Working as Uber Eats Driver

Hi,

I recently signed up to deliver in Melbourne with Uber Eats. I already have a 9-5 full time job and doing this as a short-term side hustle to see if income is as decent as what people said online and on Youtube. I have delivered for 4 days and over 60 deliveries so far for a few hours per day.
I also signed up for the $500 bonus Uber gives you after reaching 30 delivery. I plan to stop in a few weeks after fully experience it myself and hope this would help potential and current drivers.
I will provide some tips and answers to common questions below. Please feel free to ask me more questions!

1) How much do you make?
Your income depends on factors such as how long you work, petrol price, the delivery area and time of the day. For me I focus on lunch and dinner time and work about 3.5-4 hours per day. Actual work hours(from receiving order to delivered to customer) would be less as you also spend time on waiting orders and driving back. Each single delivery is usually $5-$8 while two deliveries in one order ranges from $9-$15 or more. Each order would take 15-25mins from receiving to delivered. In short, after factoring in petrol expenses I can achieve around $23-25 per hour and $30 per hour on good days. My car consumes 9.5L/100km so you may get higher $/hr.

2) How much tips do you get?
I have done just over 60 deliveries and was tipped 4 times, all single digits. While another forum drivers delivered over 700 and only got tipped twice. It is a matter of luck. I always delivery the food neatly, look at order notes and said something like "enjoy" to customers then they would say "you too"….. I do this not for the tips but purely just my standards to do the job properly. Each order usually has a maximum of 2 customers and if one of them tipped me I cannot tell which one of the 2 tipped me, this is a flaw in the driver app.

3) Are Uber Eats stereotypes true?
I believe the income for Uber Eats driver is decent and above competitors. Customers are generally nice and Uber support is responsive. I do not believe this is a lower-class job. Drivers are proper jobs with decent income providing an important service to community. Although Uber Eats might charge high for merchants but it is only thanks to it that restaurants are able to even open and receive orders in this circumstance. I see nearly all orders are placed via delivery companies. One stereotype that is true is all the drivers I see are from culturally diverse backgrounds but might apply to my area only.

4) Why is delivery so slow?
Drivers do not receive the order immediately. For example customer placed order at 7pm, drivers might only receive the pick up request at 7:20pm. Sometimes there may be no drivers in the area to pick up your orders too. Other reasons such as restaurant missing your order or bad traffic.

5) How can customers help for a smoother delivery process?
I would check how many items I am suppose to pickup but what is inside I won't know. Please contact Uber Eats support for missing or wrong items. One thing I can check is to ensure drinks are included as I can see the actual bottles. If you live in apartments/suites/townhouse it would be so useful to let us know the approx location of your unit so we don't have to check one by one for your number. Even better you can come out or turn on front door lights(if any) when drivers arrived especially at night time!

My Personal Tips:

1) Deliver in areas you are familiar with. Saves you so much time from parking, finding pickups and driving around = Less stress
2) Within the area locate popular restaurant strips or shopping centre complex (I called it the base). Hang around there and wait for orders.
3) The base should have easily assessable parking and roads
4) Aim for peak hours such as lunch/ dinner and promotion periods with 1.1-1.5x earning.
5) Avoid work hours traffic
6) Avoid delivery to industrial/large office sites. Hard to locate specific door and consume time, lunch hour problem only. Refer to tip 1.
7) Avoid Asian restaurant areas as they are nearly all taken by Easi and Panda
8) Avoid rainy nights although higher requests. As most streets are pitch black and wet making it even harder for each delivery
9) Try to stay close to the base so you won't have to drive far to receive orders again
10) Beverages and snacks are preferred as they are light and small. Pizzas and kebabs are not preferred because heavy and strong smell
11) Pick and choose the orders you want to target. Eg) I target $10+ orders with 2 deliveries per trip, it is more economical this way
But if the pick up & delivery address are very close to you it's ok to accept even if it is about $6, the app will always try to give you a second order request nearby before you finish the food pick up. If you accept the second request you can get around $10 or more for two nearby/easy deliveries. Again you will learn what to accept and reject as you deliver more
12) Read notes from restaurant and customers
13) Use old vehicles with low fuel consumption to minimise your expenses and vehicle wear and tear
14) Invest in a good back support for your car seat as my back hurts after 2 days of driving and in/out of the car constantly
15) Look at the delivery location because the app always take you to toll road, if in doubt switch to Google map and select "avoid toll"
16) Keep a large shopping bag (e.g. Costco carry bag) in your car as some restaurants require bags on pick-up
17) Refer to tip 1 and work smart

Verdict:
Uber Eats driver is a good alternative for those who want to make more money on top of their full time professions. It provides flexible working hours and easy to do tasks without the need of any formal training or qualifications. I believe it is a better choice than most low-pay hospitality jobs in terms of pay and conditions. It is suitable for students or anyone who wants to treat this as their casual/ part time job.Though full licence is required for vehicle delivery.
I do not recommend this as a long-term full time job. It is simply a way to make extra cash and has no career growth or opportunities. I think I have covered most things not sure if you would have more questions?

