If you are looking for a side job to occupy your free time and make some extra money, there are many different options to consider. The gig economy offers a lot of unique job opportunities. If you have a vehicle, you could consider delivering food to hungry customers for a delivery fee. These types of jobs are relatively easy and you can start without any formal training.
One of the most common side hustles is working as a food delivery driver and Uber Eats is one of the top food delivery apps that people use to order meals. This guide will highlight how to make money on Uber Eats as a gig worker. You will also find out tips on increasing your earnings, as well as the pros and cons of the job.
What Is Uber Eats?
Uber Eats is a subsidiary of Uber, the ride-hailing service. However, this specific service focuses on food delivery. Customers can order food from local restaurants using the Uber Eats app and get it delivered to their location for a fee. This food delivery service was launched in 2014 with Uber but gained popularity after its rebrand to Uber Eats.
Uber Eats uses a similar interface as the Uber ride-hailing service. It encourages delivery drivers to work during the busiest times for food orders within your area by providing extra monetary bonuses. These “boost promotions” help drivers receive higher tip rates for successful deliveries. People who want to earn money on their schedule can easily register as drivers on Uber Eats.
How Does Uber Eats Work?
Uber Eats has an app for both customers and drivers. Uber delivery drivers can use a smartphone or tablet to keep track of details on delivery fares. When the customer makes an order using the app, the driver receives a notification to accept or reject the order. While the delivery driver is in transit, the customer can track the order’s progress using the app.
Once the driver arrives at the location, you simply hand the food off to the customer or leave it in a designated contactless spot. Once it’s delivered, the delivery partner confirms that the order was successfully delivered. If you don’t have a car, drivers on this platform can choose scooter delivery, delivery by bicycle, or even delivery by foot.
How Much Can You Actually Make on Uber Eats?
According to Glassdoor, drivers on Uber Eats earn an hourly rate of $11. However, some drivers on this platform may earn less while others make more. It depends on how much time each driver devotes to the platform. The general range of hourly earnings is between $8 and $12 per hour. While this may seem low, it’s still above the federal minimum wage of $7.25.
Some factors affect how much you can make including the number of fulfilled orders, hours worked, vehicle expenses, and tips received. The distance, city, and trip time can also determine how much you earn on the platform. Drivers can also receive customer tips. The amount you can earn also varies from city to city. Uber Eats does not have a flat rate for all deliveries.
The Pros and Cons of Working on Uber Eats
If you have some extra time and you’re looking to make more money, working for Uber Eats is an excellent side hustle. Like any job, Uber Eats has pros and cons. Read below to figure out some of the best things about working as an Uber Eats delivery driver.
Pros of Working on Uber Eats
- Flexible working hours. On Uber Eats, you choose your own work schedules. The service doesn’t limit how many hours you can work in a day, but you should not drive when fatigued or tired to avoid potential accidents. As long as you maintain a good rating, you can work as much as you want.
- Instant pay. If you need quick cash, this platform is an excellent place to work. Drivers get paid instantly after completing an order. You may still need to wait for the bank processes to be completed, but it is a lot faster than most jobs with traditional salaries.
- No restrictions. Some gig companies restrict workers from working with similar platforms, but this isn’t the case with Uber Eats. Delivery workers can swap roles as Uber drivers whenever they’d like within the driver app.
- You get to explore the city. Making deliveries in different parts of your city will allow you to navigate the city and its outskirts. You can learn about new routes and establishments for various purposes. As you begin to familiarize yourself with your city, you’ll save time delivering orders.
- Bonuses. Uber Eats offers bonuses for drivers. The trips you make each month contribute to perks and rewards the following month. You can also make extra money by referring other delivery drivers.
Cons of Working on Uber Eats
- You cannot see the destination until you pick up the order. This is one problem most drivers face while working on Uber Eats. Knowing the delivery location helps you to plan ahead of time and know the best route to follow. Drivers can get stuck with problematic locations and cannot cancel these orders as it could cause problems with the platform.
- Dealing with traffic. Like any other job that involves driving, traffic is a significant downside. While Uber provides a map with an estimated ETA for the customer and the driver, traffic can affect the estimated time of arrival. Depending on the time of day, you might encounter some serious traffic delays along your route.
- Waiting at restaurants. In some cases, the driver will have to wait after an order is placed to be prepared and packaged for transport. Inspecting the order to ensure it is correct can take additional time, which is not covered by Uber Eats.
- Problem locations. Some houses or apartments are difficult to find when it is door-to-door delivery. Any time spent searching for your customer is not covered in the delivery fee. Additionally, you may have trouble finding a parking spot that is free to access. If you do find a free parking space, it may be far from your final delivery location.
- Vehicle maintenance. Uber Eats accepts both cars and motorcycles for deliveries. If you use your car to work on Uber Eats, it will wear faster than usual. This process of natural deterioration is inevitable. You may need to spend more on vehicle maintenance to keep your car running well.
How to Become a Uber Eats Driver
Before applying to join Uber Eats as a delivery driver, you need to determine if the service is available in your location. If it’s available for you, the next step is to check the driver and vehicle requirements and minimum age requirement.
Some of these requirements include being at least 19 years or older, or 18 if you are using a bike or foot to deliver food, as well as passing the background check. You also need to provide proof of one year of driving experience, insurance, and a valid driver’s license. Your vehicle must be properly registered and able to carry 30 pounds and above.
