With the economy as crazy as it's been in recent years, maybe you've started thinking about delivering for Uber Eats. Possibly you already deliver for them, and you're looking for information about how it works.
I'm sure by now you've heard a lot about them, including the good, bad, and the ugly.
But what is being an Uber Eats delivery driver all about? Where can you get all the information you need to figure out if delivering for them is a good idea or learn how to up your game as a courier?
I became a full-time delivery driver in early 2018, starting with Uber Eats and eventually adding Doordash, Grubhub, Postmates, and many smaller platforms to the mix.
Here's the thing about Uber Eats: They can be great, and they can be terrible, all at the same time. I love the flexibility. Delivering for them can be a great way to get extra cash in your free time. For some of us, it's part of a more full-time way of making a living.
When I started, Uber Eats was just spreading its wings in delivery. Uber is best known for their rideshare service, and a lot of deliveries were just another opportunity for rideshare drivers in between rides.
Since then, more and more Uber contractors are delivering exclusively, deciding it's easier and sometimes more profitable to transport food and merchandise than people.
There are a lot of opportunities to earn with Uber Eats. However, are they good opportunities? We'll take a look.
About this article:
It's impossible to cover everything about delivering for Uber Eats in one extensive article. For that reason, I created a series of articles covering these topics in more detail. I'll link to those in-depth articles, and you can also find a complete list of articles at the end of this post.
That means you can start with the overviews of each topic, and if you want more information about any one part of delivering for Uber Eats, you can read the in-depth post about that topic.
Note that this article is primarily about being an Uber Eats delivery driver in the United States. There may be different experiences for contractors in other countries. You'll notice that I sometimes call them Uber Eats, sometimes Uber. That's because Uber is the corporate name, and Uber Eats is the delivery product offered by Uber.
Here are the topics that we'll cover on this page (and in the series of articles that are related):
- How much does Uber Eats pay?
- Are Uber Eats drivers employees or self-employed?
- Uber Eats delivery driver qualifications
- How to become an Uber Eats delivery driver
- Understanding the Uber driver app
- When is it best to deliver for Uber Eats?
- Can you deliver for Uber Eats Full-Time?
- Car Insurance and Uber Eats
- The most important tools for Delivering for Uber Eats
- Understanding the Uber Eats pro program
- Accepting and rejecting delivery offers on Uber Eats
- How to make more money delivering for Uber Eats
- How do taxes work for Uber Eats delivery drivers?
- Working with Uber Eats support
- Uber Eats driver deactivations
- My review of being an Uber Eats delivery driver
How much does Uber Eats pay?
Pay for delivering for Uber Eats varies widely. That's because drivers are not employees but independent contractors. As independent contractors, there is no hourly wage or salary. Uber Eats drivers do not get overtime.
Instead, payment is delivery-by-delivery. What you can earn for a delivery includes one or more of the following:
- Base pay: A delivery fee calculated from pickup and drop-off fees and estimated time and distance.
- A trip supplement, which is a sort of extra pay wildcard.
- Incentive pay specials such as boosts or surges
- Customer tips.
There will always be a base pay. Uber Eats may have a minimum delivery fee in the neighborhood of $2.50. However, that is not always consistent. The trip supplement, incentives, or customer tips may or may not be added to the base pay.
Since couriers are not employees, there's no Uber Eats paycheck or Uber Eats pay stubs. Instead, drivers can be paid for services weekly via direct deposit into their bank account, daily withdrawals using Instant Pay, or automatic deposit into an Uber-provided debit card powered by Go Bank.
Daily, weekly, and monthly total earnings and hourly rates can vary dramatically. This depends on several factors, such as how many deliveries one completes in an hour, how busy one's market is, and which deliveries drivers accept or reject.
Some report that they gross more than $25 per hour. Others claim that they earn well below the federal minimum wage after car expenses. From what I've seen, there are many at both ends of the spectrum.
Are Uber-Eats drivers employees or self-employed?
Uber Eats uses independent contractors in the United States. In other words, couriers are NOT employees.
In simpler terms, Uber Eats is contracting with us to provide a service as a business, not as an employee. This means that Uber Eats contractors are self-employed.
There are definite pros and cons to being self-employed in the gig economy.
As a gig worker for Uber Eats, you don't get any employee or wage protections such as minimum wage, overtime, or FMLA leave. Benefits like workers comp, health insurance, holiday pay, and unemployment insurance are not provided by Uber Eats. There is no reimbursement for business expenses.
