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How Much Do Uber Eats Drivers Make? (How Pay for Drivers Works 2022)

Uber Eats driver pay is made up of a delivery fee from Uber Eats, an occasional extra pay during busy times, and whatever the customer offers as a tip. The overall pay rate for Uber Eats delivery drivers can vary quite a bit based on a lot of factors.

Unfortunately, there's no single answer to the question of how much you can make. Uber Eats couriers are not employees, which means there is no guarantee. Independent contractors receive no hourly pay, salary or benefits. Federal minimum wage doesn't apply.

The back of a man as he is looking at a slot machine, with Uber Eats displaying in the jackpot bars of the machine.

And yet many contractors do quite well with Uber Eats. We'll take a look at what pay is like, how it works, and how independent contractors are working with Uber Eats. The good news is contractors often have more control over what you can earn than many realize. To help understand what you can make and how you can maximize it, we'll look at:

An important note: This article focuses on how much money Uber Eats drivers make in the United States. Uber Eats does operate in many countries, and the pay model and local circumstances can vary from one nation to another.

This is part of a series of articles on being a delivery driver for Uber Eats. We'll link to other articles that go into more detail about the given topic. You can also see a list of the other articles at the end of this one.

What are some drivers earning with Uber Eats?

It all depends on who you talk to.

I see some claiming that you're only getting $8 to $12 per hour. I can tell you from experience that they're wrong.

I've seen some sites show an average salary for Uber Eats couriers in the mid $40k range. This isn't very credible as Uber Eats couriers are not employees. There is no salary.

However, from experience I can tell you that annual earnings of $40,000 or higher are very possible, often with a reasonable full-time (or possibly less than full time) schedule.

Sam Lyon was a guy who made news when he went out and tried to see how much he could make working 12 hours a day for a month. That's a 72 hour work week, and he was on pace for more than $100,000 a year. That's some pretty good money, definitely the higher end of the pay scale.

However, the vast majority of people who deliver for the delivery platform do this part time. It's a side hustle to earn extra cash. Comparing it to a full-time job salary isn't helpful.

Uber Eats CEO Dara Khosrowshawhi recently tweeted about going out on food deliveries. Yahoo Finance spun it to say it proved drivers make less than minimum wage, even though nothing in the tweets did any such thing. To their credit they did correct the story, however was the original headline:

Screenshot of Yahoo headline that claims "Ubr ECO works on app for a day and accidentally reveals drivers may barely make minimum wage."

My point is, don't rely too much on what one person will tell you. Some will promise you big money, but it turns out they can get a referral fee if you sign up. Others are hell bent on proving that gig economy companies are ripping you off and they'll distort the numbers downwards.

The truth is, earnings vary a lot.

It's a little confusing when some are talking about annual earnings, especially if you're not thinking of this as a full time gig.

Some of the best information I've seen was that I saw a breakdown from someone who had a lot of data on food delivery driver earnings. They estimated that the median hourly amount nationwide was $17.74.

Pay attention to that word: Median.

We mistake it for average. It's not average. It's middle. In other words, there are just as many people making more than $17.74 per hour than are making less than $17.74 per hour.

Those highs and lows can get really high and really low.

I'm hoping to get permission to share more details on that pay. If so, I'll update this page with a chart and link. It's good information.

Are delivery partners making less than minimum wage when they deliver? Some are. Can an Uber delivery driver make more than $30 per hour on deliveries? Some are.

You'll find both extremes working in the same market.

That tells us two things:

  • There is no one answer to how much you can make on Uber Eats.
  • You have more control over how much you can earn than you might realize.

Six factors that determine what you can make on Uber Eats

Here's the important thing to understand: Uber Eats does not pay a wage, salary or anything like that.

I think Kevin at FinancialPanther.com said it best. With any of these food delivery apps, you are not trading time for money, but you are trading tasks for money.

You complete a delivery (a task). You receive payment for that delivery. It's as simple as that.

When you understand how the payments work with Uber Eats, you get a better feel for what you can make. You also know the things that you can control to increase your earnings.

The Uber Eats pay model boils down to four things: Delivery fees, their Trip Supplement, Incentives, and Customer Tips. Two other factors make a difference in what you make: time and expenses. We'll look into all six of these factors.

