How Does Uber Eats Work? The Ultimate Guide to Ordering on Uber Eats
It seems like you can have anything delivered these days. Whether it’s a birthday gift for a loved one, the latest tech gadget or even toilet paper, someone will deliver it at the click of a button.
The same is true of food.
Food delivery itself isn’t new, of course, but recent technological advances in mapping and the wider prevalence of smartphones have given rise to a whole new food delivery and order experience.
One of the biggest players in the food delivery realm is Uber Eats.
Here, we’ll show you how Uber Eats works and give you a step-by-step guide on how to sign up and order your favorite foods from local restaurants.
Plus, we’ll show you how much it costs and give you tips on how to get discounts by providing you with a money-saving coupon code that’ll grant you free credit on your order.
Let’s jump right in.
What Is Uber Eats?
Uber Eats is a food delivery service that rideshare giant Uber launched after the success of their flagship app Uber, which allows people to get private rides at the touch of a button.
The food delivery service is built off existing Uber technologies to create a food delivery experience with a similar interface.
Although it wasn’t the first player to enter the on-demand mobile food delivery market, this food delivery service has certainly gained wide acceptance since it first launched in 2014.
Ordering food right to your home with Uber Eats is quick and easy.
You start by making an account if you don’t already have one.
Once you’re logged in, you can see which local restaurants have partnered with Uber Eats and browse menus, all in one app.
Once you find whatever you’re craving, place your order and pay through the app.
Just like Uber or Lyft, all payment is handled through the app; there’s no exchange of cash required.
Your delivery driver then picks up the food from the restaurant and delivers it to you.
After you place your order, you’ll be able to receive real-time updates about its progress from within the Uber Eats app.
The app will tell you when your Uber Eats driver will arrive. You can follow their progress as your food makes its way from the restaurant to your location.
You can also use the app to leave a tip, see past delivery requests and view invoices for your previous orders.
We’ll walk you through this entire process step-by-step below.
How to Sign Up for and Use Uber Eats
Now that you know the basic premise of Uber Eats, we’ll go through each of the steps to make an order.
To order food from a local restaurant, all you need is the Uber Eats app and a smartphone, tablet, or computer:
- Download the Uber Eats App. You can find the app for Android or Apple phones in the App Store or Google Play. You can also find links to download the app on uber.com by clicking on the “Eat” tab, or at ubereats.com. You can’t use the normal Uber app to order food.
- Enter your location. Uber Eats services vary from location to location. Enter your delivery address — it can be your home, a friend’s house, or your vacation rental, for example — to see what restaurants are available in your area.
- Add payment method. Add a credit card or debit card to use when paying for your food orders. You can also load your account using Uber Cash, use a gift card, and in the United States, link your PayPal.
- Search for specific restaurants or by type of cuisine. With your location entered, you can scroll through restaurant options. You can use the search feature to find a specific restaurant you adore or to find a type of food like Chinese, vegan, or a steakhouse. You can also search by price to find cheap eats or fine cuisine.
- Browse the menu and make a selection. Once you find a restaurant you like, click on the items to add them to your cart. Sometimes, you’ll see options to customize your food item or add ingredients. Select these options before clicking “add to order.”
- Place your order. After you’ve selected all of the items you want, click on your cart and select “checkout.” The app will take you to a payment screen where you can see the order fee, service fee, and delivery fee as well as the final payment amount. If everything looks good, place your order.
- Track your food in real time. After you place your order, you’ll get a notification when the restaurant starts to prepare your food. You’ll also be able to track the delivery driver as they pick up your order and bring it to your location. The app shows estimated arrival times so you know when to expect your food.
- Receive and accept the order. You’ll receive another notification as the driver is pulling up to your location. You can meet the driver outside, wait for them to knock and take it from them, or just pick up the bag of food from your doorstep.
- Leave a tip and dig in! You can choose to tip your driver if you think they did a good job. We recommend leaving a tip since this helps drivers and delivery people cover their expenses. It’s also a great way to say thanks for their time. Now all that’s left is to fill up on your tasty treats!
