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How Much Does Uber Eats Cost? Fees & Pricing Explained

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Key Information

Uber Eats Cost Components

Your Uber Eats bill includes food price, delivery fee, service fee, possible small order fees, taxes, and optional tips.

Why Uber Eats is Expensive

Uber Eats prices can be higher due to convenience, restaurant mark-ups, driver compensation, hidden fees, and increasing demand.

Types of Uber Eats Fees

Understand base price, delivery fee, service fee, small order fee, busy fee, change/cancellation fees, taxes, and tipping.

Saving on Uber Eats

Filter restaurants by price, use special offers, subscribe to Eats Pass, check deals, and pay with rewards cards to make Uber Eats more budget-friendly.

Many of us will agree that Uber Eats exists to satisfy everyone’s needs. It allows people to experience their favorite restaurant food from the comfort of their homes.

However, one of the questions that customers frequently have is, “Why is Uber Eats so expensive?” It’s unclear whether the higher prices are a result of the Uber Eats fees, the higher demand, or something else entirely.

To put your confusion to rest, we’re here to provide you with the answer to that question. Let’s jump right into it.

How Much Does Uber Eats Cost?

At a high level, the cost of an Uber Eats order comprises the base price of the food, a delivery fee, a service fee, potential small order fees, taxes, and optional tipping for the delivery driver.

Some users may also encounter additional costs like subscription fees for Uber One or promotional discounts that can affect the final price.

Each of these components plays a role in determining the total cost of your order. Below, we delve into a detailed breakdown of each of these items to give you a clearer understanding of what you’re paying for.

Why is Uber Eats So Expensive?

Uber Eats has rapidly become one of the top food delivery choices in the United States. Yet, I commonly get asked the question: “Why is Uber Eats so expensive?”

Many have observed that prices on Uber Eats can sometimes be considerably higher than ordering directly from a restaurant or choosing other food delivery services.

This can be frustrating to see, but there’s actually a lot more that go into the price increases than you probably think:

  1. Paying for Convenience: The ease of ordering isn’t free. Service and delivery fees cover app operations, such as payment processing, customer assistance, and promotional activities.
  2. Marked-Up Restaurant Prices: To cover the commission paid to Uber Eats, some restaurants raise food prices on the app, making dishes costlier than direct orders.
  3. Driver Compensation and Availability: A chunk of your payment goes to driver compensation. High demand periods can also influence the delivery fees you see.
  4. Hidden Fees: Apart from food prices, there are added charges. Fees for small orders or deliveries to high-traffic or distant areas can elevate the total cost on your bill.
  5. Increasing Demand: As more people turn to food delivery, demand rises. This heightened demand can push prices up, especially during peak hours.

At first glance, Uber Eats’ prices might seem on the higher side, but it’s important to recognize that you’re choosing a premium food delivery service dedicated to quality, efficiency, and user satisfaction.

Above all else though, the convenience and time-savings offered, along with the operational costs, play the biggest roles in causing inflated Uber Eats prices.

Types of Uber Eats Fees

There are numerous Uber Eats fees you might encounter while ordering on the app. We’ve reviewed each one so you can better understand where your money is going when you call for delivery.

1. Base Price

The basic cost of every Uber Eats order is the food price.

Inside the app, you can see item prices and any extra fees for changes. However, the app’s price might be higher than what you’d see at the restaurant itself.

a screenshot showing the base price on an uber eats order

Restaurants set their own prices, so what you see in-app might differ from in-person prices. Sometimes, restaurants offer special deals in the app to help you save.

2. Delivery Fee

Delivery fees on Uber Eats cover the convenience of doorstep food delivery and contribute to driver pay, much like the fees in Uber’s ride service.

a screenshot showing the delivery fee price on an uber eats order

The fee isn’t fixed; it varies based on factors like your location, the restaurant’s distance, and Uber’s discretion. Typically, it’s under $5, but exact amounts depend on various market factors—using the app will give the most accurate estimate.

Pro Tip: If you schedule an Uber Eats order, you can usually get the order at the time you want, but not pay the Priority fee. Planning ahead like this will save you $2.99.

3. Service Fee

In March 2021, Uber Eats introduced a service fee on delivery orders, with a minimum charge of $1. This doesn’t apply to self-delivering restaurants. It’s calculated based on the order value, delivery time, and driver availability.

a screenshot showing the taxes and service fee price on an uber eats order

Many customers find this new fee surprising on their bill. The service fee, ranging from 15% to 30% of the order total, covers Uber Eats’ administrative costs like payment processing, customer support, and marketing.

