Everything About A Food Delivery Driver Career

You consider becoming a food delivery driver but are not sure whether this is the right career for you or not?

Stick with me since I will show you everything you need to know about working in food delivery in the following chapters.

Not only will you learn how much you can make as a food delivery driver, but we will also talk about job satisfaction, work-life balance, future outlook, educational requirements, working hours and much more.

After reading this article, you will have a much better idea of what working as a food delivery driver really looks like and whether you still want to pursue this type of career or rather want to go for a different job instead.

Without further ado, let’s get right into it!

Table of Contents

What does a Food Delivery Driver do?

Food delivery drivers deliver burgers, pizzas and various other sorts of food to customers.

They make sure that delivery processes are smooth and customers get their food in a rather short period of time so that food will stay as warm as possible.

Responsibilities & Duties of a Food Delivery Driver

  • Delivering food to many different clients
  • Making sure that delivery times are as short as possible
  • Making sure that food stays warm and arrives in time
  • Making sure that food safety standards are met
  • Making sure that hygienic requirements are met
  • Loading food
  • Taking the quickest routes possible
  • Collecting payments
  • Reporting problems to the executives
  • Use of bikes, scooters or cars to shorten delivery times
  • Making sure that vehicles work alright and reporting potential issues

What a Typical Day of a Food Delivery Driver looks like?

Most food delivery drivers work in the afternoon or in the evening.

After getting to their workplace, they collect their vehicles and get instructions for the day regarding what areas they have to serve.

After that, food delivery drivers deliver delicious food for many hours and will not have much time to rest since clients expect their food to arrive on time.

Hence, you should have decent knowledge of the shortest routes to get from A to B to deliver food as quickly as possible.

After finishing your last customer, you will bring back your vehicle to your central workplace and get home from work until you continue to do the same work the next day.

Food Delivery Driver Salary 2021

Food Delivery Driver salary brackets 2021

Salary BracketsSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Top 10 %> $52,000> $25.91
Top 25 %$41,000 – $45,000$20.38 – $22.42
Bottom 25 %$28,000 – $32,000$13.89 – $15.93
Bottom 10 %$21,000 – $25,000$10.45 – $12.40
Range$21,000 – $54,000$10.45 – $26.92
Average (Mean)$37,000$18.47
Median$35,000$17.39

Food Delivery Driver salary 2021 by expert level

Level of ExperienceSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Entry level$21,000 – $26,000$10.45 – $12.88
Junior$25,000 – $29,000$12.44 – $14.39
Professional$28,000 – $36,000$13.92 – $17.90
Senior Professional$34,000 – $41,000$16.89 – $20.41
Expert$39,000 – $48,000$19.38 – $23.93
Top Expert$46,000 – $54,000$22.94 – $26.89

Food Delivery Driver salary by state 2021 (average)

StateSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Alabama$34,200$16.88
Alaska$33,800$16.81
Arizona$36,500$18.23
Arkansas$34,900$17.34
California$39,200$19.53
Colorado$34,400$17.18
Connecticut$32,900$16.36
Delaware$33,800$16.89
District of Columbia$35,700$17.82
Florida$36,200$18.07
Georgia$34,800$17.37
Guam$33,100$16.48
Hawaii$37,200$18.51
Idaho$35,600$17.78
Illinois$34,100$17.03
Indiana$33,800$16.79
Iowa$32,500$16.22
Kansas$33,200$16.55
Kentucky$34,600$17.27
Louisiana$35,900$17.93
Maine$36,100$18.04
Maryland$37,300$18.62
Massachusetts$36,800$18.38
Michigan$34,100$17.03
Minnesota$33,500$16.74
Mississippi$31,800$15.88
Missouri$32,400$16.17
Montana$33,800$16.89
Nebraska$31,700$15.83
Nevada$32,200$16.07
New Hampshire$33,600$16.78
New Jersey$35,800$17.88
New Mexico$32,100$16.02
New York$41,500$20.73
North Carolina$32,900$16.36
North Dakota$34,800$17.34
Ohio$35,200$17.56
Oklahoma$37,600$18.78
Oregon$34,500$17.22
Pennsylvania$37,200$18,53
Rhode Island$35,600$17.79
South Carolina$34,800$17.35
South Dakota$36,400$18.17
Tennessee$35,700$17.83
Texas$34,100$17.04
Utah$37,800$18.82
Vermont$36,100$18.02
Virginia$35,800$17.89
Washington$39,300$19.61
West Virginia$34,600$17.27
Wisconsin$33,500$16.73
Wyoming$35,200$17.58

Job Security of Food Delivery Drivers

Food delivery drivers have pretty low job security.

