Food tips

Drive At The Right Times

One of the most basic ways to make more money with Uber Eats is to just drive at the right times. This is for two reasons. Firstly, delivering during peak hours means it’s more likely to get a steady stream of deliveries. Secondly, Uber Eats can pay drivers bonuses for delivering during busy periods through surge pricing: If you can score surge pricing, this simple change alone can boost your earnings per delivery by a few dollars, which adds up over the course of a day. So, what are some of the best times to drive Uber Eats? Typically, the best times are:

  • Weekdays: Lunch from 11am to 2pm; dinner and late-night orders from 5pm to 11pm
  • Weekends: Pretty much all day This is basically the same as the best times to do DoorDash and other delivery apps since in a nutshell, you want to be active when people usually get hungry. Uber also states that drivers can earn more if they deliver during inclement weather, like rain or snow, since people don’t really want to leave their homes. The gist of this Uber Eats driver tip is to work busy periods, skip mornings, and don’t be afraid to stay out late!

Learn Which Deliveries Are Worth It

This is an important tip for any delivery side hustle, but it’s also critical for Uber Eats drivers. Uber Eats has faced criticism from drivers before because pay is low. But, it’s a free market, and you need to be selective with the gigs you accept when working. A lot of drivers suggest not accepting orders under $7, but some factors you need to consider include:

  • Total delivery distance
  • If you’re driving into an area with high traffic
  • If the pickup restaurant is usually slow (you will learn this over time in your city, and some places should likely be avoided all the time if they always mess up orders) Here’s an example of a solid trip an Uber Eats driver posted on Reddit: As you can see, Uber Eats showed a guaranteed rate of $8.52, and the distance was 10.73 miles. The driver completed it in 22 minutes and 24 seconds. Assuming the courier could squeeze in one more similar order within an hour, that’s about $17 per hour before accounting for gas expenses, which is well above minimum wage in most places. It’s still a little under a general rule of thumb of aiming for $1 per mile, but it’s still worth considering. If the trip paid $5…different story!

Track Your Mileage

Did you know you can claim certain parts of your delivery driving expenses on your tax return? That’s right: you might save money if you claim some of the miles you drive for Uber Eats when filing taxes. Uber actually has tax summary information, and states: “The mileage reported on your Tax Summary is total online miles including all the miles you drove waiting for a trip, en-route to a rider, and on a trip.” You should talk to a tax professional or see what your tax software states, but chances are, you can deduct some of the mileage you drive on the way to starting a shift and the miles you drive in-between deliveries (when not on an active delivery). If you need help tracking your mileage and gig economy income, you can also use the Hurdlr app. According to the IRS, the standard mileage rate for business miles is $0.56 per mile for 2021, so you can find some decent deductions. Again, consult a tax professional or the software you use, but definitely track the miles you drive for Uber Eats. Pro Tip: Try the GetUpside app to save up to $0.25 per gallon!

Improve Your Customer Service

Like other delivery app gigs, getting decent tips can absolutely transform your hourly earnings. So, one basic albeit important piece of advice for Uber Eats drivers is to work on some customer service skills to increase the odds you get tip. Some basic customer tips include:

  • Texting the customer if you encounter traffic or if there is going to be a delay at the restaurant
  • Being friendly and welcoming when dropping off food
  • Being patient/texting the customer if there’s any problems with the dropoff Another useful tip is to grab extras for the customer, like napkins and sauces, when you pick up their food. As you can see from this driver, even texting the customer to check if they want extras helps her land more tips: Admittedly, a lot of this is still luck, but it’s an easy Uber Eats driver tip to implement. Plus, the effort is worth it. As we can see from my friend’s Uber Eats earnings, regular tips helped boost his hourly earnings by about 10 percent: And, you never know: you might get one really generous customer who leaves you a substantial tip that makes up for a bit of a slower delivery period.

Avoid Tickets

If you have to park in a no-parking zone or risk a ticket to complete an Uber Eats delivery, it’s probably better to be late and find somewhere proper to park than to risk the ticket. You can also try parking a bit farther from restaurants in busy areas and then walking (this is often faster anyway than looking for parking). A single ticket can offset a few hours of work, so the risk isn’t really worth it.

Store Hot & cold Food Items Properly

Another useful tip for Uber Eats drivers is to work on how they store the food and drinks they’re delivering. For starters, delivering with an insulated food delivery bag is a good idea. This helps keep food at the right temperature, which is also critical if you’re delivering something like a frozen yoghurt bowl in the middle of July. On that note, if you’re delivering multiple food items, separate hot and cold food or drinks so they stay at a more consistent temperature. Again, a small trick, but it might increase the odds you get a tip! Extra Reading – Is Uber Eats Worth It For Drivers?

Try Delivering By Bike

As an Uber Eats courier, you can swap between delivering by car or bike within the app. And, as a bike courier, Uber Eats does a decent job at only giving you order requests within a small radius. So, if you want to avoid paying for gas and vehicle depreciation while getting paid to workout, try delivering by bike! This is how my friend earns around $15 to $20 per hour as a bike courier in Toronto. Of course, having a decent road bike will make life easier than a BMX bike, but you don’t need a super expensive bike to get started as a bike courier. Extra Reading – How To Make $1,000 A Week With Uber Eats.

Always Take Photos Of Drop-Off (And Send A Text!)

Uber Eats customers can request contactless delivery where you drop off their order at the front door. When you do this, you have to take a photo of the delivery. This is important for covering your back and Uber’s back in case the customer claims they didn’t get their food. But, as a super niche Uber Eats driver tip, take a photo that also shows your insulated food delivery bag in the background. When the customer sees this, it proves (even subconsciously) that you care about keeping their food at the right temperature. You can also send the customer a quick “thanks for ordering, I’ve left your order at the front door as requested. Have a great day!” sort of message…again, customer service!

Always Double-Check Pickup

Another simple Uber Eats driver tip: always check the order to make sure everything is right. Uber encourages/prompts you to do this, but it’s seriously important…if a sauce is missing, or something in the order is off, it’s better to deal with it quickly and let the customer know you’re making things right than to deliver the wrong order and likely lose your tip.

Bring A Flashlight

Alright, this is a tip for anyone delivering late-night for Uber Eats. If you work nights, a flashlight makes it so much easier for you to quickly check house numbers when you’re trying to find the dropoff point. This might sound like trying too hard, but seriously; some neighborhoods aren’t lit too well by streetlights, so a flashlight makes life a lot easier.