Recently, we asked the delivery and ride-share drivers of the BuzzFeed Community to share their secrets and stories from their jobs, and yeah — they had A LOT to reveal.
Here's what they had to say:
1. "A lot of places are part of a local chain called 'ghost kitchens.' You'll think your food is coming from somewhere expensive when it's actually coming from your local McDonald's or some abandoned facility."
2. "If you’re a cyclist, the only way to make any money is to break every traffic law under the sun and hope you don’t get run over. Otherwise, they give all the jobs to people with mopeds because you are 'too slow.'"
3. "So many people don’t tip thinking it’s extra, but tips are how delivery drivers survive. DoorDash only pays $2 per trip no matter how far the delivery is. Especially with gas prices so high, trips aren’t worth it unless you make at least $2 a mile. 'Tip baiting' is also a thing, where people will add a high tip and then call and have it removed."
4. "My husband once delivered to an older woman who ended up dying during the time it took for him to get there after she placed the call. He said he showed up as they were loading her up into an ambulance and that the family was standing around watching, and he didn't know what to do, so he gave it to one of the family members and left."
5. "One of the most frustrating things is when there is literally no parking on someone’s street but the customer still expects you to somehow be able to park and bring them their food. Like, you live on this street, and you know full well there’s no place for me to leave my car. Being a delivery driver doesn’t give you access to some secret parking spot."
6. "I once delivered to a guy living under his porch. I drove up to the house. It was pitch black. No lights on. I looked at the ticket, and it said, 'Use back door.' I went up the steps, and no lights were on. Nothing. Then, I heard a voice from below me say, 'Hey, down here.' I looked under the porch, and there was a small door leading into what looked like a makeshift apartment. I had to actually crouch to get to it. I gave the guy the pizza and bounced out of there."
7. "We eat the fries if the bag is open, especially if we see that you didn’t tip. Always tip!"
8. "I deliver pizza. In bad weather, it's very common to get comments from people you're delivering to about the horrible road conditions and how they don't want to go out. I had a lady call the day after a blizzard, and I told her we weren't delivering yet because the roads weren't clear enough, but we could make her something to pick up. She very seriously replied that she couldn't come in because it was too dangerous to be driving."
9. "You might be surprised to learn that a lot of restaurant workers hate us delivery drivers. We are seen as an annoyance or treated with outright hostility due to the misconception that we are 'taking tips away from them,' which kills me because if the customer wasn't going to tip me, they weren't going to tip you either! Also, if your order is taking a long time, it's because the restaurant workers are refusing to acknowledge us and/or putting your order on the back-burner in favor of the customers right in front of them. We actually spend a lot more time advocating for our customers (who ordered their food before any of those people got here) than you might think."
10. "If you want your food quickly, always match your tip to the amount of miles you live from the restaurant. Delivery services pay drivers very little ($1-$3 an order) so we rely heavily on the tip. If you're waiting hours for your food, it's because you're being passed over by drivers due to the low compensation."
11. "I was delivering food (chicken, pertinent to the story), and my worst stop was pathetic, really. I knocked on the door, and I hears a kid yell, 'I GOT IT!' He opened the door and ran up the stairs yelling to his friends, 'The chicken asshole's here! The chicken asshole's here!' after which a crowd of about eight pre-teens at the top of the stairs started throwing change down the stairs at me to pay for the delivery. I asked if they could hand me the money, and they just laughed and threw the coins harder. So, I picked up the bag of food, threw it up the stairs at them, it hit the wall, and I split. I told the boss what happened and that if they called to complain, I wouldn't listen or apologize; I'd just quit. I found out later that he did get a call, and he told them to get stuffed. Good boss."
12. "I met my now-wife as an Uber driver. In college, I used to work late-night shifts to make some extra money. One night, I picked up this lovely young woman from a friend's house at night. She looked nervous to be in the car with me, so I didn't say anything and just let her be. When she got home, she thanked me for being so nice and gave me a really nice tip, and said I was one of the safest Ubers she had been in that late. A few days later, I got her as a passenger again. We got to talking and found out we had a lot in common. A few days later, I picked her up again, and she asked me out. On our date, I found out she had purposely requested me. We've been married for three years now, together for seven."
13. "A friend does delivery for a local chicken shop in London and dislikes making deliveries to those living in tower blocks. He usually texts the customer moments before his arrival and leaves it in the communal foyer if the entrance door isn't code-locked, or when he has energy to burn, he takes it to the customer's door if they live on one of the first three floors and the lift isn't out of order. Cue the usual drama. It's either missing or cold by the time the customer comes down to collect it, or the customer isn't happy that he didn't take it to their door."
14. "Do not expect tips from wealthy people. Blue collar folks tip more often than not. I deliver appliances, and it is so strange that people won’t tip when I bring a $3,000 machine that weighs 300 pounds and set it up all while not damaging the machine or their house, but they're just fine tipping for a 3-pound pizza."
15. "There was a specific place that had BOMB waffle fries, and they always filled it too much. If I picked up from that place, I was 100% taking the extra fries at the bottom of the bag. I feel a little bad now, but not that bad."
16. "I worked as a delivery driver for a very small Italian restaurant during my first semester of college. This one time, I delivered pizza to a swingers party. It wasn't, like, on the set of a porno or anything, but a guy straight-up told me what it was when I asked if they were having a party since he ordered 12 pizzas. He answered that this was his first swingers party, and he just wanted to be sure everyone was having a good time."
17. "Just because you live around the corner from where you ordered food it does not guarantee you will get it sooner than someone who ordered from further away. There’s a chance your order may get sent out with a longer delivery, but usually you’ll wait in the queue of orders just like everyone else. If you’re local, collect."
18. "I had a drunk customer get lost in a McDonald's one night. I picked him up at a bar at 2:00 a.m. when they were closing. He asked me to stop at McDonald's on the way to his house. I said sure, we can do that. We got to McDonald's, and the drive-thru was slammed, so I said I'd park and he could go in and get his food. He went in, and I waited and waited, and I was getting annoyed. I thought he had gone in, sat down in a booth, and passed out. I was getting out to go find him when my phone rang. It was him..."
"He said, 'Where did you go? Why did you leave me here? You abandoned me!' I knew what had happened as soon as he said that: He was on the wrong side of the building! Sure enough, he had gone in one door and out the door on the other side when he got his food. He came around and got in the car, and told me in a sad voice about how everyone was very mean to him on the other side of the building, and they were all hollering and cussing at him. Turns out he was over there trying to get in random people's cars, thinking it was his Uber."
19. "Uber driver here. This new 'late or three months free' thing got us all really scared. A friend of mine was delivering to this family in a rich neighborhood (they're regulars at this joint), and the food was already coming later then normal due to a sudden influx at the restaurant. My friend almost got in an accident trying to make sure they got there before Uber determined it 'late' and they lost their tip. The family complained anyways because the food was cold, and we later found out Uber gave them that promotion."
20. "I once delivered to an older woman who told me to come in the side door. The food is about $34, and she handed me money and was really sweet, asking me how I was doing and all that. I got back into my car and realized it was actually $60, with two of the $20 bills kind of stuck together. I went back to her house to let her know, and she said, 'Oh, I know — it's for gas and whatever else you might need.' I always remember that lady because it was just such a random, nice thing to do, and it really made my day."
Answers have been edited for length and/or clarity.