What strategies did Grab put in place to push its riders to take up more jobs?

Firstly, I must state that this is my personal opinion and analysis, so it's definitely not official. Also, I'm not doing this to critisise or judge anyone, in fact, I thought they do have some great strategy into motivating the riders.

Quests and Zone Boost


I think I've mentioned (and complained) many times about the Quests (both Weekend and Weekdays) being too difficult to meet. 

But there are riders out there that rode through the rain and for long hours daily just to hit those targets. Yes, it is possible to reach the minimum targets, if you stay outside for more than 6-7 hours daily and if you wish to hit the higher levels, then you would need to be out for more than 8-9 hours daily. 

I'll just give you an example.

The highest level of incentive for walkers for the Weekday Quest is 60 gems = 60 orders.

That means 12 orders per day. From my personal experience, I ever did 10 orders on a single weekday and I was outside riding for almost 11 hours in total! But it was on a Monday (which is said to be the "busiest" weekday). There are days whereby I stayed online for 5 hours and only got 3-4 jobs. 

Anyway, reaching 60 orders is a lot about luck and of course, the demand. I don't know if any walkers did reach that target, but I never did. I didn't even get close to that!

Zone Boost

Zone boost are extra gems (doesn't not count into the Quests gems!!) that you can earn if you happen to deliver in certain zones during certain period. 

For walkers, only orders completed in the Downtown Zone during 11:00 - 15:00 and 17:00 - 21:00 counts. Each order earns you 20 gems and you need a minimum of 40 gems to qualify. Each gems converts to $0.05.

Also there is the "Treasure Zone" which will appear randomly to random riders. So what happen is, it'll appear and you'll be given a limited time (usually 12-10 minutes) to rush into the zone. If you make it in there and did 1 order, you'll get the number of gems promised. Depending on timing, it could be as high as 90 gems and as low as 30+ gems (from my personal experience). Gems earn from Treasure Zone counts into Zone Boost.

To be honest, I think its nearly impossible for walkers to make it into the zone on time, even if they jog. If they're lucky enough to catch a bus (and it doesn't stop for the next few stops) then there is a slight chance for them to make it in on time! 

But of course, you can pray that Grab will be kind enough to give your the Treasure Zone when you're within walking distance!


During the extra peak seasons, like public holidays and especially the Christmas cum New Year period, Grab will come up with competitions that pit the riders against each other.

For example, they have an individual and Team mission competition just this Christmas period. Riders are placed into Teams of 4 randomly by Grab, and no one can change Team. (Sorry if you get team member like me.)

This competition is both complicated and well, shows how smart Grab is in making the riders work during their peak hours.

Firstly, different number of gems are awarded for differently timing and Zones. So obviously, more gems are awarded for the "Powerup" areas during the peak hours.

Note: These gems for the Team Mission competition DOES NOT count into Zone boost or Quests! They're solely for the Team Mission! 

Nope, I wouldn't tell you which Team I'm in.

You can only earn gems during 9:00 - 21:30, so night owl like me, basically don't get to earn much gems. Yes, sorry, my Team, I didn't contribute much, but I must admit, I do feel a little "pressured" to at least contribute a little. This feeling gets stronger when I saw that my team is just a little behind the team ahead of us.

And also, if you take a look at the picture above, you get +20 for every extra batch/group order, which means that if you have gotten batch/group order, you're actually earning lesser gems. Well, because it's not (50x2) but 50+20 for that 2 trips! So yeah, batch order becomes a "hindrance" for getting more gems for the competition!

And trust me, there are A LOT more batch/groups orders during this period!! In fact, you'll get at least 1 such order per day!

Anyway, there is also the individual competition which uses the same set of rules. But this time round, the 10 ten winners from their respective mode of delivery (walker and PMA in one category. PAB, bicycle, motorcycle and cars are all competing in the same category - good luck, the leg powered riders!) gets a prize. And hell, the prizes are attractive! The top prize for walker and PMA category is a Huawei Nova i7!

The team prize is well ... not as attractive. 

"Special"/Festive/Public Holidays Quests

Grab will have special quests during most festive seasons, whereby they either:

1) Group the public holiday into the Weekend Quest (say National Day falls on a Monday and that Monday will be counted into the Weekend Quest and of course, they'll increase the minimum target from say 20 trips to maybe 30 trips, the incentive amount earned per order stays about the same)

So if the original incentive is 20 orders = $10, it'll become 30 orders = $15.

