Uber Eats is a super-popular food delivery service. Hundreds of thousands of drivers are earning with the app each day.
Keep reading to learn all about how Uber Eats delivery works for drivers and how you can use it to make some extra money.
What’s Uber Eats?
If you’re new to the Uber ecosystem, you might not know that the company has a few different apps.
The most famous is the Uber rideshare service — the one you might take to an airport.
Uber also offers another app, Uber Eats, which is exclusively for ordering food.
In other words, there are two ways to make money driving for Uber: You can either be a rideshare driver through Uber or make food deliveries as an Uber Eats delivery driver.
For both jobs, you’ll use the Uber Drive app.
It’s pretty easy to toggle back and forth between driving and delivering. Simply log in, and when you feel like making food deliveries select Account > Work Hub > Deliver food with Uber Eats.
Uber Eats Features
Here are the top features you’ll want to know about before you sign up.
Set your own hours
When you’re an Uber Eats delivery driver, you’re essentially your own boss.
This means if you get home from your nine-to-five and don’t feel like driving, you don’t have to.
At the same time, you may feel like getting back in the car after dinner and earning a few bucks making deliveries. It’s entirely up to you.
One thing to be aware of: Uber may deactivate your account if you don’t use it for a few months. However, if this happens, all you need to do is sign in and reactivate it.
Use your own vehicle
Uber Eats lets you use your own car when making deliveries — which means you get to control the radio. And you don’t have to worry about figuring out how to drive a company car or a truck, either.
On the flip side, this also means you have to pay for gas, maintenance, auto insurance, and wear and tear. Unfortunately, Uber won’t reimburse you for these expenses. They will, however, reimburse you for tolls.
To minimize your tax obligations at the end of the year, keep careful track of expenses and consider working with a tax advisor. The costs will pile up if you drive a lot.
Flexible delivery options
You need to have a car to drive for Uber. But with Uber Eats delivery, you have a bit more flexibility.
In fact, you can use a car, scooter, or bike to deliver in many of Uber’s markets.
It can be a side hustle, and it can also be a full-time gig if you really push yourself.
Driving around making deliveries can be a fun way to unwind and take your mind off your full-time job. Further, it can remove some of the stress of a full-time job.
Uber Eats Payment Policy
Uber Eats makes it very easy to track your earnings.
Before you accept an order, you can see how much you’ll earn for completing the delivery.
The app also lets you keep track of how much you’re making and see your total balance in real-time — and on a historical basis. This is helpful when tax time rolls around.
Uber Eats earning potential
According to Indeed, the average income for an Uber driver is $14.96 per hour.
But every delivery driver’s experience is different.
The amount you earn depends on the amount you pick up and the distance you travel. Additional factors include a successful dropoff and the amount of time it takes to complete the delivery. Traffic and time delays may also impact your pay.
Keep in mind that it’s also possible to bring in money through tips. Customers can tip you directly through the app — which is awesome since you don’t have to pay any service fees on tips.
Sick of waiting to get paid for your hard work?
Uber offers an instant payout feature for rideshare and delivery drivers, and you can cash out with Instant Pay up to five times per day. This feature should be available right after your first trip.
Uber offers two different methods to cash out, and payment should be instant. However, you might have to wait a few days to receive cash in some cases.
You can use a personal debit card and pay a $0.50 fee every time you cash out. The company accepts most Visa, Discover, and MasterCard accounts.
When you open a regular checking account through GoBank, you need to sign up for Direct Deposit and bring in $500 per month to avoid the $8.95 monthly fee. But if you sign up as an Uber partner, you can receive a free exclusive monthly membership. Not bad, if you ask me.
The card earns 1 percent cash back on all purchases. You also get eight free in-network ATM withdrawals per month. Always look for an in-network ATM because the out-of-network fee is $2.50 — plus additional fees that the ATM or bank owner might apply.
GoBank offers free transfers from your Uber account, and there is no minimum transfer amount. Plus, the company doesn’t charge overdrafts, insufficient funds, or penalty fees.
In my opinion, GoBank’s a solid deal if you’re regularly driving with Uber and Uber Eats.
