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Have a Look at These 15 Tips That Can Help You Make More Money on Uber Eats

Discover key strategies like utilizing promotions, reducing fuel costs, and avoiding slow restaurants in our comprehensive guide to enhance your earnings as a delivery driver.

How to Make More Money With Uber Eats

Despite the instability of Uber Eats income, utilizing the 15 tips mentioned below can help you guarantee a decent profit.

  1. Understand How Uber Eats Payments Work
  2. Use a Referral Code
  3. Utilize Those Peak Hours
  4. Work a Little Bit More, But Smartly
  5. Know When to Refuse an Order
  6. Track Your Mileage
  7. Use a Motorbike or a Bicycle
  8. Try to Memorize the Streets
  9. Preserve Your Food
  10. Be Professional and Presentable
  11. Don’t Miss Out on the Promotions
  12. Be Smart While Using the Pay-Per-Minute Feature
  13. Doubling Up on Orders Is Fine
  14. Bring Homemade Food for Your Work Day
  15. Avoid Fines and Tickets
  16. You Can Utilize an Extra Delivery Platform
  17. Record Your Drop-offs

1. Understand How Uber Eats Payments Work

To maximize your earnings as an Uber Eats driver, it’s crucial to understand the payment structure, which differs from regular Uber.

Even experienced Uber drivers need to familiarize themselves with the Uber Eats system. Payments vary by city; here, we’ll use Denver, Colorado as an example.

In Denver, as an Uber Eats driver, you’ll earn from several components: a $1.50 pickup fee, a $1.00 drop-off fee, $0.12 per minute during the drive, and $1.00 for each mile driven from the restaurant to the drop-off location.

The bulk of your income will come from pickup, drop-off, and per-mile fees. While per-minute fees contribute to your earnings, they also mean higher gas expenses and more wear and tear on your vehicle.

To minimize costs and maximize efficiency, aim to complete as many deliveries as possible in the shortest time. This often involves choosing shorter, local trips over long-distance deliveries.

Additionally, drivers retain 100% of their tips.

2. Use a Referral Code

Uber Eats is actively seeking new drivers and offers a substantial sign-on bonus to those who join using a referral code.

By signing up using a referral code, you’ll receive an additional bonus, essentially gaining free money. The requirement to unlock this bonus varies by city, with some requiring 20 deliveries, while others might need up to 100.

After completing the required number of deliveries, you’re eligible to claim your cash bonus. The amount of this bonus differs across locations, ranging from $100 to $1,100.

The benefits extend beyond just the sign-on bonus. Once you’ve used a referral code to sign up, you’ll get your own referral code to share with prospective drivers. If these new drivers meet the delivery requirements, you’ll earn additional bonuses.

3. Utilize Those Peak Hours

Think of it like this. Would you rather work eight hours a day for $5 per hour or only four hours for $10 per hour?

Much like the regular Uber taxi experience, there are times when the number of orders is too big for the current drivers to handle. To encourage more drivers to go in and save the day, Uber Eats multiplies the payment you get if you deliver orders during such times, as long as you’re in the surge zones.

While such times vary depending on where you live, these rush hours are often at their highest at lunchtime from 11 am to 2 pm. This time window is when most people are at work and don’t have time to buy or cook something.

Dinner time, from 5 pm to 11 pm, can also be full of orders. It may not be as busy as lunchtime, but it’s the next best thing.

Keep in mind that you may get luckier with surges during weekends, as people tend to order food at the weirdest of times. Midnight is a particularly lucrative time for Uber Eats drivers, as many people crave that late-night snack on weekends.

It may take some time to get a consistent grasp of the surge times in your city. Fortunately, the more you work for Uber Eats, the easier it’ll be to pinpoint those peak hours, which leads us to our second point.

4. Work a Little Bit More, But Smartly

Driving for Uber Eats for an extra bit every day can be more lucrative than you think. You need to plan it out well, though. While working five extra hours in a day can yield tens of dollars that particular day, substituting that by working smart can be life-changing.

Instead of occasionally working too hard now and then (and risking burnout), practice working to get only an extra $20 per day. It may not seem like much, but when you add that up, you’ll make an extra $140 a week, $560 a month, and $6720 a year.