They often only have short-term employment contracts and are also easily replaceable.

Consequently, food delivery drivers always have to fear losing their jobs and this can really be tough on an emotional level and may lead to many mental issues over time.

Future Job Prospects of Food Delivery Drivers

Not only current job prospects are pretty poor, but also the future outlook for food delivery drivers is rather unsatisfying since many food delivery drivers will be replaced by intelligent machines sooner or later and with self-driving cars and drones, food delivery will change significantly over the next decades and many food delivery guys or gals will become obsolete in the near future.

Working Hours of Food Delivery Drivers

If you work day shifts, you will start your shift between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and finish your shift between 6 and 8 p.m.

If you work night shifts, you will start your shift between 5 and 8 p.m. and finish your shift between midnight and 3 a.m.

Hence, you should be quite flexible regarding your working hours if you really want to work in the food delivery industry.

Job Satisfaction of Food Delivery Drivers

Many food delivery drivers are quite unhappy with their jobs since working hours are pretty exotic and also wages are pretty low.

Consequently, working in food delivery is not something people want to do for the rest of their lives and rather a job to cover their basic expenses in times of financial emergency.

Promotion Opportunities of Food Delivery Drivers

There are barely any promotion opportunities for food delivery drivers.

You will just do the same job for many years or even decades without any prospects of getting into a better position anytime soon.

Career Levels of Food Delivery Drivers

  • Intern at a food delivery company
  • Junior food delivery driver
  • Senior food delivery driver
  • Manager of a food delivery company
  • Owner of a food delivery company

Fields and Types of Food Delivery Drivers

  • Food delivery drivers who specialize in urban areas
  • Food delivery drivers specialized in rural areas
  • Food delivery drivers who also help with producing food
  • Food delivery drivers with management responsibilities
  • Food delivery drivers who own a food delivery company
  • Food delivery drivers responsible for maintaining business connections
  • Food delivery drivers who are talented in bonding customers
  • Student food delivery drivers
  • Pensioner food delivery drivers
  • Food delivery drivers working part-time

Educational Requirements for Food Delivery Drivers

Food delivery drivers don’t need any form of fancy education.

Instead, while many other people have to go to college to get their dream jobs, you will not have to spend many years on college education but can rather start working as a food delivery driver right after finishing high school.

How to become a Food Delivery Driver

  1. Inform yourself about the advantages and disadvantages of being a food delivery driver
  2. Apply for an internship at a food delivery company
  3. Stay in touch with your colleagues
  4. Finish high school with decent grades
  5. Apply for your first job in the food delivery industry
  6. Master the job interview
  7. Sign your labor contract
  8. Work hard and impress your boss
  9. Get into a leading position

Character Traits you need as a Food Delivery Driver

  • Patience for other road users
  • Empathy for difficult clients
  • Stress resistance can help to deal with high workloads
  • Willingness to work in a low-wage environment
  • Willingness to expose yourself to a risky work environment
  • You should be good at dealing with people
  • Outgoing attitude can help to bond clients
  • You should be flexible in case things don’t work out as planned
  • Ambition to make people happy

Hard Skills for Food Delivery Drivers

  • Good knowledge of how to get to your clients in the quickest possible manner
  • Knowledge of food delivery standards
  • Knowledge of rules and regulations related to food delivery
  • You should have a driver’s license
  • Clean driving record
  • You should be in good physical health condition
  • Decent math skills help you collect the right amounts of money
  • You should know how to promote the company you work for
  • Decent driving skills
  • Ability to operate vehicles in crowded places
  • Knowledge of how to deal with returns and difficult clients

Soft Skills for Food Delivery Drivers

  • Knowledge of how to calm down difficult customers
  • Empathy for clients helps you bond them
  • Stress resistance helps you get things done in time
  • Ability to deal with lots of information at the same time
  • Ability to deal with high workloads in an emotionally healthy manner
  • Passion for food delivery
  • Good conflict resolution skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Decent organizational skills help you get things done in time

Exit Options for Food Delivery Drivers

There are not many exit options for food delivery drivers.