1. Apply to Drive
If you meet all the requirements above, you can visit the website to apply. This process will involve creating an account on the platform and inputting your basic information, such as your full name, address, email, and phone number. You will also be required to submit proof of vehicle registration, a copy of your driver’s license, and proof of insurance.
When you have completed this step in the application, you should receive a reply within 48 hours. After Uber receives your application, they conduct a background check and process the application. If it is successful, you will recieve a username and password that you can use to access the app. With these details, you can begin to make deliveries.
2. Make Your First Delivery
After setting up the app, go online and wait for orders to start coming in. The process is relatively straightforward for people who have not worked in the gig industry before. The app provides a lot of guidance for your first delivery, making it an easy process to get started.
Your first delivery request contains the order name, address, the restaurant location, and any other details about the delivery. The map is very effective, so it helps to follow the directions to get to your destination faster.
3. Collect Your Pay
When you fulfill your order, collect your pay. Payment is based on all the orders you collect and drop off. The platform pays weekly or you can choose to receive an immediate direct deposit with the Instant Pay option. The driver gets a pickup fee for collecting the order from the bar or restaurant and another drop-off fee when delivered to the customer.
How to Make More Money on Uber Eats
Uber Eats has a simple process when it comes to picking up and delivering. You do not need any special training. However, you can do a few things to increase the amount of money you make on the platform.
Use a Referral Code
Uber Eats has a referral system where drivers can get rewarded for bringing new drivers into the platform. It comes with a sign-on bonus when new drivers use a referral code. Depending on where you live, you will likely need to complete a few deliveries before you can get the bonus.
It takes around 20 orders to receive the bonus in most cities, but in some locations, it can be up to 100 orders. This window may seem like a long wait, but it is worth it in the long run. You can redeem the referral code for cash ranging from $100 to $1,000. As long as the drivers you refer to the program continue to make deliveries, you will earn more bonuses.
Drive During “Boosts”
Boost periods help you to earn more due to surge pricing. These “boosts” comprise high-demand areas and busy times when many orders come in at once. These areas require more delivery drivers, so Uber Eats incentivizes them to head to a particular area with monetary bonuses.
During these busy times, you could potentially double your earnings as a driver. It helps to take advantage of the boost hours and you could make more per hour. The only problem is that you may not predict when or where the boost will occur. However, if you notice one around you, follow it through to make more money.
Shorter Deliveries Are Better
Since your pay is based on mileage, accept shorter deliveries and reduce your overall travel time as much as possible. At the same time, you don’t want to decline every order to keep your acceptance rate high. Short and quick trips are always best if you want to earn more on Uber Eats.
On regular periods, use the auto-accept feature to take as many orders as you can get. A low-paying delivery request is better than none at all. However, if you are busy and you feel you will get a better request, you can turn down lower-paying jobs.
Uber Eats turns delivery driving into a game by offering drivers quests to complete several deliveries within a specified time frame. If you meet the target for the quest, you get a bonus. Some riders can get rewards up to $80 in one day. To see available quests, click on the Promotions Hub on the app. With this feature, you can earn some extra cash.
However, you should exercise caution while driving during this period. You do not need to rush through orders as it could lead to mistakes and even accidents. The quest’s goal is to motivate you to work more and take smaller paying jobs that you would have rejected.
This feature is helpful if you want to make more money on Uber Eats. If you accept orders manually, you may have difficulty picking up enough orders during the day. If you’re going to be busy and handle many deliveries, enable the auto-accept feature.
When you complete more deliveries, you make more money. Delivery drivers can turn this feature on from the app. Once enabled, you can accept orders automatically as soon as they come in. This way, you can save a lot of time by just heading straight to the restaurant and picking up the order instead of idling away while waiting for a new request.
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Is Working on Uber Eats Worth It?
Working on Uber Eats is worth it for most people. Even though it may come with some frustrations and difficulties, it is pretty convenient and easy for people who want to make some money while working other part-time jobs. The worth of this platform depends on your goals. To some, it is an excellent way to explore the city and restaurants while making money. For others, it is a full-time job to earn a living.
Making Money on Uber Eats FAQ
Drivers on Uber Eats make as much as $8 to $12 per hour. They can work for several hours per week since there is no limit to how much you can work. Drivers can make a lot of money fulfilling orders daily. However, delivery drivers do have to spend money on gas and vehicle maintenance.
Drivers are responsible for all expenses while driving, such as gas and maintenance. Uber Eats does not employ drivers as they are independent contractors who complete food deliveries in their areas. This is why some people choose to deliver on bicycles to eliminate gas and maintenance costs.
Uber does not restrict drivers from signing up on other platforms, which is the same for Uber Eats. Drivers on the Uber platform can apply to join Uber Eats as well and make deliveries. This method is convenient because Uber ensures that delivery doesn’t conflict with passenger pick up. Drivers can also deliver food while transporting passengers as well. If you are already in the ride-hailing business, you can add food delivery to earn more money.
Delivering food on Uber Eats is worth it if you want to make some money in your free time or work full time. The platform is easy to use and pays out instantly. This delivery method also offers lots of bonuses to encourage drivers to fulfill orders.
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