Being a delivery driver for Uber Eats is a popular part-time gig for many people who want to pick up extra cash. But, it is possible to make a full-time living through this food delivery service, bringing in $1,000 or more a week.
The top Uber Eats drivers earn $1,000 or more a week because they understand the ins and outs of the platform and how to work the busiest times to get peak pay and make the most of their time.
We’ll share more details with you of this popular gig economy job, and what you need to know if you want to join the ranks of those making $1,000 a week.
How to Make $1,000 a Week Driving for Uber Eats
Here are 9 effective ways to make $1,000+ per week with Uber Eats:
- Ride the Weekend Wave
- Maximize Tips
- Work the Best Areas
- Test Different Markets
- Earn Peak Pay with Surge Pricing
- Know it’s OK to Cancel Some Orders
- Save Money on Fuel
- Referral Bonuses
- Work Multiple Apps
1. Ride the Weekend Wave
The weekend is your best friend if you want to make $1,000 a week as an Uber Eats driver — along with weeknight evenings and holidays.
Meal times — especially dinnertime — are typically the most popular time of day. But the breakfast, lunch, and after-bar rush can prove lucrative too, as can days of inclement weather when hungry eaters don’t want to venture out on the roads.
Also, pay attention to the peak times in the app — areas when there’s an increase in the base pay per delivery because of increased demand. This surge in at-home diners is often related to special events like sporting events, festivals, or concerts. If you can make yourself free for these special occasions, you can maximize your earnings.
2. Maximize Your Tips
As with a rideshare or delivery job, tips are everything. To make the most money as an Uber Eats food delivery driver, you’ll need to make sure you’re raking in the most tips possible. Just an extra dollar or two per dropoff can add up to a sizable amount of money by the end of your shift.
Obviously, you want to deliver the correct order to the right person at the right address, but here’s how you can take your tips to the next level.
- Double-check that your customer’s order, including condiments, is correct.
- Grab forks, napkins, and other items the customer may have forgotten to request. For example, if they ordered sushi, pick up chopsticks for them, soy sauce, and an extra napkin.
- Use a good profile picture. A clear photo — of a smiling face — can boost your tips.
- Text the customer if you’re running into issues. If the order isn’t ready yet, send the customer a text while you’re pacing a hole in the floor.
- If you’re at a business, strip mall, or apartment, bring the order to the correct unit.
- Some drivers leave their drivers a note saying to enjoy their meal with a couple of Hershey’s Kisses or other pieces of candy and request they take the time to leave their driver a 5.0 rating in the app. Typically customers will, and if they’ve logged back in, they are more likely to adjust (increase) their tip since they’re in the app and reviewing your order.
- Be friendly and smile when you drop off the order if you hand it to someone directly.
3. Work in the Best Areas
To make the most money, you’ll need to work in the best areas — this means business areas during the weekday lunch hours, posh cafes and restaurants in the trendy parts of town during the weekends, and nearby 24-hour or late-night diners and eateries after the bar rush.
Drive around and get familiar with other areas of your metro area to look for pockets of generous tippers near restaurant-dense areas.
College students, for example, may populate many high-dense restaurant zones but students are more likely to be on a tight budget. A luxury condo, however, in the trendy outskirts of downtown likely has a lot of good tippers living there.
4. Test Different Markets
While customers in wealthier neighborhoods near lots of restaurants and shops tend to tip well, cheapskates live everywhere. The market or markets you deliver in will have a big factor in how much you earn.
While the downtown restaurant district may have loads of good tippers, picking up or dropping off orders downtown can be a big challenge — parking, traffic, and waiting forever to turn left at the light. This will slow down our delivery time and overall earning potential.
You want to make as many deliveries as possible in the shortest amount of time possible. Moderate tippers in a quick in-and-out neighborhood may be your surest and most lucrative bet.
Test out a few different markets — delivery zones — to see what works best. Make sure you try delivering during the same times and days of the week (i.e., peak hours on Friday) so that you compare apples to apples.