Ordering food using Uber Eats is quick and easy.
With these easy steps, you can choose an online breakfast delivery or order a three-course meal for dinner with friends and family.
Since you can track your order from start to finish, it’s easy to monitor progress and stay aware of any delays or issues.
If something comes up, you can also contact Uber Eats customer service to get the issue resolved.
How Much Does Uber Eats Cost?
The cost of your Uber Eats order will vary depending on your food choices and where you live in relation to your chosen restaurant.
In general, you’ll pay the price of the food items plus taxes and a delivery or service fee.
Restaurants set the pricing for the food item, which may be different than what you’d pay if you dined in.
In some cases, you may also pay a higher delivery or service fee due to surge pricing.
Tipping can also increase the price of your food order. Not sure how much to leave the driver?
We made a guide detailing everything you need to know about Uber Eats tipping.
In short, you can choose to tip a percentage of your order total or a standard 10% to 20%, but we generally recommend leaving at least $1 to $3 per order.
The Uber Eats app makes it easy to see exactly what you’ll pay when making your order.
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On the checkout page, you’ll see the subtotal plus any applicable fees including a small order fee, delivery fee, and service fee.
You can click on each fee to get more information about what you’re paying for.
You’ll also see a spot to enter promotion codes that can save you money.
If you’re a new user, you can also save money by using the promo code EATSYUM7 to get $5 off your first two orders.
Existing users can find promo codes that can sometimes be used on Uber Eats.
Cities Where Uber Eats Delivers
Below is a list of every city where Uber Eats delivers at the time publication.
Note that availability can vary within a given city, both in terms of areas served and restaurants available.
For the most up-to-date information on service in your city, check the Uber Eats app; the company continues to partner with new restaurants and expand service as possible.
To learn more (including when Uber delivery will be coming to your city), visit the Uber Eats City List.
Interesting Restaurants That Uber Eats Delivers
We've covered where Uber Eats delivers, but what about what they deliver?
Since giving you an overview of everything the company delivers wouldn't be practical (the list of restaurants alone would number into the thousands), we thought it would be fun to look at some of the more distinctive restaurants that Uber Eats delivers across the United States.
Uber delivery can bring you all the fast food you'd expect of a food delivery service, of course, and many of the delivery offerings focus on fast casual chains or quick service restaurant favorites.
However, this isn't the only sort of food Uber delivery can bring to your door.
Blossom du Jour (Manhattan)
Bloom du Jour is fast food, yes, but unlike fast food you'd encounter anywhere else in the world.
The fast food at Blossom du Jour is 100 percent vegan and can accommodate most common food allergies.
In addition, the restaurant focuses on environmentally conscious and sustainable ingredients and preparation.
Try building your own bowl or grab a sandwich or wrap for a quick bite.
Sloppy Mama’s BBQ (Washington, D.C.)
Sloppy Mama's BBQ keeps things simple and classic, offering a selection of pork, brisket, and chicken sandwiches and plates.
The sides are minimalist as well, with your choice of baked beans, cole slaw, potato salad, pickles or corn bread.
Vegan options are also available, meaning everyone can enjoy takeout from this D.C. favorite.
Poke Poké (Chicago)
"Poké" is Hawaiian for "chunk," and it refers to the chunks of sushi-grade tuna, salmon and other seasonal fish that you'll find served in the salads and bowls at this Chicago spot.
If you like sushi, then odds are you'll like poké.
Ba Bar (Seattle)
Ba Bar brings Vietnamese street food to the Emerald City. You'll find classics such as pho and a variety of rotating daily specials.
What's more, Ba Bar is open till 4 a.m. on the weekends, so it's a good option if you want something delivered late.
Butcher & Singer (Philadelphia)
Famous for their high-end steaks and chops, Butcher & Singer isn't the sort of restaurant you'd expect to be available for delivery.
But that's exactly what Uber Eats makes possible, allowing you to eat in without having to settle for boring takeout.
Originating in Buenos Aires, Novecento is an Argentinean bistro focusing on Italian pastas, Argentinian favorites (expect lots and lots of grilled meats) and brunch.
