If you want to try out the gig job culture but aren’t sure you can handle the cut-throat competition in your first foray, you might want to try something with a little less competition and a bit more security.
Do you like to drive around? There are plenty of delivery jobs for those who welcome the idea of making money with their own car.
And you don’t have to deliver pizza or zoom around to a million different places picking up random orders to make this happen.
So what type of delivery gig should you choose?
In this case, we suggest checking out Drizly.
What Makes Drizly Different?
Drizly was co-founded by Cory Rellas and Nick Rellas in Boston in 2012. Since then, Drizly operates in over 100 markets in North America including New York, Boston, Austin, and Los Angeles.
This on-demand alcohol delivery marketplace has taken the eCommerce industry by storm and has created new jobs.
It’s a very focused delivery service. Other on-demand services deliver everything from food to school supplies. If you’re driving for Drizly, you know exactly where home base is and what you’ll be doing every time you drive.
Unlike other services like Uber, Postmates, DoorDash, etc. you only work during certain hours, and you don’t necessarily work directly for the service. You might also make a little less money per delivery, but you will have more certainty of working times and less competition for deliveries.
It’s different in the liquor realm because of its vast selection. Actual selection depends on the local retail market, but Drizly does say that they have over 2000 product choices from any given store and that they don’t mark up any of it.
They usually partner with larger liquor stores, so the selection in most cities is sizable.
Another thing that sets them apart in the world of spirit delivery is their ID verification system. As we touched on above, Drizly is big on responsibility. The Mident app mentioned above scans IDs to make sure the customer is of legal age.
Even if visual clues stump the driver, Mident will give them a series of questions to ask the purchaser that drivers in that state should know the answers to.
There is an extensive guide in Mident as a precaution. Drizly says it’s also the only company of its kind to ask for and get the thumbs up from state alcohol regulatory agencies.
Speed is also a differentiating factor. Drizly promises one-hour delivery and usually gets the booze to the consumer in under 40 minutes.
Drizly serves a large number of cities that most services of its kind, but there are still some areas that don’t have service. Out of area customers can have their purchases shipped.
What Are The Perks of Driving for Drizly?
Drizly is excellent for people that are interested in working flexible hours, but with the guarantee that they won’t be working super late. Drizly also has less competition for work – for now at least.
Unlike driving for rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft, where you’re competing for ride requests, Drizly drivers simply deliver the orders as they come in.
Plus, you get the generosity of the late-night party orders. One of the best parts about driving for Drizly? You’re dropping off the party supplies, not driving the party around with you.
That also means that you don’t have to keep your car spotless, purchase tip incentives like snacks or bottled water or do anything else that makes passengers comfortable.
You may also get bigger tips when you deliver more substantial orders to venues for events. It might be worth looking into applying to liquor stores near venue spaces because of that reason!
If you’re an introvert, a Drizly job is nearly perfect. Just you, in your car, listening to whatever you want with no interruptions except for during pick up and delivery. More quiet time and less awkward small talk.
If you’re an extrovert, yes you’ll be in your car a lot of the time, but you’ll also have the opportunity to meet some of your city’s most interesting people. It could be a blast.
Drizly is a growing company with a vision for future expansion. They are filling an essential need in the marketplace while delivering responsibility as well as fun. Drivers are sure to meet interesting people and contribute to life’s best moments while on the job.
They are indeed a unique option when it comes to being an on-demand driver. Remember that the store hires you. Not Drizly.
So, your experience as a Drizly driver may differ from someone else’s experience in another city.
If you want to dip your toes into the gig economy but still have the confidence that you’ll be making some money, Drizly might be the choice for you.
Because the stores hire you, you will have a better guarantee of work than some other side-gig options.
Drizly is the perfect side-gig option for anyone that wants to know when they will and won’t be working. It offers a little more security and a little less flexibility than other side-gig driving options, but it can still be flexible.
If your area has more than one participating retailer, get the details on both and choose the one that fits best with your goals.
How Much Can You Make as a Drizly Driver?
Here’s the thing: This app is a little bit different than DoorDash and Postmates. If you’ve ever worked for those companies in the past, it’s important to know that Drizly works a bit differently.
You might imagine that there are some pretty tight laws around alcohol distribution. As a result, Drizly has to be careful about who they hire. It’s not as easy as just logging on, filling out an application, and taking orders like you would with UberEats.
Instead, you have to get hired by the actual liquor store, not Drizly themselves.
Essentially, this means two things:
- You only work for one store at a time: Unlike UberEats, Doordash, or Grubhub, you won’t spend your shift driving from store to store picking up orders. Instead, you’ll work exclusively for one store during your shift
- The liquor store owner determines your income: There are no set Drizly salaries. It’s entirely up to the store or the subcontractor who works with Drizly to determine driver rates.
This makes the job more akin to being a pizza delivery driver for a single chain.