The flip side is that you can be your own boss. You're not just a food delivery worker. You are legally and technically a business owner. Therefore, you can set your own schedule and choose whether you want to do this as full-time work or just as a side hustle.
Uber cannot control your work like you are an employee. They can't tell you when or where to work. Neither can they tell you which deliveries to take.
The idea here is that Uber Eats is now your customer, not your boss. Delivery offers are now a bid for your services instead of an assignment. The good news is that you have more control over earnings. The bad news is you don't have the safety net that employment offers.
Uber Eats delivery driver qualifications
Delivery driver requirements are pretty simple according to Uber Eats:
If delivering by car, you must:
- You must be 19 or older
- Have a qualified vehicle (less than 20 years old)
- Have a valid driver's license
- U.S. drivers must have a social security number
- You must have a smart phone with a data plan
- Must be able to pass a background check.
If you are delivering by scooter, your scooter's motor must be under 50cc. In areas where bicycle or foot delivery is available, couriers can be 18 years old and simply need a government-issued ID.
Interestingly, Uber claims they are contracting with “businesses,” but the qualifications are personal. There's nothing in here about your business.
The important thing here is that Uber cannot be as stringent in their “hiring” process since you're not being hired as an employee. The good news for prospective drivers is that it's not a hard thing to qualify for.
They will mainly vet drivers through the Uber Eats background check. The last I knew, they do their checks through a company called Checkr. Generally, they are looking for criminal convictions or issues with your motor vehicle record.
If you have a clean record, a qualifying car, and there is availability for drivers in your market, the odds are pretty good that you can get on to deliver for Uber Eats.
How to become an Uber Eats delivery driver
There are several options for signing up.
If you have a friend or family member who delivers for Uber Eats or does rideshare for Uber, ask if they have a referral code. If you complete enough deliveries in the first four to eight weeks, your friend may receive a referral fee and you may be eligible for a guarantee.
Use my referral link to apply. I may receive compensation from Uber if you do become a driver.
You can also sign up directly through the Uber website.
The UberEats application process starts with entering your personal information, including your name, email, phone number, and city you'll deliver in. You'll also create a password for your account, and if you have an invite code from a friend, you can also enter that.
Uber will request your driver's license information and ask you to confirm that you have insurance. Finally, you'll need to consent to a background check and provide your social security number.
They say it can take five to seven business days. It was much faster for me, although that was a few years ago.
Uber does not do an orientation, nor do they provide any welcome kit. If you opt-in to shopping or order-and-pay deliveries, they will send you a debit card for payment.
Understanding the Uber Driver app
Once you are signed up and approved to deliver with Uber Eats, your next step is to download the Uber driver app. I remember being confused because I couldn't find the Uber Eats driver app, and it turned out to be the same app used by rideshare drivers.
Once you've installed and logged into the driver app with the credentials you used when you applied, you'll see the home screen.
Most times you will see the map, a menu button on the top left, and the big blue Go button. Every once in awhile, like in the screenshot above, Uber will ask you to take a selfie so they can confirm that it's you logging in to take orders.
Uber Eats does not have smaller zones like Doordash. Neither do they schedule when you can deliver like Doordash or Grubhub. It's really pretty simple. You hit the go button when you want to deliver.
Receiving delivery offers and other features on the app
Uber Eats will notify you on your app when they are offering a delivery to you.
The delivery offer will give you details such as where you are picking up, how far you will go, how long Uber thinks it will take, a map of pickup and drop-off locations, and an estimated payment amount. You have the option to accept or decline the order.
The above graphic points to an accept button. The reality is that you can tap anywhere on the order detail section (the white box) to accept an offer.
You can see the green and black on the “Delivery” button. That's a visual timer that moves to the left to let you know how much time you have left to make a decision.
Once you accept a delivery, the app will direct you where to go to get the food or merchandise. You may get specific instructions for the restaurant or store where you pick things up and again for the customer. You will mark on the app when you've picked up the order and completed it.
Your Uber driver app is essentially your operations center for your deliveries for Uber Eats. You can use the app to see your ratings, go to the earnings section to see how much money you've made, and edit some account details.
About Uber Eats payment after delivery
The pay offer and the payment that you receive can be confusing. There are some important things to remember.
The offered amount is only an estimate. It's based on the Uber delivery fees and what the customer added for a tip when placing the order.
