Driving for UberEats: What is it Like Delivering Food for Uber?


UberEATS is an on-demand food delivery app that allows Uber users to order food from local restaurants and have it delivered. UberEATS delivery drivers are independent contractors who pick up and drop off food orders, similar to driving for Postmates and DoorDash.
UberEATS accepts vehicles 1999 or newer , so drivers with older cars that don’t qualify for Uber ridesharing services can instead drive for UberEATS. If you’re interested in driving for UberEATS, this article will tell you what the job is like, how much UberEATS drivers get paid, and how you can sign up to drive.

What is UberEATS?

UberEATS offers on-demand food delivery from local restaurants. Customers choose menu items using the Uber EATs app, then UberEATS drivers pick up the food and deliver it to the customer. It is similar to Postmates and DoorDash. UberEATS drivers can work whenever they want without a schedule. Log into the app when you want to work, log out when you’re done.

What UberEATS drivers do

  • UberEATS drivers pick up and deliver food to customers. Drivers don’t handle payment
  • UberEATS drivers can be 19 years or older
  • UberEATS accepts vehicles 1999 or newer. Read the full UberEATS vehicle requirements
  • You can also deliver on a bike or scooter. Bicycle delivery partners can be 18 or older
  • You can choose to do only food deliveries while you work, or if your car qualifies you can also do regular Uber rides
  • Receive requests that tell you where to pick up and drop off the order
  • UberEATS drivers earn around $8 – $12 per hour after accounting for vehicle expenses
  • You are paid a pickup fee, a drop off fee, and for mileage from the pickup to the customer . Uber takes a 25% cut
  • Customers can tip inside the Uber app. You keep 100% of tips
What it's like to be an Uber eats delivery driver

How to drive for UberEATS

You can apply directly with UberEATS on the UberEATS website without becoming an UberX driver. If you’re already a regular Uber driver you can opt into receiving EATS request at partners.uber.com.

UberEATS driver requirements

  • You must be 19 years old or older (21 years old in Canada)
  • You must have a driver’s license, insurance, and proof of vehicle registration
  • 1 year of license history
  • Vehicle requirements: 1999 or newer
  • Must be able to lift up to 30 pounds
  • Bicycle and scooter delivery is available in some larger cities
  • Bicycle partners must be 18 years or older
Apply to drive for UberEATS. That link is my referral link, and I may receive a commission for referring you.

Already an Uber driver? How to opt into Uber EATS

If you’re not an Uber driver, you can apply directly to UberEATS with my referral link (I may receive a commission for referring you).
If you’re already an Uber driver, you can opt into eats deliveries at partners.uber.com. Click on the menu, then click “Deliveries.” You’ll reach a page that contains an opt-in button. You’ll then be told to wait for an activation email. In my experience, activation took around one day.
The activation email will have a subject line like “Welcome to Uber EATS” and will contain a training video and other basic tips that will help you understand how to do deliveries. Once you receive the activation email from Uber, a new option to toggle delivery requests will appear in the Uber driver app.

How to enable or disable UberEATS delivery requests in the Uber driver app

It is possible to enable and disable EATS deliveries in the Uber driver app. Inside the driver app, tap the bottom of the screen to bring up the Trip Planner menu. Tap on the icon in the bottom right corner to bring up  your Driving Preferences. Tap on deliveries to enable or disable it, then tap Save to save your settings. If you enable both delivery and regular Uber requests, you can get both ride and delivery requests in the same driving shift.
An image that shows how to adjust Driving Preferences in the Uber driver app
Enable or disable delivery requests by changing your Driving Preferences

How much do UberEATS drivers make?

UberEATS drivers can expect to make around $8 – $12 per hour after factoring in vehicle expenses. Delivery pay can vary quite a bit from day to day and hour to hour, and it’s crucial to work lunch and dinner rushes if you want to earn on the higher end of the pay scale. Uber delivery pay is lower than Uber ridesharing pay, which is closer to $11 – $16 per hour after accounting for expenses.

How do UberEats drivers get paid for deliveries?

UberEATS customers pay for orders through the Uber app, so EATS drivers don’t have to handle payment. Drivers are paid for each delivery based on an equation that contains a pickup fee, a drop-off fee, and a mileage fee that covers the distance from picking up the food to dropping it off at the customer. Drivers receive 100% of any tips customers leave in the app.
Driver pay for an UberEATS delivery = Pickup fee + Distance travelled from pickup to drop-off + time from pickup to delivery + drop-off feeUber takes a 25% cut of each order. If you have to do more than one drop off, you’ll get a drop-off fee for each different address that you have to deliver to.
UberEATS payout = Pickup fee + Distance travelled from pickup to drop-off + time from pickup to delivery + drop-off fee – Uber’s 25% cut + tips
Example EATS payout fees in Los Angeles
  • Pickup fee: $1.50
  • Drop-off fee: $1.00
  • Mileage fee: $0.60 per mile
  • Time: $0.20 per minute
Example pay for an UberEATS order in Los Angeles
$1.50 for pickup
+ $1.80 for mileage from pickup to drop off  (3 miles at $0.60/mile)
+ $2 for time (10 minutes at $0.20/minute)
+ $1.00 for drop-off
= $6.30.
– 25% fee ($1.57)
= Total payout is $4.73
If you receive a tip, you keep 100% of it.