Combining this trick with working during surge hours can make acquiring those extra $20 much more manageable. With some organization, you’ll make that extra $20 with only one additional hour per day.

Keep in mind that efficiency is your best friend here. You don’t want to haphazardly accept any order to get that extra $20 and end up working three more hours per day or even more.

5. Know When to Refuse an Order

Not every order will be suitable for you. Factors like the city you drive in, the area you’re located in, the time of day, the vehicle you’re driving, and the weather conditions will all control your hourly rate.

For example, if you’re driving a car, it’d be wise to reject an order that takes you through narrow roads during the midday rush hour. Alternatively, the same order can sound like a good deal if you’re on a bike and know your way around the area.

You should also factor in the time for food preparation. You may not grasp this one well if you’re just starting, but with time, you’ll get a sense of which restaurants take forever to prepare and, if you’re in a hurry, you’ll know to refuse orders from such restaurants.

In short, here are the scenarios when it can be better to decline a request:

  • The pick-up is too far or outside of the surge zone.
  • The restaurant you’ll go to is notorious for being crowded and slow.
  • The area you’ll go to has no parking spots.

6. Track Your Mileage

It’s possible to claim some delivery driving expenses while driving for Uber Eats. As long as the app is on and you’re either waiting for a trip or are on one, you may claim back some of the gas money you consume during that period.

Tracking your mileage will considerably boost your earnings, as you’ll no longer pay for all the gas money you spend while working for Uber Eats.

Remember that the application must be on and running to qualify for gas money reimbursement. This allows Uber to track your mileage and provide tax summary information to you.

7. Use a Motorbike or a Bicycle

If most of your work is in your local area, and you have a motorbike or bicycle, why not use it instead of your car? Most regular bikes are considered more fuel-efficient compared to cars.

Uber Eats has a bike delivery option that you can select in the driver app, which allows you to find better routes for motorbikes that are easier and more gas-efficient.

Not only will you save gas, but you’ll also minimize your car’s maintenance, insurance, and various other expenses.

8. Try to Memorize the Streets

While map applications are a great addition to our lives, nothing beats memorizing the neighborhood. Did you know that an artist named Simon Weckert faked a traffic jam in Google Maps by dragging 99 phones in a wheeled basket through an empty street? That anecdote tells a lot.

Additionally, if there are newly formed roads or construction areas, map applications might miss these. You may end up in a crowded area without knowing it, which can hurt your hourly rate.

In other words, nothing beats navigating the streets that you know. Don’t mindlessly rely on the GPS as you deliver. Try to memorize all new roads, and you’ll spend much less on gas.

9. Preserve Your Food

As an Uber Eats driver, you’ll be responsible for handling hot food and cold beverages.

The idea is to keep them as fresh as possible when they reach the customer by doing the following:

  • Purchase an insulated bag
  • Separate hot and cold items
  • Secure the bag in your vehicle as best you can
  • Always place the items in an upright position

 Doing this can help you get a better rating on the app and can increase your tips.

10. Be Professional and Presentable

Speaking of tips, the way you handle your customers is the primary contributor to getting tips. For example, if you get stuck in an unexpected traffic jam, let your customer know about it.

Informing your Uber Eats customers about such occasions will have them expect delays. People like to be kept in the loop, and such gestures will be appreciated. It’s also much better than arriving late without saying a word and then reporting a traffic jam. Your customers will no longer see it as professionalism; they’ll see it as excuses.

Finally, when you do get to the customer, do so with a smile and be friendly. Politeness and respect will increase your chances of getting a decent tip.

11. Don’t Miss Out on the Promotions

Like regular Uber, Uber Eats offers occasional promotions that give you extra cash should you reach certain milestones. The most common milestone is completing a certain number of deliveries within a given time frame.

At this point, prioritizing short deliveries can be lucrative. These promotions often pay well, justifying the tedious grind of shorter orders that otherwise wouldn’t be too profitable without an active promotion.

12. Be Smart While Using the Pay-Per-Minute Feature

While using the app’s Pay Per Minute feature, you may typically get between $0.10 – $0.20 while en route to a restaurant or while waiting to pick up an order from a restaurant.

