If you’re new to the gig economy, Caviar might not be on your radar just yet. Even though the food delivery service has been around for more than six years, Caviar has yet to achieve the notoriety of big fish like Uber Eats or DoorDash.
While Caviar may have gotten less press over the years, in certain markets, they’re still one of the best options, given that Caviar couriers make up to $25 per hour plus tips. And unlike some rideshare services, Caviar drivers can get paid immediately after each delivery.
In this article, we’ll walk through the requirements to become a Caviar driver, show what it’s like to make your first delivery, and give you some tips for maximizing your…well, tips.
Caviar Driver Requirements
Caviar is high-class, just like it sounds. They tend to focus on higher-end restaurants and look for experienced contractors. So getting accepted as a delivery driver requires a little more than filling out a form and pumping up your bike tires. If you’re interested in starting the application process, here are the Caviar driver requirements:
- You must be at least 18 years old — This shouldn’t come as a shock since most rideshare services require you to be 18 years old to work for them.
- You must have experience — Caviar is making an effort to distinguish themselves as a premium option. Before you can start driving for Caviar you must have two years of rideshare driving experience, pass an exam, and complete an in-person interview.
- You must have vehicle insurance — If you don’t have auto insurance, then you won’t be able to work for Caviar. Even if you’re operating a bike or motorcycle, they will expect you to be insured. This protects you and the company from any worst case scenarios.
- You must have a smartphone — The Caviar courier app is available on iOS and Android devices, so you must have one or the other to sign up.
- You must pass a background check — You must pass a background check in order to delivery for Caviar.
Unlike Postmates or Uber, Caviar is only available in select cities. So before you make plans to quit your day job to become a Caviar delivery driver, check out the full list of United States markets with Caviar food delivery.
- Dallas/Fort Worth
- Los Angeles
- Orange County
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- Washington, D.C.
If you’re lucky enough to live in one of these cities and you’d like to become an independent contractor delivering food for local restaurants, Caviar is a perfect fit. The application process is a little more strict than other rideshare services, but for qualified delivery drivers it’s a no-brainer.
Caviar’s Courier Application Process
If you’ve signed up to be an Uber driver, then the application process will feel familiar. To get started, visit the Caviar driver sign-up page. You’ll be asked to fill out a form with your basic information.
Once submitted, you’ll be asked to fill out a more detailed form (see below) asking where you’d like to work, in addition to your address, date of birth, and a few other details.
After you complete the more detailed form, the website will direct you to download the Caviar app to finish the sign-up process.
You should also receive a text with a link to complete a 15-minute driver assessment. The assessment consists of a few generic questions as well as a video overview of the Caviar app.
Once you finish the video, you’ll be asked several quiz questions to gauge your attention to the video.
Although this type of training hasn’t been reported in every city, many drivers have reported having to pass this quiz before being able to deliver for Caviar. It’s not unusual for delivery apps like Uber and Lyft to ask their drivers to pass quizzes before getting started.
Make sure you log into the Caviar app with the same credentials you used to sign up online. The app will let you know once you’ve been approved for an in-person interview and orientation. In each market, Caviar offers several interview times throughout the week, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find one that works with your schedule.
At the interview they’ll verify your license and insurance, then get any necessary information to complete the background check.
After everything is verified, Caviar will give you a brief orientation to get familiar with the delivery process and answer any questions you have about working with the Caviar app.
Now that you’ve jumped through all of Caviar’s hoops, it’s time to start earning the $25 hourly wage plus tips.
Your First Caviar Delivery
Before you can start making deliveries with Caviar, it’s important to make sure you have the right equipment.
If you’re on a bike, scooter, or motorcycle, that means having a protective helmet. If you’re planning on delivering after dark, make sure your blinkers work and you have the proper protective clothing to stay safe.
For couriers in cars, make sure your blinkers work, your tires are full of air, and you have plenty of gas before you start delivering. The last thing you want is to be stuck in traffic without enough fuel to complete a delivery.
Like Uber Eats or DoorDash, the Caviar courier app allows you to switch back and forth between online and offline based on whether or not you are accepting deliveries.
Once you’ve accepted the delivery, you’re shown turn-by-turn navigation, similar to most ridesharing platforms.
The one key difference with Caviar is that since you’re delivering food instead of giving people rides, you must first arrive at the restaurant before you find out the drop-off location.
Once you’ve mastered the basics of delivering with Caviar, it’s time to start thinking about how to optimize your delivery schedule to increase your earnings.
How Much Can You Make With Caviar?
According to Caviar, delivery drivers can make up to $25 per hour plus tips. However, it wasn’t that long ago that Caviar was involved in a class-action lawsuit for shorting their driver’s tips. Today, couriers do receive 100 percent of the tips they earn and, thanks to a Square integration, can get paid immediately after every delivery.
The $25 per hour statistic might be a little misleading. Although some drivers report making between $20 to $21 per hour, that’s only for the time that they are “On Delivery.” So this doesn’t include the “On Duty” time, when they’re waiting to be dispatched. If you look strictly at the “On Duty” time, the hourly wage can be as low as $6 per hour.
Despite Caviar’s marketing, the consensus amongst couriers is that there’s just not as much demand as Uber Eats and DoorDash. Which means more and more drivers are “On Duty” but not actually making any money. And it’s not just a popular anecdote, Google Trends data shows that statistically, there’s just less overall interest for Caviar than there is for their competitors.
For Square, the company that acquired Caviar in 2014, being a small food delivery fish in a big pond might not be such a bad thing. Square recently announced a new software product aimed specifically at restaurants who want to take online orders but lack the infrastructure to do so. The Caviar acquisition enables Square to sell restaurants online ordering through their new product and seamless delivery via a network of couriers.
Get Started With Caviar
If you’re ready to get to work, make sure you take advantage of their sign-up bonus for new drivers. Overall, Caviar is a less-than-ideal fit for new drivers just starting out in the gig economy. However, for more experienced drivers in certain cities, it can be a great way to diversify your work. And at a rate of $25 plus tips, it’s an interesting platform worthy of your consideration.