Since you will not learn many hard skills, you might get trapped in the food delivery industry for quite a long time and may need lots of additional education to finally get a job in a different field.

Food Delivery Driver – Similar Careers

  • Chef
  • Pastry chef
  • Manager of a food delivery company
  • Food processing worker
  • Baker
  • Butcher
  • Farmer
  • Farmworker
  • Florist
  • Forester

Food Delivery Driver Career FAQs

Is working as a food delivery driver physically demanding?

Working as a food delivery driver can be physically demanding since you will have to lift and deliver lots of food to customers every day which may stress your body in the long run.

However, food delivery drivers still don’t have to work in the same heavy physical manner as construction workers, welders, roofers or many other people who work hards with their hands every day.

Is working as a food delivery driver mentally demanding?

Working as a food delivery driver is not that mentally demanding.

While remembering the quickest routes to get from A to B may be helpful, you can use our modern technologies and navigation systems can greatly help you in this regard.

Consequently, you don’t have to use your own brain that much anymore.

Is it dangerous to work as a food delivery driver?

Working as a food delivery driver can be risky since you will have to get from A to B in the quickest possible manner and this includes driving in a rather risky manner.

In turn, traffic accidents may be quite common and you may get injured in a serious manner in the long run if you are unlucky.

How long do food delivery drivers stay in their jobs?

Food delivery drivers often don’t stay in their jobs for quite a long time since overall working conditions are rather poor and many of them search for a different career in the long run.

Is it easy for food delivery drivers to find a new job?

Since intelligent machines will replace food delivery drivers to a certain extent in future years, finding a job in this field may become pretty difficult and if you search for a job where you have high levels of job security, you should not become a food delivery driver but rather go for something where barriers to entry are much higher.

Is it hard to switch from being a food delivery driver to another field of work?

It is pretty hard to switch from your job in the food delivery industry to a different field of work since you will often lack the skills needed to do so.

Quite often, you will have to get lots of additional education to be able to work in a different industry.

Do food delivery drivers have a high social status?

Food delivery drivers don’t have a high social status at all.

While customers will be grateful for your services, you will still not be considered very important in the eyes of the general public and some people may even make fun of you since they will not consider your job a good career at all.

Can you help out your family and friends as a food delivery driver?

You will not be able to help out your loved ones as a food delivery driver that much since you will simply not learn many skills that provide value to society.

For instance, while craftsmen will be able to fix many things around the home, you can simply not do those important things unless you get lots of additional education.

Consequently, your social standing within your family or your circle of friends might be rather low.

Can food delivery drivers work remotely?

Food delivery drivers are not able to work remotely since they have to deliver food in person.

Hence, while many other people who work in classical office jobs will be able to work from home for at least some days of the week, you will not be able to enjoy this privilege and will be less flexible overall.

Is it easy to find a partner as a food delivery driver?

It is not easy to find a partner for a long-term relationship as a food delivery driver since you will have a pretty low social standing and also a rather insecure job.

Moreover, you will also not make much money and this will make you a pretty poor provider.

Do food delivery drivers have to work on weekends?

Food delivery drivers often have to work on weekends since most people order food on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays.

Consequently, you will be on the road when most of your friends will be able to enjoy their leisure or make nice weekend trips with their families.

Do food delivery drivers have to work on holidays?

Food delivery drivers also often have to work on holidays.

While this doesn’t mean that you will have to work on every holiday, it means that you will most likely have to work some of them and it will therefore be pretty difficult to make plans for such days since you will never be 100% sure whether your boss will require you to work during those times or not.

Do food delivery drivers have to work at nighttime?

Whether you have to work at nighttime as a food delivery driver depends on the shift you apply for.

However, you should be quite flexible in this regard since in case someone gets sick, you may have to do the night shift even though you might actually work day shifts.