This feature might give you the illusion that you can accept any order, lay back, and relax while delivering since you’re paid per minute. But if you do the math, the payment per minute will yield slightly over $7 per hour, which can be even less than the national minimum wage.

The moral of the story here is that while you’re indeed compensated per hour, it’s not enough to give you a reason to be overly accepting of long deliveries and slow restaurants.

Mix and match between long and short deliveries to get the best of both worlds.

13. Doubling Up on Orders Is Fine

You’ll occasionally get a new order while still on your way to deliver the current order. Uber Eats app does that if the next order will take you to a restaurant that isn’t too far from your current drop-off point.

If the new order has acceptable parameters for you, there’s no reason not to accept it. Some delivery drivers fear stacking up on orders to avoid getting overwhelmed, but you’ll only get one extra order at a time. You also won’t have to wait or drive around while waiting for another order. Go for it!

14. Bring Homemade Food for Your Work Day

Do your best to minimize unnecessary daily expenses and maximize your net income. One of the biggest culprits that can cut down your profits is food.

If you don’t bring your homemade food, you’ll have to buy some. If you work the whole day, that likely means buying food twice per day, which sets you back around $20 daily.

It may not seem like much, and it’s acceptable if you do this occasionally. Still, if you habitually buy food while working for Uber Eats, you’ll lose a significant chunk of your income.

15. Avoid Fines and Tickets

The last thing you need when returning to your vehicle after dropping an order is a parking fine. That’ll ruin your earnings, your mood, and potentially your whole day.

Being a few minutes late in exchange for finding a good parking spot will save you a lot of money in the long run. For some reason, police officers tend to show up at exactly those opportunities. It’s not worth it.

You should also respect all traffic rules, avoid going through yellow and red lights, and avoid exceeding the speed limit.

One potential profit eater is being careless when turning on red. While it’s allowed to turn right when the lights are red, you should bring your vehicle to a complete stop first. As silly as this sounds, countless fines are issued because of this particular mistake.

16. You Can Utilize an Extra Delivery Platform

If you take food delivery as your primary source of income, using one or more food delivery apps can be a feasible idea. This can be especially useful if you’re spending a lot of time waiting between orders or not getting any good ones.

At this point, switching to Uber Eats and launching a parallel gig for another app-based food delivery company, such as Instacart, Grubhub, or Postmates, can be a better option.

This may not always seem wise, especially if you’re chasing one of those weekly promotions. But if you’re not getting enough orders in an area, and another app takes you to deliver an order in a different area, won’t that be a plus for you?

You can then fire up Uber Eats again. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up with better orders this time around.

17. Record Your Drop-offs

Recording your drop-offs is mandatory, especially in contactless delivery, either by video or by taking pictures. Some customers can give you a lot of trouble and might try to scam any money out of you or Uber Eats.

As long as you have proof that you did your part right and delivered the order right where you were supposed to, you’ll guarantee that you’ll be fully compensated should a customer start creating problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Make $1,000 a Week With Uber Eats Delivery?

You can make $1,000 a week by driving for Uber Eats, but it requires a lot of hard work and dedication. An Uber delivery driver who works long hours and minimizes their expenses can make even more than $1,000 a week, but it’ll be hard to make that number every week consistently.

What Is the Average I Can Make Per Hour as an Uber Eats Delivery Driver?

The average you can make ranges between $15 to $20 per hour. Street conditions, type of vehicle, crowd, restaurant working time, surge, and demand can all move your hourly profitability between those two numbers.

Do I have to Own a Car to Use Uber Eats?

No, Uber Eats isn’t restricted to car owners. If you own a motorcycle, a scooter, or a bicycle, you can sign up and work on delivering food with no problems.

Final Words

These were our 15 tips and tricks to make more money (or lose less money) with Uber Eats. From chaining orders together to switching to other delivery applications when the market is stale, this guide has a solution for almost any problem you’ll face while driving for Uber Eats.

Keep in mind that these tips won’t cause an overnight change. You’ll still need time and dedication to learn and apply them all correctly. Still, you’ll start feeling the change within days.

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