adjusting to this new gig.

No one is going to interview you or ask you questions.

No one cares. Get use to it. You are chattel –  but for your vehicle, you feel inept.

In fact – remember the old saw about hiring folks with a pulse? Yeah…it’s not a joke anymore and a pulse is not obligatory as long as your bot can pass a background check (and that’s now suspect too). As far as what you old – or young – vets will experience: I have included this link to help with your transition. You should read it.

Show Me The Money!

Looking for your Jerry Maquire moment? Here it is. To understand your money you have to understand the job, ergo...trade-offs. At the end of each day in the gig job I will have put in 9-10 hours. What hours were I clocked in? What hours did I spend doing dishes, prep, answering phones or making product? The answer to those questions is ZERO. Busy work is preterite.  

” I don’t lift a finger to do a damned thing.”

I must answer those questions with a question as well… When considering the conventional job, do we calculate each one of those things we are asking to be quantified as well? The answer is NO. Why? Because you’re getting an hourly rate, you must stay within those walls and do as prescribed; for the time they’re compensating you – they own it.

I spend my time on the gig job shopping, doing laundry, eating lunch, talking with family or friends, doing minor car repairs or simply laying in bed, playing a video game, or writing this post while I wait for my first ping. Perhaps it’s more interesting telling you what I don’t do. Fact is…I make more money and have more free time being a sub-contractor with these gig jobs than I do in the conventional job. Answer your question?

One Job Won’t, And Shouldn’t Cut It (If You’re Doing It Right).

With these gig jobs it’s best to keep as many opportunities in front of you as possible. This is to say that if one is slow, you get to choose from others. I don’t just do UberEats, I might also do Grubhub…and maybe Papa Johns.

I might do Lyft from 6 AM to 9 AM and go get breakfast, run by the post office or bank drive-thru, then turn on my Grubhub app and start taking offers for breakfast pick-up; then join UberEats and Grubhub together to maximize my money for the lunch window (11 AM-2 PM).

I might take a couple of hours break and rejoin several apps for dinner rush and then head home or I may take an early day off and shut down all apps to enjoy an early theatre showing of a movie with dinner and then go home. It’s up to me and that’s how I like it. 

Should You Make The Move?

To be perfectly unambiguous, I advocate for the gig job. It affords me the flexibility I need that fits into my schedule. It is not without risk however; you must be open and flexible and give yourself time to adjust to a whole new way of doing things. It’s lonely out there and drivers doing this are an independent breed. You don’t get much interaction because you aren’t part of a crew.

I can’t tell you what to do. But if the first sign that you are right for this type of job is not wanting to be told what to do, the second sign is not needing to be told. I will tell you these jobs aren’t going away, in fact, they’re going to multiply.

Like everything it touches, the internet has been the agent of change; in this case it’s the way people get their food. The losers in this scenario are the delivery/carryout only restaurant model like the conventional pizza chain and its employees.

The winners?

Everyone else.

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