1. Uber Eats base pay.

Uber Eats calculates a delivery fee based on how far you have to go and how much time it takes.

Unfortunately they don't tell you how they calculate the fee.

Once upon a time they used a very transparent formula.

  • A pickup fee
  • A drop off fee
  • A per-mile fee (from the restaurant to the customer's location, actual miles)
  • A per-minute fee (from arrival at the restaurant to the time you drop off).

Uber Eats still calculates the base fee on those factors. However, they no longer tell us what those numbers are.

What that means is that the longer you have to drive from local restaurants to the customer, the higher the base fee. The longer a delivery takes from the time you arrive, the higher the base fee.

In this way, I believe Uber Eats is better than the other major apps about adjusting their delivery fee in accordance with how far you have to go. The following screenshots of delivery pay summaries show you some differences.

Uber Eats pay summary for a short delivery, with a $1.59 base pay.

The driver pay summary above shows a very short, very quick delivery. The customer was only a block from the restaurant and the delivery took less than 9 minutes. The base pay on this delivery was only $1.59.

Screenshot of an Uber Eats pay summary for a delivery that was longer and further away, showing a higher base pay of $4.69.

By comparison, this screenshot was for a long trip, 8.4 miles and 21 minutes. The base pay was $4.69, nearly three times as much as the shorter faster delivery.

A weird anomaly revealed the current Uber Eats formula in my market.

Screenshot of a pay summary for an Uber Eats delivery that broke down the pay by pickup, dropoff, time and distance elements.

When I was going through my summaries one time, I noticed one delivery in the middle of all the others that showed a different breakdown of fees. Evidently the computer had a glitch, because it showed all of the old elements.

Doing the math, it breaks down to:

  • 35 cent dropoff fee
  • 74 cent pick-up fee
  • 30 cents per mile
  • 5 cents per minute.

These numbers are fairly consistent with the base pay for most of my deliveries. If you do the math, the formula comes within a couple pennies on each of the deliveries above.

Under the old pay model, Uber Eats used a different formula for different markets. I don't know if they do that still today. Either way, this shows that Uber Eats is still using a version of their original pay formula to calculate the base pay. They're just no longer letting us know what it is.

2. Uber Eats Trip Supplement.

Uber Eats will sometimes add an element to the pay called a trip supplement.

While the base fee appears to be based on a formula, Trip Supplement is the piece to make the total delivery fees “whatever Uber Eats wants them to be.”

If the base pay is less than whatever minimum Uber Eats feels like honoring, the Trip Supplement makes up for it. That first screenshot, for instance, had a 91 cent Trip Supplement to bring the total delivery fee up to $2.50.

When they added the Trip Supplement, they said it was there to “make earnings for each trip more reflective of that trip.”

I think this is a lot like what Doordash includes in their base pay. Supposedly time and distance are a factor, but the big part of how the delivery fee for Doordash orders is “Desirability.”

Basically, this is Uber's way of adding a wild card to the payment. If they don't think drivers will accept an offer, this is the easy way to increase pay. Bump up the supplement and now maybe someone will take it.

There's no discernable rhyme or reason as to how Uber determines the trip supplement. At the end of the day about all it does is give Uber Eats some additional pricing flexibility.

3. Uber Eats Incentives.

There's a third piece of the puzzle that also gets paid by Uber. They have a number of incentives that they offer to try to make sure that deliveries get taken.

On a delivery by delivery basis they could bump up the pay on a certain delivery with the trip supplement. However, to handle deliveries at a larger scale they'll use incentives to get more drivers to get out on the road.

Because those of us who deliver for Uber Eats are independent contractors, Uber cannot set schedules, nor can they require us to accept any particular delivery orders. Yet somehow they have to make sure that as many orders are actually delivered as possible.

The best way to do that is to offer extra money to encourage more people to deliver. There are three types of incentives that are the most common that I'll discuss.

They may have some others from time to time. For instance, at one time they offered a minimum hourly guarantee in my market if you met certain conditions. I've heard of consecutive delivery bonuses. But these are not nearly as common, so we'll stick to these three.