When you complete a delivery, Uber usually displays a lower payment amount than what was initially offered. That is because, at that time, Uber only shows you what you will receive directly from Uber Eats. It does not reflect the customer tip.
The customer has one hour to edit their tip, add money, or delete the tip. That's why the tip portion of your pay doesn't show up immediately. After that hour, Uber updates the total to include the customer's tip.
One drawback with Uber Eats is the possibility of tip baiting. Customers can add a significant tip to ensure the order gets picked up by a driver, only to delete the tip afterward. However, I've never had this happen in my thousands of deliveries.
In my experience, it's extremely rare for the customer to edit the tip. On larger payments, the final payment may be higher than what was offered, as Uber Eats hides any part of the tip that exceeded $8.00.
Don't worry the first time you see your pay from Uber Eats. Give it an hour. Sometimes you'll need to give it more time if the app updates information slowly.
When is it Best to Deliver for Uber Eats?
The best times to deliver Uber Eats are usually during peak meal delivery times such as between 11 AM and 2 PM and between 5 PM and 9 PM. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays are often better than Mondays and Tuesdays.
Warning: Those times are not universal. The best time to deliver in one market may not be the best in another. Monday nights can be great during football season as people order in to watch football, but terrible for the rest of the year.
Another thing to understand is that deliveries in your area can be incredibly busy but can feel very slow. That's because Uber Eats will add surge or boost promotions during peak hours to encourage drivers to deliver, which can bring out too many drivers for the number of orders available.
This is something we call driver saturation. If you have more drivers than there are orders, you can have long waits between completing one delivery and getting an offer for another. If that next offer is ridiculously low, you may be waiting even longer for one worth taking.
Can you deliver Uber Eats Full-Time?
The beauty of the Gig Economy is that you can set your own hours. As a business owner, it's entirely up to you whether it makes sense for a few hours for some extra cash or to go all in as a full-time business.
Some will tell you that the model wasn't designed for full-time work. They've mistaken the intent of the gig economy. The idea of the gig economy is to hire contractors for very short-term gigs instead of using full-time employees.
With Uber Eats, it's a recurring contract. The term of your agreement is from when you accept a delivery offer to when you mark it as complete.
There's nothing in the design of the independent contractor model that prevents someone from doing so full-time. In fact, it's extremely common for someone providing services as a business to operate their business full-time.
This model lets you thrive whether you do it part-time with one-off delivery trips, all the way to a full-time business.
Whether or not full-time delivery for Uber actually makes business sense is a different question. It depends on a lot of factors. Many delivery professionals make a good full-time income working Uber Eats and other delivery platforms.
And many fail.
The linked article dives into several questions to ask before going full-time and includes eight keys to full-time success.
Car Insurance and Uber Eats
Car insurance is part of the important tools that I'll talk about in the next section. However, it's important enough that we need to discuss it in more detail. I mean, it's imperative that you have the right insurance.
Most personal insurance policies do not cover food delivery. You need to know this before you start delivering. If you get into an accident while on an Uber Eats delivery, your insurance very likely will not cover the damages.
That's because most policies have exclusions saying they won't cover you when using your car for commercial or livery (transporting goods or passengers for hire) purposes.
The good news is that Uber Eats is the only major delivery platform that actually provides car insurance for you. Grubhub provides none, and Doordash only has a blanket liability policy that doesn't cover you or your car.
However, there are limits and gaps in the coverage. If the accident happens while you're logged in, waiting for orders but not on an actual delivery, Uber's insurance is liability only. They do not cover your car. If you are on your way to pick up an order or are en route to the customer, Uber does provide coverage for your vehicle, but it has a $2,500 deductible.
Finding the right insurance
Even with the Uber coverage, you have to ask yourself some questions. Do you have enough money to cover the $2,500 deductible for your car? If something happens when you're between coverage and Uber doesn't cover your vehicle, do you have the cash to pay off your loan or buy a replacement?
This becomes a more significant issue if you multi-app. You may have no coverage when delivering for other delivery platforms.
That's why it's crucial that you make sure you have the right kind of insurance. If you deliver for several platforms, you want a personal or commercial policy that covers you while performing deliveries. Do not rely on Uber or any platform. If you deliver for only Uber Eats, you may be fine with a supplemental rideshare policy that works hand in hand with Uber's.