Update 18/09/2021 : Just completed a 2.5hr dinner run with $77.39 gross. 6 orders 11 trips. Around net $28/hr after petrol.
Update 19/09/2021: Completed 2.5hr dinner run with $59.10 gross. 4 orders 7 trips. Around net $22/hr after petrol. My worst night so far, with slow restaurants and several customers living in townhouse/units without putting down their suite numbers or telling me the approx location. I was calling and finding each suite one by one in pitch black, one hand holding the food the other holding the phone.
Update 30/09/2021: Got my $500 bonus on 24/9. I also delivered several parcels (they are called "Connect") ranges from $25-$45 each so far, more or less depending on distance. You should accept them due to high pay and very easy. For now I work about 3.5-4hrs each day split between lunch and dinner, and get around $100-$120 per day gross. So about $25/hr after petrol. On top of that I received average of $16 tip per week so far.

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Comments

  • +3

    Can you confirm if you can eat someone's delivery with no recourse?

    • Nowadays most restaurant stapled or put stickers to seal the bags to ensure drivers don't eat/open the food. I will never do this and always take photo on the app to show customer where I left their orders.

  • Doesn't accepting only specific orders impact your completion rates and they may terminate you?

    If you delivered 60 orders for 16 to 20 hrs, how much was your gross income?

    • If you ignore multiple orders you will simply be put "offline" as the app assumes you are not active. You just tap online again. So far just over $500 gross so about $30 per hour, without any bonus earning rates mentioned in tip 4.

      • Did you get paid $500 bonus?

        • Uber said they will be paid the following week after your 30th delivery. This makes over $1000 gross in about 15 hours of work!

          • @Apple10: Did you receive $500 this week?

            • +1

              @Ash-Say: Got the $500 bonus on 24/9 which takes this week gross income to over $1000 now.

  • -1

    Who ate all the pies?

  • Can you do whatever you want with the food if the customer did not collect it?

    https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/652000

    • Never happened to me as I completed 100% of my orders so far

  • +7

    would you ever consider cosplaying for various orders
    for example when you are doing a pizza run throw on a quick super mario costume and say "issa me mario, i have your peperoni pizza downah stairs"

    • +1

      Good idea but 99% of the time you don't even see the customers

    • I would pay double for that.

  • what are you thoughts when you arrive to a restaurant and you have to wait for food?

    what is the payment structure like? paid per pickup/drop off, time, distance?

    • Most of the time food is ready already as we usually receive request a while after order was placed.
      Payment is usually based on the distance you will drive and time it took you, eg) if restaurant is slow at preparing the food then you may be paid a few dollars more.

  • +4

    We don't tip here in Australia. Id rather Uber eats charge slightly more and pay you a proper wage.

    Anyone else have thoughts on this?

    • In here people tip as a kind gesture or when they are feeling generous instead of having the intention/culture to pay a wage like other countries. Also drivers only see a tip few hours after the delivery.

    • How much of that "tip" actually goes to the driver though?

  • thanks for this, its interesting

  • What do you reckon your hourly wage is after expenses just aiming and stopping perfectly at the $500 bonus ?

    • +1

      Petrol is your largest cost and recently it is around $1.75/L for premium fuel in Melbourne. I reached 30 delivery on day 2, with average $150 gross per day. So (2 x $150 - $60 petrol + $500 bonus)/10 work hours = $74/hr with bonus or $24/hr without bonus. But again first 2 days I wasn't delivering at full efficiency and my car is not for this job.

      • -2

        I think m8 you have a winner for some Ozbargainer's to be Uber drivers for 10 hrs :)

      • Do you know if there is a lot of food delivery people use a hybrid car to save petrol?

        • +1

          I mainly see Camry hybrids, corolla, Yaris and common small cars

      • +2

        Sounds like a good gig for 10 hours, for the bonus.

      • You need to include maintenance and rego and insurance into your figures, your insurance prices might go up as you could be driving more Kms and the wear and tear on your car will be greater with all stop starting driving. Plus tax.

        • -3

          News for you car insurance is for Mugs hehe . Even pre Covid the risk reward was not worth the premiums but nowadays its shocking .
          Besides that for 10 hrs its not needed .

          • +1

            @popsiee: What premiums are you paying to be able to write off a Ferrari for example and be ahead?

            • -1

              @timthetoolman:

              @popsiee: What premiums are you paying to be able to write off a Ferrari for example and be ahead?

              I'm assuming you're referring to the situation where you crash into a ferrari, not driving one. In that case that is what mandatory third party insurance is for. The insurance that @popsiee is probably not getting is comprehensive where he would be (profanity) with his personal car.

              • +1

                @dchurch1: This is incorrect.

