Uber entered the on-demand food delivery space with UberEATS, a service inside the Uber app, along with a standalone UberEATS app that allows Uber users to order food from local restaurants. EATS at first only allowed customers choose from a fixed Instant Delivery menu containing only a few pre-prepared items. Now some cities offer full-menu service that’s similar to Postmates and DoorDash.
If you’re interested in driving for UberEATS, this article will tell you what the job is like, how much UberEATS drivers get paid, and how you can sign up to drive for UberEATS.
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What is UberEATS? – UberEATS is on-demand food delivery from local restaurants. Customers can choose any menu item from a restaurant and drivers pick up food at the restaurant and bring the food to customers. It is similar to Postmates and DoorDash.
- UberEATS user guide for customers – How to order food, contact customer service, and get free food
What UberEATS drivers do
- UberEATS drivers pick up and deliver food to customers. Drivers don’t handle payment, only deliveries
- UberEATS drivers can be 19 years old
- UberEATS cars can be 1996 or newer. Read the full UberEATS vehicle requirements
- You can choose to do only food deliveries while you work, or if your car qualifies you can also do regular Uber rides
- You receive requests that tell you where to pick up and drop off the order
- The app will tell you if the drop off is curbside, or if you have to go to their door
- You are paid a pickup fee, a drop off fee, and for mileage. Uber takes a 25% cut
- Customers can tip inside the Uber app. You keep 100% of tips
How to become an UberEATS driver
You can apply directly with UberEATS on the UberEATS website without becoming an UberX driver, or if you’re already a regular Uber driver you can opt into receiving EATS request. In the earlier days of EATS, only active UberX drivers could drive for EATS, so this is good news for those of you who don’t have a car that qualifies for UberX.
UberEATS driver requirements
Apply to drive for UberEATS on the EATS website.
- You must be 19 years old or older (21 years old in Canada)
- You must have a driver’s license, regular insurance, and proof of vehicle registration
- 1 year of driving experience
- Expect to lift up to 30 pounds
- Vehicle requirements: 1996 or newer for cities that allow Eats-only profiles. Otherwise vehicle requirements are the same as UberX
Note: These requirements are for UberEATS in markets that allow you to apply directly with eats. You may find that some markets require you to also be an UberX driver.
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Already an Uber driver? How to opt into Uber EATS
If you’re not an Uber driver, you can apply directly to UberEATS. If you’re already an Uber driver, you can opt into eats deliveries at partners.uber.com. Click on the menu, then click “Deliveries.” You’ll reach a page that contains an opt-in button. You’ll then be told to wait for an activation email. In my experience, activation took around one day.
The activation email will have a subject line like “Welcome to Uber EATS” and will contain a training video and other basic tips that will help you understand how to do deliveries.
How to enable or disable UberEATS delivery requests
You can choose whether you want to receive EATS requests or not. Inside the driver app, click the icon in the upper right corner, then tap the Settings icon. From there, you’ll see the “Trip Preferences” section. If you don’t want to accept EATS deliveries, tap on “Deliveries” to uncheck it. You can enable and disable other trip types too.
How do UberEats drivers get paid for deliveries?
UberEATS customers pay for the delivery through the Uber app, so EATS drivers don’t have to handle any cash or payment. Drivers are paid for each delivery based on a pickup fee, a drop-off fee, and a mileage fee. Your pay for an UberEATS delivery = Pickup fee + Distance travelled + drop-off fee. Uber takes a 25% cut of each order. (some markets my be 20%). If you have to do more than one drop off, you’ll get a drop-off fee for each different address that you have to deliver to.
UberEATS payout = Pickup fee + Distance travelled + drop-off fee – Uber’s cut
An example payout using Los Angeles rates: $2.50 for a pickup + $0.60 for mileage (3 miles at $0.20/mile) + $3.00 drop off fee = $6.10. Uber’s 25% fee is $1.52, total payout is $4.58. If you receive a tip, you receive 100% of it.
