In such cases, they can still apply for UberEATS, an on-demand food delivery platform almost anyone can work for.
To start delivering food with UberEATS, all you need is a two-door vehicle from 1996 or newer. In some cities, people can apply using a scooter, motorbike or bicycle. In this article, we explain the basics of UberEATS, including how to sign up, how the delivery process works, benefits and drawbacks of the service.
What is UberEATS?
UberEATS is an online food ordering and delivery platform created by Uber in 2014. The service allows customers to have food delivered by Uber drivers. Food can be ordered using the app or directly through the website of participating restaurants and food chains.
UberEATS is available to regular Uber drivers, who can use the service to increase profits when passenger ride demand falls down. As mealtimes often coincide with fall in demand, the food delivery system provides an opportunity to maintain steady income throughout the day.
UberEATs is available in more than 60 cities around the world. In the United States, the service has been made available in all major cities, including Los Angeles, New York and Houston. The company plans to eventually bring the service to all the cities where the main ridesharing app is currently available.
What are the requirements to join UberEATS?
The requirements to join UberEATS depend on whether someone is already an Uber passenger driver or not. Current Uber drivers who have already passed the approval process only have to opt-in through the app if the service is available in their city. After doing so, food delivery runs will start appearing along with traditional passenger requests.
The option to opt-in to UberEATS is located at the bottom of the application’s home screen. If the prompt to join UberEATS is not available, the service might not be available in the city or the app may be malfunctioning. Contacting customer support is the best way to address this problem and get UberEATS activated.
Drivers who are new to Uber and are only interested in driving for UberEATS have to go through the approval process. However, the vehicle requirements to become a UberEATS-only driver are more relaxed than those for driving passengers. In general, new UberEATS drivers must be at least 19 years old, have one or more years of driving experience, be strong enough to lift 30 pounds, and drive a car from 1996 or newer.
Unlike standard Uber drivers, UberEATS applicants can participate in the delivery programs with 2-door vehicles. In some cities, they can also deliver orders using scooters, bikes and motorcycles in order to comply with local environmental policies.
How UberEATS works
Working for UberEATS is similar than driving passengers around with the standard Uber app, but with some differences. First, customers have to order food using the app or through their chosen restaurant’s website as long as they select UberEATS as delivery method.
After a customer makes an order, nearby drivers will get a notification to perform the delivery. The driver who accepts the order must then drive to the restaurant and pick up the order. The UberEATS app will provide information needed for pick-up, including what was ordered, customer name and order number. Restaurant employees will verify the information and provide the package as soon as it’s ready.
Once the package has been picked up from the restaurant, the UberEATS app will allow the driver to start the trip. Doing so will update the GPS directions to show the final destination. Drivers must then drive to the drop-off location and follow instructions provided by the app. Some customers will ask drivers to wait inside the car, while others may prefer to receive the package at their door.
These drop-off options are known as curbside and walk-in. Curbside means that customers must walk to the driver to pick up their order. Once the driver has arrived, customers will receive a notification to let them know their food is ready. Walk-in drop off requires that drivers get out of the car and meet customers at their door. It may be necessary to call a customer if the precise drop-off location is not clear.
What happens if an UberEATS order is canceled?
Sometimes, customers may cancel the order after it has been picked up from the restaurant. In such cases, the driver gets paid as if they had delivered the order. Uber informs drivers that food can be disposed at their discretion. If the customer cancels before the order has been picked up, no payment is made to the driver.
How much money drivers make with UberEATS?
Traditional Uber passenger rides have a time component included in the fares. This is not the case for UberEATS, which instead charges customers per pickup, per mile driven and per drop-off. The standard rates per mile are usually higher than those for passenger rides, but Uber may take a larger commission as a result.
In Los Angeles, for example, the average payout for UberEATS drivers is $3.50 for pick-up, $1.30 for drop-off and $1.10 per mile driven. This brings the total payout for a short delivery service to $6.10. Taking out Uber’s 25 percent fee means net income per delivery totals $4.58. Longer rides may have larger payouts according to distance. Drivers are often tipped by satisfied customers. Tipping can either be done through the app or with cash after the order is complete. In most cities where UberEATS is available, tipping delivery drivers is common practice. Uber does not take a cut from tips.
UberEATS has its own payment structure separate from other Uber services. For example, a driver who handles both passengers and food deliveries may be charged 20 percent commission for traditional Uber rides yet pay 25 percent for each UberEATS delivery. In addition, a delivery-only driver may be charged a different commission while working in the same city. In Los Angeles, for example, some drivers have reported commissions as high as 35 percent for deliveries with higher base rates.
UberEATS drivers can increase earnings with Boost and Surge
There are two ways UberEATS drivers can increase earnings. The first one is by driving in special Boosted zones where earnings are multiplied for deliveries. Uber implemented the system to help drivers take more orders from areas with high demand. Boost zones are shown as colored areas in the Uber app. The earnings multiplier and duration of the Boost effect are also shown. Booster multipliers are added to net fares, which means Uber does not take a cut from extra profits.
The second way of increasing earnings is by taking advantage of Surge pricings. Surge, much like Boost, is an earnings multiplier usually active in areas with high demand and applied to net earnings. When demand is high enough, it is possible to pick up deliveries with both Boost and Surge multipliers active. However, they are not available in all cities and the multiplier values can fluctuate significantly.
Sometimes, Uber will also offer UberEATS drivers hourly earnings guarantees when demand is lower than average or when opening a new market. It is recommended to remain alert when Boost, Surge and earning guarantees are available, since they can significantly increase a driver’s monthly income.
Benefits and drawbacks of driving for UberEATS
The main advantage of UberEATS compared with standard passenger rides is the easier vehicle requirements. Being able to deliver orders in two-door vehicles bike and scooters gives people without newer vehicles the opportunity to earn money in their free time. For some people, not dealing with passengers is another attractive feature of the service.
However, there are some drawbacks. First, since UberEATS orders only become available at meal times, delivery-only drivers may experience low earnings if demand is low or competition is too high. In some cases, earnings can fall below $10 per hour. Second, there are delivery-related issues that may become frustrating, such as long waits at restaurants, trouble finding customers or where to deliver the food.
Other delivery options that could help maximize earnings
As mentioned above, low demand or fierce competition may make it difficult to find delivery orders. However, UberEATS is not the only service people can deliver food for. Drivers can and should consider signing up for competing services such as Postmates and DoorDash , which as similar to UberEATS, to maximize their earnings.
This is the same strategy passenger drivers use to stay busy between Uber and other services such as Lyft and inDriver. Other on-demand delivery platforms like Amazon Flex and Deliv, although not focused on food, are also a possible option. They all work like UberEATS, with flexible vehicle requirements and relative demand.