Online Side Hustles

How to Make Money Daily Doing Food Delivery in South Africa

How to Make Money Daily Doing Food Delivery in South Africa

Food delivery apps like Mr D Food, Uber Eats and Bolt Food provide an easy way for anyone with a bicycle or scooter to earn extra daily income in South Africa.

By becoming a delivery driver for on-demand food platforms, you can choose your own hours and make over R6,000 per month working just a few hours a day. This offers an excellent flexible side hustle opportunity.

Here is a complete guide to start earning through food delivery services in South Africa:

What is Food Delivery Driving?

Food delivery drivers, also called couriers, deliver takeout meals prepared by restaurants to customers’ homes or offices.

Using an app like Uber Eats, you get notified when a nearby user places an order, drive to the restaurant, pick up the food and then deliver it to the customer’s address.

It provides fast and convenient meal delivery while allowing you to work on your schedule.

Key Benefits of Food Delivery Driving

Food delivery offers major perks as a side hustle business:

  • Be your own boss – Set your own hours instead of working fixed shifts.
  • Earn daily pay – Get paid weekly or cash out earnings daily.
  • Use any vehicle – Deliver via car, motorcycle, scooter or bicycle.
  • Flexibility to travel – Great gig for digital nomads and travelers.
  • Meet new people – Connect with local restaurants and customers.
  • Get exercise – Alternative to rideshare for walkers/cyclists.
  • Low startup costs – Only need a smartphone, bag and delivery vehicle.
  • Unlimited earning potential – Work more to make more.

With little experience required, food delivery is one of the most accessible ways to earn on demand.

How Much Can Delivery Drivers Earn?

Food couriers can expect to earn between R15 – R25 per order on average. However, during peak lunch and dinner times, earnings per order can reach over R30.

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Assuming you complete just 5 deliveries per hour at an average of R20 per delivery, you could earn R100 per hour.

If you work around busy mealtimes 3 hours per day, 5 days per week, you could easily make over R6,000 per month.

Most delivery drivers aim for 10+ deliveries per hour to maximize earnings. Popular times with high demand include 12-2 PM for lunch and 6-9 PM for dinner.

Platforms like Mr D Food also highlight busy “Hotspots” on the map to target. Major office parks, malls and residential areas have the most delivery demand.

Vehicle Requirements

To deliver food orders, you can use:

  • A car, motorbike or scooter to maximize deliveries and travel faster.
  • A bicycle to earn as a cyclist getting exercise while working.
  • Walking on foot in high density urban areas like city centers and university campuses.

As long as you have a safe, legal vehicle that’s kept clean, you can deliver via any transport method based on your location.

How to Get Started with Leading Companies

Signing up as a courier with top food delivery platforms in South Africa is easy:

Mr D Food

  1. Download the Mr D Food Driver app.
  2. Enter your details and submit for screening.
  3. Complete an online delivery profile including banking.
  4. Wait for your background and eligibility check to clear.
  5. Complete training modules on delivery procedures.
  6. Get approved – receive a uniform, gear and starter kit.
  7. Set your availability and start accepting orders in the app.

Uber Eats

  1. Download the Uber Eats app.
  2. Submit your details for review including any required licenses.
  3. Get provisionally approved and then complete onboarding.
  4. Upload vehicle details and insurance docs.
  5. Complete food safety training via the app.
  6. Start receiving delivery requests and earn money.

Bolt Food

  1. Download the Bolt Driver app and create an account.
  2. Provide identifying and vehicle details for approval.
  3. Review delivery requirements andActivate your account.
  4. Receive an insulated delivery bag and starter kit.
  5. Set your availability to get notified of nearby orders.

Once approved, you can set your own hours based on when you want to work.

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Maximizing Your Delivery Earnings

Follow these tips to earn the most per hour as a courier:

Work Peak Rush Hour Times

The lunch (11am-2pm) and dinner (5pm-9pm) rush hours is when consumer demand surges, leading to the highest order volumes.

Schedule yourself to work as many of these peak hours as possible. More orders equals more deliveries completed and more income earned.

