We sat down with one of our Uber Eats driver to discuss tips and strategies to increase earnings doing delivery with the app. Some common questions for people who want to become an Uber delivery driver are: How much do drivers make per hour? What is the annual salary?
We also wanted to get some answers to some FAQ and discuss how to contact help and support for Uber. So how much can an Uber driver make doing deliveries? How can you maximize your earnings?
Let’s talk to our guest driver and learn more about their job with Uber Eats.
Acceptance and Cancellation Rates
Everyone is always so scared of letting their cancellation rate go up and their acceptance rate go down, but have you ever wondered if your Uber acceptance and cancellation rate matter? Here is a hint:
Your acceptance rate DOES NOT MATTER!
Now, before you go blaming me for getting you deactivated, it may depend on your area and how often drivers are doing it. Uber changes their system constantly but what I can tell you is that I tested this and here is proof that your acceptance rate does not matter.
As you can see, this is a very low acceptance rate and a very high cancellation rate. Now, this wasn’t sustained for more than a week or two but no action or warnings were issued by Uber.
After multiple unaccepted or declined trips, it would simply take me offline which is common because it thinks you have left the app open when you stopped working. I was always able to jump right back online with no issues.
As for the cancellation rate, I would be a bit more careful with this although I tested it as well and nothing happened at all. I always cancelled within a minute or two after accepting the order once I saw the pickup location.
You may be wondering why I let my rates get so crazy, so I am here to tell you there is a method to my madness.
When you get an order request outside the prime boost area, decline it. What I mean by prime boost area is that if you are bordering on another zone that has a lower boost, don’t accept the delivery request. Stay in the prime area and wait for one with the better boost if you are getting lots of pings
This is actually why I like to stick to the edges of the zones. Think about it….if other drivers are in the area and get pulled out of the zone because they accept everything then guess who is left? You! Waiting for the next ping in the nice high boost zone!
If you accept an order (as you may know if you are currently an Uber driver, it doesn’t tell you what restaurant it is until you accept it) and it has no parking or you’ve experienced long waits repeatedly, cancel it. This is why my cancellation rate is so high on the image above. Once you learn the area, you will know by looking at the map which restaurant it is when the ping comes in and you don’t even have to accept it.
I also usually never accept a pickup request more than 5 minutes away. If it is really slow, or I am not in the core and traffic is less dense, I might take a request over that but for sure no more than 8 minutes.
Construction is a factor too. In some areas I hover in, I avoid areas with ongoing construction because the driving time is higher than what it estimates in the app.
Pick a zone and learn it
Know your area! Find a spot and become familiar with the restaurants so you know who is busy and has low wait times.
You also want to learn which places you can park for free or in sight of the restaurant to keep an eye on your car so you can watch out for parking enforcement. If you see them come around while you’re waiting for your pickup, move your car! Don’t risk it! One ticket and you’ll spend the rest of your night working it off.
Finding free and close parking is key. Check alleyways, side streets or parking lots from nearby businesses. If you are delivering after 5pm, many office parking lots are empty and don’t have paid parking. You should be able to get away with leaving your car there while running in to grab the food.
Keep your phone on you
Always take your phone with you into the restaurant. Most places want you to verify the order number which can be hard to memorize.
Another reason is that you can start the trip as you are leaving the restaurant. This helps you start the navigation before you get in your car saving you time. Every minute counts. You can also get an idea of where you are going which is helpful if you don’t know the area and have to turn around.
The best reason to bring your phone in with you though is you can get a second or even a third ping from the same restaurant while you are walking in, waiting for the food to be prepared or even about to leave. You don’t make money while driving to the restaurant, so if you can do 2-3 trips from one pickup, you will make more money.
Classically known for their quick food preparation time, an option to grab the food in the drive-thru without getting out of your car and so many locations, I was sure this would be a jackpot for Uber drivers.
I can remember thinking when I started, does McDonald’s deliver?
When Uber EATS launched, McDonald’s was not listed as a participating restaurant. When I heard the announcement they were coming on board, I was really excited. I couldn’t have been more wrong. My advice as an Uber driver:
DO NOT accept McDonald’s pick up requests.
McDonald’s seems to have the worst wait times out of any “restaurant”. Don’t even bother going through the drive-thru although the app tells you that you can. In my experience, almost every time they end up telling me to pull aside and they’ll bring the food out or they demand I park and come in to get it myself.
I have found that staff are too busy to acknowledge you or don’t prioritize Uber orders. I calculated my average wait time to be approximately 8 minutes from the time I entered McDonald’s to the time I was able to get the order from staff.
Critics have said the reasons for the longer serving times at McDonald’s are a more diverse menu and an increased ability for customers to customize their meals. In the last decade, the wait times for McDonald’s have increased by 25%. For a fast food joint that used to be touted for its quick service, they sure have went downhill.
