It’s never been easier to get your favorite food delivered to your door. What would’ve seemed impossible even 10 years ago is now a daily reality: Press a couple of buttons on your phone or computer and get a hot meal delivered straight to your door. No phone calls, no cash, no hassle.
In addition to the convenience factor, the options are seemingly endless. Food delivery was once relegated to pizza and Chinese food, now you can get anything from pancakes to sushi to mac ‘n’ cheese delivered in under an hour.
The rapid expansion of food delivery is due in large part to advances in technology. The internet, smartphones and new apps are spearheading this change.
The other shift that has allowed for the change is the growth of the gig economy. More and more companies are looking to hire contract workers to complete quick jobs, including food delivery.
The competition in this space has also grown tremendously, hungry users can choose between GrubHub, DoorDash, Postmates and tons of other options.
The rideshare giant, Uber, took notice of the growing market for food delivery and leveraged their technology and their network of drivers to launch a new food delivery service: Uber Eats.
Unlike DoorDash or Postmates, which specialize with delivery, Uber drivers can choose if they would like to pick up passengers or deliver food. So if your rideshare shifting is going slow and you’re not getting a lot of ride requests, you can switch to delivery and see if you’ll have more luck there. The flexibility to be able to switch between ridesharing and delivery can increase your earnings without much extra effort.
Sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it?
To help you get started with Uber Eats, we’re going to walk through everything you need to know to start earning.
And don’t worry, you don’t need to be a current Uber driver to sign up. In fact, you don’t even need to own a car since some markets allow Uber Eats delivery on scooters or bicycles.
Uber Eats Driver Requirements
Before we get into how you can sign-up to become an Uber Eats driver, let’s outline the requirements to make sure you’re eligible. The requirements vary based on your vehicle (car, scooter, bike), so we’ll quickly go through each one, one by one.
Car delivery is by far the most popular option for Uber Eats workers. It is also the only option that is available in every region since only a few cities allow scooter or bike delivery. To deliver food via your car, you must have at least one year of driving experience under your belt. You’ll also need a valid driver’s license, registration, and vehicle insurance.
That last thing you’ll need is a vehicle (duh), made after 1998. These vehicle requirements are much less strict than Uber’s rideshare service. So if your vehicle doesn’t qualify to pick up passengers, you can still deliver food with Uber Eats.
The vehicle requirements are much less strict because there is no reason a customer would care what type of car their food is delivered in. Could you imagine paying more to get your Indian food delivered in an UberBlack car?
If you meet all of those requirements, scroll down to the “Sign Up Process” section to learn how to get started.
Scooter delivery is only allowed in select markets, so make sure to confirm with Uber during the sign-up process. The requirements for scooter delivery are more or less the same as the vehicle requirements. You still need your license, registration, and insurance. You also need a year of driving under your belt.
The main difference is the vehicle requirements. Your scooter must have a motor of 50cc or less and it can’t go faster than 30 mph. These restrictions prevent people from riding motorcycles. If you have a regular scooter, you should be fine.
Some cities, but not all, allow bicycle delivery. The easiest way to check is during the sign-up process – one of the first questions is what type of vehicle you intend to use. If your city allows bikes, you’ll see that option.
From what we’ve seen, only really large, densely populated cities allow bicycle delivery. This makes complete sense because bikes are much more efficient in high-traffic, tightly-packed spaces like downtown New York.
If Uber Eats does allow bicycle delivery in your city, you must be at least 18 years old and possess a valid government-issued ID.
One thing we should touch on quickly: you need a smartphone to deliver for Uber Eats. This is because drivers use an app to see incoming order request. You can view the phone requirements here.
You’ll notice that some phones are “banned” from using the Uber Partner app, most notably older Samsung Galaxy phones, older iPhones, and many Huawei devices.
Uber Eats Driver Sign Up Process
Now that we’ve covered the basic requirements, let’s get into the signup process.
If you’re NOT already an Uber driver, you’ll have to go through the full application process. To get started head to this page and enter your basic information.
Once you’re through the main signup screen, you’ll have to provide some additional information, like your date of birth. They need this information so Uber can run a background check on you. To learn more on this process, be sure to check out this guide to the Uber background check,
The sign-up process also requires applicants to upload documentation, including copies of your vehicle registration, insurance and, and license. When you’re uploading, make sure the document is clear, the text is legible and all 4 corners are visible.
The final step is to input your banking information, this is required so you can get paid! You will need to know the name on the account, routing and account numbers, and your tax ID (usually your SSN). Uber states it typically takes 1-5 days to process your uploaded documentation. These numbers are required not only so you can get direct deposit, but Uber also needs your SSN so they can report your wages to the government. Remember: you need to pay taxes at the end of the year!
Once you have all of your information submitted, there is nothing you can do besides sit and wait. Wait times will depend on how busy the Uber staff it, but generally you’ll hear a response within a week.
