If you’re looking for a new way to make money, signing up as an Uber Eats delivery person might be the perfect gig for you.
Quick tip: you can get cash back every time you fill up your gas tank by using the Upside app. It's free and pays out straight to your bank.
In this blog post, I will try and answer how much money you can make a day with Uber Eats and whether it’s for you.
We’ll start with how Uber pays you for each delivery, then cover what factors are going to affect your income, and then take you through a typical weekend day where I set a goal of making $100 doing Uber Eats delivery on foot.
Then, I’ll try and answer if you can make a living off doing Uber Eats as your full-time job (spoiler: it’s probably better as a side gig unless you’re living at home)
Finally, I’ll list some tips on how to make the most of your time.
In North America, Uber Eats is currently the number one food delivery platform and are one of the simplest to get started with, so it’s worth looking into even if you end up using multiple apps later on.
Let’s get started!
How Much Money Can You Make in a Day With Uber Eats?
First off, this is commission work, so there is no guaranteed minimum wage. Whatever you make is based on the number of deliveries you do.
The way you make money on Uber Eats (and other delivery services like DoorDash, Skip The Dishes and others) is a base rate plus any tips you collect.
It all depends on the number of deliveries you complete and the time spent completing them (which will vary according to delivery distance).
How You Make Money On Uber Eats
- Base Rate
Uber pays a base rate (around $3)
- Trip Supplement
This is calculated based on the distance you have to travel.
- Surge and Promo Rates
During busy times, Uber adds anywhere from $1 to $3 (I’ve seen as high as $4) on top of the base rate.
- Tips from Customers
This can range from 25 cents to more than $10. There’s no way to predict then, so deliver the order quickly and intact (this is why I’m careful with anything soup-like) and hope for the best.
Sometimes you’ll get a notification (either a text message or in the app) that there is a Quest running for some time period (like a weekend). Basically, it’s a cash bonus you’re paid if you make over a certain number of deliveries in that period. You don’t have to accept the Quest, it just automatically starts.
There used to be a service fee that was subtracted from the base and trip supplement, but Uber updated its contract with delivery people on July 1st that removes that, instead the base and trip supplement comes up around $3.
It’s important to remember this is a numbers game. Some days will be good, others will be slow for any number of reasons unrelated to you.
Can You Make $100 a Day With Uber Eats?
The short answer is yes; if you’re willing to put 6-8 hours in, it’s quite possible to clear $100 a day, including tips.
The long answer is it depends on a few factors. Some of these are under your control, others aren’t, so work on the things you can control and hope for the best.
What Determines How Much You Can Make in a Day?
The main factors are these six things. Except for the last two, all of these are things you can control.
- The Number of Hours You Work.
The more hours you are online on the app, the more order you can potentially take.
- What Times of Day You Work.
Depending on your area, there will be more orders and promo rates at certain times like lunch and dinner. Late nights after 12 am sometimes have promo rates.
- The Location You Work In
What part of a city you work in also determines the number of potential orders. The Uber app’s heat map will show what areas are busy.
- How Fast Can You Complete Orders?
There’s a reason people do Uber Eats on bikes and scooters. If you’re on foot, around four orders an hour is reasonable. That’s 15-20 minutes per order, including picking up from the restaurant, going to the drop-off, and probably taking the elevator up to the apartment. On foot, you save time parking and don’t have to worry about your ride getting stolen, so it’s a trade-off.
- The Number of Tips and the Amounts.
How many people tip (if at all) is something you don’t have much control over – just try and deliver the orders quickly and intact and leave a short message when you’ve delivered the order where the customer can find it (“Hi, your order is at the front desk”).
If you get tips on more than half your orders, you’re doing good.
- How Many other Uber Eats Delivery People are Out.
When there’s more money to be made per order, there’s going to be more delivery people out competing with you for those orders. If you can, try to avoid areas where many delivery people are waiting around (you’ll see this often near fast-food chains like McDonald’s) or try circling an area so you’re close to more restaurants.
The biggest cap on your earnings is going to be your time.
Realistically you can not work more than 12-14 hours for too long – you’re just going to burn out.
What times restaurants are open is obviously a factor too. Yes, some fast-food chains are 24 hours, are there enough customers to give you a steady stream of orders.
Also, you make better money during busy times, so you want to be working in that lunch and dinner/evening period when surge pricing is in effect. When people say work smarter, not harder, this is a good example of that.