My advice is a three step process:
- Contact your insurance company or read the policy for exclusions. Find out if you're covered.
- If your policy refuses to cover delivery work, ask if they have an addendum or rider that adds coverage. This is often very cheap.
- If they do not have an option, find a policy that will cover you. There are a few personal policies who do. You may need to look into a commercial hybrid policy.
The most important tools for Uber Eats drivers
Okay, you've been approved. You're ready for your first order. It's time to make some money.
What are the most important tools for a delivery driver? What are the essential things to succeed as a Doordash delivery driver?
These are the must-haves, in my opinion:
- The right insurance!!!! I know, I just mentioned that in the topic above, but it's just that important.
- A smart phone with a data plan and the Uber driver app loaded and ready to go.
- A hot bag (or insulated delivery bag) to keep the food protected
- Some way to track your miles – either pen and paper, spreadsheet app or GPS mileage tracking app. It's an absolute must – unless you WANT to pay more in taxes than you should (more in a bit).
The next few things are highly highly recommended.
- A phone holder. Between information on the driver app, orders coming in, and relying on GPS directions, a lot is going on with your phone. A good phone holder will keep your hands free and make driving safer.
- Professional appearance. It really makes a difference getting in and out of the restaurant.
- A good dash cam. When you make money driving, the risks are higher. A dual camera dashcam that records both what is happening on the road and what you are doing.
- A screen recording app. It provides documentation of what you were doing in case customers or restaurants accuse you of something you didn't do.
Understanding the Uber Pro reward program
Uber has a special rewards program called Uber Pro. You can achieve a certain rewards status as you complete deliveries each month.
Drivers must have a 95% satisfaction rating to qualify for gold, platinum, or diamond level. For each delivery you complete, you earn at least one point. You get three points for lunch deliveries and six for dinner. As of August 2022, these are the point levels you need to reach in a month to get to the different Pro tiers:
- 100 points: Gold
- 300 points: Platinum
- 600 points: Diamond
Uber says you qualify for perks for qualifying for different levels. Most perks are, in my opinion, mostly marketing opportunities for partner companies and not really anything of much value to drivers.
One such perk is “up to 5% cash back on gas” when using the Uber Go card. You later find out that it's only for Exxon and Mobile gas stations, which in my area are usually more than 5% above the cost of other gas stations.
The most significant perk is “100% tuition coverage at Arizona State University Online for you or an eligible family member toward an undergraduate degree or courses in entrepreneurship or English. The tuition benefit is only available to drivers who have completed 1000 deliveries. There are strings attached, such as requiring you to file for financial aid first. Any tuition paid by Uber is taxable income.
The good news is that Uber does not require a minimum acceptance rate. A driver could complete seventeen dinnertime trips and qualify for Gold status, which usually takes only about eight hours to accomplish.
Accepting and rejecting delivery offers on Doordash
In my opinion, one of the beauties of being an independent contractor is the freedom to choose which offers and opportunities you will accept and which you will pass on.
There's no obligation or requirement. You can accept or reject any delivery offer from Uber Eats without penalty.
That's hard to grasp if you are accustomed to an employment environment where you do what you're told.
Here's where it's important to remember that you're performing services as a business and that Uber is actually your customer, NOT your boss.
Uber Eats will send a delivery offer through the driver app. You may choose whether to accept or decline each offer. You are free to accept them all, take only a portion, or decline them all.
It's entirely up to you. Think of it as Uber Eats offering a bid for your services.
Accepting and rejecting deliveries is a way of setting or negotiating your price. You are free to select any offers you feel would be profitable. Uber Eats can not and will not deactivate your account for rejecting too many deliveries.
What's the best way to determine if an order makes sense? There are a lot of opinions out there. I prefer to estimate how long a delivery will take and determine what it will pay per minute. If the delivery meets my price per minute, I'll take it. If not, I'll pass.
I personally take this bid for services idea a bit further. If Uber Eats won't send me offers that meet my price, there are other food delivery services. Doordash or Grubhub or someone else eventually will meet my price.
How to make more money delivering for Uber Eats
As independent contractors, we actually have a lot of control over what we make. As a business owner, you can choose strategies to help you make more money on Uber Eats. You can decide when and where to deliver and which delivery offers make sense.
You can come up with a large list of things that can help you make more money, but for brevity purposes I decided to narrow it down to four major concepts.
