How Much Does Grocery Delivery Pay
Grocery Delivery is booming, and if you choose to shop for and deliver groceries full time, your gross govery delivery pay can be at least or much better than the legal limit of $7.25 per hour in Georgia. Also, note in Georgia that tipped wages change the legal limit to $2.13. If you deliver groceries part-time and get benefits like health care coverage, retirement options like matching contributions, and disability from a full-time employer, then this type of service, just like ride-sharing, make for a comfortable side income. Or, conversely, if your partner’s benefits cover you.
If, however, you will be a full-time contract grocery shopping and delivery agent, then you may want to examine typical results and make the decision based on the balance of earnings versus risks. I chose to experiment with various contract jobs in the service industry because after moving to Atlanta, I found that my particular skillset was in low demand and with a hefty resume my options were severely limited. I’ve always been interested in investigative type journalism, and so I became the perfect control experiment for what it takes to “make a living” in the gig economy. I wanted to see if a person could genuinely live on an income based on the new digital provision of services economy. The answer is no, by the way.
In this journey, I began shopping and delivering groceries along with performing ride-sharing through Lyft and performing different deliveries for Roadie. I then also added website testing. In my ride-sharing experience here in Atlanta, I found that I did not enjoy the experience. That gig economy career was not for me or my car. Thus, my primary source of income was Instacart and Shipt. I do not have the protection or fallback from any employers, and I pay for my health benefits. By the time 2018 ends, I will have spent $6,976.00 towards health benefits that I have yet to use (thankful).
While working my gig economy jobs, I noticed some signs in Kroger, “Great Benefits!”, Because they needed additional employees. I applied for a Clicklist team member because my health insurance was expensive and if I was providing personal shopping already why not see if the “Great Benefits!” would pay off? They didn’t and what you have to do to acquire them is why retailers are running into issues this holiday season. Does Kroger have great benefits? In my opinion, the only one that made a difference was the discount on groceries and being able to rack up points that did not expire = gas discounts.
If I continue this through the end of 2018, next year Georgia could help subsidize my Healthcare.gov premium for another very high deductible plan in 2019. That is because the income I will generate based on my current contracting earnings will be above the poverty line but between $12,060 and $30,150. I took a look at one of these subsidized plans and basically, it’s a $6k deductible. In basic terms that means I don’t see a doctor unless I’m unconscious. Well, someone will take me, right?
After I joined Kroger as a part-time employee at less than I make per hour as an Instacart or Shipt employee I quickly found out that there are no benefits until you’ve worked about six months or met some hour threshold per week. This means having a gig economy job that pays more would have to give itself up for a much harder job (physically) for less pay. Of course, I knew this going in because Kroger employees can be very verbose on the Glassdoor website but I wanted to see just how close to Ocado-like grocery distribution Kroger was. Not close at all. The recent stock spiral with Kroger has been interesting to watch but why tout future technology if we’ve seen no current signs of massive changes except ousting plastic bags?
The Grocery Delivery Data
In other posts, I describe the how much tipping impacts grocery delivery and even suggest the typical ways to ensure proper tipping etiquette. Tipping is vital to your grocery delivery pay. You, the potential business person, should be keenly aware of all the ways to maximize your income but reduce your risk. The biggest risks I incur are loss or damage to my vehicle and being physically unable to shop or carry bags of groceries. I minimize those risks in a sundry of ways but equal to all are practicing safety. It comes down to delivering the most grocery trips in the least amount of time. The ways to maximize grocery delivery pay are speed, increasing customer service skills, and packaging food well.
Conversely, to maximize my earnings, I collected about thirty-two points of data that I use to make operational decisions about my actions. While Instacarts mobile application provides me with daily feedback, it is hobbled just enough to keep me harnessed. I am not an Instacart employee so how I use the app outside getting the order, scanning materials, and delivering them, doesn’t matter to them. They do not care if between ordering and delivery I were to become incapacitated or if the customer orders (10) cases of 24-pack waters. I prefer the Shipt scheduling mechanism but I think Instacart’s batching of double and triple orders is more on point with increasing income as well. Both have their qualities. The heated race to be the biggest grocer delivery agent is on! My experiments mean you find the best deals!