5. Earn Peak Pay with Surge Pricing
Along with peak hours, make sure that you take advantage of Boost+ pricing for Uber Eats delivery drivers. When you complete trips in specific areas (blue zones) within a specific time window of time, you can earn an extra $1 — or more — per trip.
On top of Boost+ pricing, you can also earn Surge promotional bonuses too. Surge pricing is available when Uber Eats experiences a higher-than-normal volume of order requests. When surgery pricing is in effect, you’ll see certain areas of your delivery area highlighted.
Boost+ promotions — for a planned uptick in demand — will be communicated to you in advance via email or SMS. But surge is a promotion that just unfolds in real-time based on how busy restaurants get.
6. Know It’s OK to Cancel Some Orders
Sometimes you have to decline orders that come your way in order to be selective with your time. And similarly, you can cancel the occasional order even if you’re en route to pick up the food at the restaurant.
You can cancel active Uber Eats orders — that you have accepted — without getting deactivated. If you’re in a drive-thru line to pick up an order that’s moving at a snail’s pace, canceling the order may be the smart thing to do. You don’t want to waste 15 minutes idling in a drive-thru line to make $8 when you could get in and out of other restaurants for higher earnings more quickly.
You don’t want to cancel orders too often (especially as a new driver), but sometimes you need to do it to make efficient use of your time.
7. Save Money on Fueling Up
Be smart about fueling up so that you can maximize your earnings. As with the Uber driver app, when you deliver food for Uber Eats you’re an independent contractor. This means you’re responsible for gas, vehicle repairs or maintenance, car insurance, and other related expenses.
Driving a fuel-efficient car, using your bicycle on nice days, or saving money on gas costs can help you with your bottom line.
To save money at the pump, you can use some of these fuel rewards apps:
- Get Upside
- Receipt Pal
- Gas Guru
Pro tip: As an independent. contractor, you can claim gasoline, oil changes, car insurance, car repairs and maintenance, lease payments, car depreciation, and fees for your title and driver’s license as tax deductions. You must, however, keep very careful records of your working trip mileage.
8. Referral Earnings
Boost your UberEats earnings through referrals. As with other apps like DoorDash or Lyft, you can earn bonuses for referring friends and family if they sign up to deliver for UberEats.
The referral bonus can vary from $50 to $300. During periods of high demand for new drivers or special promotions, the referral reward can be much higher. The area where you live can also impact the referral bonus amount.
You can find a personal referral code in the Uber Eats driver app to share with your friends. If you’re a blogger or Influencer, you can share this code with your followers in articles, reels, and social media posts.
9. Work Multiple Apps
Many smart side hustlers work more than one gig. In addition to the Uber Eats app, you can work for other delivery, driving, or freelance services.
If your goal is to earn $1,000 a week, you want lots of options to get there in case things are unusually slow for one week on Uber Eats.
And even if you’re doing brisk business with Uber Eats, doubling or tripling up on apps is common among gig workers. This way, you can view multiple order requests coming through and always pick the best deliveries promising larger tips.
If you’re working on two apps at once — Uber Eats and DoorDash — you can have both apps on. But once you accept a delivery for UberEats, turn off the DoorDash app until you’ve completed the delivery. Then you can turn the other app back on.
Other grocery and food delivery apps that you can try in addition to Uber Eats include:
With some of these apps, you cannot work both of them simultaneously as you need to sign up for shift blocks. But it’s still worth adding any of these other apps to your side hustle line-up.
What’s the difference between Postmates and Uber Eats?
Not much. Uber acquired Postmates, a food delivery service founded in San Francisco in 2011.
Customers can continue to use the Postmates app and website, but for drivers, driving for one is like driving for the other. Uber Eats drivers are the ones who collect and deliver Postmates orders. You can choose to sign up directly as a Postmates driver for many metro areas, however, it will not increase the number of hours or orders available to you.
How much can you realistically make with Uber Eats?
According to research by The Rideshare Guy, the average Uber Eats driver makes $19.33 an hour. This is the average based on data from hundreds of drivers across large and small delivery zones throughout the country, making drop-offs at different times of the day.
Depending on where you live and your working hours, your hourly earnings could reasonably range from $15 to $25.
Why am I not getting trips on Uber Eats?
