Choosing a side gig to make extra money has never been easier, and one of the easiest jobs to do is becoming an Uber Eats driver.
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.
Unlike Uber, which is essentially a taxi company run by individuals, Uber Eats is a delivery service that delivers food to homes and businesses.
If you’re one of these people who doesn’t like other people being in your car, Uber Eats is a great way to make some extra money without doing that.
If you’re already an Uber driver, driving for Uber Eats can provide you with extra income and is easy to do.
With Uber Eats, you are paid automatically beforehand, so when you drop off the food, there is no need to wait for the recipient to pay you or give you a tip.
Driving for Uber Eats just couldn’t be simpler.
How to Get Started with Uber Eats
There is no time like the present to get started with Uber Eats. Demand for food that is delivered has never been higher, thanks in part to the fact that so many people are spending more time at home due to COVID-19. Even though the pandemic is winding down in many ways, people will always order food to be delivered to their home, which means Uber Eats drivers will always have jobs. Getting started with Uber Eats is, in some ways, easier than working for Uber because they are less picky about your vehicle than they are with regular Uber drivers. To drive for Uber Eats, you have to agree to the following terms:
- You have to be able to carry 30 pounds or more (though most of your deliveries will be much lighter than this).
- You have to be able to pass a background check.
- You have to have proof of car insurance.
- You must be at least 19 years old and have one year of driving experience.
- You must have a driver’s license, car registration, and be insured.
- You must use your own vehicle, not a rental.
- Your vehicle cannot be too dented or banged up.
- Your vehicle has to be less than 15 years old.
Once you send in your application and are approved, you can upload documents such as car insurance and registration online. It really is a fast and simple process to get started as an Uber Eats driver, so you’ll be on the road delivering food to people before you know it.
How to Get More Trips on Uber Eats
Getting more trips, that is, more delivery requests while driving for Uber Eats, is easier than you think. While increasing your delivery requests may seem out of your control, there are still things you can do to increase the odds that more requests will come in while you’re on the clock. One of the first things you can do is decide to work during lunch and dinner breaks, which means from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and from 5 p.m. until around 9:30 or 10:00 p.m. These times are always busy, and this is especially true when there is a special event going on in your town or on holidays.
Fridays through Sundays are also busier than during the week, and if you know there’s a concert or some other special event occurring, you can assume that there will be many more delivery requests than usual on that particular night. Oddly enough, delivery requests also tend to go up whenever it’s raining, so if it starts to rain and you’re still on the clock, stay put because you’ll very likely get a ton of requests once the rain begins.
Naturally, you’ll likely get far more delivery requests if you drive in an area of town that has a lot of different restaurants. If you’re out in the country somewhere and there aren’t very many restaurants nearby, the chances of getting a lot of requests are very slim. Simply put, the more restaurants you’re near, the more requests you’ll get, mostly because of the boost in population compared to the number of people living in the suburbs or in the country. Bigger, more populated areas and areas that have tons of restaurants nearby will always result in a lot of delivery requests, and it isn’t difficult to figure out why.
What Days Are Best for Uber Eats?
Lunchtime (11:30 am – 2 pm)|
Dinner: (4:30pm – 7pm)
|Lunchtime usually has less delivery people out. Friday evenings can be busy too.|
Lunchtime (11:30 am – 2 pm)|
Dinner: (4:30pm – 7pm)
|Usually, an equal number of delivery people are out. Expect lunch orders to continue throughout the afternoon. Saturday evenings can be busy too.|
While any day of the week can be busy for an Uber Eats driver, most drivers find that Thursday through Sunday are the busiest days for them. This makes sense for a lot of reasons. Thursdays and Fridays are toward the end of the week, when people are getting tired of coming home and cooking dinner themselves. Many people also take a day off on these two days, making them much more likely to order their meals instead of cooking. They may be too tired to get dressed up and go out to eat, so they are more likely to order food that has to be delivered.
On the weekends, when many people are off of work and spending more time at home, requests for delivered food always skyrocket. In fact, you may find that the requests are consistent from 9 a.m. to around 9 p.m. or later on both Saturday and Sunday, which means there are no “peak” times during these two days. Instead, the entire day on both Saturday and Sunday can be considered peak times because the requests are consistent on both days most of the time.
Holidays also tend to be good days for Uber Eats drivers because more people are off of work and may want to have their food delivered instead of cooking it. For those holidays that fall in the beginning or middle of the week, you’ll likely find that your requests for food delivery are much higher than usual.