Treat this like a Business. Being an independent contractor means you are running a business. Think like a business owner and master your business attitude. Test different ideas, markets, and ways of deciding what offers you will take. Think of delivery offers as bids for your service. Make decisions based on what will be the most profitable use of your time and efforts.
Find ways to increase earnings: Concentrate on peak hours when profits are highest. Be selective and know your market. Understand where the offers are the best. Finally, remember Uber Eats is your customer. If they aren't paying enough, adding other customers (Doordash, Grubhub, etc.) will help you.
Avoid losing money. Keep your costs in mind. Your income as a business is measured by profit, which is what's left over after expenses are taken out. Driving costs a lot more than just fuel prices. Keep your deliveries short, protect yourself (proper insurance), and be safe.
Deliver quickly. There is one thing you can do that is far more effective than just getting a higher base pay from Uber Eats. You can increase how much money you make just by getting done faster. Three deliveries per hour mean a 50% pay raise over two per hour. Choose faster deliveries and work on your efficiency.
How do taxes work for Uber Eats delivery drivers?
It is incredibly important that you understand this about being an independent contractor: You are entirely on your own when it comes to Uber Eats taxes.
Uber does not withhold taxes for you. That can be a huge problem when tax day comes around.
There's a lot when it comes to understanding how taxes work. It's a lot more than can be covered in a short overview. A single article can't do it justice. For that reason, the link above goes into more detail, but it's also part of a series that dives into many different aspects of taxes for delivery drivers.
However, there are some basics that are worth understanding:
1. You're taxed on profits, not total Uber Eats earnings. This is a vast difference compared to W2 taxes. Especially when you drive a lot. You can deduct your taxable income by 62.5 cents per mile (second half of 2022). And because you're self-employed, you can claim that regardless of whether you itemize your personal tax deductions or take the standard deduction.
2. It's not just about federal income tax. Most U.S. states have their own taxes, and there are some local/city taxes as well. And then there's Self-Employment tax. That's the independent contractor's version of Social Security and Medicare. Uber doesn't withhold that for you, so it's 15.3% of every dollar of profit.
3. You need to set aside your own tax savings. It's entirely up to you. The best practice is to save money each week. It's best to put it in a different bank account where you won't touch it. Once a quarter, send it in as a quarterly estimated payment.
This is why I insist you find a way to track your miles. That's THE BEST WAY to keep your taxes down. We get into a lot more detail in the series of articles that begins with the one linked below.
Working with Uber Eats support
One of the greatest challenges as an Uber Eats driver is working with their driver support (or the lack thereof)
While there's a lot of information in the app that will guide you through most delivery situations, sometimes you need to get some help from support.
Unfortunately, their support team is farmed out to an overseas call center. It's cheaper for Uber that way. Too many times, they're unable to provide adequate assistance.
Some situations that may require assistance include:
- The restaurant can't find the order
- There's an issue that the app should resolve but the app has crashed
- Problems with payments through the Uber Plus debit card that's used to pay for shopping and some food orders.
- Issues getting ahold of the customer.
Uber Eats support is available by phone. They do not have a chat function at this time. You can contact support via the app, as explained in this screenshot from Uber's driver support page.
I have their support number (800-253-9435) stored in my contacts. It's easier and faster that way. Uber's phone system recognizes your phone number and whether you are on an active delivery. The system will route you through to driver support if you are on a delivery.
I've learned to reach out to support only when absolutely necessary. Between long waits to get through to someone and occasional difficulty getting a good resolution to the issue (often due to a language barrier), contacting support can be very time-consuming.
Uber Eats driver deactivations
Since we are not employees, we cannot be fired by Uber.
However, Uber can deactivate your contract.
It sounds like the same thing, but there's actually a fine line between the two because of the independent contractor relationship.
Some will say a company can end the contract for any reason. That's a myth. When using independent contractors, a company cannot control the work. They can't require you to accept so many offers, nor can they tell you HOW to do your work.
Terminating your contract for things like that would break the law. The bottom line is that being an independent contractor gives you a lot of freedom.
For that reason, Uber can really only terminate your contract if you violate the contract. Ultimately the things that can lead to termination include:
- Not completing deliveries you agreed to complete
- Completing deliveries later than reasonable for your circumstances
- Issues that threaten the safety of restaurant staff or customers.
- Failure to pass a background check if it is run again after you started delivering.