There are a few reasons why you might not be getting any trips on Uber Eats. Before you panic and assume your account has been suspended or that the app’s algorithms are mad at you, here are a few common reasons.
- There’s no demand because you’ve logged in during non-peak hours. At 3 p.m. when it’s convenient for you to make a drop-off, there might not be any deliveries available.
- It’s just slow. It might not have anything to do with the dinner hours or time of day; demand is just down.
- You don’t have WiFi. Make sure that you’re connected to the internet. Even if you’re at home where you know you have WiFi, you may need to troubleshoot router or connectivity issues. Check your phone and your app settings too. If you lose WiFi while making a delivery, you may need to turn your phone off and back on again.
- There’s a glitch with the app. Log all the way out and back in. If that doesn’t work, you may need to log out of the app and shut off your phone for several seconds, and then turn your phone back on and log in. If that fails, you may need to remove the app from your phone and reinstall it altogether. (It takes less than one minute.)
- You don’t have the correct settings selected in your app. Make sure you’re within the city or delivery zone where you want to pick up
Just “losing your account” rarely happens without advance warning or notice and it’s generally related to an expired driver’s license, background check issues, vehicle safety issues, or there’s an issue with required documents you’ve submitted (the papers are illegible, dated, or incorrect).
Any account deactivation may be temporary. It’s possible for delivery privileges to be restored.
How Do I Know How Much a Customer Tipped?
Until one hour after you’ve made an order, you will not be able to see how much tip you’ve earned for a specific delivery. But you will have a general idea upfront based on the order request details:
- You can see the expected payout upfront for any delivery, which factors in base fare and anticipated tip. With the base fare usually $2.50 to $4.00, you can subtract that from the total, anticipated pay to get an idea of what the customer is tipping you. So if your total potential earnings for a delivery are $10, you’ll know the customer is likely tipping you $6 to $7.50.
- You can see how many items have been ordered. For a 12-item order that’s going to a business address at noon, you can anticipate it’s likely a large group order with a potentially very good tip. For group orders, the full tip potential is often not visible.
- You can see a receipt or a printout of the order.
Can You Make a Living off Uber?
Yes! Even though many Uber Eats drivers make deliveries as a part-time side hustle, there are many who do food drop-offs full-time. While there is a range of earnings among drivers, across forums and YouTube channels there is a general consensus that you can earn at least $40K to $50K a year delivering from Uber Eats.
In some areas, drivers do need to supplement Uber Eats by also driving passengers for Uber or making deliveries for DoorDash, Grubhub, or other similar apps.
Who Pays More, Uber Eats or DoorDash?
It depends on who you ask. The rates for DoorDash vs UberEats are very similar and will range from $15 to $25 an hour based on where you deliver and when you make deliveries.
Some drivers swear DoorDash pays a bit more; others have better luck with Uber Eats.
In a study done by The Ride Share Guy — looking at the reported hourly wages of several hundred delivery app drivers from across the country — UberEats drivers came out ahead. The study’s research shows Uber Eats drivers make $19.33 an hour whereas DoorDash drivers average $17.58.
Keep in mind that DoorDash has a much larger market share and gets more orders — including lower-dollar amount orders — which could skew the figure. Also, to stay consistently busy you’ll probably want to drive for Uber Eats and another food delivery app — either DoorDash or a competitor.
Is Uber Eats a Good Side Hustle?
Yes! Uber Eats is an excellent side hustle. With a car, bike, or scooter you can earn extra money in your spare time — and you can cash out your earnings up to five times a day. There are a few very side hustles you can do to earn cash and get paid within minutes of completing the work.
The work is fairly easy and takes minimal effort to clear an extra $100 or more in a day when you’re in a pinch. You can do this side hustle in other cities, and it’s not hard to scale this gig up into a full-time job.
Is $1000 per Week Realistic with Uber Eats?
Earning $1,000 a week with Uber Eats is a very reasonable, achievable goal. To reach your $1,000 per week goal as quickly as possible, try some of the insider tips we’ve shared like testing different markets, taking advantage of different promos, and using another food delivery app alongside Uber Eats.