Avoid late nights orders
One of the problems with the late night deliveries (past midnight) is that the orders are usually pretty big and you are often left waiting for the restaurant to prepare all the food. Let’s be honest, it’s mainly drunk people ordering food.
You may be wondering, can I cancel an order if it is not ready? Will I get paid if I cancel an order?
Uber does allow you to cancel an order if you have waited for more than 10 minutes and they will pay you a $5 fee. Most of the time though it is not worth it because you have to walk back to your car, wait for another ping, drive to another pickup location, park, go in and wait for the next order. This is all time you are not paid for!
To make matters worse, Uber has made it more difficult to get your cancellation fee. You have to reach out to support in the app because they will not automatically pay you for it. Then, they ask for a bunch of details that you likely don’t have unless you made notes about the trip or took screenshots.
This consumes even more of your time, so if you do have to claim a wait time cancellation fee, do it while waiting for a ping. You will need to know the time you arrived, the restaurant name and address and how long you waited.
Also, if you don’t wait the whole 10 minutes you don’t get paid. Many couriers have complained about getting a message denying their fee because they only waited 9 minutes 46 seconds. You heard that right! Uber support is that stubborn. Usually a couple messages back and forth with the in-app support will get it resolved but its hardly worth your time.
There can be good money to be made late at night but in my experience, it is not worth it. There is a surge of hungry drunk people looking for food, forgetting to put their buzzer number in the instructions or not answering their door, and restaurants struggling to keep up with the spike in demand.
How Much Does an Uber EATS Delivery Driver Make?
Uber does not release any earnings details of its drivers, though Uber & even Lyft have said in various campaigns their drivers make $20-25 per hour in Canada, particularly targeting Toronto. They have been much more reluctant to do that recently but Lyft still has an earnings estimator on their website that lets you select the city and number of hours you want to drive.
In Toronto, it estimates that Lyft drivers make an average of $20 per hour. Though that is for driving passengers and Lyft doesn’t offer a food delivery service, drivers are constantly debating about whether it is worth it to do Uber EATS vs UberX or both. When the surge is high, driving passengers is likely better. But on an average night, drivers are divided.
It can be very difficult to estimate earnings because the rates are different in each city as well as the Uber Fee, which is their commission rate they take from the driver for each ride. It also depends on the zone you decide to drive in, if there is a good boost multiplier, what days and times you work, if you work UberX as well or just UberEATS and of course, factoring in your vehicle costs. Vehicles costs include things like gas, wear and tear (depreciation of your vehicle), repairs, insurance, oil changes, etc.
How Much I Made Per Hour & Total Salary
A lot of the estimates for Uber salary and hourly rates are not coming from Canada but rather the US. In a smaller community you may get longer trips but demand in big cities like Toronto & Montreal keep the pings coming and boosts are consistently higher.
Uber EATS Earnings
- After Vehicle Expenses - $19.12 /hour
- Gross Annual Salary - $46,259.20
- Net Annual Salary - $39,769.60
As an Uber EATS delivery driver in Toronto I would make $8,897.26 in 2017 driving part-time. I worked approximately 400 hours the whole year (including time waiting for pings), which means on average I worked about 7-8 hours per week.
This works out to be a wage of $22.24 per hour just being a food delivery driver (aka courier) with Uber EATS. I did not drive UberX at all, although I did give it a shot when it first came to Toronto but my car got too old to meet the requirements.
This means my annual salary as an Uber EATS driver had I worked full-time (40 hours a week) would have been $46,259.20 or $889.60 per week.
As an Uber EATS driver I would make approximately $22.24 per hour, however, after factoring in vehicle costs, the hourly wage was reduced to about $19.12 per hour. The biggest windfalls for me were the extremely high boosts in the core of Toronto during the winter, which went as high as 2.6!
My typical hourly wage when I worked with 1.1 boosts in the suburbs was closer to $18.00 per hour. The costs may have actually been a bit higher because the destinations are more spread out so I likely made just over minimum wage, around $14.25 per hour.
As you can see, there were times where I had grossed $55 per hour! During these peak times, I would usually make at least $40-$45 per hour. These boosts lasted about a month or so and rarely have I seen the Uber boosts surge as high as 2.6 or above 2.0. My annual earnings would have been much lower if I didn’t work extra hours to take advantage of the high boosts during this busy season.
Though this is only example, I have scoured the net in both Canada and the US, talked to other drivers and reviewed other earnings reports. I found that most drivers are reporting approximately $19.00 per hour before accounting for vehicle expenses just doing Uber Eats.
In bigger markets (like Toronto), the average hourly wage of an Uber driver (Eats only) is a little bit higher around $21.00 per hour.
Time, day, zone and of course, how good you are at the job dictates how much you make.
Not an Uber Eats driver yet? Check out the requirements for Toronto or use the search function to find your city specific rates and what you need to know to sign up.