                The mandatory insurance paid with rego only covers injury to people. It does not cover damage to any property.

                Third party property insurance is not mandatory.

        • I would treat rego/insurance as sunk costs. As this is a short term side hustle vehicle depreciation would be negligible.
          But that is why I still recommend tip 13.
          You can deduct all these related expenses from your Uber Eats taxable income later on.

          • @Apple10: Check your policy as a some are invalidated if you are using your car for commercial purposes such as Uber Eats.

  • It was DoorDash but today the driver arrived and parked in front of the house but then I got a call and text message saying that the driver has arrived but is having trouble finding me. Thought that was strange. There's no front gate and he could have just walked in. The house number is clearly visible, and I requested to have the food delivered to the door. I wonder if the delivery driver was expecting me to come out to the street or was the call/sms automated or by accident.

    • I am not sure what happened to him but I never expect customers to come out. Usually they come out to do me a favour by saving me time from looking.

  • do you have a food handling certificate or required by uber to following food handling guiding? e.g wash your hands

    • +1

      During the sign up drivers have to complete a food handling course online. In the driver app each day when you go online you must tick all the health and safety check boxes.

  • Have you ever taken a chip or onion ring during the ride? Have you been tempted?

    • Lol never, plus most food are stapled or sealed up for this reason.

  • Thanks for your post. Sorry we don’t encourage tipping in this country 😷

    • +3

      Sorry we don’t encourage tipping in this country

      Why would we have tipping in a country with high minimum wage? Op is making $30 an hour by driving around a bit of food.

      • I know you need $700 for 10 hrs so here you go : https://www.uber.com/au/en/deliver/

        A bit better than the $2 bonuses you lap up .

        • -2

          I know you need $700 for 10 hrs so here you go :

          I make more than that with my side hustle, though thanks for the link.

          A bit better than the $2 bonuses you lap up .

          What are you on about? Since when do I "lap up" $2 bonuses?

          • -1

            @brendanm: Wow your my Hero .
            What is your side hustle ?

            • @popsiee: you're

              Buying, fixing and selling cars, buying and selling canon photography gear, buying and selling other niche things, marine electronics etc.

              I still don't understand your $2 bonus reference, care to explain?

              • -1

                @brendanm: Your ( Edit : you are I'm learning lol ) one of the $2 Pension Club Members chasing $2 bonuses is what that statement assumes hehe :)

                • @popsiee: What is a $2 pension club?

                  Amusing getting negged for making money 😂

    • +1

      Don't get me wrong I don't expect to pay/receive tip in this country, but many people are curious so I brought this topic up.

  • Does the app knows if they pickup from the same restaurant (happen to be the same time) and you deliver to multipe customers the same address or very very close proximity thus they won't need multiple drivers.

    • Most of the time the app would be smart enough to do this, but it appears at most we can only deliver 2 trips per order.

  • during delivery if you're dropped the bag and pretty sure it broken inside. Do you still deliver it or just do an Ace Ventura?

    • +3

      Happened to me once when the restaurant overfilled the bag and ripped the moment I stepped out. I demanded them to remake the meal again which they were ok with.

  • Do you need an ABN? What’s your thoughts using an e-bike or scooter?

    BTW: thanks for posting and sharing your experience, have been tempted to try it, if anything to see what it’s really like.

    • Yes you need to register ABN for free online which you get number immediately. Then complete a background check for $37 at own cost. Submit the documents and let Uber support know they will help you process faster. Scooters are actually preferred for CBD area due to narrow streets and less parking. For suburbs small cars are preferred.

  • Thanks for this - I've always wondered how it works.

  • You'll make more money getting a casual nightfill job at woolworths/coles. You haven't factored in insurance, or superannuation etc.

    16 hrs got me $424 net. And this is after going over the 37c tax bracket.

  • +1

    I worked as nightfill a few years ago and getting $29+super (inclusive late night penalty rate).
    As with any job there are pros and cons if you are purely aiming for the pay driver job is not the one.

  • I note OP only seems to factor in petrol costs, but you can at least double that cost for wear and tear on your vehicle. Tyres, services, depreciation, etc. are not at all small costs.
    Insurance for business purposes is likely more too.
    No need to factor rego tho, as this is paid regardless.

    • I do it because petrol is the largest and most obvious cost. If we are being specific expenses such as petrol, depreciation, insurance/rego, phone bills and nearly everything related are tax deductible. Excluding these makes calculation easier. I mentioned this as a short-term few hours per day side job so you can considered them as sunk costs. But I also recommend tip 13.

  • Has the company done anything to protect drivers against covid? Eg change of policy, or benefits.

    • +1

      Beside the usual in-app reminders and emails not much. I guess it is up to us to do the right things. I think it is pretty safe given no dine-in available and we usually leave the food at front doors without interacting with people.

  • Interesting read Op, thanks for sharing.