Foodora Vienna: Be green and stay fit, while feeding the city’s busiest

These days you'd be hard-pressed to pass through one of Vienna's districts to the next, without encountering Foodora's friendly fuchsia logo zipping by on one of their many backpack-carrying couriers. Now, the city's biggest bike delivery firm is on the look-out for new recruits. If you're a bike lover with a bit of extra time to earn cash, read on to learn about freelancer Christina Ryan's experience on the job and how it just might be the perfect fit for you, too.

Foodora Vienna: Be green and stay fit, while feeding the city’s busiest
Photo: Foodora riders taking a break on the Wienzeile
As a life-long cyclist and someone who has enjoyed working freelance for many years, I never thought there would be a way to unite these two aspects of my life until I moved to Vienna and found Foodora.
An app-based food delivery company with operations in 10 cities around the globe, Foodora offers food from unique cafes and restaurants brought to your door by bicycle. Their service model has proven itself to be not only fast and reliable, but environmentally friendly.
Every network is built on relationships with local restaurants that offer so much more than your typical pizza joint or kebab place. With the best in global gastronomy that Vienna has to offer, the Foodora menu has everything from haute-cuisine, to the perfect gourmet burger, or a wide array of vegan fare. 
As a rider, you can earn up to €12 an hour plus tips and you’re free to build your own schedule. You choose when you work using an app and can swap shifts simply by conferring with another colleague. This flexibility makes it a great way to earn extra cash or to go deeper and immerse yourself in Vienna’s bike delivery scene.
For new recruits, the only requirements are a mobile phone, your own bike (or an equally green and speedy mode of transport), and a friendly attitude. When I worked as a rider, I saw it as an opportunity to supplement the income I make from freelance translation projects.
I began in November 2015, which may seem like the silliest time to start a job that takes place largely outdoors, but it turned into a truly enriching experience that got me through the miseries of winter. 
As I had just moved to Vienna, the warm camaraderie I found amongst the other riders made me feel welcome right away. With each shift, I would meet both new and familiar faces from all corners of the world.
Not only did I regularly find myself in engaging conversations around the communal garage with musicians, engineers, programmers, actors, scientists, and artists who just so happened to ride for Foodora on the side, but the rider managers prioritized the organization of monthly “rider events”, in which this community spirit went well beyond just shop talk.
Foodora rider events regularly take place at different hot spots around Vienna, where riders gather around beers to hold quiz nights, present their musical skills, or just hang out. 
The video below gives you a feel for how a Foodora rider goes about a typical order…
As a newbie to Vienna, another surprising benefit riding for Foodora was the challenge of learning to find my way around the city’s streets and districts, but at a very reasonable pace. A typical shift lasts around three or four hours, in which you will take care of anywhere from four to 12 orders, depending on your speed and the demand for orders given the time of day.
Based on where you are most often sent to pick up food, you quickly learn about the most popular eateries in the city and how to get there simply by muscle memory.
Not only did I learn where to eat, but interacting with Foodora’s hugely diverse customer base allowed me glimpses into many Viennese lifestyles; students hard at work, young start-ups operating out of apartments, established businesses, and bustling families feeding their children at the end of a busy day.
There’s also a singular feeling of accomplishment at the end of a shift, knowing the amount of ground that you’ve traversed in such a short amount of time and the number of mouths that have been fed!
I also remember those periods of downtime, taking advantage of the lull to sail down the Ringstrasse and take in the Danube air or to enjoy a quiet moment in the historic Volksgarten while waiting for my next order.
Of course, bike maintenance is a necessary hassle for any cyclist. But, as a part of the Foodora team, you'll have the added perk of access to repair services during the busiest hours of the week.
So, in case of a flat tyre or a snapped chain, you can head to a garage which also houses a community workshop where Foodora's bike aficionados collaborate to realize their own independent projects. If you’re passionate about bikes, you’ll not only find good company, but a world of ideas, advice and spare parts.   
If you have a sense of adventure and the need for some extra cash, if you value community and, of course, if you love cycling, click here to apply.
This article was produced by The Local and sponsored by Foodora


How did the Wiener Schnitzel become an Austrian icon?

Despite being Austria's national dish, the origins of the Wiener Schnitzel lie further south. Here's the story of how the breaded meat dish came to popularity in Austria.

How did the Wiener Schnitzel become an Austrian icon?

The Wiener Schnitzel might be almost as famous at the city of Vienna itself; so much so the BBC says the Wiener Schnitzel “defines Vienna”. 

It turns out however that the dish was not invented in Austria at all. 

Even though there is Wiener (Viennese) in the title, the schnitzel actually originated from Milan in Italy as cotoletta alla Milanese, although the original recipe used a thicker cut of meat and was cooked with the bone in.

How did the Wiener Schnitzel become an Austrian icon?

As with many stories delving into Austrian history, the tale of the Wiener Schnitzel involves royalty, mythology and nobility. 

The story goes that Czech nobleman and Austrian Field Marshal Joseph Radetzky brought the recipe back to Vienna from Milan in 1857 after a trip there during the Habsburg rule.

READ MORE: Which Austrian cheeses are protected foods and why?

Radetzky described the dish as a “deliciously breaded veal cutlet” and the emperor requested the recipe. It was a huge success and the schnitzel quickly became popular across Vienna.

Today, the humble schnitzel is the country’s national dish and a key part of Austria’s culture.

You can even find it in cafes and bakeries as a sandwich version called Schnitzelsemmel, which is a schnitzel served in a bread roll.

What is a Wiener Schnitzel?

In case there are some readers out there that are unfamiliar with the Wiener Schnitzel, it is a piece of veal that is breaded and fried, then served with potatoes and a wedge of lemon. 

National Geographic describes the dish as “unassuming” but don’t let that fool you. The schnitzel dominates most menus in Austria and can even be found in restaurants specialising in international cuisine.

The schnitzel is also popular in households across the country, but outside of restaurants it is often cooked with pork instead of expensive veal.

READ ALSO: Caffeine, war and Freud: A history of Vienna’s iconic coffee houses

How to make Wiener Schnitzel

Impressing your Austrian friends with a homemade Wiener Schnitzel is easy.

Simply pound the meat (veal or pork) to an even thinness. Then dip it in flour, followed by egg and breadcrumbs. Fry the meat until it is golden brown. You want it to be crispy but not burnt.

Serve with boiled potatoes and a lemon wedge. A side of cranberry sauce is optional but recommended.