The main thing I can tell you is to do what you agreed to do, and you'll generally be safe from deactivation. I would also tell you to document what you did (Dashcam, screen recording app) to support your case if anything happens.
My review of being an Uber Eats delivery driver
I go into a bit more detail in my review as a delivery driver for Uber Eats. There's some good and bad. I'm not fond of how Uber treats their drivers at times, as I feel like they're trying to get us to act like employees while only paying for contractors.
Having said that, I enjoy delivering for Uber Eats and others. With the possible exception of operating this website, it's been my favorite way of earning money in the past several years.
What I like the most about delivering for Uber Eats.
It starts with freedom. I can do this in my free time, on my own hours, whenever I want. The way it's set up, I could deliver just to make some extra money or choose to do it full-time and make a good living at it.
Here's the one thing I love about independent contractor delivery above just about anything else I've ever done: The work doesn't follow me home at night. I'm not worried about any manager. I don't come home stressed. It's really simple: I do the deliveries, and that's it.
Uber Eats and other food delivery companies have been fantastic for helping me prepare for other things. There really is a lot about being an independent contractor that's like running other businesses. It can be a great training ground for people who want to take the next step in their entrepreneurial career.
Uber Eats is the easiest of the food delivery apps to deliver for. No schedule, no mini-zones. Just press go when you want to deliver.
Finally, I love that when anything goes wrong, it's my fault. I know that seems odd, but there's incredible freedom in that. I made the decision that I'm in control. So I don't feel like I was robbed if a customer didn't tip. If it wasn't enough, it was my fault for accepting it. Anything that didn't work can always be traced back to my decisions.
Know what's beautiful about that? If it was my fault, I can fix it.
What I like the least about delivering for Uber Eats:
The bottom line: Uber doesn't give a crap about drivers.
When gas prices went up, Uber made a big deal about how they were helping drivers out. They added a 45-cent-per-delivery subsidy. A few weeks later, even though gas prices were higher still, Uber ended the program for delivery drivers.
I mentioned that one of the things I liked the most about Uber Eats was how simple it was, without having to bother with schedules or anything like that. That's a two-edged sword. Unlike other delivery apps, Uber doesn't control how many drivers log in at any given time. As a result, the availability of orders can be very hit or miss.
Compared to other delivery apps, I don't like how customer information on the Uber Driver app disappears after you accept a delivery. You cannot find any information about the customer or their location until after you have picked up the food.
When Uber Eats gives you more than one delivery at a time, they don't let you choose which order to complete the deliveries. Uber dictates which orders you pick up first and which customers you deliver to first.
The last drawback I'll mention is part of the nature of the gig economy: There is no safety net. You are entirely on your own for taxes, expenses, and everything else. You have no minimum wage and no overtime with Uber Eats or any other gig companies.
That last one almost didn't make the cut for this post. That's because, for me, it's not an issue. I understood that the moment I signed up. I'm willing to accept that as a trade-off for the freedom of being an independent contractor. However, it is a potential downside if this is important to you when evaluating opportunities.
Final thoughts on delivering for Uber Eats.
I've gone back to this statement several times because I think it's extremely important when you think about what it is to be a delivery contractor for Uber Eats:
Uber Eats is your customer.
When you think about it, it really changes the relationship. Suddenly they don't have the power over you that an employer has.
It's a reality that also softens a lot of the negatives. Because here's the thing: in my opinion, Uber is a horrible company. I don't think for a moment that they would hesitate to screw over drivers if there's a way they can get away with it. That's their business model.
I would never accept a company like Uber as my employer. But it's different when they're my customer.
Why? The reality for any business owner is that customers will try to screw you over. People will shoplift, they'll try to take advantage of you. That's the nature of the beast.
But they still offer plenty of opportunities where I can make some decent money completing deliveries for them.
I don't have to like them.
Of the three major gig economy delivery companies (Grubhub, Doordash, Uber Eats), I probably dislike Uber the least. They don't seem to play many of the games the others do. Unfortunately, there are too many times they're not busy enough to rely on as much in my area.
My experience has been that if you think of Uber as a customer, consider the delivery offers as bids for your services, and treat this like a business, delivering for them can be a great way to make some extra money. Some take it so far as to be a great way to make a living.
In the more than four years since I started with Uber Eats and then branched out into others, I don't have any regrets. If you walk in understanding the pros and cons of the independent contractor life, you can make decisions, take control and make the best of the opportunities available.