4. Other Fees You Could Encounter

In addition to the standard Uber Eats fees applied to every order, there are also times in which you might be charged additional fees as well.

Small Order Fee

Uber Eats charges a small order fee for purchases below a certain amount. The fee varies by region and is designed to motivate users to meet a minimum order value, making deliveries more profitable for the platform and its drivers.

Busy Fee

Uber Eats may levy a “busy fee” when demand surpasses driver availability. This dynamic pricing reflects order volume and restaurant popularity. It’s often higher during peak times but can be avoided by scheduling orders during off-peak hours.

Fees for Changed Orders & Cancellations

Modifying or cancelling an order on Uber Eats may result in extra fees. These adjustments account for potential disruptions in the ordering process. A cancellation fee compensates drivers for time and effort, especially if they’ve already commenced delivery.

As an example, I recently cancelled an Uber Eats order because I added the wrong item to my cart. Even though I cancelled the order immediately after placing it, I was still charged because the driver accepted the pickup and began heading that way.

Uber eats receipt for a cancelled Uber Eats order

Pro Tip: Uber does have a pretty decent refund policy for fighting fees that users think are unfair. I’ve successfully lobbied for a refund in multiple cases, getting money back simply by reaching out and explaining why I didn’t agree with the charge.

5. Taxes and Regulatory Response Fees

Every Uber Eats order incurs region-specific taxes, which could include sales tax or additional surcharges. These taxes are itemized separately during checkout, ensuring clarity for customers on all applied charges.

6. Tip

Tipping on Uber Eats, while optional, is a great way to show a bit of appreciation for the driver that picked up your order.

As independent contractors without standard benefits, a tip, usually 10-20% of the order, rewards their effort, especially during tough conditions.

a screenshot showing the tip screen on an uber eats order

7. Subscription Service: Uber Eats Pass

Uber Eats Pass, at $9.99/month, targets regular users, offering free delivery and 5% off on orders over $15 from marked restaurants. The subscription can quickly pay for itself with frequent orders.

Example Uber Eats Order Cost

To show you how these fees are applied to a real order, I’ll walk you through my Friday night Uber Eats splurge: Chipotle burritos. Here’s how my receipt broke down the Uber Eats fees:

a screenshot of an example Uber Eats order

Base Price:

ItemCost
Chicken Burrito:$12.15
Queso Blanco:$2.10
Subtotal:$14.25

Plus Uber Eats Fees:

FeeCost
Delivery Fee:$0.99
Service Fee:$2.28
Taxes:$1.68
Order Total:$19.20

*You can choose to add priority delivery for $1.49, especially if you’re like me and you get a little bit hangry. I like to schedule my deliveries though, so in doing so, I avoid this fee.

PLUS Tip:

FeeCost
Tip for DriverRoughly 20% or $4.00
New Total$23.20

After reviewing my receipt, I could see where things started to add up. I initially expected my bill to be around 20 bucks, but the price shot up with the added Uber Eats fees – delivery and service fees.

In store, this burrito would be around $14 give or take. On Uber Eats, it is pretty close to double that amount.

If you’re like me, you probably don’t want to be spending double the price for every time you have a craving or don’t have the time or energy to cook a meal.

You can certainly go without the additional priority delivery charge (patience is a virtue, isn’t it?), but being aware of how quickly Uber Eats’ small fees add up will save you from a headache later on.

Is Paying for Uber Eats Worth It?

Paying for Uber Eats and deciding if it is worth it can vary depending on individual preferences and circumstances. Here are some pros and cons to consider:

Pros of Uber Eats

Convenient home delivery from top restaurants.

Broad selection of eateries and price points.

Live delivery tracking with a robust app.

Regular promotions and discount codes.

Cons of Uber Eats

Potential hidden fees and added delivery costs.

Food quality might differ from dine-in.

Delivery time estimates can vary with traffic.

Conclusion: Is Uber Eats Worth Paying For?

Overall, it may be worthwhile to pay for Uber Eats. You’ll be pleased if you value the service’s convenience, big assortment of food items, and specials. However, it’s critical to be aware of any additional delivery charges and potential markups! 

How Can You Make Uber Eats Cheaper?

vector graphic of a man riding an uber eats bicycle

Ordering food delivery with Uber Eats isn’t the most affordable option. Like with any other food delivery business, you’ll be required to pay far more than the actual cost of the food. It includes service, delivery, and other costs.

However, we’ve found a few methods to save money with Uber Eats. Let’s have a look at them.

