The Confessions of Philly’s Delivery Brigade

Drunk people, our city’s banana obsession, and the joy of delivering Taco Bell at 3 a.m.

From left: Dario Kelly, Juana Serrano, and Ryan Zipkas. Photography by Claudia Gavin.

From left: Dario Kelly, Juana Serrano, and Ryan Zipkas. Photography by Claudia Gavin.

Dario Kelly, UberX

Age: Thirty-five.
Where do you live? Broomall.
How did you become an UberX driver? I saw this ad that said something like, “Make $90,000 driving for UberX!” And I thought, Ooh, that would be nice to add to my income.
So what are you making? My average paycheck is $500 to $600 a week.
Was it hard to get the job? Nope. Within two or three weeks, I was set up.
What do you drive? A 2008 Lexus ES-350.
What other jobs have you had? I’ve been selling real estate for Coldwell Banker since 2013.
What’s the longest trip you’ve taken? I took a guy from Norristown to New York. I think the fare was $279.
Who’s your average rider? Students. St. Joseph’s, Drexel, Villanova.
Where are they all going? Manayunk. Everyone wants to go to Manayunk. Or that club on 15th and Sansom.
Best part of the job? Meeting all these crazy people. And the extra income.
What’s the worst part? Drunk people.
How often do you drive? Seven days a week.

Juana Serrano, Instacart

Age: Forty-seven.
Where do you live? Southwest Philadelphia.
How did you get connected with Instacart? My son’s girlfriend. She works for them, too.
What other jobs have you held? My background is in construction, but then I got hurt.
What do you drive? A Chrysler Town & Country minivan.
What’s the most common item requested? Bananas are very popular. I think there must be a special banana diet.
How much do you make? Fifteen dollars to $20 an hour.
Are your customers picky? With the bananas, people want them all yellow. No green. No brown. That’s pretty easy when you’re buying one banana, but when people want pounds and pounds, it’s tough.
Where are most of the customers? Center City and University City, but we go to the suburbs as well.
Best part of the job? Freedom. I set my own schedule.
Worst part? Heavy packages.
Favorite place to shop? Reading Terminal, even though it’s hectic and crazy. I like the hustle and bustle and zipping through the crowds.

Ryan Zipkas, Postmates

Age: Twenty-seven.
Where do you live? I’ve lived in Philadelphia for most of my life, but right now I’m in West Chester.
How did you connect with Postmates? I started reading about them on all these different tech sites.
What were you doing before this? I was in retail management for many years. A Vans store … and Best Buy.
What do you drive? An Infiniti G-35.
What’s the most common item ordered? To-go food from Chipotle and Shake Shack. The number of orders from those places is pretty outstanding.
Anything weird you’re asked to pick up? Play-Doh. And ping-pong balls and Solo cups.
What’s the average tip? Ten to 15 percent.
What’s the biggest order you’ve had? We get some $1,500 catering orders from Chipotle.
What’s the best part of your job? Being able to make people happy, seeing that big sausage smile on their faces when you show up with their food, like the Temple kids who want Taco Bell at 3 a.m.
Worst part? The PPA.

Originally published as “Courier Confessionals” in the April 2015 issue of Philadelphia magazine.