According to our research, most drivers make between $12 and $13/hour. However, that figure includes tips, which means that some drivers make as little as minimum wage.
Ultimately, a Drizly driver’s pay depends on who they work for, where they work, and how busy their schedule is. What one driver makes in Boston might be less or more than drivers in Denver or Chicago.
Obviously, drivers who work during busy hours (nights, weekends, the Super Bowl, etc.) can expect to make more.
But, since this is a freelance gig, it’s hard to predict exactly what someone will make as a driver.
Before you jump right in and start working for the company, research the wages at your local store. Figure out whether or not it’s financially worth it to work with them.
Tips are Everything for Drizly Drivers
This is a freelance job. Remember, when you work as an independent contractor, you’re not guaranteed an hourly wage in the same way that other full-time (or even part-time) employees are.
For example, if a store promises you $12/hour, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your hourly wage is going to be $12. Instead, it could mean that your total income (including tips) will equal out to $12/hour at the end of the week.
To illustrate this idea, here’s a Glassdoor comment from one (slightly disgruntled) former Drizly employee:
In other words, if you work an 8-hour shift one day but only make $60, the employer may count excess wages from a better day toward your weekly pay.
So, the ultimate goal is to earn at least the base rate for every hour on the job. If your base pay is $12/hour and you make that consistently, you won’t have to worry about managers and subcontractors finagling your pay around so that they technically keep their promise.
How do you do this?
Well, by earning tips. Those are the payments that help you earn more than the bare minimum.
Fortunately, Drizly is pretty good at encouraging their customers to give tips. The payment feature of their app offers customers the opportunity to tip their driver. It’s set at 10% by default, but customers have the option to increase or decrease the amount as they see fit.
The good thing is that Drizly has a $20 minimum policy. Customers can’t place an order unless they buy at least $20 worth of alcohol.
Ultimately, this means that at a bare minimum, you’ll earn a $2 tip. And if the customer includes the $5 delivery fee as part of their bill, they’ll tip you at least $2.50.
Drizly also allows customers to change their tip at a later date by contacting the customer support team. If a customer feels that they gave you an insufficient tip at drop off, they can reach out to the company to give you some more cash later on.
How Do I Become a Drizly Driver?
Does driving around in your car delivering alcohol sound like a good way to make some extra cash?
Ready to get started?
There are two ways to become a driver:
1. Apply with a Drizly partner in your area
Drizly has a database of partner stores on their website. You can apply by finding a store in your neighborhood and calling the store directly.
Use the search feature on their homepage to find the store closest to you.
2. Apply through Drizly’s Driver Job Board
When you apply directly through Drizly, they’ll send your application to all the local partners in your area. It’s convenient because it saves you the trouble of having to call all of the retailers yourself.
If a retailer has Drizly jobs, they’ll reach out to you directly.
Every alcohol retailer has a different process for hiring contractors.
Whether you apply through Drizly or directly to the store, you’ll need to go through their specific hiring process.
Depending on the store, this may include any number of background checks, driving history scans, and interviews.
Technically, you aren’t employed by Drizly. That’s an important distinction. It’s a different process than what you would go through for other delivery services like Postmates or DoorDash. With Drizly, delivery drivers are hired directly through liquor retailers.
Before you apply to become a Drizly driver, make sure you meet these general requirements:
- You have a reliable vehicle.
- Having a larger vehicle like an SUV or a truck is always a plus.
- You have a valid driver’s license.
- You must be able to lift the product in and out of your vehicle.
Keep in mind that because Drizly drivers are hired by independent liquor stores, there may be other specific requirements you need to meet. The best way to verify these requirements is to contact the store you wish to apply to before you submit an application.
Once you have confirmed that you meet the requirements, the application process is fairly straightforward.
Here’s what you can expect:
If you don’t see anything right away, be sure to keep checking back for new jobs. Drizly will send your information to local retail partners in your area, and interested retailers will contact you if they’re hiring.
There may also be a contract company in your area that hires drivers to work for multiple stores that participate in Drizly’s program.
Submit an A+ Application
Be sure to optimize your resume to stand out from the rest of the applicants. Drizly is a popular service, and more and more people are going to be vying for that job.
Taking the time to tailor your resume to fit the job is always a good idea.
Here are a few ways that you can make your resume or application attractive to stores looking for Drizly drivers:
- Highlight any customer service experience you have and write it in such a way that is relevant to Drizly.
- Show proof that you have a reliable driving record. Some states allow you to request your driving record. It is also sometimes known as an MVR – motor vehicle report. Or you could back up your claim by including a Defensive Driving Certificate.
- Emphasize that you’re committed to punctuality and are a reliable worker.
- Highlight your understanding of area geography. Let them know how long you’ve lived in the area and possibly how well you know traffic patterns, peak traffic hours, and best routes and shortcuts.
What else do I need to know about Drizly?