Do you have to travel as a food delivery driver?

You don’t have to travel as a food delivery driver at all.

Consequently, while many other people who work in demanding office jobs will have to do business trips, you will be able to spend time at home with your family.

Are food delivery driver pensions good?

Due to the pretty low salary, food delivery drivers also don’t get good pensions.

Moreover, they are also often not able to save enough money for retirement and this may lead to serious financial issues once they get to retirement age and quit their active careers.

Are food delivery driver salaries going up?

Food delivery driver salaries have not been going up significantly over the past years.

This is due to the fact that there are many people out there who can do this job and this means that food delivery companies have more than enough people to choose from.

Consequently, wages stay relatively low and this trend will likely also continue in the near future.

Can you have a positive impact on society as a food delivery driver?

You will not be able to have a big positive impact on society as a food delivery driver since you just deliver food to customers and while you can make them happy, you are not essential to keep our system running and you can also not do important work as doctors or teachers who can really have a big impact on society.

How long does it take to become a food delivery driver?

Since there are no high educational requirements for working in food delivery, you can start your food delivery driver career after finishing high school (at least if you already got your driver’s license).

Hence, while many of your friends will have to go to college for many years, you can start making money right after getting your high school diploma.

Is it difficult to become a food delivery driver?

It is not difficult to become a food delivery worker at all.

All you need to do is getting your high school diploma with decent grades and with a little bit of luck, you will be able to start your career in food delivery career within a few weeks.

Do you need to be smart to work as a food delivery driver?

You don’t have to be smart for working as a food delivery driver.

However, you should still be able to navigate a vehicle in a safe manner and should also know your city well to find the fastest routes possible.

Do food delivery drivers have a good work-life balance?

Food delivery drivers don’t have a good work-life balance at all.

They often have to work on weekends and at nighttime and while many other people will be able to enjoy weekends and holidays with their families, food delivery drivers often have to work during these times.

Do food delivery drivers have to work many extra hours?

Food delivery drivers don’t have to work many extra hours.

Most often, you will have a fixed shift and once your shift is over, the next person will take on your role and you will be able to get home as planned.

How to maximize your chances of becoming a food delivery driver?

The sooner you get your driver’s license and your high school diploma, the sooner you can apply for jobs in the food delivery industry.

If you want to maximize your chances of getting a job in this field, you should work as an intern for a while and impress your boss so that he or she will offer you a job in return.

Can food delivery drivers work part-time?

There are not many food delivery drivers who work part-time since working part-time will not be enough to make a living in this industry.

Thus, while working part-time as a food delivery driver may make sense for pensioners or students, it doesn’t make sense for someone who really has to make a full living from his or her job.

Do food delivery drivers work indoors or outdoors?

Food delivery drivers work both indoors as well as outdoors since they often have to drive in their vehicle to get food from A to B while they still have to get out of their vehicles once they are within walking distance to their destination.

What does the workplace of a food delivery driver look like?

Food delivery drivers will spend most of their workday in a car.

Some food delivery drivers also use alternative means of transport like bikes or electric scooters to get from A to B.

Hence, you will spend lots of time in traffic and you should also not be afraid to work outdoors during times of bad weather.

Do you have to look good for working as a food delivery driver?

Your looks will not matter for your success as a food delivery driver at all as long as you look groomed and customers will not be disgusted by your appearance.

Is a food delivery driver career beneficial for your private life?

Working in food delivery is not beneficial for your private life since you will often have to work exotic hours and you will also not be able to make enough money to afford any luxury.

Consequently, your spouse may cheat on you pretty soon to find a better deal and may eventually leave you.

Do you need a college degree for becoming a food delivery driver?

You don’t need a degree for becoming a food delivery driver.

Instead, you can start your food delivery career right after finishing high school and while many other people have to spend lots of time and money on college, you don’t have to worry in this regard at all and can even make money at a rather young age.

Do you need to be certified to work as a food delivery driver?

You also don’t have to get any certificates to be able to work as a food delivery driver.

What’s much more important than looking good on paper is that you are passionate about your job and that you also have good knowledge of your local area to get from A to B in the fastest possible manner.

