Everyone knows Uber as a rideshare service. After all, they give more than five million rides every single day. But that’s not all they do.
Uber expanded quite a bit over the past few years, and they’ve branched out to offer more services, including Uber Eats.
Uber Eats allows customers to order meals from a variety of different local restaurants. From fast food joints to nice restaurants, Uber Eats makes it possible for customers to have a meal delivered straight to their door. The job of the Uber Eats driver is to pick up that food and deliver it wherever the customers are.
Similar to Uber, Uber Eats drivers work as independent contractors. As an Uber Eats driver, you make your own schedule. You work when you want and where you want. It’s a flexible opportunity and a great way to make money in the gig economy.
Want to sign up to drive with Uber Eats? Here’s everything you need to know about the job, the requirements, and how much money you can make doing it.
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What Does an Uber Eats Driver Do?
Unlike driving for Uber in a rideshare role, delivery drivers do two basic things: pick up food and take it to the customer’s home. Depending on the city you work in, you’ll either have to walk the order to the customer’s front door or have them meet you at your car for curbside delivery.
Uber delivery drivers never have to handle or carry cash. Customers pay via credit card and all transactions take place online and through the app. The only exception is tips. Customers sometimes tip in cash, but they also have the option to tip in the Uber Eats app.
In most cases, you need a vehicle to drive from the restaurant to the customer’s home or office. Uber Eats allows bike delivery and scooter delivery in select cities — mostly in condensed urban areas. And on occasion, some drivers even deliver on foot.
So what does a day in the life of an Uber Eats driver look like? It’s actually not that different from driving for the rideshare service.
You log into the Uber driver app, wait for an order request to come in, and accept that order. You drive to the restaurant, pick up the food, and drive it to the customer’s location. The amount you earn depends on the size of the order, the fees in your city, and the distance from the restaurant to the drop-off location.
In many cases, Uber Eats drivers also work for the regular Uber rideshare service too. And more and more, we see drivers bouncing back and forth between the two services.
Think about it — if there’s no ride request at the moment, why not pick up someone’s dinner and make money that way instead?
How Much Money Do Uber Eats Drivers Make?
Okay — let’s get right down to it — the question that every potential Uber Eats driver has. How much money can I make?
Like any ridesharing gig, earnings vary from person to person. Glassdoor reports that drivers typically earn $11 per hour. But keep in mind, some are making less and some are making more, especially if they’re doing this full-time. Another survey reports them making less than $7 per hour.
Getting paid as an Uber Eats driver is similar to being an Uber driver in that while you’re paid weekly, their Instant Pay option means you can get a payout immediately up to five times a day.
As an Uber Eats driver, there are several factors that contribute to your earnings. Let’s take a look at some things that will affect your pay.
1. Pickup Fees
Every order incurs a pickup fee. You earn a set rate for every restaurant you go to and every order that you pick up. The exact fees vary from city to city, but in most cases, they’re under $5.
2. Delivery Fees
Delivery orders are also subject to fees. The exact fee varies depending on your region, and they’re calculated by the distance between the restaurant and the customer’s home. The further away the restaurant is, the higher the delivery fee.
Uber Eats used to charge a $4.99 flat fee for every delivery. They changed this policy in 2018 to reflect the distance between the pickup and drop-off point.
As with everything else, mileage fees vary from city to city. You earn money for every mile accrued while driving. The mileage fees also vary depending on whether you’re driving, riding a bike, riding a scooter, or walking.
4. Uber Eats Tips
Customers have the option to tip in cash or tip through the app. Uber takes a 25% cut of every bill, but they don’t touch any of your tips. Drivers get to keep 100% of tips, no matter what.
5. Boost Prices
Like surge pricing for Uber drivers, Uber Eats drivers are also paid an increased wage during high-demand times. For Uber Eats, this is called “Boost.” Again, fees vary depending upon the city and the time of day. Regardless of the increased wage, Uber takes a 25% cut.
How Do I Drive for Uber Eats?
The first step before you can drive for Uber Eats is to determine if the food delivery service is available in your city. You also need to make sure you can meet both the driver requirements and the vehicle requirements. (Keep reading for more details on those.)
Once you know that you meet the basic requirements, you can apply for the gig on Uber.com.
You’ll need to create an account and enter some basic info, including your name, address, phone number, and email. You’ll also need to show your driver’s license and provide proof of vehicle registration and insurance.
Submit your info and wait for your reply — it usually takes 24-48 hours, but sometimes it takes longer. During that time, Uber conducts a background check and processes your application.
When the process is complete, Uber will contact you via email. If they accept you, they’ll send you a username and a password that you can use to log into the app.
With your username and password, you can download the app and start making deliveries as soon as you’re ready.
