When you sign up to work for Amazon Flex, you will either be working a warehouse block or a restaurant block.
Today's article will take a look at how to work the restaurant block as an Amazon Flex driver.
The restaurant block is commonly referred to as "Hot Wheels."
Items Required to Work the Restaurant Block
In addition to the standard requirement of a phone and charger, you are required to have hot/cold insulation bags.
Failure to use insulated bags can lead to your account being suspended or permanently deactivated if you are found to be in violation of this requirement constantly.
Insulated bags are available at the Amazon Prime warehouse. They are good quality, and the branding helps you look professional which helps with making a good first impression.
However, should you for one reason or another have to buy the bag for yourself, here are two recommendations.
Earthwise Large Insulated Reusable Grocery Bag Shopping Hot Cold Thermal Cooler w/zipper closure.
This bag is available on Amazon for approximately $12.
It comes in a set of two. It's large enough to accommodate multiple items and has long straps that make carrying easier. It's also made of durable material that is easy to wipe clean should there be a spill.
This bag is available on Amazon for approximately $23. This bag can fit up to 2 20" pizzas. It is pricey, but it is durable and keeps pizza nice and hot.
Restaurant Block Location Assignment
An hour before your selected block is scheduled to begin you will receive notification on your Amazon Flex app of where to be.
The location will be a street intersection. This differs from the warehouse block where your location is an actual warehouse.
The restaurant block location is in proximity to some restaurants Amazon expects food delivery orders to come in from.
Another key difference to note is that when you're working the warehouse block, work begins shortly after arriving at the warehouses. With the restaurant block even though you are assigned a location most of the time when you get there you will be waiting. Waiting for a delivery order to come in.
Things to do when you arrive at the Restaurant Block Location
When you are near or at your assigned location, check in on your Amazon Flex app that you have arrived. If there are connectivity issues, your app gives you an option to click a button that says you have arrived, but GPS is not working. Don't get into the habit of using this button as Amazon might think that you are being dishonest and are not where you say you are.
Scout out a good place to park and wait. Make sure it is a spot where you can easily exit. Also, make sure that there are no cellphone connectivity issues. Some areas can be dead zones, and you will need to avoid them, so you don't miss stops assigned to your route.
Amazon Flex recommends you stay in the assigned location, but some drivers choose to move around. This may happen when you are trying to move closer to the hot zones, secure a better parking spot or trying to avoid parking charges.
You may also choose to move closer to home if you are getting close to the end of your shift and no orders have come in.
When a Restaurant Block Order Comes In
When an order comes in, you will receive notification of a new stop added to your route. You will also be given a time range within which to arrive at the new location.
That time corresponds to how long it takes to prepare the items that have been ordered. It's usually about ten minutes.
Accept the stop on the app and then proceed to the indicated location.
When you get to the restaurant, always check to see if the order is ready. If the order is not ready, find out how long it will take, if it takes longer than the time indicated on the app, figure out how long it will take you to get to the customer using GPS. If you find that you are going to be late as a result of the delay at the restaurant, advise Amazon support immediately. This is because late deliveries count against you.
Amazon support will open a ticket and make a record against the order. This is important because you can use this should there ever be an issue about you making late deliveries when the reasons are out of your control.
Delivering Food items
When the order is ready, confirm the items against the list then put the items into your insulated bags and proceed to make the delivery.
Once the customer receives the items and verifies them, mark the delivery complete in the app.
If you are unable to reach the customer either by phone or by knocking on the door, alert Amazon support. They will also attempt to contact the customer. If they are unsuccessful, they will advise you to keep trying for a short while. If you are still unable to reach the customer, they will advise you to return the food to the restaurant.
Do not return the items to the restaurant without alerting Amazon support first. This is to prevent the customer from using the excuse that you never tried to make contact.
Notification of Additional Stops
While you are making a delivery, additional stops may be added to your route. Do not accept the new stops until you are done with your current delivery. If you do so, you will mess up your timing and find yourself running late.
Always complete your current delivery and then proceed to the next stop after marking the prior one complete.
Advantages of Working Amazon Flex Restaurant blocks
Amazon Flex drivers make a flat rate of $18/hour. Restaurant blocks are usually two hours, so you are guaranteed to earn at least $36 for a job that involves more waiting than doing actual deliveries.
There is less wear and tear on your vehicle since you are not driving long distances or constantly in motion.
There is a higher chance of getting tipped as people are used to tipping for food deliveries.
You can end your shift early because it ends when the delivery is complete and not when the block says it ends.
Challenges of Working Amazon Flex Restaurant blocks
The biggest challenge being reported is Amazon's proprietary navigation app. It is not always accurate. This makes you have to use a back up like Google Maps. Using a backup GPS requires you to enter the address manually. This creates room for more errors plus it eats into your delivery time.
Another challenge is the lack of live support. If you have any issues, e.g., unable to reach the customer, you need to call a national hotline number. You have to wait to be assisted. While the wait is short, it still uses up valuable time.
Despite these challenges, Amazon Flex is still one of the better delivery jobs currently available in the market.