On the other hand, avoid Mondays, as they’re usually the worst days. If you’re working on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday and it isn’t a holiday and there is no special event planned, you likely won’t get nearly as many delivery requests as you would if you worked Thursday through Sunday and on holidays.
How to Get Better Tips with Uber Eats
Your tips are automatically added to your pay with Uber Eats, and the money is collected from the customer before you arrive at their home. If you’ve ever wondered, how do I increase my Uber Eats earnings, just know that there are things you can do to get better tips from your customers. Even before you get to their home, most customers will have paid the tip, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve the amount of money you get as tips. Below are some of the tools you can use to earn better tips as an Uber Eats driver.
- Understand how the Uber Eats payments are calculated so that you know how much you can expect to earn with each trip. Uber Eats pays you a pickup fee, a drop-off fee, a per-mile rate, and a per-minute rate. The city you’re in will determine exactly how much you make with each trip. For example, drivers in Denver, Colorado make $1.50 for a pickup and $1.00 for dropping off the food. You get paid 12 cents for every minute you drive and $1.00 for every mile you drive, which includes the distance from the restaurant to the customer’s home or place of business. Since you make most of your money on pickups and drop-offs, it’s smart to concentrate on making as many deliveries as possible in a short period of time. This also increases the amount of your tips because you’ll be making more deliveries each hour that you work.
- Since customers can add tips either when they schedule the delivery or afterward when they’re rating the delivery experience, make sure you provide excellent service to all of your customers. This means getting to their home or office as quickly as possible, placing the food in the right location on their doorstep so that it doesn’t get rained on, and greeting them with a smile if they decide they want you to come to the door and hand them their food. Nothing beats good old-fashioned customer service, so pay attention to any “special” instructions the customer requests and make sure everything is done professionally and politely. While you can’t do anything about the food itself and whether or not the customer’s order is correct (the restaurant itself is responsible for that), you can do something about how the food is delivered, so work hard to make it a pleasant experience for the customer.
- Use your “auto-accept” feature. When you’re on the clock, so to speak, idle time is time you’re not getting paid, so you’ll want to be driving as much as possible. When you use the auto-accept feature, you can easily go straight from one assignment to the next one without a break, which means you’ll make a lot more money. Making more money means making more tips. In short, you don’t want to be idle for very long, and it’s usually best to make numerous short trips every hour than it is to drive for long distances and only make a few deliveries per hour.
You should also keep in mind that Uber Eats drivers get to keep 100% of their tips – there is no sharing the tips with the company. That’s the good news, and the bad news is this – Uber Eats customers often do not leave tips. What this means in practical terms is that you’ll have to work extra hard to get those tips. When you drop off a customer’s food, don’t be in a hurry. Take your time and don’t just place the food down and rush back out to your car. Dress appropriately and always look neat and clean. Never be afraid to interact with the customer should they come out of their home when the food is dropped off. This is yet another opportunity for you to shine!
Some customers will decide to tip only if you act professionally and pleasantly toward them, and if you rush out to your car, you may not get that tip. After all, no customer is going to follow you to your vehicle to give you your tip! Even if they interact with you and do not hand you a tip at that moment, they may still add one to the order afterward if you treat them right. This is especially true if you do things such as make sure the bag has enough silverware and napkins before you leave the restaurant, text the customer to keep them updated on their delivery, and let them know immediately if there are any problems or concerns.
You might also consider using an insulated bag to carry and deliver the food in, so that you can keep the food you’re delivering cold or hot until it gets to the customer. It’s little things like this that make a difference when it comes to customer service, which directly affects the tips you’ll get. While some customers won’t tip you regardless of how well you do with their delivery, many others will, so practicing excellent customer service is always a must.
Making the Most Money with Uber Eats
One of the best parts of working as an Uber Eats driver is that you have a lot of ways to make extra money and increase the amount of your paycheck. For instance, Uber Eats will often offer bonuses when there is inclement weather, when there is a shortage of drivers, and during certain times when few drivers are signing in to work. Be on the lookout for these things because they can contribute to your paycheck faster than you think. In addition, if you limit your working area to a small area, you can more quickly get from one customer to another and therefore make more money per hour.
Save on gas & groceries: the Upside app gives you cash back when you fill up your tank, buy groceries, or eat out.
The most important tip to remember is to make sure you understand exactly how you’re being paid. Understand each and every fee you’re earning so that you can set goals for yourself and make as much money as possible. This is the best way to get started with Uber Eats and earn a fat paycheck every week.
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