Is Uber Eats worth it? (Pros & Cons)

Suppose you own a smartphone, can ride a bicycle, motorcycle, or car, and have attained legal age in your country.

In that case, you qualify to sign up as an Uber Eats driver and earn extra bucks. 

To its customers, Uber Eats — which has been in the game for six years — provides an easy way of ordering food with just a few taps on the smartphone, while to its drivers, it is a flexible way of earning some income.

But how is it being an Uber Eats driver? Is it worth it?

How much does an Uber Eats driver earn?

If you are thinking of being an Uber Eats driver, the first question you would ask is how much you would earn from the service. 

A driver earned an average of $9.37 per delivery and $15.84 per hour as of March 2022, according to research by Gridwise, which polled 250,000 drivers. Gridwise is a company that helps delivery drivers – such as Uber Eats’ – to get the best out of their delivery work.

How much you earn, however, as an Uber Eats driver is not cast in stone; it is a scale that is dependent on many factors: 

  • The city you are driving in – Uber Eats operates in over 6000 cities, and the rates vary per city.
  • The time you are driving – certain periods, such as lunch and dinner rush, attracts higher price rates due to a surge in demand. The higher rates translate to higher earnings for drivers.
  • The number of deliveries – Uber Eats pays its drivers per delivery, so the more the deliveries, the more your earnings.

How the earnings are calculated

As an Uber Eats driver, you are paid based on three items: Mileage rate, pick-up fee, and drop-off fee. These rates differ based on your location and the time of the day.

Expenses incurred by Uber Eats drivers

You are now familiar with how much you earn as an Uber Eats driver, but that is just one side of the story. The job comes with several expenditures.

  • Fuel cost – this is probably the biggest cost item. You are responsible for the cost of fueling your motorbike or car.
  • Parking cost – you are responsible for finding and paying for your parking.
  • Financing cost – if you buy your vehicle on credit, you must factor in the cost of servicing the credit.
  • Insurance cost – you need to pay for your motorbike or car.
  • Licensing cost – being an Uber Eats driver means running a business. Different cities have different licensing requirements, which will most likely come with a cost.
  • Maintenance and repair costs – you need to take your vehicle for regular maintenance and repair when something requires fixing.
  • Depreciation – this can easily be forgotten since there’s no actual payment, but it’s an important one; with each movement you make, your vehicle experiences wear and tear leading to an inherent loss of value. You need to factor this in since it lowers your resale value.

Other considerations to keep in mind

Let’s assume you are happy with the earnings and looking into signing up as a driver before you do so. There are a couple of things you may want to consider.

  • Difficult customers – since you have direct contact with customers, you inevitably will deal with difficult customers often.
  • Tax responsibility – as an Uber Eats driver, you are a contractor and not an employee, which means you are responsible for remitting and filing your tax return.
  • Long queues – there are locations where you will encounter long queues and be forced to wait to pick up your delivery.
  • Traffic delays – traffic snarl-ups are a constant reality since you spend a lot of time on the road. Part of your job will be to develop ways of navigating your city fast to save your precious time.
  • No paid leave – you earn when you work, you have the luxury to go on leave when you want but you won’t get paid.

How to earn more

Some tricks could help you maximize your earnings:

  • Multiapping – using several apps is a pretty common trend these days. When one app isn’t bringing in the orders, you have the other apps to supplement.
  • Maximize on tips – Uber Eats provides a way for customers to tip the driver through the app, and yes, many Uber Eats drivers get tips. The better your service, the better the chance of getting tipped. Keep that in mind.

It also helps to stay near expensive restaurants since customers often pay tips as a percentage of the order amount.

  • Maximize on surge – driving during peak times guarantees higher returns. You can plan to drive during these time slots and earn more.
  • Choose orders wisely – Uber Eats allows you to accept or decline an order. Try to prioritize shorter trips instead of longer ones – short trips pay more

So, is it worth it?

If you are happy with the earnings as I’ve outlined and you are ready to deal with the issues that come with the job, then you could give Uber Eats a try, but don’t forget that your success will depend a lot on how aggressive and smart you will be.

Further Reading

Is Pizza Delivery Worth It?

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