2) Make a "special" quest just for the holidays. This usually happen for Christmas and New Year only. Like this year round, there is a daily "New Year Quest" whereby the minimum is 10 orders! Yes, 10 orders in one day! Well, I must say it's achievable, especially during the weekends, but yes, expect long working and WAITING hours!

The good thing is, all these Quests and Competitions runs simultaneously, so you're getting gems for all of them for every order you completed!

So if I completed an order complete at 18:00 on a weekday in Standard Zone during the Team Mission competition period, it will earn me - 50 gems for the Team Mission, 1 gem for the Weekday Quest and 0 gems for the Zone Boost (since walker only get Zone Boost in Downtown area).

Grab Benefits

Well, Grab riders does enjoy some benefits like offers, discounts and Birthday GrabFood Vouchers. However, you don't just enjoy the benefits by being a rider, some of the benefits requires you to work hard for them!

Grab groups the riders into Emerald, Ruby and Sapphire according to the trips they completed in a given month. Each tier will have different amount of benefits!

A very good example, Emerald riders don't get Birthday GrabFood Voucher at all, while Ruby riders enjoy $20 Birthday GrabFood Voucher while Sapphire riders enjoy $50 Birthday GrabFood Voucher.

There are other benefits that only Sapphire riders enjoys - Priority Queue for Grab Hotline (Pretty much useless if most riders are in this tier!), Grab Jacket Giveaway, Weekly Allowance for Downtown trips.

Compensations and Goodwill Rewards


While I don't really consider this as a "strategy" because it was forced out of Grab when riders got fed-up with waiting (some orders take up to 2 hours!) or that orders have gotten so huge, they risk spilling them or hurting themselves. (Search online and you'll find GrabMart orders with 2-3 cartons of beers or a packet of 5kg rice! Not to mention 8-10 McDonald's meals with upsized drinks!) Many riders would just outright cancel such orders when they receive one.

Grab, have to introduce extra compensation for such orders, hence we now have the "Long waiting time compensation" and "Large order compensation". What you can do is contact Grab (either via the in-app chat or call their hotline) and they'll review your order. The criteria for large order compensation is never clear, just a very vague "if it can't fit into the (Grab) bag, then it'll likely qualify". 

The large order compensation is $8.

Note: Always snap a photo of your order if you want to request for large order compensation! They'll ask you for that and then review it before giving you a respond.

For long waiting time, it's $4 for 30 minutes, $6 for an hour and $8 for 1.5 hours. I think it goes up with longer waiting time. The "timer" starts when you hit "I'm at restaurant" and ends when "Collect order" is hit. However, I do think Grab does track your GPS while validating your requests, so if your GPS is weak or doesn't mark your location correctly, it might affect the approval. They'll probably check against their own database too, so don't think you can just get the compensation by not pressing the buttons.

From my personal experience, Grab is rather "skeptical" about awarding this compensation if you waited for just around 30-35 minutes. 

I can only share my experience. Twice, I've waited for more than 30 minutes, up to 36 minutes and Grab rejected both my requests. (And I'm sure my GPS is working fine for the locations! And I'm sure there are riders waiting as long or longer than me!) So I don't know if they've "discretely" up the minimum waiting time. 

For orders with longer waiting hours (like obviously more than 45 minutes), they'll compensate accordingly, rounding down to the nearest 30 minute or hour.

Goodwill Rewards

These rewards are small "rewards" for riders in recognition of their efforts, it's usually given in these 2 cases:

1) If rider went to a restaurant only to find it closed and they have no choice but to cancel the order. You've to chat with the CS to cancel for you (else your cancellation rate will be affected)  and they'll need you to take photo of the closed shop as proof.

2) The order was cancelled after they arrived at the restaurant (meaning they've hit "I'm at restaurant"). So if you're there but forgot to hit the "I'm at restaurant", they might not award you the compensation. This is usually automatically given and requires no action from the rider.

These rewards are $2.50. 


At the end of the day, Grab does knows that its riders/drivers are the ones that help them earn their money. While I couldn't say Grab has been 100% fair, I must admit that Grab has great strategies to make their riders work hard for them. 

Even though I can't agree with everything they do (especially for the Treasure Zone, which cause riders to rush and speed) and also their "skeptical" attitude towards giving compensations.

I do hope that they consider the hardship of their riders and give the appropriate compensations when they deserve them! Remember that no one stays as the market leader all the time.

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