Tech round-up: Getting the right number of riders

How do we make sure there’s the right number of riders on the road?

Here at Deliveroo, you – the riders – are at the heart of what we do. Whether you ride with us to fund your studies, save up for something special, or support your loved ones, we’re committed to offering you the well-paid, flexible work you tell us you want. And we take your earnings incredibly seriously.

Thanks to your feedback, we designed self-serve booking to ensure fair access to the flexible work you want. This allows you to manage when you work, all at the touch of a button.

But it does much more than just that.

It works by matching the number of orders we expect customers will make (order volume) with the number of riders needed to deliver them. This means whenever you choose to ride, you have more security over how much you can earn.

As well as order volume, the tool takes a number of other factors into account, such as seasonal trends and holidays e.g. Valentines Day to help us determine the number of sessions to make available in each zone, for every hour, in all our cities and countries around the world!

What about when unpredictable things happen?

For example, the rain starts pouring or there’s a huge football game, which may have an immediate and unexpected effect on the number of orders that are placed and therefore the number of riders needed. The system adjusts based on what each zone currently needs. This is why it’s always a good idea to check back in the app or tap ‘notify’ so you don’t miss out when more sessions become available! Or, you can always just go online at the last minute when there’s space.

Our technology is constantly monitoring order demand, and learning from new and existing trends, so we can become even more accurate at predicting the number of orders we expect to receive. We are working hard to improve our technology, so we can plan for these last minute changes.


How does this affect the number of new riders we onboard?

Riding with Deliveroo is designed to be flexible. This means you can go for as long as you want without working, for example when you have exams or plan to go travelling.

We also use technology to work out how many new riders are needed to meet order volume in every area. We look at:

  • How many sessions riders are booking
  • How many riders currently decide to work in that city
  • How many riders we expect to come back each week, including those who may not have worked with us in a while

Using this information, we know how many new riders are needed to make up the right number of riders on the road to deliver a great service. When we have enough riders in an area we stop onboarding, to make sure your earnings are protected.

Once we know that number, over the following weeks the number of riders in a city will increase or decrease. If we’ve got the right number of riders in an area we’ll stop onboarding, and only bring new riders in to replace those who stop working with us.

However as sudden changes affect the number of orders placed, we don’t always get the number of riders needed completely right. We do keep a close eye every week to decide if we need to increase or decrease the numbers of new riders onboarding.

Frequently Asked Questions

Over certain periods such as public or school holidays, there tend to be fewer customers around as many of us go on holiday, which is why we expect to be a little quieter than normal.

At times when fewer customers are expected to order, there may be fewer sessions available to work. This helps make sure that when you ride, you have access to the deliveries that mean you can earn great fees.