Uber Eats Driver Requirements
You don’t need a college degree or a special skill set to drive for Uber Eats — but you do have to meet the driver requirements.
To qualify as a driver, you must be more than 19 years old. The only exception to this rule is if you plan to deliver by bike or by foot. If you want to deliver by bike or foot, you must be at least 18 years old.
You must also have at least one year of driving experience. So if you’ve just gotten your license today, you can’t start working for Uber Eats tomorrow.
You also need a valid driver’s license, proof of insurance, and up-to-date vehicle registration. And you have to be able to carry at least 30 pounds. Most food orders are considerably lighter, but you need to be able to lift heavier items when needed.
For some drivers, the trickiest part is passing the background check. Uber Eats uses an app called Checkr to conduct background checks on every driver. You’re checked before you’re approved for the job and then again every year that you stay with the company.
They don’t care if you’ve had a parking ticket or two in your past. What they’re looking for is evidence of serious violations, such as DUI charges, violent crimes, and sexual offenses. They also look for theft charges, major traffic violation, and felonies. If you have any of those on your record, you won’t pass the background check.
What are the driver requirements for Uber Eats?
You can read more about the requirements necessary to drive with Uber Eats in this blog post.
Uber Eats Vehicle Requirements
In addition to meeting the driver requirements, you also have to meet a set of vehicle requirements. Even if you plan to deliver via bike or scooter, there are some standards you’ll need to meet.
If you’re driving a car, your vehicle must be from 1999 or later. Since you’re not actually transporting passengers, the vehicle requirements for Uber Eats are less stringent than for Uber itself.
That said, though, you still cannot drive a rental vehicle for Uber Eats. That is, unless, you rent it directly through Uber. The company provides a variety of vehicle options for drivers who don’t own their own car.
Assuming that your car meets the requirements, you have to also have an insurance policy in your own name. If you borrow a vehicle from a relative or friend, your name must be listed on the insurance policy.
If you’re unsure whether your vehicle meets the special requirements for your particular city or region or if you have any other questions, you can also speak with the Uber support team directly.
For delivery partners that want to deliver by scooter, your scooter has to meet a different set of requirements. It must have two wheels and a 50cc motor or lower. Plus, it must travel at speeds under 30 mph. As with a vehicle, your scooter must be covered under a valid insurance policy.
Prefer to deliver by bicycle? There are no cosmetic or insurance requirements for drivers who wish to deliver via an un-motorized two-wheel bike.
What are the vehicle delivery requirements for Uber Eats?
Already Drive for Uber? Switching to Uber Eats Is Easy
For current Uber drivers, making the transition to drive for Uber Eats and earn some extra cash is easy. The driver and vehicle requirements are the same, so if you’re already qualified to drive for Uber, you can drive for Uber Eats.
As an existing UberX driver, you qualify to opt-in to the Uber Partner app. To start delivering for Uber Eats, just open the Uber app and scroll down until you see the window that says “get more requests by upgrading to delivery.”
Once you find that window, click “Yes! I want to do delivery!” and follow the instructions and prompts from there. If for some reason you don’t see this window, contact support for assistance. They’ll be able to guide you through the process so you’re up and running on both platforms at the same time.
Once you’re signed up to driver for Uber Eats, you can receive delivery requests and ride requests in the same app.
Anyone that works as a rideshare driver knows that it’s crucial to diversify your income with different tasks. So if you’re an Uber driver, becoming an Uber Eats delivery partner is a natural extension of the job you’re already doing. And if you’re not a rideshare driver, Uber Eats is a viable alternative that can put some extra money in your pocket.
Time to Drive for Uber Eats
Some people don’t want to drive passengers around in their car or have to deal with drunk people that need a ride home from the bar. That’s understandable. So if driving passengers isn’t for you, consider delivering food instead.
To decide if being a food delivery driver is the right move for you, check to make sure you meet the requirements. You’ll need to be of a certain age, be able to pass a background check, and have car insurance, a driver’s license, and a vehicle registration. Your vehicle also needs to meet certain standards.
If you qualify, sign up on the Uber website and give the company a few days to process your application. When they accept you, they’ll send you a username and password for the app, and you can get started picking up and dropping off food right away.
Be sure to check out other food delivery apps, such as DoorDash, Postmates, and GrubHub, as well. (Lyft does not currently have a food delivery option.) You could potentially start delivering with all of them and make great money on your own schedule.
As a delivery driver, you can work as much or as little as you want. If you provide excellent service, you can earn decent tips. And if you’re already a rideshare driver, delivering for Uber Eats is the best way to supplement your income.
When no one needs a ride, you just might be able to find someone who’s hungry and needs you to bring lunch or dinner to their door.