How much does it cost to become a food delivery driver?

Becoming a food delivery driver is not expensive at all since you don’t have to spend money on college education.

Instead, you can start your career in food delivery right after getting your high school diploma.

Is being a food delivery driver a good career?

Many people don’t consider being a food delivery driver a good career since food delivery workers don’t make good money and also have to work rather exotic hours.

Consequently, there are many better jobs out there and this is also the reason why many food delivery drivers think about quitting their jobs and doing something else.

Is it easy to start your own business as a food delivery driver?

It is pretty hard to start your own business in the food delivery industry since competition is fierce and you would need enormous amounts of money to compete with the big players.

Hence, instead of starting your own business in food delivery, you should rather go for something less competitive to maximize your chances of success.

Can food delivery drivers teach themselves?

Food delivery drivers are able to teach most of the skills they need themselves.

In fact, you will learn most things you need on the job and there is no need to get any fancy formal qualifications if you aspire to a career in food delivery.

Do food delivery drivers make good money?

Food delivery drivers don’t make good money at all.

In fact, many of them are barely able to cover their basic expenses and if money and luxury are really important to you, you should not become a food delivery driver but rather go for a career in the medical or financial industry instead.

Is it ever too late to become a food delivery driver?

It is never too late to become a food delivery driver.

However, since this job can be physically demanding, it may not be the best job for you if you are already in your 40s or 50s since your body may no longer be suitable to work in such an environment.

Do food delivery drivers have to quit their careers early?

Due to the physical nature of the job, some food delivery drivers also have to quit their careers early.

In fact, while many young people work in this job, older people are rather rare since they often just work in a different field instead.

What is the most challenging thing about working as a food delivery driver?

The most challenging part of being a food delivery driver is that you will have to process lots of information at the same time and that you also need to take the shortest routes possible to assure food delivery on time so that clients are happy and order food from the company you work for many times in the future.

Can you provide for your family by working as a food delivery driver?

It is pretty hard for you to provide for your family as a food delivery driver since you will barely make enough money to cover your own basic expenses, especially if you live in a region where living costs are quite high.

In such a situation, you will most likely not be able to provide for your family and your spouse may have to work as well.

Will food delivery drivers suffer from old-age poverty?

Many food delivery drivers also suffer from old-age poverty once they retire since their pensions are just too low to cover their expenses.

Hence, many food delivery drivers will have to work during retirement age to make additional money.

Can food delivery drivers retire early?

Food delivery drivers are not able to retire early since they just don’t make enough money from what they do for a living.

Consequently, many food delivery drivers work until retirement age and some of them even work in their 70s so that they are able to pay their bills.

Do food delivery drivers get a fixed or variable salary?

Food delivery drivers often get a fixed hourly wage.

However, they also get some tips from customers and if you are really good at what you are doing and also a friendly person, you may be able to have a significant variable component in your overall salary.

Can you get rich as a food delivery driver?

It is impossible to get rich as a food delivery driver.

If you really want to become wealthy or rich, you would have to start your own business in this industry instead of working as a regular employee.

Do food delivery drivers need a second job?

Many food delivery drivers also need a second job to pay their bills, especially if they live in regions where living costs are high and the salary of a food delivery driver will not be enough to even cover only basic expenses.

Do you get continuous training as a food delivery driver?

You don’t get continuous training as a food delivery driver and this is also not necessary since you will learn everything you need to know within the first few weeks.

Do you get sick pay as a food delivery driver?

You will often not get paid in case you get sick as a food delivery driver.

Hence, you should have an emergency fund in case you get sick so that you are still able to pay your bills during those times.

Do food delivery drivers have a high level of responsibility?

Food delivery drivers have a high level of responsibility since they spend lots of time in traffic and mistakes on their sides may take away the lives of other people.

Can food delivery drivers work abroad?

Food delivery drivers are needed all over the world.

Consequently, you will also be able to work as a food delivery driver in a foreign country.

However, still make sure to inform yourself about the working conditions in the respective country to avoid any unpleasant surprises in this regard later on.

Is it stressful to work as a food delivery driver?

