How to Deliver as a Caviar Courier
Caviar is a restaurant food delivery service, similar to Postmates and Doordash. They tend to specialize in higher quality restaurants. Drivers are paid by distance and customers have the ability to leave a tip. Like Postmates, you can sign on at anytime but there is a difference between if you are scheduled and when you just sign on. Caviar claims that couriers who are scheduled gets priority in the delivery requests. I sometimes see orders that have very tight delivery times, which usually results in many drivers skipping over the order.
Caviar does not provide a payment card, which means that all orders are already placed and prepaid. This eliminates some time waiting at the restaurant to order and for the food to be prepared. However, I had my share of troubles with the restaurant not being ready by the specified time.
Scheduled or Not Scheduled?
Like Postmates, Caviar allows any courier to sign on at any time. They claim that couriers who are scheduled get requests first. The downside with Caviar’s scheduling system is that it locks 48 hours before that hour, which means you need to know that you’ll be working 2 days ahead of time.
Considering the income with Caviar, committing my schedule to it 48 hours ahead of time doesn’t make much sense. I make between $15 and $20 with Caviar so I don’t find it high on my priority list.
I do find that being on schedule helps get orders first. When I work off schedule, I often find orders that are close to due or past due, which means that these orders have been shown to other couriers and they have rejected the order. Sometimes, there are no available couriers nearby so you are the first ones to get an order, despite not being on schedule.
I don’t find my earnings to be much more being on schedule so feel free to jump on to work.
Peak Pay on Caviar
Caviar gives bonus earnings during specific times of day. Between 10:30am-1pm and 5-8pm, they give a bonus between 5%-30% extra for every completed order. The bonus varies for almost every half hour so it is best to look at the schedule in the application to find what the bonus is for.
Here is an example in Seattle this week (sometimes they change it, but not very often):
- 10:30-11:00am – 22%
- 11:00-11:30am – 25%
- 11:30-12:00am – 18%
- 12:00-12:30am – 14%
- 5:00-5:30pm – 15%
- 5:30-6:00pm – 30%
- 6:00-7:00pm – 20%
- 7:00-7:30pm – 20%
- 7:30-8:00pm – 14%
Going Online with Caviar
Going online with Caviar is very simple. Just turn on the Caviar app and go online. There is an option to schedule yourself for certain times. Caviar claims to give priority to couriers who are scheduled and I do see this happening on some orders. However, it doesn’t affect my earnings that much.
If you know your schedule for the rest of the week, schedule yourself to work instead of just signing online. It may help you earn a few dollars more per hour and get better orders.
I normally get text messages almost everyday about how busy it is on Caviar. When I first started, I only got messages a few times a week but they have been daily nowadays. I have worked a few days recently and seemed to be busier than when I first joined a few months ago.
Accepting Jobs on Caviar
Incoming requests appear on screen with the pickup and dropoff locations, which differs greatly from Postmates where you only see the pickup location. You will see the restaurant name along with the size of the order. You won’t know what they ordered, but knowing the size of the order is helpful. Typically, couriers accept the largest orders or orders above $20. In my experience, accepting larger orders don’t necessarily mean a tip or a larger tip. Customers rarely tip on Caviar so I would mainly look for relative distance to the restaurant and distance from the restaurant to the dropoff. Ideally, you want to be close to the restaurant and far away from the dropoff to maximize your earnings.
Picking Up the Delivery
With Caviar, every order has already been placed and paid for, so there is no payment card to carry around. You only need to have an insulated bag when delivering for Caviar. They recommend having two insulated bags, one for cold items and one for hot items, but I get by with just one insulated bag. If you buy a bigger insulated bag, you can ask them to allow you to pick up larger corporate orders. In my experience, I don’t earn a tip from bigger corporate orders and I don’t make more delivering those orders so there is almost no advantage in doing these bigger corporate orders. Maybe I will encounter one that will tip but I haven’t after delivering about 10 large corporate orders to different companies.
You will tap the app once you arrive at the destination. Go into the restaurant and let them know you are from Caviar and mention the customers name. Make sure to check the order and ensure everything is there. Also, don’t forget to grab some napkins and utensils.
Sometimes, the order isn’t ready. Caviar has an algorithm that predicts when an order may be available and usually the restaurant either agree to it or adjust the time. About 40% of the time, it seems to be wrong in that they predict it will be ready much sooner than it is really ready. Sometimes when the restaurant is really busy, these orders get delayed. I once waited 30 minutes for an order to be ready, which was a huge drag on earnings. There isn’t much you can do about it, except to potentially get another order from another service, such as DoorDash.
The app will show you the destination and you can click on navigate to load your favorite GPS app to lead you to the dropoff. Once you arrive, you click on Arrive on the app and then go and find your dropoff. There are sometimes directions in the app to tell you where to go, which apartment to go to, which code to dial to get into the building. Sometimes there is an important note that tells you where to park, but always use your best judgement.
Once you have delivered the food, go back to the application to mark it as delivered. The process is fairly easy and similar to other delivery services.
When it is very busy, the Caviar app will give you a second order before you finish the first order. Be sure to evaluate the order before you accept it. It may be very far away, but that normally doesn’t happen when they are sending you an order before you are finished with your current order.
Look carefully at the application to see what it is telling you to do. Often, you will deliver the first order before picking up the second order so that the food is fresh when you deliver it. Unless the second pickup is very close to the first pickup, then consider picking up the second order before delivering the first order.Have more questions about Uber or Lyft? Head on over to our Rideshare Driver Training Course!