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Guide to Rideshare and Food Delivery Driving on New Year’s Eve

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As we close the book on 2022, New Year’s Eve will look a little different this year than it did in years of the past. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, New Year’s Eve celebrations will likely be scaled down and indoors.

Throughout the continental United States, bars and restaurants are closed, celebratory gatherings are limited, and people are hesitant to get together.

So what does this mean for rideshare and delivery drivers? It means they have more time for driving, but that they need to adapt.

In this guide, I’m going to suggest a few strategies on driving and delivering that I think will be effective.

Changing Trends

So what is different this year than in previous New Year’s Eves? Let’s take a look at some trends that will be different than year’s past.

Rideshare Driving

First, rideshare driving will be virtually nonexistent.

As cases of COVID-19 continue to ride in the largest cities across the United States, lockdowns in those cities have been implemented in an effort to reverse the trend and contain the spread of the virus.

As a result, many bars, restaurants, and event centers have closed entirely. Additionally, the mandates also include limits on public gatherings and the amount of people allowed to gather in one centralized location at once.

As a result of these limitations, drivers can expect people across the country to stay in their homes and not go out like they have previously. If they do gather, it will be at private residences limited in number.

With that, comes fewer opportunities for ride requests, less SURGE pricing, and far less earnings as a result.

While the largest cities in the United States with the largest populations are under strict lockdown, there are still some smaller cities in less populated locations that aren’t under such strict restrictions.

Omaha, Nebraska, is one of them for example. That’s where I live, and we’re actually doing the opposite of the larger cities – lifting restrictions because the spread of the virus in Omaha is actually lessening.

Despite the lack of restrictions, there is still a stigma associated with large gatherings, meaning that many people (including most of my friends) will stay in anyways.

Key Takeaway: public gatherings are limited, so rideshare drivers will have very few opportunities for ride requests and lucrative fare opportunities.

Delivery Driving

As you can expect, when people stay home, the demand for delivery increases as food delivery requests skyrocket.

This is a massive trend that we saw earlier this year in March and April when the first COVID-related lockdowns began to take effect.

Since then, if you signed up to be a driver for an online food delivery service like Postmates, DoorDash, or Instacart, you’ve likely been swamped with delivery requests and earned a consistent income.

And tonight I personally expect delivery requests to be off the charts.

If people can’t go out, they’re staying in, and as a result, they probably don’t want to worry about cooking. So what will the do? Order in food to their homes.

Key Takeway: if you’re already a driver and won’t be missing out on time with friends or family, tonight is the night to drive for food delivery services.

My Take

As many, if not all of you are away, 2023 has proven itself to be a very very weird year. What we thought was normal went out the window entirely, causing us to rethink how we view work and side hustles.

So to expect driving on New Year’s Even to be any different is not even a possibility. However, we can and should adapt in order to take advantage of the changing trends.

My personal suggestion would be to drive for both rideshare and delivery services. Test the waters in your city and see which one you think will be the best throughout the night.

You should be able to tell fairly quickly what the night will entail. If you have a ton of rideshare requests early on in the night, great. Keep doing that. But if you are finding yourself having a lack of passenger demand, then supplement your time with delivery services instead of sitting around waiting for trip request.

On the other hand, you might find that other drivers have assumed that there will be a lack of demand. With very few drivers available, SURGE and Prime Time pricing might activate in your city, allowing for lucrative ride fares.

Like I’ve said before though, we’re living in unprecedented times and it’s really anybody’s guess what will happen as the night progresses.

Over to you:

Do you agree with my assessment of the rideshare and delivery driving landscape during this panedic? Let me know by dropping your thoughts in the comments section below.

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