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ClusterTruck helps drivers earn money through the pandemic

Posted at 6:39 PM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-24 16:58:20-04

INDIANAPOLIS — It's a gig that specifically puts food at people's fingertips. With the swipe of an app, anyone can order ClusterTruck and have a driver like Andrea Kiah, deliver food right to their front door.

"We usually have over 100 at lunchtime," Kiah said.

She explained how she started working for ClusterTruck during the pandemic. Before then, she had no idea it existed.

"And I say, 'What is that?' And then I had a Cuban sandwich, and it was over," Kiah said.

Delicious food aside, it's an income through gig work like this one that has helped Kiah make ends meet.

"Anybody that knows me knows that I work at least two least," Kiah said.

With so many jobs in her lifetime, she said ClusterTruck is her favorite so far.

"If anybody is looking for a really flexible gig job, this is, this is perfect," Kiah said.

The flexible hours and extra cash are just a few of the perks Kiah, and others, value.

According to MetLife, the gig economy shows that nearly 30 million Americans got their primary income from gig work in 2019. This includes military veterans like Kevin Kennedy. He said that was his only source of income during the pandemic.

"If you needed money, you weren't going to be hurting because it was there all day long, you know?" Kennedy said.

He's worked for ClusterTruck 60 to 70 hours a week.

"Easily, easily 60," he said. "But when you're not grinding and you're not stressing and everything, it doesn't feel like it."

Whether it's driving for extra income or biking, IUPUI Kelley School of Business economist, Kyle Anderson, said it's a business that has plenty of job opportunities.

"If you want to do gig work then, you're going to have that opportunity," Anderson said.

He admits the job market in 2021 is fluctuating due to the pandemic, but he calls it a routine process.

"I see markets working, right? So, I see you know supply-and-demand changing and things shift, and the prices change, but that's OK. That's what should happen in a dynamic market," Anderson said.

Right now, customers might be paying the price for some gig-related services. Anderson said all businesses are feeling a financial pinch.

"So either they're going to have to pay their drivers less or they're going to have to charge customers more," he said.

However, for ClusterTruck drivers, like Kiah, she's boosted her credit score and improved her finances, proving the gig economy is still alive in Indianapolis.

"Made my goals, it's good. I get to sleep well at night," she said.

If you're interested in working for ClusterTruck, here are a few things you need to know: Right now, the business has locations throughout Indiana, including downtown Indy, Carmel, Broad Ripple, Fishers, and Castleton. The hours vary a bit from location to location, but most are open from 8 or 9 a.m. to 9 or 10 p.m. daily.

WRTV asked ClusterTruck if the number of deliveries dipped during the pandemic. Quite the opposite, in fact. ClusterTruck officials said the surge of delivery due to the pandemic has normalized ordering to homes, even when there is no special occasion.

They've even more than 1,000 orders in one day. On average, drivers make four to six deliveries an hour. ClusterTruck drivers make $2 for each delivery, plus 100% of the tips they earn. If the tip is less than $2.50, ClusterTruck will add an additional corresponding amount to ensure it's at least $4.50 for each delivery.

There is currently a waiting list for ClusterTruck drivers, but ClusterTruck has multiple locations opening later this year in Indianapolis. So, they will be seeking new drivers soon.

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