How Amazon Flex Drivers Deliver on a Restaurant Block
Starting late last year, Amazon Flex separated the Prime Now blocks into these two categories:
- Warehouse Block
- Restaurant Block
Warehouse block is mainly Prime Now Warehouse block but you can also be stationed at a supermarket, drug store, or a pet store. You will find out an hour before your shift starts. You can check your iPhone app, but it will just tell you that it is a Prime Now Warehouse block and not where you may end up. This is different from a Restaurant Block. You can use the iPhone app to tell you which location you may start, but they can change a few minutes before an hour before your shift.
The Amazon Flex iPhone app will also tell you which location the block is. In Seattle, there are four zones around Seattle and the Amazon Flex iPhone app tells me what and where the Amazon Flex block is located anytime it is on my calendar. There is no such functionality on the Amazon Flex Android app.
How Amazon Flex Drivers Sign In To A Restaurant Block
An hour before your shift starts, you will get the location of your starting point. In Seattle, there are 5 starting points. I happen to live in the middle of 4 of them, but I still prefer the two closest to me. However, it can be any one of them up to an hour before your shift starts. You can use the Amazon Flex iPhone app to check where the location is, but it can change last minute before an hour your shift starts. Make sure to check the starting location an hour before your shift starts.
They may have you check in at some random location. My first Amazon Flex block had me checked in at the corner by the Seattle Center, which has nothing there. I was confused as where to go and by the time I figured out it was just a waypoint, it was too late to get back on shift. So make sure to get there on time (that means right at the start of your Amazon Flex block or even early) and check the top right corner for a menu item that says “At location but GPS not working.” A few minutes isn’t worth losing your entire Amazon Flex block. Don’t abuse this button either.
Once you get close enough to the designated point, you will get the option to check in, right underneath the “Navigate” button. Often times, I exit out of the Amazon Flex navigation mode a few blocks from the starting location. I find that the app allows me to check in a block away, which can save me a few minutes in traffic. Once you are signed in, it will tell you to wait at the designated location.
How Amazon Flex Drivers Deliver a Restaurant Order
You will get a notification that a stop has been added to your itinerary and where to go. You will get a time range to arrive by, which is usually the time that the food is ready by. This isn’t always a guarantee that the food will be ready by that time, but it is a nice estimate. I know of one restaurant who is always late by 20-30 minutes. For other services, I will just refuse to deliver from them, but since I am being paid hourly on Amazon Flex, I don’t mind waiting for it.
On the application, it tells you to call Amazon Flex support if you have to wait more than 10 minutes. I would go in and ask how long the food will be and compare that to the “Food Ready by” time. If it is over 10 minutes, call Amazon Flex support to explain the situation. They typically say that you are affected only if the delivery will be late. Go to google maps and see where the drop off is and how much time it takes to get there. If you are well within the time, I wouldn’t worry about calling them, but if its within 10 minutes, I would call. I normally deliver 15 minutes before the end of the time limit to account for traffic and delivery delay, such as the time it takes to find parking and go up to meet with the customer. The bare minimum is 5 minutes. If you have less than 10 minutes of safety to deliver the order, I would call Amazon Flex driver support and have them note that for this order.
When you are on a Restaurant Block as an Amazon Flex driver, you may get additional stops added during an Amazon flex delivery. Just ignore the added stop until you are done with the current delivery. Due to the timing of the stop, make sure to finish the current delivery first and then go to the next stop. Each and every delivery should be done independently before going on to the next Amazon Flex delivery. The Amazon Flex app may show the next stop before the next drop off sometimes since they are arranged by arrival time, which may cause you to think to go to the next stop before delivering the food. Just ignore that and go to the next stop after the current delivery.
You must use Insulated Bags when you are doing Restaurant deliveries. I have been temporarily deactivated for not bringing it. When I started out, I never had one and the incidents racked up. Eventually, I was deactivated. If you don’t have one, you can get one here. I would highly recommend you get the larger pizza delivery bag:
- Large Insulated Bags (2-Pack) – regular insulated bags
- Pizza Insulated Bags – Insulated Pizza Delivery Bag (22x22x5″)
In terms of an insulated bag, you can either use your own, or take one from the Amazon Prime Warehouse. There will be many bags lying around in the warehouse and take one if you need one. I may try to borrow the larger purple Amazon Restaurants insulated bag since I had some large orders before on Amazon Flex and it would look much more professional to use one of those bags instead of a mixture of Postmates and Uber insulated bags.
These insulated bags are great for carrying heavy Warehouse bags.
Other Items I Recommend:
Can You Move Around?
They recommend you stay near your starting point, but if you have been idle for an hour, move to another location or move closer to home. There was one time I didn’t get an order for 2 hours, an hour of which I was driving through Seattle (all of it). It happens sometimes when Amazon Flex releases too many blocks for a certain time and there are not enough orders.
The most important thing is checking in. Amazon Flex doesn’t really care almost anything else you do, unless it looks like you are actively avoiding orders by parking very far from all restaurants. When I move around, I am always moving to another known hot zone or starting point. They can’t claim that I am trying to dodge orders when I’m parked right outside some of the busiest restaurants on Amazon.
The only thing Amazon Flex really tracks are late deliveries. It normally doesn’t matter if Amazon flex driver are late for check-in or arrival (except for when you first check-in for your block. That is ultra important to get there on time!), but as long as you deliver on time, it is fine.
If you think you will be late for a delivery, call Amazon Flex Support and tell them the reason why. Here is a few I’ve heard of or experienced:
- Restaurant is late in preparing the food
- Bad Route (common with the Amazon Flex navigation)
They have to file a support ticket for every call they get and this get reviewed by Amazon Flex. I have a few late deliveries and haven’t yet get the dreaded email from Amazon Flex support about being on time for my deliveries so make sure to call every time this happens. There have been other Amazon flex driver who didn’t do this and got multiple emails about late deliveries. It can be difficult to explain the situation afterwards, but seems to be easy to do it before an issue arises. I have also know a few Amazon Flex driver deactivated for late deliveries. Amazon has so many Amazon Flex drivers that they can afford to lose a few.
Can You End Your Shift Early?
This is the biggest advantage of a restaurant block over a warehouse block. You can end your shift early. If you deliver an order within 30 minutes of the end of your block, then the app will automatically end your block. Sometimes I will wait a few minutes after I made the delivery in order to mark it delivered so that the app will log me out and I won’t have to worry about Amazon Flex.
If the customer doesn’t respond to your phone call or knocking on the door if you can get in, then call Amazon Flex driver support through the Amazon Flex app. Report to them hat the customer is missing. They will try to call them directly and if they can’t get a call either, they’ll probably tell you to keep trying for a few minutes before leaving and returning the food to the restaurant. Just follow the instructions from Amazon Flex driver support.Have more questions about Uber or Lyft? Head on over to our Rideshare Driver Training Course! Driver Promotions