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Grubhub vs Uber Eats: Understand the Differences to Make the Right Choice for You

The last five years have seen an explosion in the market for food delivery apps. We went from seeing Grubhub dominating the scene to the recent emergence of notable competitors like Uber Eats, DoorDash, PostMates, and Instacart.

Competition is good for any market, as these apps are under constant pressure to improve their services if they want to stay relevant in a rapidly evolving market. But it also makes it difficult to make a choice, not just for hungry users but also for delivery drivers.

In this post, we’ll take a look at two of these apps: Grubhub vs Uber Eats. Stick around if you want to learn about the main differences between them so you can decide where to work next!

The Main Differences Between Grubhub and Uber Eats

We’re comparing between Grubhub and Uber Eats across five key categories, and here are the results at a glance:

CategoryWinnerReason
Getting StartedGrubhubLoose vehicle requirements
AvailabilityGrubhubMore available in the US
SchedulingUber EatsNo fixed schedules
PaymentUber EatsHigher average base pay
Market ShareUber EatsHigher market share

1. Getting Started

Let’s look at the first step you’ll need to take before joining either app: signing up. Overall, it’s fairly similar across the board. Both apps also seem to have a similar screening process and requirements, so if you think you’ll pass for one of them, you’ll likely do well for the other.

Grubhub

To start, visit the Grubhub Driver page, choose your state and city, and click next. Fill the rest of your data until the page prompts you to download the mobile app and continue from there.

Once you’ve provided your details, they’ll be sent for screening. Grubhub won’t allow you to finish creating your profile (including your username and password) until you finish this step.

When you pass the screening and finish setting up everything, there’s still an orientation that you must go through before you can start delivering.

Driver Requirements

Grubhub has two sets of requirements: one general for all their drivers and one specific depending on your vehicle.

Generally, you must…

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have an iPhone with iOS 11 or higher or an Android phone with Android 5.0 or higher
  • Have a data plan
  • Have a checking account to accept direct deposits

If you’re planning on delivering by car, you must be at least 18 or 19 years old with a driver’s license valid for two years or one year, respectively. You’ll also need insurance.

Grubhub doesn’t mention requirements for scooter drivers, but we assume it’s the same as car drivers.

Alternatively, you can deliver on a bicycle with just a valid ID, be it a state ID, license, or passport.

Vehicle Requirements

Grubhub has loose requirements on vehicles. The rule is that it has to be road-legal, and that’s about it.

This means that the vehicle, whether it’s a car, motorcycle, or scooter, has to be registered in your local DMV (or equivalent office) and must be insured. As for bicycles, you only need an ID, as we mentioned above.

Uber Eats

Similar to Grubhub, you need to go to the Uber Eats Driver page and click on “Get started.”

From there, fill in your phone number and the rest of your details. The instructions are pretty clear, and you can set up your profile fully before the screening process.

Driver Requirements

Uber Eats has various sets of requirements depending on the type of vehicle you’ll deliver in.

To deliver in a car, you must…

  • Be at least 19 years old
  • Have a two-door or four-door car
  • Have a valid driver’s license
  • Submit your SSN for screening

Meanwhile, to deliver food on a motorcycle scooter, you need a scooter under 50 cc.

Now, we’re not sure how strict they are with this rule or why it’s there in the first place, but we’re assuming that bikes with bigger engines may not be allowed entirely for safety reasons. The rest of the requirements are the same as with cars.

As for bicycle delivery, you only need to be 18 or older and have a valid government-issued ID. You’ll also need to go through the background check.

Vehicle Requirements

Uber Eats has slightly stricter vehicle requirements than Grubhub.

For cars, they must be a two-seater or four-seater. This means that vans with two main doors and a third sliding door are out of the question. The car must also be a 1998 model or newer.

As for motorcycles, they need to have an engine under 50 cc and a top speed of 30 mph, which limits your options to scooters only.

(We believe this might be to ensure the safety of the drivers.) What’s more, scooter deliveries aren’t available in all cities.

Lastly, there are no requirements for bicycles.

Winner

This is a close race as the requirements are similar across the board, but we’re giving this one to Grubhub because its vehicle requirements are looser.

2. Availability in Cities and Towns

Before choosing where to work, you need to ensure that it operates in your area first.

For most people in cities, this shouldn’t be an issue, as both options (and most of their competitors) should be available. But if you’re in a smaller city or town, you should check if your app of choice is even available for you.

Grubhub

When it comes to availability in America, Grubhub is king. It had a massive head start compared to its competitors, and it shows in how widespread it is over the country. Currently, it operates in over 4,000 cities in the US.