Example: An Average Uber Eats Day
Let take a real-world example. I decided to aim for $100 on a Sunday in May. The area was in northern Toronto, and there’s a good number of restaurants, apartments and houses within a kilometre walking distance.
The weather was good, so I was expecting people might be going out to pick up their own food, and there might be lots of Uber people doing shifts. Both cases were true, I definitely saw many scooters out, and the sidewalks were pretty crowded.
This is what my Sunday looked like:
- Signed on at about 10:15 am and had coffee while waiting.
The first order came in before 10:30 am
- I took every order that came in.
I did a total of 10 until about 2:30 pm when things really slowed down.
- Took a break.
I went home, recharged my phone laid down for a bit.
- Started again at 4:45 pm.
I should have started earlier as the surge was on, but orders came in steadily.
- Finished at 6:30 pm, when my total reached $102.
That’s 6 hours and 18 trips. The split between base fare ($67.5) and tips ($43.58), or about 60%, was from tips – pretty good.
Over the next few hours, a few more tips came in, so the total haul for the day was $111 or the equivalent of about $18 an hour.
Can You Make a Living off Uber Eats?
This is a hard one, and you’ll have to decide it for yourself based on how much you expect you can make doing Uber Eats deliveries in a month and what your cost of living is.
Most people’s biggest expense is rent, then food. Obviously, if you’re living at home or your rent is subsidized some way, then you can probably do Uber Eats delivery a few days and make enough to buy food and still have money (“fun money”) to go out with friends at least once a week.
If you do have to pay your own rent and other expenses, then you have to look at the numbers carefully – it may make sense to have a regular job and then do Uber Eats as a side gig to give you extra money for going out on weekends, or putting away for savings.
Bottom line, I don’t think doing Uber Eats is a job replacement, but it’s a good way to supplement your income.
How To Get More Delivery Orders on Uber Eats?
Here are a few tips for getting more orders and delivering faster. Remember, every order is a potential tip, and that’s where the money will come from.
- Know What Days and Time Are Busy.
During the week, lunch and dinner, times are almost always busy. Friday are Saturday evenings are usually good. Certain days like Mothers Day or a big game night, and people are ordering in.
- Get Started Before Busy Times Start.
The base rate is only about $3 (as of May 2021), but when there’s increased demand, Uber will start showing promo rates on the map, which are extra money on top of the base rate. Before these start showing up, you want to be before these start showing up as the extra money will attract more delivery people (as it’s meant to). Know what times these usually show up, and log in early, so you get assigned these.
- Learn All the Shortcuts in Your Area.
Especially if you’re doing UberEats walking delivery, learn where you can cut through an area on foot. The Uber Eats app navigation has gotten better but doesn’t tell you if you can cut through a mall or park to save some time.
- Figure Out What Places “Never” Have Food Ready On Time.
During busy times, consider declining them as you might waste time waiting for the order that could be spent taking other orders.
- Before Accepting an Order, Check if the Distance Is Too Far.
Where you get an order, it tells you the restaurant and approximately where the dropoff is. I try to keep under 800 metres unless it’s multiple pick-ups.
- Move to Another Area if You See a Lot of Uber Eats Delivery People Waiting.
Uber seems to assign deliveries based on distance, so you’ll often see many Uber Eats people out near busy places. But there’s a limited number of orders, so consider moving a bit up the street closer to other restaurants if the area you’re in is too saturated.
- Don’t Eat Your Profit (Literally).
I’m guilty of finishing up a shift and picking up some carb-full goodness at a pub on the way home, but that’s easy $15 out of your night’s pay. Rather than buying food or drinks between orders, take some energy bars or water with you.
Update February 2022
Uber is constantly updating their app. As of 2022, you might have seen these grey lighting bolts showing up on the app’s map, indicating “it’s busy here”:
If you click on the lightning bolt icon, it shows you a route to get there, similar to the Event Nearby icon Uber added about a year ago.
Zooming in on the location marked by the bolt shows it to either be a residential area or on a major street with several restaurants. A different style of lightning bolt is also used for surge, so assuming this is something similar.
Making Your First $100 on Uber Eats
You can make $100 a day doing Uber Eats fairly easily, at least in an urban area. If you are willing to put in 12-18 trips per day and work six days a week, you can probably make around $500 in one week. Some of the factors will be out of your control, but essentially it’s a numbers game and trying to get the most orders when there is surge pricing.
Save on gas & groceries: the Upside app gives you cash back when you fill up your tank, buy groceries, or eat out.
Good luck out there!
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