Food delivery agents in Bengaluru run against time, brave rain, sun

The delivery agents are facing the harsh consequences of delivering food on time, which is also affecting their salaries.
Food delivery men working in the Scorching Sun in Puducherry on Sunday. Image used for representation.
Food delivery men working in the Scorching Sun in Puducherry on Sunday. Image used for representation.Photo | Sriram R

BENGALURU: With the mercury hitting high in the day, and rain clogging the roads in the evening, the weather in the city is posing a challenge for the delivery executives associated with food and restaurant aggregators. The delivery agents are facing the harsh consequences of delivering food on time, which is also affecting their salaries.

A delivery executive explained TNIE, “Each restaurant provides a maximum pickup window of 20 minutes, during which we must collect the order and update its status. However, due to roadblocks or diverted traffic, we often fail to reach the restaurant within this time frame. As a result, the support executive reassigns the order to a new partner which impacts our income.”

Siddesh, a delivery executive said, “Our daily earnings range from Rs 1,200 to 1,500, with each delivery requiring us to travel at least 5-8 kilometers, and sometimes more. Previously, we would wait outside popular restaurants to reduce pick-up times, but with growing competition among delivery partners, everyone aims to fulfill more orders to boost earnings, which heavily rely on ratings, tips, and distance travelled.

“To maximize deliveries, we frequently accept orders from restaurants located a few kilometers away. But this poses challenges as we struggle to reach the restaurant in time, during rains. Most of us have opted to e-bikes as they are easy to navigate. However, at times like the recent rains, when the roads are clogged, our movement is also restricted. In just a day or two of rains in the city, our delivery time frame has been affected, and impacted our earning,” Siddesh said.

Tushar, a part-time delivery agent told that most customers sign up for premium subscription, which grants them free delivery within a promised time. “However, these deliveries exert pressure on the delivery partners, because if they fail to meet the deadline, the company must compensate to the customers. This directly affects our salaries,” he said.

A senior executive from one of the food aggregators told TNIE, “Extending the 20-minute window creates more opportunity for batching orders together. Yet, prolonging the window also results in the initial order waiting longer for pickup, as the executive must wait for other orders to be prepared as well. Likewise, widening the distance between customers allows for more batching opportunities, but it also heightens the risk of compromising customer experience, as it risks orders not being delivered within the promised time frame.”

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