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Is Uber Eats Worth It for Drivers In 2023? Our Surprising Findings

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Has it ever crossed your mind to become a delivery driver with Uber Eats? Have you ever wondered to yourself, “Is Uber Eats worth it?”

Today we’re breaking down the answer to that question – directly from insights that we’ve gathered from current drivers. We’ll touch on important topics like the signup process, pay, delivery demand, job satisfaction, and more.

Key Information

Easy Sign Up

Simple process with no set hours; flexibility to earn with Boost and Surge promotions.

Fair Earnings

Pay per delivery with tips 100% yours; potential to make $8-$15 per hour depending on peak times.

Independent Work

No heavy lifting; drive at your convenience with minimal vehicle requirements.

Driver Insights

Mixed reviews on job satisfaction; factors in car wear and tax considerations.

Defining “Worth It” – A Primer

Before we get into the details of driving with Uber Eats, we first need to define “Worth It”. This is a wildly subjective term, so it might mean something different to me than it does to you.

We will use the term “worth it” in the most general sense, meaning is driving with Uber Eats a good way to make extra money while working with a flexible schedule.

We’ll cross-reference how much a driver can make against the most commonly-desired goals, such as what the work entails, the flexibility of the schedule, the work available to drivers, and the general satisfaction that drivers get while doing deliveries.

Watch the video below from our own Sam Choi to give yourself a primer on why people even think about driving with a delivery service like Uber Eats in the first place:

How Hard it is to Get Started With Uber Eats?

It is not hard to apply to become an Uber Eats driver. The process is very straightforward, but does require drivers to meet some standard criteria:

  • Be at least 19 years old (18 if you’re delivering by bike).
  • Have a valid driver’s license.
  • Provide proof of car insurance and vehicle registration.
  • Own a smartphone capable of running the Uber Eats driver app (Android or iPhone).

Additionally, there are a few vehicle specifications that need to be met:

  • The vehicle should be a 1998 model or newer.
  • It must have two or four doors.
  • Your driving record should reflect at least one year of driving experience in the United States.

If a driver can meet the criteria above, they can move onto the final step in the application process – passing a background check – a necessary safety component that Uber has found to be highly effective.

This check will look into your personal and criminal history, and any criminal offenses in the last seven years could disqualify you from becoming a driver. This background scrutiny is similar to what companies like Postmates also conduct.

Overall, if you meet the listed criteria and pass the background check, you’re well on your way to making deliveries with Uber Eats.

How Much Do Uber Eats Drivers Make?

On average, drivers can earn between $8 to $15 per hour, but this can fluctuate widely. The best times to work are typically during peak hours such as major events, evenings, and weekends when demand is higher.

When it comes to tips, Uber Eats suggests a default tip of 18%, which customers can adjust. The standard tipping range in the restaurant industry, which is 15-20%, applies here as well.

vector graphic of an uber eats driver riding a bike and money icons flying out behind him to show how much do uber eats drivers make

Earnings for Uber Eats drivers aren’t based on an hourly wage; instead, they are paid per delivery. This payment includes several components:

  • Base pay: Varies based on the pickup and drop-off points and the distance of the delivery. Larger orders from busy restaurants typically mean higher base pay.
  • Trip Supplement: This newer addition to the pay structure accounts for the travel time and distance, providing a bonus to the overall earnings.
  • Promotions: Uber Eats incentivizes drivers with Boost and Surge pricing during busy times, like holidays, which can substantially increase earnings.
  • Tips: Drivers keep 100% of the tips they receive, which can be given in cash or through the app.

As independent contractors, drivers are responsible for their taxes, often receiving a 1099-MISC form from Uber during tax season. Many drivers choose to use mileage tracking apps like Everlance to accurately deduct mileage and maximize take-home pay.

Lastly, Uber Eats deducts a service fee from the driver’s earnings, which can be around 30% for bike deliveries and 25% for those using cars or scooters. However, drivers are guaranteed a minimum earning of $4.47 per delivery, providing a base level of income per order completed.

What Is Driving for Uber Eats Like?

Driving for Uber Eats is presented as a convenient option for those looking to supplement their income during their free time. There’s a high degree of flexibility for drivers, who are not required to set their schedules in advance, offering the freedom to work as little or as much as they want.

In terms of the physical demands of the job, driving for Uber Eats is relatively low impact. It requires no heavy lifting, with the most physical activity involving light walking to and from the vehicle to the customer’s location.

However, a key component of the role is providing excellent customer service, which is essential when interacting with customers at the drop-off point. This emphasis on service highlights the importance of the driver’s role in the overall customer experience with the platform.

Pros of Driving with Uber Eats

It is an easy way to earn extra money

The job is flexible you can choose your hours

There are promotions available to earn more money

Cons of Driving with Uber Eats

You will put additional wear and tear on your car

It is not a very high paying side job

If you have an older, smartphone the driver app can be glitchy

Common Problems Uber Eats Drivers Run Into

Uber Eats drivers encounter various challenges while picking up and delivering orders. These issues range from handling double orders to missing items and curbside delivery complications.