You could see one, two or all three of these at any given time. And then, when things are slow, you may not receive any. It all depends on what Uber thinks the supply and the demand for drivers will be.

Boosts

Uber Eats doesn't work with schedules in the same way that Grubhub and Doordash do. However, they will use a boost promotion to encourage drivers to plan on delivering at certain times.

Uber will forecast what demand they think there will be within their market, and when they think they'll need drivers the most. Using that data, they'll post a schedule of when a certain boost multiplier will be live and in what part of the market.

Screenshot of Uber Eats promotions calendar showing dates and times for different promotions.

The screenshot above is from the Promotions calendar in the Uber Driver app. You'll see that boosts are planned for Monday from 5 to 9 PM and Tuesday from 4 to 8.

The number in the boost tells you how much the base pay is going to be boosted. A 1.1 boost means that you multiply the base pay by 1.1. In the second pay screenshot listed above, there was a 1.1 boost in effect at the time. The base pay was $4.69 and the boost was another $0.47. That was 10% of the base pay.

There was no boost in the first example pay summary. If there were a 1.1 boost it would have added 16 cents to the pay. Don't spend it all in one place.

The boost is only multiplied against the base pay. Trip supplements and other incentives do not affect boost pay.

Screenshot of a map in the Uber Eats driver app showing zones of the city with the boosts available for those zones.

The map above is a screenshot from the Uber app that shows the boost zones available in the different parts of the city. You can identify from the map the parts of town where deliveries are paying more.

Surges

Uber Eats will also offer an extra amount per delivery called a surge during peak hours. Surge pricing for UberEats delivery drivers is similar to peak pay with the Doordash app. It's often one or two dollars extra per delivery (or higher in the busiest times).

While boosts are usually scheduled and tied to certain times, surges often happen on the fly. In other words, Uber Eats can figure out there's a higher demand than they expected and they'll bump the pay per delivery accordingly.

The pay you get from a surge isn't based on a percentage of your base pay but instead is a fixed amount that is added to every delivery in the region at that time.

Quests

To encourage you to accept more deliveries, Uber Eats will offer a Quest. If you complete so many deliveries in a certain time frame, Uber Eats will pay you a bonus of so much money.

Screenshot of an Uber Eats quest offer that offers $10 for every five deliveries completed before midnight July 1.

Like boosts, Quests are usually scheduled. They come in a number of shapes and sizes.

Uber Eats might offer a larger quest for completing a certain number of deliveries in a week's time. Or like the screenshot here, they'll offer a quest of $10 for every five deliveries completed. I've seen Uber pay a quest for just a single delivery. Other times I've seen them give you a choice of quests for the week, where for example you could choose between whether you want to shoot for five, ten, twenty or forty deliveries for the week.

You only get paid for a quest when you complete all deliveries. The deliveries must be completed and other conditions may apply.

4. Customer tips.

Tippig on Uber Eats has been by far the largest area of improvement over the past year or two.

Customers can tip one of three ways:

  • Customers can add the tip when they place their food order
  • They can choose to go into the app after the delivery is completed and add a tip. They can also adjust the tip amount if they felt service was fantastic or horrible.
  • Customers can choose to give you a cash tip as you complete the delivery.

Uber actually discouraged tipping when they started as a company. They claimed that their rideshare drivers were paid well enough that tips weren't necessary.

That attitude moved over into delivery. Originally, customers could not tip through the app. When Uber finally introduced in-app tips, they didn't make it easy for the customer to find. Customers could only tip after the delivery was over, and Uber didn't make the option prominent.

Finally, starting around January 2019, Uber started letting customers add their tip when they placed their order. It took them time, but I think they finally realized that if customers tip well, Uber wouldn't have to pay as much out of their own pockets.

Once they figured that out, Uber Eats quickly became among the best at encouraging their customers to tip.

Related: While tipping has improved immensely for Uber Eats drivers, Uber Eats does still play games with the tips. Read more about how Uber Eats is hiding the tip and then lying about it.

5. Time

The first four factors are all tied to payments you get from Uber Eats (or from the customers). This isn't a pay factor but it may make the most difference of all of them in how much you can earn.

How quickly can you get the delivery completed?