During slow periods, you may wait longer between orders, wasting valuable time. Focus on being out driving during the daily rush.

Target Areas With High Density Demand

Not all areas have equal food delivery demand.

Look at historical data in the delivery app to identify neighborhoods, office parks, universities and other areas that receive the most orders.

These high density areas allow you to minimize empty downtime between drop-offs.

Target hotspots where you can chain multiple orders efficiently. Being strategic about high volume areas results in more earnings per hour on the road.

Use Motorized Transportation

To maximize deliveries completed per hour, use transportation that optimizes your speed.

Motorized options like mopeds, e-bikes and scooters allow you to travel faster, chain orders, and take more direct routes compared to walking or pedal biking.

The faster you can complete each order, the more deliveries and income you can tally during busy shifts.

Consider getting a 150cc moped license and reliable scooter or e-bike to improve your output.

Hit Bonus Targets

Many delivery platforms offer bonus incentives if you complete a certain number of orders during a shift or week.

For example, earn an extra R50 if you complete 15+ orders between 5-9pm on Fridays.

Take advantage of these bonus opportunities by putting in the hours to hit special targets during busy events and peaks.

This can significantly boost your weekly pay.

Prioritize Restaurants With Quick Pickup Times

Time waiting at restaurants for orders equates to lost potential income.

When deciding between order opportunities, accept pickups from vendors known for having orders ready as soon as you arrive.

Establish relationships with prompt restaurants.

Avoid slow establishments – that idle time adds up over a shift.

Quick pickups keep you moving to finish more deliveries per hour worked.

Learn Optimal Local Routes

Master shortcuts, side streets, and other ways to minimize transit time between stops.

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Don’t just rely on Google Maps.

Learn ways to optimize point A to point B travel based on time of day factors like traffic patterns and lights.

Memorize the most direct local routes to shave minutes off each order. This increased efficiency results in more income per hour on the road.

Provide 5-Star Customer Service

Go above and beyond to complete every delivery professionally and pleasantly.

Follow instructions for deliveries.

Keep hot food hot.

Check orders for accuracy.

Smile, thank the customer and move quickly.

Your tips, ratings and reviews will benefit over the long run by providing amazing service. This leads to retention and more orders over time.

Track Income and Deliveries

Consistently track key metrics like how many deliveries you complete each hour, your resulting income per hour, tips earned and ratings.

This data helps you understand how to schedule smarter to maximize your income.

Notice which days and shift times are most lucrative to prioritize in the future. Review the data to make smarter decisions.

Making the most of every hour takes preparation, hustle and smart optimization. Follow these tips to improve your delivery income.

Putting in the hours during peak times and maximizing every shift by moving quickly is key to making the most money daily.

Key Takeaways

  • Food delivery provides flexible, on demand work making R100+ per hour during busy times.
  • Popular platforms include Mr D Food, Uber Eats and Bolt Food.
  • Couriers can earn R15 – R30+ per delivery completed.
  • Using a bicycle, scooter or motorcycle allows more deliveries per hour.
  • Peak lunch and dinner hours have the highest order volume.
  • Dense urban areas and malls have the most demand.
  • Work hard during every shift to maximize income.


Food delivery presents an easy opportunity to leverage your free time, vehicle and local knowledge to earn supplemental daily income.

With platforms like Uber Eats and Mr D Food handling the orders and payments, it provides a turnkey solution.

As long as you don’t mind being on the road completing deliveries, it offers an engaging side hustle with high earning potential.

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About the author

Kevin is a location independent freelancer, blogger, and side hustler located in South Africa. Originally from Kenya, he worked as a digital marketing developer for 5 years before making the leap to full-time freelancing.

Kevin has been featured in publications like Entrepreneur Magazine and The South African for his work promoting freelancing and side hustles in South Africa. When he's not working with clients or updating Freelancian, you can find him exploring new destinations as a digital nomad.

Want to share your own freelancing or side hustle story? Have a question for Kevin? Just want to say hello? You can contact Kevin and the Freelancian team at:

Email: [email protected]
X: @freelancian

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