Time. You need to understand the hours in which you will likely be working. You won’t be working any early morning shifts — because of liquor laws in most states, Drizly only operates during certain hours. That means you, as a delivery driver, will only be working when the retailer you deliver for is open.
Times might vary because of differing state, province, or local laws, but Drizly’s standard customer service hours are:
- Sunday – Wednesday: 10:00 am – 1:00 am EST (next day)
- Thursday – Saturday: 10:00 am – 2:00 am EST (next day)
Also, know that Drizly is an evolving company. They have been growing for a few years now, and they have certainly disrupted the liquor business, but they aren’t finished.
They are forward-thinking and will continue to grow their company in size and in innovation.
Getting involved at this level might allow you to springboard into something else later. You might be inspired to grow your career in that direction.
How to Make More Money as a Drizly Driver
As we pointed out above, it can be difficult to earn a lot of money as a freelance delivery driver, especially if you run into a slow day.
But, there are a few key tactics you can use to boost your earnings. Each of these tips will help you put a little more cash in your pocket.
Check them out:
Drive a Fuel-Efficient Vehicle
Nothing is more upsetting than seeing a freelance delivery driver pull up in an SUV.
It’s like...what are you doing? Do you realize how much gas you’re wasting?
To work as a delivery person and actually walk away with money in your wallet at the end of the night, you need to cut down on gas expenses. Otherwise, you’re going to spend all of your earnings on fuel.
We know this one is tough. Most people can’t afford to just go out and buy a new vehicle for their job. But a vehicle can really make or break your income when it comes to working as an on-demand driver.
So, drive a Camry, a Sonata, or some other small sedan if possible. Your paycheck will thank you.
And if you’re stuck with an F250, this might not be the best job for you.
Work in Your Neighborhood
Even if you have a fuel-efficient car, you’ll waste a lot of money on gas if you have to drive 5 miles to get to the liquor store. After all, 10 miles adds up if you do it every day.
The closer you work to home, the more money you’ll save on gasoline.
You know the streets of your neighborhood but use a mapping app anyway. Google Maps or Waze will help you avoid wasting gas by routing you around rush hour traffic hiccups.
Of course, if the liquor store in your neighborhood doesn’t get much business, it might make sense to drive to the next town over to work for another one.
But, make sure that the store is jam-packed with orders before you commit to driving out there several times each week.
Bring Your Bike
There’s no policy that says you can’t deliver on a bike. We imagine it’s up to the store owner to decide whether or not this is okay.
However, it’s likely that there are some orders that don’t require a car. For example, if someone a half-mile away from the store orders two bottles of wine, you might not want to drive there.
Instead, it’d probably be better to have a bicycle on hand. That way, you can just throw the bottles in a basket or backpack and pedal on over to their house.
Of course, there are definitely some orders that require a car (no one wants to deliver kegs on a bike). So you’ll want to drive. But, bringing your bike in the trunk or on a roof-rack could help you to save some cash.
Track Your Expenses
One of the benefits of freelancing is that you get to write off business expenses on your taxes. You can write off anything you spend money on in order to earn income as an independent contractor.
All of that fuel, maintenance, and even those car washes are deductible. This means that you don’t have to pay income taxes on the money you spend on those things.
But, you have to keep track of your receipts. That way, you can hand them to an accountant (or tally them up yourself) at the end of the year. And, you can show them to the IRS if they ever want to see them.
Remember, gas is expensive. Car maintenance is, too. By deducting these costs from your income, you’ll save a lot of money on your bottom line.
Work with Another Alcohol Delivery Company
Drizly is currently available in 101 cities across the United States and North America. While that’s a pretty big market, it doesn’t cover everyone.
At the same time, Drizly isn’t the only alcohol delivery service out there. Currently, they have a few big competitors: Saucey, Swill, and Minibar. Postmates also offers alcohol delivery, including beer, wine, and liquor in some markets.
It’s possible that Drizly may not be the most popular service in your area. You may find that one of their competitors has a hold on the stores in your neighborhood.
Before signing up, then, you might want to shop around to see which is the most popular service in your city.
This could help to keep you busy, earning tips, and avoiding slow days.
Drizly: An Alternative to Rideshares and Food Delivery
Other companies like Uber Eats and food delivery apps like Doordash have been great opportunities for a lot of people.
But those aren’t the only options out there.
Drizly’s one-partner model feels like it might prevent some people from making a lot of money. But there are actually several benefits.
First and foremost, it offers the security that a lot of gig-based jobs lack. By working exclusively with one store, Drizly contractors can get their schedules in advance. Despite the fact that you don’t always know how much you’ll earn, you will be able to plan your hours beforehand.
On top of that, you won’t have to worry about competing with other contractors for work. UberEats feels like a constant race to the best jobs. Drizly, on the other hand, minimizes competition by hiring only the number of workers they need.
In the end, this makes it a little easier to get constant work. Assuming that you’ll go the extra mile to earn tips, this steady schedule could help you to earn a decent income as a driver.