Because here's the thing: You get paid what you get paid for any given delivery. However, if you can get more deliveries done in a given time, that's more money that you make.

Let's say the average pay on a delivery is $10. If you can complete two deliveries per hour, that's a $20 hourly rate. Three deliveries in an hour bumps you up to $30/hour and four hourly deliveries nets you $40.

Faster, shorter deliveries mean more deliveries per hour. If you can avoid wait times at restaurants, you can complete more deliveries.

Earlier in this article I mentioned how the Financial Panther site stated that this was about trading tasks for money. I agree with him, but let's be real here. Tasks take time. That means you're still trading time for money.

The thing is, the more tasks you complete in the same amount of time, the better your bottom line at the end of the day.

Choosing shorter deliveries and avoiding restaurants that typically have long waits can make a huge difference. Becoming more efficient at getting in and out of restaurants makes a difference. The faster you can deliver, the more you can earn.

6. Expenses.

As an independent contractor, you are doing this as a business. Your contract says that you are contracting with Uber Eats as a business, not as an employee. Taxes on your earnings for Uber Eats are small business taxes. You're on your own for your costs of doing business.

Why's this important? When you're running a business, the money you get from Uber Eats, customer tips, from the Grubhub and Doordash apps and others is NOT what you are earning. The pay from Uber Eats is not the same as a paycheck.

Your profit is what you earned. It's what's left over after your expenses that matters.

If you drive your car to deliver, there's a pretty significant expense. Expenses vary by types of vehicle, but they go far beyond just the cost of fuel. Every mile you drive brings you closer to replacing tires, timing belts, and all sorts of other vehicle maintenance. Each mile you drive means your car is worth a few cents less.

You will pay those costs eventually. If you deliver a lot, you'll wear your car out. You must take all of that into account when asking what you are earning.

Everything else in this list of factors is stuff that increases earnings. This is about not taking away from your pay.

It's important that you know how much it costs to use your car. It's rare to total out less than 30 cents per mile. Understand that for every mile you drive, you are reducing your earnings. Figure out how to drive less and you can increase your bottom line.

How much do Uber Eats drivers make? Measure it in Profit per Hour.

Here's where you add it all up.

It's adding up all of the base pay fees, trip supplements, incentives and tips. Figure in how many deliveries you're getting done per hour. Then subtract the cost of running your car.

Figure out your profit per hour. Add everything you earned, subtract your expenses, then divide by the number of hours you worked. That's the best way to measure how you're doing.

Once you understand your profit per hour, then you can compare it to traditional salaries. Your profit per hour gives you a good handle on whether you're making a decent amount, or if it's less than you might have thought.

How can you use these six factors to boost your profits?

The key here is to find the best combination of earnings, time, and minimum expenses. Knowing what those factors are helps you look at how you can weave them together for the best earnings for you.

The temptation is to maximize every factor. However, many of these work against one another. If you look closer at how each one works, you realize that sometimes it's better to focus on one over the other.

You could get longer deliveries and make more pay, right? You get extra income because of the time and distance. Unfortunately, more pay on a delivery is not always better. Think about how much Uber Eats is adding to my pay for every minute in the example above: 5¢

That's $3 per hour.

In other words, it's counter productive to go after deliveries that take more time simply because they pay more. Uber Eats is not paying enough more for that time to justify that additional time.

Incentives can be great. But sometimes everyone else is chasing incentives as well. You may make more per delivery but if the area is saturated, you might also be waiting longer between deliveries.

Do you focus on the fact that customers can change their tip? Could you make more by providing fantastic customer service? In looking at my last 200+ deliveries, I only saw 2 cases where the tip may have been changed. One was reduced. Customers don't change the tip very often.

The point here is not to zero in on any particular pay factor. Instead, the key is to work on the best combination of pay factors to help you out.

Ranking the pay factors by priority.

If I were to rank the factors in order of importance, this is where I would focus:

  • Time
  • Tips
  • Expenses
  • Promotions
  • Trip Supplement
  • Base pay.

One thing I give Uber Eats credit for is something no one else does: They display the estimated delivery time. They're usually pretty good with that estimate. If I didn't know anything else about a delivery, time is the one thing that would matter to me. Even more than the pay amount.