Signing Up and Starting Out
Uber Eats has a relatively low barrier to entry. If you’re having trouble finding work or simply don’t want to go through an aggressive application process to get a job, this gig can provide a pathway to money.
With that in mind, here’s a breakdown of how to sign up and start using the app.
1. Sign up for Uber
If you’re already a driver on the Uber platform, then all you have to do is turn on delivery requests in the app and you can start making food deliveries. You don’t have to go through any additional approval process.
If you’re new to Uber, you have to go through a brief sign-up process to make deliveries. It should just take a few minutes.
2. Go through the screening process
You’ll also have to make sure you meet Uber’s eligibility requirements. To qualify, you’ll need to be at least 19 and have access to a vehicle along with insurance and government identification.
In other words, your school or college ID won’t cut it.
In addition, you’ll have to consent to a background check to drive for Uber Eats. Uber uses Checkr, which is a secure background verification company.
Background checks take roughly three to five business days to clear. Assuming you don’t have skeletons in your closet, you should be good to go. If for some reason you don’t qualify, consider reaching out to restaurants in your area and working for them directly.
3. Make deliveries
Once you’re up and running on the platform, log in and hit the road.
You’ll receive notifications whenever local delivery opportunities arise. Simply accept an order that looks good to you, pick it up, and drop it off to make money.
One small perk with this job is that you don’t have to deal with any cash because the app only processes digital payments. It’s much safer than driving around with a wad of cash in your glove box.
This is also helpful for people who struggle with math or have disabilities. For example, I have a friend who has dyscalculia, a rare condition that makes it hard to do quick transactions on the fly. But she can drive for apps like Uber Eats and make money because she doesn’t have to worry about doing math quickly.
This saves her the embarrassment of struggling to count through money or provide a correct change in front of a customer. All she has to do is drop off the food, and the money’s sent her way automatically.
Uber Eats Driver Promos for 2021
Here are the top Uber Eats driver promotions.
Uber Eats offers a referral program for drivers.
All you have to do is invite friends to deliver on Uber Eats and nag them until they complete a certain number of deliveries.
If you know people who might be into the idea, you can send personalized referrals directly from your contacts list via email or text message.
Once you send the person an invite code, you can start to track their progress in the app.
One thing to note: The referral reward varies by location. Either way, Uber automatically credits your account with rewards when the promotion is complete.
Uber Eats Pro
Uber Eats Pro is a rewards program that issues points for successful trips. The more you drive, the more you earn.
Here’s a look at what you can access through Uber Eats Pro.
100% tuition coverage at Arizona State University Online
Uber Eats will pay 100% tuition coverage to you or a family member to attend Arizona State University online — a pretty sweet deal if you ask me.
Take advantage of this opportunity to enroll in classes and start earning credits toward one of the school’s online bachelor’s degrees. While you’re at it, why not attend upskilling courses in entrepreneurship or technology?
25 percent discounted car maintenance
Sign up through CarAdvise through Uber Eats and receive a discount of up to 25 percent on car maintenance. If you ask me, that sounds pretty solid.
5 percent cashback on gas
Don’t let high gas prices keep you off the road. Sign up for the Uber Visa Debit card, and you can unlock up to 5 percent cash back at any gas station through Uber Eats Pro.
Uber Eats Security
Driving can be chaotic. You’ll take a risk every time you put your keys in the ignition.
Fortunately, Uber Eats offers some security features to make the experience a bit safer.
The company tracks all trips from start to completion. In the event something happens on the way to your delivery, you’ll have a record of it.
GPS tracking is only active when you’re driving for Uber Eats.
Customers can only contact you through the app if they need to give you special instructions or inquire about your status. All communications are anonymous, keeping your personal phone number private.
Follow my ride
One of my favorite features is “follow my ride.” It gives family and friends the ability to track you when you’re driving around town — which means you can have others looking out for you during your travels.
Personal injury protection (optional)
Let’s face it: Anything could happen when you’re out making deliveries. You could slip and fall down the stairs, get into a fender-bender, or hurt your back bending over to drop off someone’s food at their doorstep.
Uber Eats offers optional injury protection through Affinity Insurance Services, a product that’s designed to help if you get hurt and miss work.