6 Reasons to Become an Uber Eats Driver
Now that we’ve covered the requirements and the signup process, we want to explain some of the reasons delivering for Uber Eats is a great side hustle.
We’ve identified six reasons you should consider driving for Uber Eats, even if you already drive for another ridesharing service.
Lower Minimum Age Requirement
Driving for Uber or Lyft is a great opportunity to earn some extra money, for some people it is also a primary source of income. But one barrier for many experienced, licensed drivers is the minimum age requirement for each of these platforms. Both Uber and Lyft require their drivers to be at least 21 years old.
This can be frustrating if you have a functioning vehicle and are old enough to work most other jobs. Uber Eats can be a viable alternative since the minimum age requirement is only 19.
You’ll still need to meet other standard requirements such as passing a background check, but the lower age requirement still makes Uber Eats more widely accessible to young people looking for a new job on the side, such as college students.
Freedom and Independence
Uber Eats drivers are self-employed, independent contractors. This means that you don’t have to answer to a boss or corporate hierarchy like you would if you worked in a traditional job. For many people, this kind of freedom is a significant draw. You don’t have to ask if you want to take a day off or worry about putting on a suit and tie each day.
This freedom means you can set your own schedule and work whenever is convenient for you. If you prefer to work nights, that’s your call. Need to work around your kids’ schedules? You can do it. You don’t have to work within the confines of the traditional 9-5. In fact, the best times to drive for Uber and Uber Eats are late at night. So if you’re a night owl who loves to sleep in, Uber is a viable alternative to the “regular” work schedule.
Of course, this freedom does come with certain things you need to keep in mind. You have to file your own self-employment taxes and motivate yourself to fill enough delivery orders to earn the amount of money you need — there’s no boss to bug you if you don’t.
The freedom to create your flexible schedule can be a double-edged sword. Since you’re your own boss, your success (or value) depends on your motivation. You can work 60 hours a week and pull in good money, or you could work 20 hours a week and barely make a living.
Learn About Local Restaurants
One thing that distinguishes the new generation of food delivery apps from traditional delivery options is the quality and variety of restaurants available for delivery.
Sure, you can still get classics like pizza or fast food delivered, but food delivery companies have now partnered with higher-end, local restaurants to offer far more exciting fare.
When you work as an Uber Eats delivery partner, you get a chance to learn about these restaurants first-hand, meeting the people who work in them and even seeing the interiors of the restaurants themselves.
For any food-lover, this is an opportunity to get paid to check out local restaurants, filing them away to try later. Just make sure to resist eating the delicious food order you’re delivering!
Talk to any Uber Eats driver and they’ll instantly be able to tell you about the local restaurants in the area. As a driver, you’ll get to know what cuisine each restaurant offers, which restaurants treat their workers with respect, and which restaurants struggle to keep up with cleanliness.
As a bonus, we’ve even heard stories of kitchen workers throwing in an extra side or two for the drivers, but don’t count on it!
Explore Your City
Along with learning about the restaurants in your city, driving for Uber Eats is a chance to learn more about your city itself. Think about it: how much of your city do you see in an average week? You probably know the area around your home and the places you shop for groceries and do errands. But besides this, it’s unlikely that you deviate much or venture into other parts of the city.
When you are an Uber Eats driver, you’ll have a chance to see every corner of your city. Of course, you may choose to stay in certain areas because they offer more deliveries or higher tips (and some areas just have more Uber Eats customers than others). But you’ll still see people and places you’d never see working an office job.
If you’re new to a city, Uber Eats is a great job option while you’re looking for something more stable. After just a couple of weeks on the job, you’ll know most of the city, including the best shortcuts during traffic, which areas of town to avoid, and places you can take your friends when they come and visit.
More Flexible Vehicle Requirements
While the vehicle requirements for Lyft and Uber aren’t especially strict, they can still disqualify owners of older vehicles or vehicles with minor cosmetic issues. And if you don’t have a car, then you’re entirely out of luck when it comes to this rideshare opportunity.
The Uber Eats delivery vehicle requirements, in contrast, are far more relaxed. As long as your vehicle functions and is reliable, you can use it to make Uber Eats deliveries. In some cities, you can even deliver on a motorcycle, scooter, bicycle or on foot. To see eligible delivery driver vehicles for your city, visit the Uber Eats Delivery page and scroll down to “Local Information.”
Diversify Your Uber Driving Income
If you’re already an Uber driver, then becoming an Uber Eats driver is an easy way to boost your earnings. You’re already driving around town, so why not grab some extra cash while you’re at it?
In particular, being an Uber Eats driver can be a good way to boost your income during the lulls that can occur while people are at work (but are having lunch delivered, for instance).
If you’re sitting around waiting for some for a rideshare request, you’re losing time and money. Diversify your earnings by accepting delivery requests.
We also like to switch to delivery if you no longer want to deal with passengers, because sometimes you need a break. It’s no secret that passengers are sometimes difficult, so being able to take a break and delivery food for a couple of hours can be a breath of fresh air.