My lowest priority is base pay from Uber Eats (base pay plus supplement). It is the most misleading. The truth is that the more that amount is, the less valuable the delivery is.

That's not what you'd expect. More money can't be worse than less, can it? But like we talked about earlier, if you're only getting an additional $3 per hour for the extra time, you're losing ground.

It's all the other things in the pay that make up for that difference. The tip, promotions, and trip supplemented get added on to a delivery.

And this is why time is the most important factor. The more deliveries you can complete, the more times you get paid all these other things. More tips, trip supplements and surges are far better than getting paid 5 cents per minute for additional time.

We have a comprehensive guide on how to make more money with Doordash deliveries, and most if not all of the 63 tips can be applied to Uber Eats deliveries.

Does Uber Eats Pay for Gas?

Uber Eats does not reimburse drivers for gas or provide any separate gas allowance. As independent contractors running their own business, couriers are responsible for their own expenses.

There are some exceptions of sorts.

In March of 2022, Uber Eats announced that they would add a surcharge of 45 cents per delivery to help drivers offset the increase in gas prices. However, Uber has since announced that the extra benefit would expire on June 15, 2022.

Under Proposition 22, California drivers have a minimum pay that is based on active time on deliveries and miles driven for a delivery. If delivery fares do not meet that minimum, Uber Eats has to make up the difference.

Is it worth it to deliver Uber Eats?

The statue of the Thinker, who is obviously thinking about the factors that make up how much Uber Eats pays.

It may be. It might not be.

Ulimtately I definitely believe that Uber Eats is very much worth it as one of several money making tools in the gig economy. Whether they're worth it to be the primary or sole source of revenue is a different question.

The answer depends on a lot of things. I've had long periods of time where Uber Eats was my go-to delivery option. Other times I barely touched them.

It really depends on how frequently delivery requests come in and the quality of those offers.

One of the reasons it goes back and forth for me is that sometimes, there are way too many other drivers logged in for the number of orders that are out there. Other times, Uber Eats is begging for couriers to meet the demand.

If you're in a market where things are really slow, without a lot of busy periods, it may not make sense. Or if you're not able to go at the time of day that has the best potential, or all those things that make a difference, it may not work as well.

The beauty of it is you get to be your own boss. You can set your own schedule and make your own decisions. The trade-off is, there are no guarantees. In the long run only you can decide which answer is best for you.

In my review of Uber Eats as a driver, I go into more pros and cons. Ultimately, for me it's been very much worth it. However, you'll have to decide for yourself based on what's important to you.

The answer also can change. Once upon a time they didn't show enough information to make a good decision on. For me, it wasn't worth it. Things changed. They could change again. In late 2021 Uber Eats began testing not showing up front information to drivers who accepted less than five out of their last ten offers. If that test expands, that could change a lot on how I feel.

Can you live off of Uber Eats full time?

Is there enough profit potential out there to work exclusively on Uber Eats deliveries?

I can't answer that. Every person is different, every situation and every market is different. They can be great in one city and terrible in another.

Personally, I'm not a fan of delivering exclusively for one platform. I look at Uber Eats, Grubhub and Doordash as my customers. No business should rely only on one customer. That's just me.

However, if you used to deliver for Postmates as your main line of work or are thinking of switching from another app, it's a fair question as to if they're a good replacement.

In order to know if they pay enough, you'll need to weigh the factors above. And then ask some other questions. Continue reading here about if Uber Eats pays well enough to be your main earnings. You can also read further on if Uber Eats is a good job or not.

Frequently Asked Questions about Uber Eats Income

Many of these questions are answered in the information above. However, I felt it would be helpful to include these questions. You may be able to get your questions answered more quickly here. Below, we'll answer the following:

How much do Uber Eats drivers make?

This depends entirely on what food orders (or more recently, shopping or merchandise delivery orders) you accept or reject. As an independent contractor, you are paid by the delivery as opposed to an hourly wage or a salary.

The Uber Eats app will notify you of a delivery opportunity. Uber Eats will give you information about the delivery including where you're picking up, how far you can expect to drive, how much time they estimate the delivery to take, and most important, how much you pay.