This program costs less than $0.04 per mile and covers up to $500 per week in disability payments, up to $1 million in accidental medical expenses with no deductible or copay, and survivor benefits of up to a maximum of $150,000 for your family.
If you ask me, this is a no-brainer. But if you’re willing to roll the dice just to save a few bucks, that’s on you.
Customer Service and Support
Customer service and support is an important part of choosing a company to deliver for. Here’s the low down on Uber Eats.
Uber offers in-app phone support. If you have an account-related question or need to report an issue, you can get in touch with someone directly. Simply go to the “help” section in the app and follow the instructions.
Here’s how to do it: Open the app, tap the menu icon, touch help, and navigate to the issue you’re having. If phone support is available for that issue, click “call support.”
If you don’t see an option to call, try reporting a different issue to see if you can get through to a live agent. Sometimes, you might have to get a bit creative.
In my experience, these numbers are very difficult to attain, which shows how much users enjoy this app.
As such, you should feel confident and safe about downloading it onto your device and trusting it with your personal information.
Uber Eats Pros and Cons
Here are the pros and cons of Uber Eats as a side hustle.
- Set your own schedule
- Flexible delivery options (e.g., car, bike, or scooter)
- Secure app with nationwide coverage
- Not exclusive; work with other companies if you want
- Cash-out up to five times daily
- Earn more through promotions and referrals
- Proposition 22 benefits (California drivers only)
- Limited opportunities in some areas
- No job security
- Vehicle wear and tear
- Pay your own gas
- The company doesn’t pay for healthcare outside of California
- Heavy competition during peak hours
- Not the most lucrative
Alternatives to Uber Eats
Here are the top alternatives to Uber Eats.
Postmates is like Uber Eats, except it offers a wider variety of options for customers. The platform lets you order food, drinks, alcohol, groceries, and household and office items.
Postmates drivers’ pay is based on a few factors: an amount for a completed pickup, drop-off, a per-minute wait when waiting at the pickup location, and a per-mile rate for the distance between the pickup and drop-off locations. You’ll also keep 100% of the tips.
Grubhub pays for mileage per order, time spent on the road, tips, and special offers. You’ll keep 100% of your tips on this platform.
DoorDash is by far the most popular app on the market right now. The company serves over 4,000 cities around the world.
Just as with the other apps, as a DoorDash driver — or DoorDash Dasher — you can keep every customer tip you receive.
Lyft is the top rideshare app next to Uber. The company also offers a delivery service now through Lyft Delivery — although it isn’t as popular as Uber Eats.
Lyft drivers receive money through a base fare, time, and distance. It’s like there’s a theme here, since you also keep 100% of the tips you make. Bonus opportunities are available for extra income.
Uber Eats FAQs
Here are the most frequently asked questions about Uber Eats.
How much do Uber Eats drivers make?
Uber delivery drivers make about $14.96 per hour.
When you’re driving for Uber Eats, the amount you make depends on a few different factors — like your location, demand, and how much you deliver. You can potentially earn more by participating in bonuses and promotions, with vary throughout the year.
As an Uber Eats driver, you’ll work as an independent contractor. This means you’ll have to put money aside to pay taxes. Unlike most jobs, Uber won’t deduct taxes for you.
How long does it take for Uber Eats to approve you?
The signup process is relatively quick. However, you’ll have to wait for three to five business days for a background check to come back.
If you apply on a Monday, you should be able to start by that weekend — or at least the following week — if everything goes smoothly.
Is Uber Eats worth it for food delivery drivers?
Uber Eats can be a great way to bring in money on a flexible basis.
However, if you don’t have any other revenue streams or a full-time job, you’ll most likely have to use this in conjunction with the Uber rideshare service and other apps to make ends meet.
The Bottom Line
Using the Uber Eats driver app can be a solid personal finance decision – especially right now when there is high demand for food delivery.
In other words, if you want to earn money and have a car, it’s worth looking into Uber Eats.
The app is flexible, it offers a decent hourly rate, and you don’t need any real qualifications to make deliveries.
It’s time to get out there, fire up your engine, and pick some low-hanging fruit.
See you on the road!