Uber Eats walker on street

Can You Do Uber Eats by Walking?

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Key Points:

People are often surprised to find out that you can deliver for Uber Eats by walking. Uber Eats allows people to deliver food by vehicle, bike, or foot. However, delivering food on foot comes with extra challenges. It is also only available in select cities.

Before you sign up with Uber Eats, here is what you should know about becoming a delivery person without a car.

Table of Contents

How Does Uber Eats Work for Walkers?

Delivering food for Uber Eats on foot works the same as delivering in a car or on a bike. Uber provides a mobile app that you use to accept and complete deliveries. It is available on Android and iOS devices.

You receive requests on the app. The requests include the details of the order, including the restaurant’s location, the customer’s address, the distance of the trip, and the estimated payout. After you accept a request, you go pick up the food from a restaurant. The app lets you know when the order is ready, keeping you from showing up too early. You then walk the food order to the customer’s address.

Uber Eats allows you to accept another request after you complete the current one. You may also occasionally receive notifications for additional requests at the same restaurant or a nearby restaurant.

How Do I Register to Become an Uber Eats Walker?

You first need to check if “delivery on foot” is an option in your city. The application form includes a spot where you can select your transportation method.

Depending on the city, the transportation options may include:

  • Car
  • Scooter
  • Bike
  • Foot

If delivery on foot is available, the application form will include the “Delivery by bicycle or foot” option.

Uber Eats does not provide a list of cities where walkers are allowed. Based on user comments, you may deliver on foot in New York City, Chicago, Toronto, Vancouver, and Los Angeles. Some other metro areas may also allow deliveries on foot.

Foot deliveries are more common in urban areas where large populations live within walking distance of commercial areas. Large cities are often densely developed. You may find a dozen restaurants within a block or two of an apartment building.

It is easier to complete the delivery on foot or by bike than a car in many cases. This is especially true in areas with heavy traffic congestion. You are less likely to have the option to deliver on foot in rural areas or smaller cities.

The registration process for walkers is slightly different compared to motorists. You do not need to provide proof of vehicle registration or insurance.

The Uber walker requirements include:

  • Photo identification
  • Proof of work eligibility (for Canadians)
  • Background screening

The sign-up form is found on the Uber Eats website. You need to submit a copy of your driver’s license, state ID, or suitable government-issued ID. You need to be at least 18 years of age. You also need to select “Delivery by bicycle or foot” under the transportation method option.

After submitting your application, Uber begins a background check using a third-party provider. The background check typically takes three to five business days. Uber will notify you if you pass or fail the background check. If you pass the check, you receive a notification that your account is now active and able to accept requests.

Requests and account management are handled through the Uber Eats mobile app. The app needs to remain active when accepting and completing requests.

Check out our tips for beginners here.

How Much Does Uber Eats Pay Per Delivery?

The average pay for a single delivery starts at about $3. On top of that, you get a distance, surge and/or promo bonus added to the base price.  You may also receive a tip from the customer that can range from 25 cents (seriously) to over $10 if you’re really lucky. Uber Eats used to charge a service fee, but that seems to have been removed in July 2021.

The distance fee is calculated based on the distance between the pick-up location and the drop-off point. It is not available in New York City, Los Angeles, and several other cities.

The average person can walk a mile in about 15 to 20 minutes. A three-mile trip may take about an hour. When you add the minute rate to the rest of the fees, you may earn about $12 for the delivery. A longer walk may earn you a little more, as you still get paid per minute of walking. However, you are not paid for the time it takes to reach the restaurant or walk back home after delivering the food.

For a full breakdown of how payment is calculated, see this article.

How Much Do Uber Eats Walkers Make?

The amount that you make depends on the number of deliveries that you complete. Uber Eats does not have a maximum limit on the number of deliveries. However, you cannot work for more than 12 hours in a single day.

A significant portion of your time is also spent walking without pay. Imagine that it takes you 15 minutes to walk to the restaurant. After dropping off the food at the customer’s home, it takes you another 15 minutes to walk home. You do not get paid for those 30 minutes of walking. For that reason, try and make your walking route close to restaurants, so you hopefully pick up another order quickly. 

You may also spend a few minutes waiting to pick up the food at the restaurant. A one-kilometre delivery may take about 20 minutes to walk, but you may also spend close to an hour on unpaid walking and waiting. If you make $12 for a single delivery, but the delivery takes two hours out of your day, you are only making about $6 per hour.

Keep in mind that you may be able to complete multiple orders at once, which can increase your earning potential. Before you complete the pickup for your current request, you may receive a notification of another order at a nearby restaurant.

You can pick up the first order if you accept the second order and then travel to the second restaurant. After picking up both orders, you complete both deliveries. You may also occasionally receive notifications for additional orders from the same restaurant. This saves even more time, as you do not need to walk to a second pick-up location. 

If you get multiple orders, make sure you follow the order the app wants you to follow; otherwise, it gets confused, and you’ll waste time backtracking. 

You also have the option of riding a bike whenever you choose. You select the “deliver by bike or on foot” option when registering to deliver on foot. If you are not in the mood for a long walk, you can hop on your bike. Riding a bike allows you to complete deliveries faster, which means you can complete more deliveries and earn more each day.

How Far Do Uber Eats Walkers Walk for a Delivery?

The average Uber Eats walker distance per delivery is around 800 metres (half a mile), according to Uber, however, I’ve had deliveries on foot that are a bit over double that.

As a comparison, for bikes and scooters, it seems to be up to three miles (5km) on bikes and, if you’re driving it’s probably at least 4 miles. I’ve found when ordering, Uber Eats lets you order from restaurants over 6km (4 miles) away.  

In large metro areas, Uber Eats tries to keep delivery distances between the restaurant and the customer’s address close. The Uber Eats app automatically sends the delivery job to the delivery people closest to the restaurant.

Keep in mind the terrain you’re walking (or biking on), while some cities like London or Toronto are relatively flat, walking several kilometres a day in more hilly cities like Montreal or San Francisco are going to leave you pretty worn out after a day.

Does Uber Eats Give You a Bag?

Uber Eats does not supply you with a bag or any other equipment or gear. Delivery bags are optional. However, Uber recommends that Uber Eats delivery people use insulated bags. Carrying food in a bag is also more convenient when delivering on foot.

Insulated bags help keep food fresh, which keeps customers happy and tipping. Uber Eats has an online shop with suitable insulated delivery bags, including a small tote bag and an insulated backpack. The rest of the gear is intended for delivery on a bike. Uber Eats sells reflective safety vests, bicycle helmets, and bicycle headlights.

Conclusion

If you live near popular food establishments in a pedestrian-friendly neighbourhood, becoming an Uber Eats walker may be worth the effort. It allows you to get more fresh air and exercise while earning some extra income. Keep in mind that some deliveries may require two hours or more of walking. Uber Eats calculates the base fare based on distance and the cost of the food.

Delivering on foot reduces your earning potential compared to delivering by car or bike. If you want to make more, you may need to ride a bike or get a car.

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