How much you make depends on a variety of factors, many of which are up to you: Whether you choose to work the best time or times for delivery such as dinner times, what offers you choose to accept, how quickly you are able to complete orders, etc.

What kind of money can you make with Uber Eats?

There are many ways to measure what you earn. Earnings can range dramatically. If you are one of those gig workers who just does a few deliveries in your free time, things will look different than for someone who devotes several hours per day to deliveries.

Personally, I would say that I've averaged better than a $25 profit per hour on Uber Eats deliveries. However, I hear of many who struggle to average $15 per hour before expenses.

I've heard of many who have been able to bring in a thousand dollars per month or more. There are a few who will put in enough hours to get nearly six figures just delivering Uber Eats. It depends a lot on how much time you choose to deliver, how you decide to perform your deliveries and what deliveries you choose to take. It also can depend on if there are more drivers available than there are deliveries to take.

At the same time, job sites like Indeed and Glassdoor will tell you that pay is often in the $15 to $20 per hour range. For some it may be even lower. The thing to remember is that you do not have any guarantees. It's like financial advisers often say: Past performance is not indicative of future results. In the end, how much you can make depends on you, your approach and the conditions of your market.

Do Uber Eats drivers get paid hourly? How much does Uber Eats pay per hour?

As an independent contractor, you are paid per delivery. There is no hourly pay rate.

Unfortunately, the message from Uber is not always clear. For example, I received this email one time:

Screenshot of an email from Uber Eats that reads: You could earn $22 per hour on deliveries. There's demand for deliveries in Denver now -- what are you waiting for? Get back to earning at your own pace.

In my opinion, this email is very misleading. Uber Eats does not pay by the hour.

I do recommend measuring earnings by calculating your hourly rate. You generally have a limited amount of time that you'll devote to providing your services, and what you can earn during that time can vary widely.

As I mentioned above, in my market I'm often earning more than $30 per hour. I also know of some who struggle to make $10 to $15 per hour.

As an independent contractor, you have a lot of say in how you operate your business. If you work the high demand times such as dinner times, and select the best delivery offers for your time, you can earn more than someone who pays no attention to what offers they accept.

It's also possible to maximize your earnings by being open to delivery offers from several delivery companies at once. As an independent contractor, it's your legal right to work multiple apps.

How does Uber Eats pay?

By default, an Uber Eats delivery person gets paid via direct deposit. This happens once every week. For an additional fee, you can use instant pay, which allows you to cash out several times a day by having money sent to your debit card rather than a typical bank account deposit.

If you want to cash out more frequently, Uber Eats came up with a great way to do this without fees. You can deposit money to an Uber Eats GoBank debit card without any service fees.

How often does Uber Eats pay?

Technically your money is available to you almost immediately. With each delivery that's completed, fees for that delivery are added to a virtual wallet in the Uber app. At any time you can choose to use the Instant Pay feature to withdraw funds from your wallet to your debit card or your Uber GoBank card.

Any money still in your wallet by the end of the day on Sunday will be sent to your bank account via direct deposit early the following week.

What day does Uber Eats pay drivers?

Uber Eats submits direct deposit payments on Monday for money that remains in your Uber wallet at the end of day Sunday. Account factors such as holidays or how quickly your financial institution processes those funds will determine when money is available.

Most drivers receive their payments in their bank on Tuesday.

If you prefer to use Instant Pay or the Uber GoBank debit card, you get paid whenever you choose to withdraw funds.

How much does Uber Eats pay per delivery?

Uber Eats does not pay a flat rate or set fee per delivery. Instead, what you receive is a combination of the base fare, Uber promotions, and the customer tip.

The Uber Eats delivery fee consists of a base rate and sometimes a trip supplement. Many factors go into how the base fare is calculated. In my experience the delivery fee averages around three to four dollars. I've seen it quite a bit higher, and I've noticed it as low as $2.

How much do Uber Eats drivers make per delivery? In a nutshell it comes down to the following:

  • The base pay, which is calculated based on distance, time, a pickup fee and a drop-off fee.
  • A trip supplement, which is a wild card payment that Uber uses to adjust payment
  • Promotions such as boost promotions, quests, surges, etc designed to encourage drivers to deliver especially during peak times. These promotions add to the earnings available.
  • The customer tip. Customers can choose to add a tip when they place their order or after the order has been completed.