The UberEATS app in-app tipping feature
The UberEATS app allows in-app tipping. Customers can choose to leave you a tip after the order if complete, and after they rate you. Tipping delivery drivers is an expected practice in most cities, so many EATS drivers report getting both in-app or cash tip for nearly every delivery.
How much do UberEATS drivers make?
UberEATS drivers can expect to make around $8 – $12/hour after factoring in vehicle expenses. Pay can vary quite a bit from day to day and hour to hour, and it’s crucial to work lunch and dinner rushes if you want to earn on the higher end of the pay scale.
Getting UberEATS delivery requests
UberEATS delivery requests come in the same way that regular Uber requests do: Requests come in, and you get around 10 seconds to accept requests. After you accept the request, you see the customer’s location. You’ll then receive an automated text message that gives you order details. You’ll only receive requests for food that you already have, so don’t worry about having to run back to the distribution site in the middle of an order for an item you’re not carrying. You won’t see order details inside the app, which seems quite far behind the features that other delivery apps like DoorDash and Postmates have.
Here’s where deliveries can get tricky in the app: You have to use the ‘Slide to begin trip’ and ‘Slide to end trip’ buttons, just like regular Uber. But instead of sliding to begin the trip when you actually begin the delivery, you slide to begin the trip when you arrive at the customer. And, after you slide to begin, you immediately slide to end the trip. It’s not very intuitive, but once you do a delivery or two, you’ll get the hang of it.
Dropping off deliveries for UberEATS: Do you have to get out of your car?
Depending on your city and the order, you may not need to get out of your car to complete your delivery. When it’s time to navigate to your customer, their pin will have show one of two labels that will let you know how to complete the order.
- Curbside: The customer comes to you, you don’t have to get out of your car When you arrive at the customer’s location, they’ll be notified with a text that you’ve arrived, and you can call and let them know the food is there. Hand their food through the window and hope they hand you a tip in return — but don’t ask for one! Uber tells you not to directly ask for tips.
- Walk-in dropoff: You have to get out of your car and meet the customer at their address. If it’s not obvious where the customer will be based on the pin, send them a text while you’re on the way and ask if they have a preferred meeting spot.
Cancellation policy: Same as regular Uber. If you show up at the customer’s location and they don’t come out for five minutes, you can cancel the order and get a $5 cancellation fee.
Can you drive for UberX and UberEATS at the same time?
It depends on the market you’re driving in. In some markets, you can only receive delivery requests while you’re driving for UberEATS, You are still able to drive for UberX before or after your shift, but not during it. That means if you have downtime between deliveries, you can’t expect regular Uber rides to fill the time. Luckily the hourly guarantee will still compensate you during the downtime.
In some markets, you can drive for X and EATS at the same time if you’re opted into the EATS program. You can get an UberEATS, complete it, then get an X request immediately afterward.
Is driving for UberEATS a good job?
Uber EATS has easier vehicle requirements than regular Uber, so just about anyone can deliver for EATS and earn money. You can drive whenever and wherever you want without having to work about scheduling shifts or dealing with a boss. That’s a big benefit if you need flexible work right now.
Some big benefits of driving for UberEATS
- You can drive for EATS at 19 years old. You have to be 21 or older for UberX
- The vehicle requirements are much more lenient. Just about any working car will qualify.
Drawbacks of delivering for UberEATS
- The pay can be low. It can dip beneath $10/hour if your area isn’t busy and there’s no guaranteed minimum
- There are common work frustrations that can grind you down: Long waits at restaurants, traffic and parking, trouble contacting the customer or finding where exactly to deliver the food
Overall, if UberEATS is in your area and you’re looking for flexible work, it’s worth a try.
Other delivery options: Postmates and DoorDash
If you’re interested in driving for UberEATS, you should also consider delivering for Postmates and DoorDash. Both are delivery services similar to UberEATS: They are on-demand delivery apps that have lenient vehicle requirements and pay about the same as EATS.