On July 4th, and in this land of opportunity, I ran a profit/loss report. My car was the most significant expense as well as health insurance. While I made USD 6K in four months mainly in Lyft, Instacart, Shipt, Roadie, Validately and TryMyUI, I spent USD 2.7K on a vehicle, health insurance, and other business expenses related to a home office. My car is a 2008 model and paid off. My free instance of Quickbooks Self Employed that Lyft offered me always says I owe nothing for estimated tax. Even if I didn’t have a mortgage, rent in Atlanta is nothing to sneeze at. At least the Kroger income was taxed, and Social Security paid through it. Think about that for just a moment. A part-time employee receives no benefits for at least six or more months depending on hours and funds into the social security system and yet receives no benefits for any type of health care. But is my experiment valid? Bernie Sanders believes that many “slightly better than minimum wage” workers are using government support while their CEO’s ride the billion dollar waves.
The Kroger Clicklist associate position is at least six times as physically brutal and Instacart or Shipt. It’s not the shopping or rushing to get orders completed; it’s the system that jams as much as possible inside plastic totes (bins) and no real room to maneuver. It’s the Atlanta heat, standing behind a vehicle that’s spewing exhaust while you pile in the groceries. I love the physically demanding part, but there are limitations. After 20+ years behind a computer and the last few working in a cubicle, continually moving is a nice change. The physical demand for slightly-better-than-minimum-wage experiment proved a success but I’ve proven my point, and I need to move on to something else.
In Comes Target
If you didn’t know, Kroger is a unionized workforce. Target’s workforce is not, and they have plans to have their hourly minimum wage set at $15.00 USD by 2020. Both companies have some curbside and grocery delivery services, only Target owns Shipt, and that is currently the only way to have them delivered. You can also order curbside and pickup. The huge difference is that you can add alot of Target’s other great goods (as long as they are in the store) to your Shipt order. I don’t know about you but tossing in a Netgear Router, some Command Strips, and a Toaster Over to my grocery order has a huge impact.
At Target the least a starting worker can make, in the Atlanta region, USD 11.50 per hour. The physical demands of lifting, loading, and moving plastic totes is gone. You still walk delivery items through the store, and sometimes big items, but it’s much more efficient and less back-breaking because of the equipment you can utilize. The backroom storage system Target has much more organized, and the only real challenge now is heights. Again, a physically engaging job that beats cubicle chaos by a mile.
So compare part-time work at a retailer with gig economy business (same hours) but use the impact of physical demands and vehicle costs. What comes out on top? In the gig-economy job, four months was worth almost USD 6,000 but the business expenses (including vehicle) were USD 3400. Of course, my experience and vehicle gas/maintenance could have been higher but even at half that it would only mean a net income of $1075 per month. I needed new tires during that test as well. If you can live on $1k per month, give us a comment about your shrewd financial capabilities. With true part-time work at Target, I can bring in the same income but less impact on the future of my vehicle and back.
You can make similar income at Kroger, but the beating on you will become quickly apparent. Target also separates the collection function and the curbside one. That is a huge difference!
A Side Note
If Target were to team up with Home Depot and Kroger with say Lowes, and these companies connect distribution channels so that you don’t need to run out still and pick something up when delivery is already on its way to your house? That’s the perfect solution, and that’s competing with Amazon. Until then you want the lowest price, with the best selection, and the best service. If I were a Target strategist that’s precisely what I would start researching. The total solution.
So who is the winner when it comes to income and grocery delivery pay? That depends on what you put into the work but if you don’t have a car get on Target.com today and start looking for a part-time gig. Like Kroger, Target offers their employees a 10% discount and if you are a Red Card user? Yep, more discounts on top of that. Neither company is posed, similar to Amazon, to provide part-time employees health benefits immediately.
Stay tuned for my next post as I add Target’s Shipt to the analysis to see who comes out on top when it comes to pricing goods that are home delivered. I’ll compare the same price list, so you understand exactly what you pay for.