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    Work when you want, where you want, with limited exposure to customers and hassle, all while listening to your favorite music or podcast. There’s no doubt, one of the best ways to make money as a gig worker is food delivery. You can even deliver on your bike if you want to!

    However, one challenge food delivery drivers often face is uncertainty about whether they’ll receive orders – and start earning right away.  Relay Delivery takes the worry out of wages by paying its drivers hourly, so you’re getting solid earnings no matter how many orders you get. Best of all? You can get approved with Relay within one day!

    If you’re in New York City, Chicago, Washington D.C., Miami, Philadelphia, or New Jersey, you can get started with Relay today.

    While you may not have heard of Relay until now,  this independent food delivery company has actually been around since 2014. Relay launched in New York and has built its business in several key East Coast markets. 

    As Relay expands into other areas of the country, expect to hear a lot more about them. And if you’re a delivery driver who likes the idea of more money with less driving, you’ll definitely want to check them out. Their delivery trips are capped at 3 miles, and the vast majority are made in under 2 miles!

    This article is sponsored by Relay, but all opinions are our own.

    What is Relay?

    Relay is a courier service specializing in restaurant food deliveries. While they are somewhat similar to other food delivery services, in which drivers access an app to receive and make deliveries, Relay focuses on building relationships with those in the food industry, so they are the only company contracted to make deliveries for a restaurant. 

    This means that even though customers can still order from the regular platform they have been using, the delivery is made by a Relay Rider.

    How Does Relay Delivery Work?

    From a driver’s perspective, working for Relay is about the same as working for other delivery companies, such as Uber Eats or DoorDash except that there are some really exciting differences when it comes to the pay structure. Relay pays by the hour, so even if you log on and get no orders, you’re still making money!

    First, to streamline the process and help get food to customers quickly, drivers pick up several orders from the restaurant at one time, then make multiple deliveries. Compare that to other delivery services that send drivers out on one delivery, then ask them to the restaurant to pick up their next one!

    Since the restaurant wants to ensure the food arrives while it is still warm, Relay deliveries are shorter in distance and in a logical order, so drivers don’t have to continually drive back and forth to the restaurant to pick up one order at a time.

    The second difference is that instead of receiving a single payment for every delivery you make, Relay pays drivers an hourly wage. All tips on orders go directly to the assigned drivers/couriers. Drivers also decide on their schedule ahead of time, so they always know when and where they will work and how much they will make.

    Depending on where you operate as a Relay Rider, Relay’s job postings say drivers can earn $15 to $25 per hour.

    Where Does Relay Operate?

    Relay currently operates in Washington D.C., Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia, New York City, and New Jersey. 

    The company has plans to expand its coverage area to Boston and Atlanta in the near future.

    How to Become a Relay Delivery Driver

    Becoming a Relay delivery driver is a super easy process. Just tap or click on ‘Apply’ and fill out the online form.

    Requirements to Drive for Relay

    Relay requires that drivers be at least 18 years of age and pass a background check. You must also be able to legally work in the United States, and have a valid driver’s license and car insurance if using a vehicle for deliveries.

    You must also own or have access to a bike, moped, scooter, or car. In addition, you will need a smartphone that allows you to access the app.

    How Much Does Relay Pay?

    Relay pays drivers by the hour rather than by the delivery. 100% of the tips on assigned orders also go to the individuals assigned to orders. The amount you can make per hour varies and depends on the location. 

    For example, Relay delivery couriers working in Washington D.C. can expect to make around $16.20 to $20 per hour; whereas drivers in Chicago make around $15.40 to $25 per hour.

    To arrive at the payment amount, Relay first pays an hourly rate, then tops up to guarantee a minimum rate per hour. Using our example of working as a driver in Chicago, this means that if you’re guaranteed to make $15.40 per hour, you will start with an hourly rate of $9.24 an hour. If your tips, order bonuses, and your base hourly rate do not add up to a total of $15.40 an hour, Relay will cover the difference, so you’re guaranteed to make a minimum amount of at least $15.40 per hour.

    Pros & Cons

    Pros:

    • Pay-by-the-hour means you always know what you’ll make each time you work.
    • Trips are shorter, so you spend less time driving long periods back and forth (and spend less on gas!).
    • You get to keep 100% of your tips.
    • Live support with real humans is always available in case you have an issue.
    • Flexible schedule allows you to work when you want to work.

    Cons:

    • Service areas are limited and not available everywhere.
    • Relay’s business model may make competition between its drivers greater when business is slow.
    • Use of multi-apping is discouraged.
    • If there aren’t many restaurants participating in the program, you may not have as many opportunities to work.

    FAQs

    How much do Relay couriers earn?

    Relay pays by the hour, but the amount you make depends on the city you’re in. The company states that with your hourly rate, discretionary bonuses, and 100% of customer tips, you should make, on average, between $20 to $35 per hour.

    How big are Relay driver delivery zones?

    The size of your delivery zone depends on how big of a city you live in, but they prefer to send drivers on short trips with more deliveries so that the meals will stay hot.

    What do I need to become a Relay courier?

    You need to have the ability to legally work in the United States, and have access to a bike, moped, scooter, or car to make deliveries. Relay also requires you to have a valid driver’s license and proof of vehicle insurance, and a smartphone to access their app.

    How long does it take to become a Relay driver?

    Relay says they typically complete the vetting process in 24 hours.

    Can I multi-app as a Relay courier?

    You can, but the company doesn’t recommend it. Since you are making multiple deliveries for them, trying to work other gigs at the same time can interfere with your assigned deliveries and routes.

    Is Relay Worth It?

    Since you are paid by the hour instead of per delivery, you have an actual schedule that allows you to work when you want, AND you get to keep 100% of your tips. We say it is definitely worth giving Relay a try.

    Have you had experience driving for Relay? Please leave us a comment below.

    -Kate @ RSG