Uber Eats will let you know what you'll be paid including an expected tip. They don't always reveal the full amount when the tip is higher, and customers can adjust their tip up to an hour after a delivery is completed.

What kind of Uber Eats salary can you earn?

There is no Uber Eats salary. You are not an employee. There is no wage or salary for independent contractors.

You are performing deliveries for Uber East as a business, not as an employee. Payment for services is on a delivery by delivery basis.

Having said that, I know several drivers are making more than a thousand dollars per week. How much drivers make is fully dependent upon how they operate their business as a delivery partner with Uber Eats.

Can you deliver full time for Uber Eats?

Absolutely. Because you can set your own hours, there are many places where a driver can do quite well as a full time delivery driver.

I delivered full time for nearly four years. and It has worked quite nicely for me. I should make clear that I do not deliver exclusively for Uber Eats. Because I'm working as a business owner, I look at Uber as my customer, and I treat them as one of many customers.

In some markets Uber Eats may be busy enough that you could stay quite busy delivering just for them. In others you need to mix in some Doordash, Grubhub, maybe Instacart or some smaller delivery platforms to stay busy enough. I write more about seven steps one should take to decide whether or not to deliver full time.

What is the Uber Eats base pay?

Uber Eats used to determine base pay by using a publicly available formula. That formula was based on time, distance, a pickup fee and a drop-off fee.

I go into more detail above talking about the formula I discovered that determines base pay in my market. Base pay was once determined by a combination of a pickup fee, a drop-off fee, pay per mile, and pay per minute. However, Uber no longer makes their pay formula public.

On a very recent delivery, my base pay was only $1.25, which tells me they've lowered the base pay tremendously.

Screenshot of an Uber Eats pay screen that has a pay breakdown including a $1.25 base pay and $1.25 trip supplement to create a $2.50 fare.

In this instance, Uber's minimum fare for the delivery was $2.50. Thus they added a trip supplement to the low base pay to meet that minimum.

How much does Uber eats pay per mile?

Uber Eats does not have a set pay per mile. The current Uber Eats pay model includes a variety of factors that make up the total pay. Distance may still be a factor in the base pay.

Awhile back I discovered that Uber Eats was including 30 cents per mile in their base pay formula. That was just a part of the overall calculation.

However based on recent deliveries, that pay rate seems to have decreased significantly.

Some drivers prefer to evaluate whether to accept an offer based on dollars per mile. Uber Eats does provide details about a delivery offer including expected pay and estimated distance, which lets you calculate that earning per mile. Pay per mile can vary quite a bit depending on which deliveries you accept.

How much does Uber Eats pay per minute?

Uber Eats does not pay a flat rate per minute. There are a variety of factors that go into how they calculate the base pay.

Under their old pay model, Uber calculated time per minute, along with pay per mile and a pickup and dropoff fee. The pay per minute varied by market. For me, it was 6.5¢ per minute and that pay was based on actual time from arrival at the restaurant to completion of the delivery. More recently I discovered the per-minute rate was 5 cents in my market, and it appears to have dropped since.

Unfortunately, Uber Eats is no longer transparent about their delivery fee calculations.

Personally, I believe the best way to decide if an offer is worth taking is to calculate what it pays per minute. A 40 cent per minute delivery translates into a $24 per hour rate. New drivers can rely on Uber's time estimate to make that calculation, while veterans might rely more on their experience and knowledge of their market to estimate the total time a delivery will take.

What is the Uber Eats Trip Supplement?

Uber Eats often includes a trip supplement as part of the fare. Sometimes they add the trip supplement to the base pay to meet whatever minimum they are paying at that time. Other times they'll add a supplement to make a delivery more enticing to drivers. For instance, if the customer doesn't leave a tip, the trip supplement can make up for some of the low pay of a delivery.

Ultimately the trip supplement is a wildcard that lets Uber adjust the pay as needed to make a delivery more acceptable to drivers.

Can you make good tips on Uber Eats?

