S’pore foodpanda riders spill secrets on the craziest things that have happened to them

The good, bad, and eerie.

| Julia Yeo | Sponsored | December 29, 2020, 07:11 PM

Many of us have been working from home for the majority of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Perhaps, while working from home, one of the essential workers we’ve been meeting the most have been food delivery riders.

From good, bad, to funny, food delivery riders have probably seen them all.

We spoke to some foodpanda riders to hear about their craziest and most memorable encounters during their deliveries.

Encounter with a man that smelled like jasmine flowers

One rider shared about an eerie encounter he had while doing his usual deliveries at night.

“It was roughly around 1:30am in the morning, and I had an order from Paya Lebar to Eunos.

I had collected my order and made my way to the customer's house. To get there, I had to cycle through this dark, narrow and creepy alleyway.

I was just casually cycling when all of a sudden, I saw an elderly Chinese uncle standing at the side of the road, with an overpowering scent of jasmine flowers.

He was wearing a huge gold chain and a gold Rolex watch, and looked well-groomed and wealthy.”

Reaching out to the rider, the man asked:

“Ah boy, what's the time right now and where am I at?”

The rider continued:

“I noticed that he had asked me about the time despite wearing a watch. However, I didn’t question him, and answered his questions.

Afterwards, the man thanked the rider and added:

“You’re very kind. If anyone tries speaking to you later, don’t talk to them.”

The rider recalled that he didn’t think much of the encounter at the time, and continued cycling down the dark and narrow alley.

Around 400 metres down the road, the rider saw the man again.

“This was the exact man I had spoken to just a while ago. There was literally no way he could’ve gotten there before me, as it was a one-way road. I was cycling at a speed of approximately 10km/h, and he was on foot,” the rider said.

The man stopped the rider again, and asked if he had spoken to anyone on his way down.

“I told him I hadn’t, and he nodded, telling me to stay safe again. I thanked him and cycled off. It was a really odd experience, and I know that whatever happened that night wasn’t normal.”

Chased by dogs

Another foodpanda rider shared about the time he got chased by guard dogs while doing his delivery at an industrial area.

“I had to ride as fast as I could, and eventually the dogs stopped chasing me after I managed to get out of their territory,” the rider recalled.

After sharing his harrowing experience with the customer, she kindly showed him how to avoid facing the guard dogs while making his way out of the area.

Heartwarming experiences

Besides the odd and mind-boggling encounters, a foodpanda rider revealed one of his most memorable experiences, which he called his “best delivery”.

He shared that riders would encounter orders that they were unable to complete once in a while, whenever customers keyed in the wrong address for items to be sent to.

“It’s pretty inconvenient for riders to carry the cancelled items with them, so we would either give it to the security guards or possibly bring it home with us for our consumption, if we were close to the end of our shift.

However, on one occasion, I was stuck with 24 pieces of Korean fried chicken from a cancelled order when I passed by an elderly man who looked rather desolate. I decided to give the food to him.

The man’s face lit up.

He received it with both hands, smiling slightly and mumbled “thank you” in Mandarin several times.

From then on, whenever I had cancelled orders, I would seek out people like him to offer the food to them. With that, I’d know that I’ve done the best delivery of the day.”

Challenges they face

Like every other hustle, none comes without its own set of difficulties.

foodpanda riders agreed that their daily activities can be physically challenging.

Some riders shared that delivering food may be more tiring than it appears to be, especially if their mode of transportation is a bicycle.

Orders can be rather heavy at times, and they need to account for unpredictable weather conditions as well.

One rider said that for him, the toughest part of delivering was cycling up steep hills to deliver orders, but he would feel a sense of accomplishment whenever he completed an order after a challenging journey.

Able to spend more time with family, flexible hours

However, these riders stayed on despite the spooky encounters, fierce dogs, and steep hills.

Autonomy and the flexible nature of delivery has been the most appealing factors to foodpanda riders.

“We’re able to choose when we want to deliver, and choose when we want to call it a day. We can also plan and decide how much we want to make for the month,” a rider explained.

Having more autonomy meant that they were able to spend more time with their families as well, one rider said.

Other riders also shared about other incentives, such as being able to expand their knowledge about various neighbourhoods in Singapore, and explore hidden corners that they wouldn’t have found otherwise.

Signing up as a foodpanda rider

For those looking for a hustle to make some extra cash on the weekends, foodpanda is on the lookout for more food delivery personnel to join their ever-growing rider community.

According to foodpanda, top riders who aim for the most deliveries can make up to S$10,000 a month with incentives thrown in.

As a side hustle, one could make up to S$25 per hour on a good day, plus weekly incentives.

foodpanda has structured the system on how hard riders want to push themselves, offering higher remuneration for longer distances travelled to take into consideration the amount of effort and time put in by the rider.

For those on motorbikes, the incentives over one weekend for completing 45 orders can be between S$45 and S$120.

Besides delivering food, foodpanda also has a referral incentive of up to S$485 for every friend you successfully referred.

Monetary rewards aside, foodpanda is also giving riders free monthly foodpanda vouchers, grocery vouchers, Decathlon vouchers, NTUC vouchers and limited edition merchandise.

All of these have been made possible as foodpanda has fine-tuned its system to ensure that riders get paid very attractive fees within this industry.

No bicycle or motorcycle? No problem.

Those who lack transportation shouldn’t worry either.

There is no need to pay money to get a bicycle or learn to ride a motorcycle before starting.

foodpanda riders don’t even need to own their own set of wheels to do deliveries, as foodpanda has tied up with another company to provide free bicycle rentals for riders.

foodpanda has also launched an e-bike rental/ “lease-to-own” scheme, where you can potentially own an e-bike after fulfilling certain criteria.

Additionally, from now till Jan. 10, 2021, foodpanda is now having a festive promotion of 45 per cent off the regular price for its rider equipment set, starting from S$44.

More information on the festive promotion can be found here. You may also go down to foodpanda’s hubs to purchase the sets directly.

Keen to try out being a foodpanda rider? You can sign up here.

If all else fails, you can finally get a chance to wear pink and make new friends within the ever-growing foodpanda community.

Top image via foodpanda

This sponsored post reminded this writer to be nice to food delivery riders.