Uber Eats

Unlike Grubhub, Uber Eats is more international. On its website, it says that it operates in over 6,000 cities across 45 countries.

There’s no specific breakdown of how many cities are in the US, although you can view all the American cities it operates in here.

However, if we assume that half of those 6,000 cities are in the US, then that’s still considerably less widespread than Grubhub.

Winner

This category has to go to Grubhub as well. Although we don’t know how many cities Uber Eats is available in, it’s probably nowhere near the 4,000 that have Grubhub.

However, Uber Eats has been expanding quite fast, and we won’t be surprised if it (or any other food delivery app) catches up to Grubhub in the future.

3. Scheduling and Flexibility

Controlling your work hours is one of the biggest benefits for most people, and for delivery drivers, it can be priceless.

But how does each app allow you to work? Do they enforce a set schedule, or can you pick up orders whenever you’re feeling like it?

Grubhub

To manage the supply and demand of drivers within its active zones, Grubhub enforces a system of non-fixed schedules that can change based on the needs of each town or city.

The way it works is that drivers have to reserve the times when they want to work in advance and on a first-come, first-serve basis.

For example, if you want to work on a certain day (Monday, for example) from 2 PM to 6 PM, you need to log in to the Grubhub drivers app and update your schedule as such. If that slot is empty (no one reserved it before you), you can work then.

Each day is divided into slots of one-hour length. If a slot is available, you’ll see a plus (+) sign next to it.

As to how far in advance you can book, this depends on your experience level and track record with Grubhub. Premier and Pro drivers (those with higher scores) gain earlier access to scheduling features.

Lastly, there’s technically an option to drive on the fly, but it’s limited and depends on the current demand in your area. This will most likely only work during rush hour in the busiest cities like New York and Los Angeles.

Uber Eats

Uber Eats has no scheduling system. Instead, you pick up the app and start delivering on the fly wherever you are.

Winner

Uber Eats wins this one, no questions asked.

Don’t get us wrong, fixed scheduling has its benefits, as it ensures that areas don’t get overcrowded with drivers, which could lead to some of them sitting idle with no available deliveries.

Still, being able to set your work hours truly sets Uber Eats apart from Grubhub on this one, and you can experiment with different times as you wish to see what suits your needs.

4. Payment

Now, let’s talk about payment concerns on both apps. This isn’t just about which pays higher, because although that’s a key element, you should also consider other things like pay per mile, tips, and more. After all, you can’t go headfirst into the highest raw dollar number; otherwise, you could end up in an unsustainable work environment.

Grubhub

Grubhub has a structured pay model that consists of base pay, Grubhub contributions, tips, and special missions.

The base pay is calculated based on your location, working time, mileage, delivery type, how long you’ve spent delivering, and more. Generally, it hovers around $3 to $4 per delivery.

As for Grubhub contributions, this is extra cash that Grubhub will give to meet your wage needs if you stick to your schedules but struggle to find deliveries due to factors outside your control, such as a low customer demand.

Grubhub will occasionally offer some of its drivers special missions for extra pay. And the drivers always keep 100% of their tips.

See also: How Much Does Grubhub Pay In 2023?

Uber Eats

Uber Eats isn’t as transparent in its payment model, but you can still estimate how much you could make driving for it.

Most of your total pay comes from a base fare that depends on numerous factors, usually around $5.

Then there’s extra pay for delivering during rush hour and an extra supplement from Uber for extra long deliveries. And you also get to keep 100% of your pay.

Winner

Again, Uber Eats wins this one because of the higher base pay and how it incentivizes its drivers to work during high-traffic times.

5. Market Share

Lastly, how ubiquitous is the app you want in your area? Is it the most popular choice among the locals? Let’s look at the 2023 data.

Grubhub

Although Grubhub was once the king of food delivery services in America, it’s been on the decline in the past few years. Currently, it has “only” 9% of the market share, but that still makes it an industry leader.

Uber Eats

In contrast, Uber Eats has been rising in popularity since it was founded and currently has 23% of the market. Add the 2% that still use Postmates (which was acquired by Uber) for a total of 25%.

Winner

Uber Eats wins this category as well, with nearly triple the market share of Grubhub.

To Recap

According to our five criteria, Uber Eats wins three while Grubhub takes two.

But this doesn’t mean that Uber Eats is automatically the best option for you. Many of the factors we talked about depend on your location and various other conditions.

For example, maybe you’d like to work a fixed shift to enjoy a more consistent income, in which case you wouldn’t care much about Uber’s “work on the fly” model.

In the end, weigh your options from both sides and perhaps seek advice from people who work with either app in your area.

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