Hello and welcome to the first in a series of interviews with the most important people we have in our business and team - the riders.
Every other month we will sit down and talk to a different exceptional rider about their experiences on the road, likes and dislikes, and any insights they might have along the way.
It's a chance to get to know who exactly it is that makes Ryde, Ryde.
So, without further ado, please meet Yassin Barka. Yassin has been working with Ryde for close to 6 months and has been a courier for 2 years - working with multiple companies across the industry. He rides bikes, e-bikes and mopeds.
We sat down with Yassin on the 20th of October 2021 and spoke all things riding.
Yassin, hello, thanks for doing this. I firstly wanted to ask you how it was you came to work in this industry? How and why did you first become a rider?
So, when I first arrived to the UK I started working in a kitchen. I had very basic language and it worked well because no one asked me anything, just told me what to do. I had a friend who had been in the country for one or two years before me and he said, ‘Why don’t you start delivering for some of these companies?’ I wasn’t sure at first because honestly, I didn’t know anything about it. Would it be enough to pay my bills and rent? But I said to him, ‘Listen, ok, let’s try’. After a long time working in that kitchen, I told them it wasn’t going to work for me anymore. It was too much stress and too much work for what they paid. So, I left and started working with some of the other delivery companies and it went very well for me – I ended the month, and I paid my bills! It’s what I’ve been doing since.
So, working in this industry you interact with customers a lot. You’re the final point of contact before they receive their order. Having something delivered is all about making a person’s life easier. But I wondered if there is anything you can think of that customers could do to make your life easier as a rider?
Good question. Some people don’t put the number of their door on an order, maybe just the street - so you’re lost. You follow your maps (which might send you the wrong way) and then it’s quite hard to explain we don’t know their exact location. People don’t know what happens behind the scenes sometimes.
Oh, and the number of customers who answer the door in their underwear is too high! Just put on a shirt and pants and you’ll be fine.
Are there any other challenges you have found when doing this kind of work?
There’s a lot of competition. Really a lot. With COVID, I’ve seen a lot of people start with Deliveroo and UberEats, on scooters, on bikes. That’s why I heard about you (Ryde). Getting shifts with you for Gorillas and others works really well. I heard they give bikes and helmets and so now I ride with them through you.
And when riding for us or other companies, do you prefer on-demand work that is flexible, or shift work that guarantees your hours?
I think shift work because you know how it’s going to be. You know the hours you’re going to work, and you know how much you’re going to get. It’s more predictable. It’s better. On demand work is not always continuous. You could be on break for half an hour, an hour. You can make money with on demand, but for me I prefer the shifts.
I wanted to ask you about your experience on the road, specifically if there is anything that springs to mind as surprising or memorable that you have seen or experienced?
Honestly, when I drop something off, especially with 10-minute grocery companies, and a customer has their mouth open because they can’t believe it. It’s so quick. They say, “you are amazing guys – it’s less than ten minutes”. Customers can’t believe it. I find that memorable. Especially if the warehouse is down the road from them, and it only takes 5 minutes. For them, it’s like magic.
And finally, a question we want to end each interview with – if you could travel to any country you’ve not been to before, which would it be?
Oh, of course it would be America. Miami, especially Miami. For the weather, the environment, and I think I’d like the city. It’s beautiful.
Thanks so much Yassin, it’s been a pleasure talking to you.
Thank you so much, you too!