Vector image with person holding phone and showing the ways how to contact uber eats and wondering is uber eats worth it

1. Double Orders

Drivers often face the situation of receiving double orders from the same restaurant. Typically, one order is ready for pickup while the other requires additional wait time. This delay can risk the timely delivery of the first order. Though it’s possible to cancel the second order, the preferred approach is to inform customers about any delays proactively.

2. Missing Items

Another common problem is discovering that an order is missing one or more items. This usually becomes apparent at the food counter, often due to long lines at popular restaurants.

When this happens, drivers should immediately contact Uber’s support line and then the customer to discuss potential solutions or replacements. If multiple items are missing, an order cancellation might be necessary, which is ultimately up to the customer to decide.

3. Curbside Delivery

Drivers may also arrive at a delivery location only to find it inaccessible due to blockages or other restrictions. In such scenarios, prompt communication with the customer is essential.

While drivers may have to wait for a response, customers typically understand the situation and might come to the curb to collect their food rather than providing access codes to private property. These issues highlight the importance of clear and empathetic communication to maintain a good customer service experience despite the hiccups.

My Personal Thoughts – Is Uber Eats Worth It?

As an Uber Eats driver myself, I believe the platform is worth using. While there are a handful or downsides like expenses and depreciation, it is a very flexible way to earn money on-demand.

Additionally, there are various ways to increase the amount you earn, such as working during peak hours, taking advantage of promotions like Boost and SURGE pricing, and promoting referral codes to those interested in also applying to drive.

Additionally, the job offers a sense of independence and the satisfaction of earning tips directly from customers. It’s a fitting side hustle that complements my financial goals without the constraints of a traditional job.

Is Uber Eats a Better Full-time Job or a Side Job?

Uber Eats is primarily designed as a part-time opportunity, ideal for those seeking additional income alongside their main job. It suits individuals looking for flexible work that meets basic requirements and can be done alongside other commitments.

Uber Eats aims to have a ready pool of drivers available throughout the day, which aligns well with the typical part-time work schedule.

Thoughts From Other Drivers – Is Uber Eats Worth It?

In answering this question, we went directly to the front lines. The comments on whether UberEats is worth it as a job reflect a variety of experiences and opinions, with several recurring themes:

vector graphic showing a hand holding an uber eats driver app in front of a city skyline

Nature of Work

This category delves into how drivers perceive the role of an Uber Eats driver, whether as a flexible gig or a traditional job, and the value they place on the autonomy it offers.

  • Gig vs. Job: Many view UberEats as a gig rather than a secure job. It’s a source of income but doesn’t offer the stability or benefits of traditional employment.
  • Flexibility: A major advantage highlighted is the flexibility UberEats offers, allowing drivers to work on their terms and schedule, which is a significant positive aspect for many.

Financial Aspects

Financial discussions focus on the variability of earnings across different markets, the potential income versus the associated costs, and the general consensus on UberEats as a supplementary income rather than a primary one.

  • Market Variability: Earnings and experiences vary significantly depending on the market. Some areas are oversaturated with drivers, leading to lower earnings, while others may offer more lucrative opportunities.
  • Time and Earnings: There’s a consensus that the potential to make money exists, especially if one is selective about the orders they accept and works during peak hours. However, the time commitment can be significant, and earnings are inconsistent.
  • Side Hustle vs. Full-time: A common sentiment is that UberEats is more suitable as a side hustle rather than a full-time job, with many drivers emphasizing its utility for supplemental income.
  • Cost Considerations: The cost of gas and vehicle wear are concerns, particularly with fluctuations in fuel prices. Some drivers use the gig to bridge gaps between jobs or as a temporary reprieve from traditional work.
  • Earnings Potential: There are reports of decent earnings in some comments, with some drivers making upwards of $25/hour in the right conditions, although this is not the general experience for all.
  • Tips and Customer Interaction: Tips can significantly impact earnings, and interactions with customers can vary, affecting job satisfaction.

Operational Experience

Here, drivers express their encounters with the day-to-day challenges of UberEats delivery, from customer service issues to the practicalities of order fulfillment.

  • Operational Challenges: Drivers discuss operational issues such as dealing with customer service, missing items, and curbside delivery problems, which can affect the overall experience.

Personal Circumstances

This category captures how drivers’ personal situations—like the need for multi-app strategies and personal financial goals—affect their view of the worthiness of UberEats as a gig option.

  • Multi-apping: To maximize earnings, some drivers suggest using multiple gig apps simultaneously, which can help achieve a living wage.
  • Personal Goals and Circumstances: The value of UberEats as a job is subjective and depends on personal goals, financial needs, and other individual circumstances.

Key Takeaway

The overarching theme is that whether UberEats is worth it highly depends on individual circumstances, market conditions, personal goals, and the trade-offs between flexibility, stability, and income.

Wrapping Up: Is Uber Eats Worth It?

Uber Eats is a convenient way to make some extra cash if you have the vehicle and the time to dedicate. Though there are some problems that you’ll encounter, that’s the case for any place of employment.

Overall, it’s worth it to drive for Uber Eats, and the sign-up process is quick and easy. What’s more, you can drive for both Uber and Uber Eats if you’re trying to maximize your profit.