Restaurants like Novecento demonstrate the cultural diversity of Miami, so we're excited to see Uber Eats offering it for delivery.
Sublime Doughnuts (Atlanta)
Sublime Doughnuts offers upscale doughnuts, ice cream and burgers in locations across Atlanta.
If you order from the North Druid Hills location, you can even get food that is Kosher certified. How many doughnut shops can say that?
Hattie B's (Nashville)
Hattie B's is known for their take on a Nashville original: hot chicken.
Hot chicken is fried chicken with a distinctive spice blend that gives it quite a kick.
They also offer a variety of classic Southern sides like potato salad and mac ‘n' cheese and of course, sweet tea.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that we’ve answered “How does Uber Eats work,” here are answers to some other common questions about the Uber Eats service and app.
Is Uber Eats part of the Uber app?
You can’t use the regular Uber app to order food from Uber Eats. Uber Eats is a distinct service with a separate app.
What is the average delivery time?
When you go to place your order, Uber Eats will display an estimated delivery time.
Once you place your order, you’ll be able to track your driver’s progress in real time, receiving notifications when they’ve picked the food up from the restaurant and when they’re on their way.
The delivery time can vary due to a variety of factors, including the time of day (demand is greater during the lunch rush, evenings and weekends), number of available drivers, and the popularity of the restaurant.
How much does delivery cost?
In the quest to answer “How does Uber Eats work,” the delivery fee is a main concern.
For each order that you place from Uber Eats, you’ll pay for the cost of the food, a delivery fee, and any applicable taxes.
The delivery fee is usually a few dollars.
Note also that it’s up to the restaurant to set the cost of the food; this cost may differ from what you would pay if you were dining at the restaurant.
Similar to Uber surge pricing, you may also pay an additional fee if you’re ordering in a busy area. However, it is possible to get a discount on your order.
When you sign up using the promo code EATSYUM7, you’ll receive $5 off each of your first two orders (must be a new user to qualify).
When is Uber Eats available?
Uber Eats delivery is available whenever the participating restaurants are open.
In some cases, this can mean that 24-hour delivery is available, though you should check the delivery hours of the individual restaurants within the Uber Eats app to verify the exact delivery hours.
Can I pay in cash?
Uber Eats is designed to be a cashless experience. All payments occur within the app using the card you have on file.
The only exception is when it comes to tipping: Cash tips are always appreciated (though you can also tip from within the app if you prefer).
How do I become an Uber Eats driver?
Delivering food is a way for regular Uber drivers to supplement the income they earn from Uber rides.
In addition to your car, in some cities you can also deliver food using a bike or scooter, meaning that Uber Eats can present work opportunities for people who don’t have access to a car.
To become an Uber Eats driver, you’ll need to download the Uber Eats Driver app, pass a background check, and meet certain requirements.
To learn more, check out our comprehensive Uber Eats driver guide.
What restaurants does Uber Eats deliver?
Uber Eats has a variety of restaurant delivery partners. The exact restaurants that the service delivers vary based on your city.
Generally, the restaurants are a mix of chains and local favorites.
To see which restaurants are available for delivery in your city, check the app.
What are alternatives to Uber Eats?
While Uber Eats is a convenient app, it’s not the only option you have for getting food delivered to your door.
Here are some popular alternatives to Uber Eats:
The above options may or may not be available in your city. Check out the linked guide for each to find out more.
Savor Your Favorite Foods With Uber Eats
From San Francisco to Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. to New York, plus smaller cities in between, Uber Eats makes it easy to get restaurant food delivered to your front door.
The service is also available in dozens of other countries including Dubai, the United Kingdom, and France.
With just a few clicks, you can order food items from burritos to steak dinners using this food delivery service.
After making your selection, you can watch your food order as it makes its way from the restaurant kitchen to your home.
These services make it easy to order ahead for a birthday get-together or to grab a quick bite when you don’t feel like whipping up a meal.
Let someone else do the hard work of preparing a meal by using Uber Eats to order your grub.
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