1. Filter Restaurants By Price

You can use the pricing filter on Uber Eats to identify restaurants that fall inside your price range.

To view the top restaurants at lower price points in addition to using the price filter, we advise sorting by rating.

2. Take Advantage of Special Offers and Rewards

Regular promos and discounts from Uber Eats include free delivery or a percentage off the price of the food.

In addition, multiple restaurants run their own specials with giveaways or discounts that decrease the delivery prices on a daily basis! 

3. Sign Up for Eats Pass

You can start saving money with Uber Eats Pass! Members of this monthly subscription service receive benefits like free delivery and 5% off orders over $15.

4. Check Deals

Uber Eats includes a “Deals” category where you may locate special deals or coupons from the restaurant industry.

Frequent monitoring of their discounts might drastically reduce the cost of your favorite meal delivered to your home.

5. Pay With a Rewards Card

Consider paying for your Uber Eats orders with your rewards credit card. Certain cards give cashback or reward points for transactions made at restaurants and for meal delivery.

Following our suggestions can help you lower the cost of Uber Eats and save money on food prices when ordering food delivery.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s address some other common questions and special cases that can arise when dealing with Uber Eats pricing and payment.

Complete Guide to the Uber Delivery Fee

Are Uber Eats Items Marked up from Restaurant Prices?

Some restaurants choose to increase the price of their items on Uber Eats to cover delivery costs. The slight markup is intended to make up for the 30% commission Uber Eats takes from the restaurant for each order. So, you’re still supporting your favorite restaurants by ordering this way.

How Much Does Uber Eats Charge Restaurants?

Uber Eats charges restaurants a 30% commission on every single order. Rather than adding additional charges to users, who are already paying the aforementioned delivery and service fees, Uber Eats has shifted some of the financial burden created by the food delivery industry to the restaurants that make the entire enterprise possible.

For many restaurants, this presents a bit of a crisis.
30% is a lot to fork over, especially for smaller ma and pop places with a loyal but small customer base.
However, Uber Eats connects new customers to lesser-known restaurants like this, which brings in more revenue than usual.

Wrapping Up

You can save some extra cash when you want to order in just by being aware of the various fees Uber Eats has.

If you find yourself turning to Uber Eats several times a week, subscribing to the Uber Eats Pass is the best way to avoid excessive delivery and service fees.

Browsing Uber Eats’ promos is another great way to get more for less and might even introduce you to your new favorite restaurant.

4 thoughts on “How Much Does Uber Eats Cost? Fees & Pricing Explained”

  1. Great article! One suggestion: I would mention so that everyone is aware , that taxes and service fee percentages are taken off the original price and not the discounted prices. So for example, even if one is using a “40% off” discount, it become more like 25% off when factoring in the 15% service fee. With a 9% state sales tax, that discount drops to “16% off” before delivery fee, other fees and tip get added.

    Reply
  2. $2.00 tips do not add up. A couple dollars are actually a loss and an insult to the driver. Because delivery drivers make about $4.00 an hour when they are on the road wearing out their own car and literally risking their life to bring you food, they would prefer that the $2.00 tipper (who more typically orders when it is raining ) come and pick up their own food. If more people than not just tipped a couple of dollars, there would be no more delivery service. Cars aren’t cheap and they are expensive to maintain. Delivery fees are direct theft from drivers. In a multiple delivery scenario, papa johns/ Domino’s makes more than the driver. 3 deliveries is nearly $13 for the store and often $6-9 for the driver. The driver will make $4 for the hour and be reimbursed .28-.35 per mile for gas. I did this in the city of Atlanta and quickly got tired of parking garage codes, elevators and navigating through apartment complexes and schools. Further insult is added when the driver has to have a gps car topper on their car which penalizes them for accelerating too fast, going more than 3mph over the speed limit , hard breaking and cornering like a normal person. Additionally, because of the gps, the employer knows how long it took you to get to the door, how long you had to wait at the door and get back to your car. These minutes along with the minutes it took you to get in your car at the store and get out of the parking lot certainly do add up in favor of the store. That said, the pandemic was a great gift to drivers because they could finally just drop your order at the door and leave. If you’re going to tip $2 at least don’t make us wait on you to put your dog away etc . You knew we were coming and your door bell doesn’t work (who’s that unknown number calling?)

    Reply
  3. Uber pay the driver only $2-$2.50 per delivery. Without tips the driver will not making money.
    One day I have triple order all from one restaurant. Total customer paid to Uber eats is $23, guess what ubereasts pays the driver ? $4

    Reply

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