Working as a food delivery driver can be stressful since you will have to process lots of information in a rather short period of time and you will also have to drive pretty fast to deliver food in time.

Is it boring to work as a food delivery driver?

Working in food delivery can be pretty boring since you will do the same things over and over again and if you don’t have a passion for delivering food to customers, you may get exhausted and bored with your job pretty soon.

Is being a food delivery driver hard?

Working as a food delivery rider involves some physical work and also mental and emotional pressure.

However, working in food delivery is still not as hard compared to working in many other jobs where you really have to work in a heavy physical manner.

Are food delivery drivers at risk of burnout?

Since food delivery drivers have lots of stress at work, they are also at risk of burnout.

Consequently, if you want to protect yourself in this regard, you should rather go for a rather relaxed office job instead.

Is there a dress code for food delivery drivers?

There is no dress code for food delivery drivers.

However, the company you work for may still provide you with clothing so that you can represent the company in the best possible manner.

What kind of food delivery drivers are paid the most?

The more jobs you get done during your workday, the more tips you will get and the better your chances for a raise will be.

Thus, if you want to increase your salary, you have to get faster at food delivery in general.

What percentage of food delivery drivers are women?

While only around 25% of all food delivery drivers are women, the vast majority of people who work in this field are men.

However, there is a trend that an increasing number of women want to work in this industry and percentages may change over time.

Do I need a mentor to succeed as a food delivery driver?

You don’t need a mentor to succeed as a food delivery driver.

What’s much more important is that you get your job done in time and that you are willing to work hard to use your time as efficiently as possible.

Do food delivery drivers have a high life expectancy?

Food delivery drivers have a rather low life expectancy since they work in an environment where traffic accidents are rather common.

Moreover, food delivery drivers also don’t make good money and may not be able to afford the best medical treatment in case of emergency.

Do food delivery drivers suffer from sleeping problems?

Since food delivery drivers often work at nighttime, they also destroy their natural sleeping rhythm.

In turn, food delivery drivers often suffer from sleeping problems and from the health issues related to them.

What states are best for working as a food delivery driver?

If you want to work as a food delivery driver, you should choose a state or region where living costs are rather low but where there is still a significant demand for food delivery so that you can really make a living from what you are doing and don’t need a second job.

Who do food delivery drivers work with?

Food delivery drivers work with many new clients every day.

Hence, you should be an outgoing person if you want to stay happy with what you are doing in the long run.

Is working as a food delivery driver cool?

Working in food delivery is not considered cool by most people since working conditions are rather poor and you will also not be able to afford any luxury at all.

Can you start a side hustle as a food delivery driver?

It is also hard for food delivery drivers to start a side hustle since they often have to work rather exotic hours and may not have time to continuously work on a side hustle since they may even need a second or third job to pay their bills.

Do you have to be creative as a food delivery driver?

You don’t need to be creative for working in food delivery.

Most processes are pretty standardized and you will not have to use your creative mind that much.

Do food delivery drivers suffer from being overweight?

Since food delivery drivers often have to work in a physical manner, many of them don’t suffer from overweight or obesity but rather stay relatively fit.

How employable are food delivery drivers?

Food delivery drivers are not that employable and this trend will continue in the future since many food delivery drivers will be replaced by drones or other machines in the near future and chances to find a new job in this field will be relatively low.

Are food delivery drivers happy with their jobs?

Most food delivery drivers are not happy with what they are doing for a living since they have to work quite exotic hours while they still don’t make enough money to afford any luxury.

Is working as a food delivery driver exciting?

Working as a food delivery driver is not that exciting since you will just do similar things over and over again and there will not be room for your own ideas at all.

Can you have a positive impact on our environment as a food delivery driver?

Food delivery drivers also don’t have a positive effect on our environment.

In fact, food delivery is responsible for lots of carbon dioxide emissions which speeds up global warming.

What are the pros and cons of working as a food delivery driver?

If you are still interested in working in food delivery, you may also want to have a look at additional pros and cons of a food delivery driver career.

Sources

https://www.statista.com/outlook/dmo/eservices/online-food-delivery/united-states

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1235724/market-share-us-food-delivery-companies/

Interviews and own research.

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.

This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.

Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.

I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.

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