Typical Food Delivery Driver Earnings (Thailand – 2021)
In the last few years Thailand has had a surge in use of food-delivery apps and have had waves of primarily college students signing up to be delivery drivers, and many wonder how much such jobs pay, either because they are looking into it for employment means, or simply because they’re curious.
While we haven’t personally driven for any food delivery service in Thailand we’ve known many many drivers and asked them about their earnings, and ultimately this is where we get out information. Not quite first-hand, but dang-near close to it. We’re give a brief summary, then dive into the details about the job, requirements, and earnings drivers can expect to receive.
The quick summary would be: Both Grab and Foodpanda delivery drivers earn a modest wage that is around 200,000 Baht per year up to about 450,000 Baht if they drive in a higher cost of living city and/or work very very long hours, or in other words a modest wage that can afford a modest lifestyle in a basic studio apartment, however saving money, investing, or supporting a family is not really possible as a food-delivery driver in Thailand.
The above figures are from early 2020 and previous years, since covid caused a drop in tourism and thus demand for food-deliveries to some extent these figures are about 10-20% higher than what they currently are in some touristy-areas like the island regions. Grabfood and Foodpanda there aren’t paying very good due to lack of tourists and general economic issues. In Bangkok and Chiang Mai rates haven’t really changed from what we’ve seen.
This is assuming you work a normal workweek maybe with a little overtime, if you’re a student or only work for grab or foodpanda 10 hours a week you’ll only get 1/4th or 1/5th the above salary in most cases, but hey it’s enough to help pay for a motorbike or food while in university.
What are the Requirements to Deliver for Grabfood or Foodpanda?
The requirements are relatively simple and straight-forward in Thailand — so long as you’re a Thai citizen you can work as a delivery driver assuming you have a motorbike and license to drive one and are over the age of 18. You’ll also need to have a bank account to receive reimbursements for Cash-On-Delivery transactions from Grab or Foodpanda, they recommend using KasikornThaiBank as you receive the funds quicker this way.
Beyond this there’s no real requirements, however you should have driven a motorbike quite a bit before and be able to drive it well, as well as ideally know the city you plan to drive in quite well. This is because if not you’ll have to rely on maps to get you to your delivery spot all the time, as not only does it take more time to use a map, but it’s incredibly annoying to rely on a map for your deliveries and will hurt your delivers per hour.
Should You Become a GrabEats or Foodpanda Delivery Driver?
We’d say if you are a college student looking for a little extra money for some part-time work on the weekends or during peak-delivery hours, or if you just are out of college or aren’t going to college but live with family/friends and are looking to build a saving to buy your own motorbike (if you use your families), or whatever it may be, and don’t mind working hard to achieve what you desire, then being a food-delivery driver in Thailand is a good choice for a few months at least. It’s hard work, but truly how hard and much you work determines how much you get paid, so if you don’t mind working all day then you can really earn a fantastic amount of money quite quickly.
But we don’t believe you should see working as delivery driver as a career — your pay won’t go up and the work won’t get easier. Treat it as side-income or treat it as a way to give yourself a head-start as an adult, getting enough money for a new motorbike, or money to buy a good labtop so you can make money online.
How Much Can You Make Being a Driver Throughout Thailand?
You can make either work just a handful of hours a week and make a little money, or you can earn quite a good wage if you work overtime. As mentioned above you can expect around 18,000 Baht a month if you work a moderate-average work week (30 -> 40 hours/week) to around 40,000 baht a month if you work over-time and attentively (50+ hours/week) and always do peak-times while also working weekends. Keep in mind I’m taking expenses of gas and motorbike repairs out, this is what you should keep before taxes.
Those figures are for most cities in Thailand, if you’re in Bangkok (or Phuket City) you’ll be compensated and make a little more in most cases. But if you’re in Chiang Mai, Pattaya, or Hua Hin you can expect about that.
Generally what this all means is you get a bit better than most service jobs or restaurant jobs, unless you work over-time and work weekends/peak-hours. If you do work them as well you can make quite good money.
Just keep in mind you’ll have to work in the heat on a motorbike and potentially in the rain during monsoon season (May -> September-ish), which makes it not the best job during certain times of the year, and in Cities like Chiang Mai often times when the rain hits in the evening many restaurants will not accept food-delivery orders as they don’t want to put drivers in such conditions.
How Can You Increase These Earnings?
Other than driving during “peak hours” (usually meal times) and working on weekends, make sure you enable the option for English-deliveries/clients, as generally foreigners are more likely to tip (give extra money/gift if delivery was quick) and tips really go a long way for delivery drivers in Thailand, as a single delivery likely only nets between 15 Baht and 30 Baht unless it’s a very expensive order, so even a small tip really helps out in terms of income.
Beyond this though, there’s nothing more you can really do. Everything else puts you at-risk of accidents/injury (going too fast) or being fired/banned (working for both companies at once), so really beyond those all you can do is work more hours if you want to earn more as a delivery driver in Thailand.