UberEATS also offers Surge and Boost earnings: Multipliers that increase your pay

During certain times of day, Uber creates geographical ‘Boost’ zones that offer an earnings multiplier for deliveries that begin within the Boost area. It is an incentive to drive in areas with high order demand. The app home screen will show where the Boost zone applies, the earnings multiplier, and the times where the multiplier is available. The Boost multiplier is added to your net fare, after Uber’s fee is subtracted and not including tips.
Surge pricing, another earnings multiplier triggered during times of high demand, is also available for UberEATS and is applied to net delivery earnings.
If both Surge and Boost are running at the same time, you will only receive the higher of two amounts. You can’t earn both Surge and Boost on one order.

UberEATS drivers can get tips: The in-app tipping feature

The UberEATS app allows in-app tipping, and drivers keep 100% of tips. Customers can choose to leave a tip after the order if complete, or after they rate you. Many UberEATS drivers report that tipping isn’t always consistent because Uber hasn’t always encouraged tipping in the past.

Driving for UberEATS: What is it like to do an UberEATS delivery order?

UberEATS is an on-demand service: Customers submit orders, then delivery jobs are sent to an available driver who is close to the restaurant. Order requests appear in the Uber driver app as a popup notification that shows the location of the restaurant. You have around 15-30 seconds to tap to accept the delivery request. After you accept the request, you will get more information about the pickup location and any special instructions from the restaurant. You’ll also be able to tap a button to contact the customer.

How to pick up an UberEATS order

After you tap to accept the order, navigate to the restaurant using the in-app GPS instructions (You can select a different navigation app in your app settings). Once you arrive at the restaurant, tap the button at the bottom of the screen that says “Pick up order.” You will then see the contents of the order, the customer’s name, and the order number. Give that information to restaurant employees and pick up the order when it is ready. After you pick it up, tap the check mark inside the app to confirm that you picked up the order.

How to drop off an UberEATS order

After you confirm that you’ve picked up the order. A “Start trip” button will appear. Tap that button to trigger GPS directions to the customer. Once you arrive at the customer’s destination, the app will let you know if you need to wait in your car or walk up to the customer. Tap the ‘Confirm delivery’ button inside the app once you’ve completed the delivery and follow on screen instructions to rate the experience and complete the order.

What happens if the order is canceled?

If a customer cancels the order after you’ve picked it up, you will receive a payment equal to the pickup fee + drop-off fee + estimated mileage fee. Uber says to dispose of the food in any way you wish. Cancellations in other situations may not result in a payout.

Do you have to get out of your car to drop off UberEATS deliveries?

Depending on your city and the order, you may not need to get out of your car to complete your delivery. When it’s time to navigate to your customer, their pin will have show one of two labels that will let you know how to complete the order.
  • Curbside: The customer comes to you. When you arrive at the customer’s location, they’ll be notified with a text that tells them to meet you at the curb.
  • Walk-in dropoff: You have to get out of your car and meet the customer at their address. If it’s not obvious where the customer will be based on the pin, call or text them to ask if they have a preferred meeting spot.

Who to contact when you run into problems on an UberEATS order

Drivers have a few ways of getting help when issues arise on an UberEATS order. During an UberEATS order there is a contact button that will put you in touch with UberEATS customer service, and there are also buttons to contact the restaurant and the customer.
  • If you have an issue picking up the order: Contact the restaurant. Contact info is available inside the Uber driver app
  • If you picked up the order but can’t complete it: Contact Uber support
  • If you’re having trouble dropping off the order: Contact the customer using the contact button inside the app
  • If you can’t reach the customer: Contact Uber support

Does UberEATS provide an insulated delivery bag?

An insulated delivery bag will help keep hot orders hot and cold orders cold, so an insulated delivery bag can help you deliver a better experience. Uber does not provide free delivery bags to EATS drivers, so you’ll have to get your own.
If you have an Uber Greenlight Hub in your area, you may be able to buy a cheap bag there for around $5 – $10. If there isn’t a Hub near you, get one from Amazon or a grocery store.
Insulated grocery bags from Amazon will do the job, and they’re inexpensive.

Is driving for UberEATS a good job?

UberEATS has easier vehicle requirements than regular Uber, so just about anyone with a car can deliver for EATS and earn money. You can drive whenever and wherever you want without having to work about scheduling shifts or dealing with a boss. That’s a big benefit if you need flexible work right now.
Benefits of driving for UberEATS
  • You can drive for EATS at 19 years old, or 18 if you use a bicycle. You have to be 21 or older for UberX. Too young for Uber? Try these other jobs
  • The vehicle requirements are much more lenient. Just about any working car will qualify
  • You don’t have to deal with passengers
Drawbacks of delivering for UberEATS
  • The pay can be low. It can dip beneath $10/hour if your area isn’t busy and there’s no guaranteed minimum
  • There are common work frustrations that can grind you down: Long waits at restaurants, traffic and parking, trouble contacting the customer or finding where exactly to deliver the food
Overall, if UberEATS is in your area and you’re looking for flexible work, it’s worth a try.

Other delivery options: Postmates, DoorDash, Amazon Flex, Deliv

If you’re interested in driving for UberEATS, you should also consider delivering for Postmates and DoorDash. Both are delivery services similar to UberEATS: They are on-demand delivery apps that have lenient vehicle requirements and pay about the same as EATS.
Amazon Flex and Deliv are also delivery services that are similar to UberEATS and worth checking out if you’re interested in doing delivery work with your vehicle.

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