The difficulty of calculating an average of net income is that each drivers vehicle has different gas mileage, requires different maintenance and repairs at varying times given the age of the vehicle.
The cost of gas fluctuating also adds to the variability. Given there is no widespread data collection taking into account all these factors, these are merely estimates.
Best Days, Times and Areas to Delivery Uber Eats
I sometimes drove for an hour or two Monday-Thursday at dinner time and if I delivered on Friday’s I would keep driving a little bit longer depending on the boost and how busy it was. On Saturday & Sunday, I might drive approximately 3-6 hours on one or both days, beginning in mid-afternoon. In 2017 I never drove later than 10:00pm.
Some weeks I drove more, maybe just on the weekend for half a day, and some weeks I didn’t drive at all. That is what I like about my part-time gig with Uber EATS. It is the most flexible job I could find.
The best times to drive Uber EATS is Friday-Sunday between 5-8pm because it tends to be busier (naturally) and boosts are higher.
As an UberEATS only delivery driver in Toronto, I drove on average 50% of the time in the core and 50% in the suburbs. The suburbs have a much smaller boost most of the time, usually hovering at a mere 1.1. Because I live in the suburbs, I usually drove here after my day job on my way home for an hour trying to get a delivery or two along the way.
In the winter was when I realized I should primarily drive on the weekends because the boosts got over 2.0 and it was busier so delivery requests came faster without waiting between trips. I also switched to the core almost exclusively where the boost multipliers were way bigger.
If you are in Toronto, my favourite spot is Midtown because the boosts are just a big as downtown but the trips are longer, there is less traffic, more available parking and still lots of restaurants.
FAQ with an Uber EATS Delivery Driver
There are so many questions drivers have about tips for delivery with Uber EATS. We took a couple popular ones to ask our guest driver.
What navigation app is the best?
I like Waze because it seems to always give me the best shortcuts and saves me time. A disadvantage to using WAZE though is that as you are approaching your destination it doesn’t tell you what side of the street your destination is on and won’t repeat the final destination so you can find the house or street number easily. Using WAZE also uses more data because you still have to run the Uber Driver app at the same time. Ultimately, the reliability of the navigation of Waze vs Google Maps vs Uber Navigation is superior overall. Plus, it is free!
Tip: House numbers that are even are typically on the north and west sides of the street and the odd numbers are usually on the south and east side.
What to do if I am not getting any delivery requests?
First thing is to make sure your app is updated. I may be crazy but I think you have to update your Uber Driver app whenever it asks you to otherwise it won’t be as efficient.
It is tough to say whether you should drive around hoping to get closer to different restaurants to solicit an order. I tend to park close to a hub of restaurants to save money on gas but you really have to know the area and demand on certain days and times so you don’t waste your time.
Just don’t sit in front of someone’s driveway in a residential area after a drop-off though. Go back to a commercial area and you will get more pings for sure.
Do I need an insulted bag? Where do I get one?
I got one sent to my house when I signed up and the $15 cost was taken off my first pay so I didn’t have a choice. From my understanding, Uber no longer requires you to purchase one but I think it is a good idea.
When I go into a restaurant I always bring my UberEATS branded bag so it is easier to get someone’s attention to tell them you are with Uber to pick up an order. Many places have a sign that tells you where to pick up the order if you are an Uber driver.
I have went into places when I first started and waited in line where customers were ordering, not realizing the food was ready and there was a spot for UberEATS pickups.
I find having my bag helps me get recognized faster, especially in busier restaurants, and ultimately decreases the wait times in the restaurant for me.
For some reason, the bag ordering is a bit hard to find. If you want to know where to get an insulated Uber EATS bag, you have to order it online from their third-party supplier. The cost is about $6.40 for the square bag drivers use and $44.09 for the backpack used by cyclists, plus shipping. I do not think they are branded anymore though.
Are multiple orders worth it?
In my opinion, multiple orders are definitely worth it although there is some debate about this. You sacrifice the additional pickup fee, as you only get paid once, but you do get a second drop off fee and increased kilometres.
Sometimes you do have to wait a couple extra minutes for the second order to be prepared but in my opinion it’s worth it. You save time by avoiding the wait for another ping, driving to a new restaurant, finding parking and waiting for the next order.
How do I get help from Uber Customer Service?
It is not easy to get support from Uber for sure! They are not very transparent if you are looking for the Uber phone number for customer service or driver support online, maybe to prevent customers from contacting them by accident.
So, what is the Uber Customer Service number for Driver Support?
You can also access the phone number for Uber Support in your Driver App under Account – Help and click on the blue phone in the top right corner. Note, this will bring you to the main Uber support number and they may just re-direct you to the UberEATS support number depending on your issue. Many times they also tell you just to use the in-app messaging support feature. There isn’t really an e-mail address for Uber Support so you have to message them this way in-app.
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