Tips have definitely improved on Uber Eats. In fact, in my experience tips are maybe the best on Uber Eats in my market of all of the food delivery services.

When I started delivering in early 2018, customers could not add a tip when placing the order. Most would not go back and add a tip later. Once Uber changed how tips were handled, tipping improved dramatically.

The pay offer won't always display the entire amount you would receive. Uber Eats has a way of hiding part of the tip if the tip is more than $8.00.

Does tip baiting happen with Uber Eats customers?

Tip baiting can happen on Uber Eats deliveries. Tip baiting is when a customer adds a large tip when placing an order to ensure a driver takes their delivery, and then takes the tip back after it's done. This has been a common practice on Instacart.

Because Uber allows customers to edit or remove the tip after a delivery, tip baiting can happen. The question of course is, if a customer removes the tip, was it tip baiting or a reaction to bad service?

Because of how Uber Eats displays payments, some drivers may think tips were removed when they weren't. Uber only adds the delivery fee plus promotions to a driver's wallet right when the delivery is done. They don't add the tip for another hour.

I've had times where it looked like I was tip baited, and it turned out that Uber was just delayed in adding the customer tip to my Uber wallet. In the two years that Uber's had this current tipping system, I've only ever had the tip reduced one time. Some drivers report this happening more often.

Does Uber Eats take a percentage of my pay?

Uber pays exactly what they offer on the offer screen. The only exception is if the customer adjusted the tip, or if the tip was so high that Uber displayed less on the offer than what the pay really was. There is no percentage taken from your pay.

Once upon a time, Uber published a formula for how delivery fees were determined, and drivers received a percentage of that formula. They positioned it as if to say drivers were getting 65% and Uber was receiving a 35% commission.

There's a bit of an absurdity to claiming that you are charging someone a commission against money that you are paying someone. That tells me that it's all an on paper transaction, something that never really happened.

Uber does still claim that you actually made more money than what you really did. On their 1099's they report a higher earning level, and then claim that you paid them a service fee. However, the service fee is not a percentage and is not anything that

Uber does still do some things that make it look like they're taking out a service fee. When they file a 1099 to report your earnings, Uber will say they paid more than they really did. They will claim you earned a higher amount, and then charged a service fee. However, that service fee is not percentage based.

Is the Uber Eats pay model based on the customer's delivery fee?

No. There is no correlation to how Uber calculates what you are paid and what the customer pays. The Uber Eats pay model, where you're paid based on different delivery factors, incentives and customer tip, means you get paid the same whether the customer paid an $8.99 delivery fee or if they had a free delivery.

Part of the issue here is that Uber is trying to paint a picture that the customer is actually the one paying us and Uber is just the middleman. That's the reason for all the hocus pocus around their ‘service fee.' The whole reason for this charade is to make it look less like Uber is an employer and more like they're just a tech company connecting drivers to customers.

The flaw in that picture is that there's no correlation between what the customer pays and what drivers earn. Driver fees are calculated independent of what the customer delivery fee is. Ultimately it's still a matter of the customer paying Uber, and then Uber paying us.

Does Uber Eats pay extra for gas?

Typically, Uber Eats does not pay additional for gas. However, in early 2022 with the extreme rise in gas prices, they did introduce a fuel surcharge that they added to the customer bill. That surcharge may vary with market, I know that in Denver it was 45¢ per delivery that is then forwarded to drivers.

The fuel supplement is a temporary benefit. On March 17, an email from Uber said they would review the situation in 60 days. As of this update, the 60 days have not passed. If and when gas prices go down, the additional payment will probably go down as well.

The Uber Eats Delivery Driver Series

A series of articles that cover all different aspects of delivering for Uber Eats as an independent contractor.

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About the Author

Ron Walter made the move from business manager at a non-profit to full time gig economy delivery in 2018 to take advantage of the flexibility of self-employment. He applied his thirty years experience managing and owning small businesses to treat his independent contractor role as the business it is.

Realizing his experience could help other drivers, he founded EntreCourier.com to encourage delivery drivers to be the boss of their own gig economy business.

Ron has been quoted in several national outlets including Business Insider, the New York Times, CNN and Market Watch.