Driving for UberEats is an unprofitable business. As a delivery driver, we take all the hassle, but Uber pays us a minimum wage of $10 per hour. Sometimes less than that. In this article, I’m going to discuss all the hassle we — UberEats Delivery Drivers — take to deliver food and how much we get paid in New York City.
New York City is the best city for Taxi and Rideshare drivers. NYC taxi drivers earn more than any other city in this country except Los Angeles and San Francisco. I know this because I drove for Uber and Lyft in New York City for more than 3 Years. I could earn $200 working 8 hours. Now I don’t drive for Uber or Lyft anymore in NYC. But sometimes I drive for Uber Eats. After several years of UberEats delivery, I found it’s losing business.
If there are no promotions from Uber, I barely earn $80 working 8 hours. If there are boost or promotions, these earnings go higher. But promotions are not available every day nor 24 hours. However, UberEats customers frequently tip. This increases earnings. Still, on a semi-busy day, I earn $100 —including tips and boost— working 6 hours. On a busy day, I could earn $160 per 8-hour shift (tips included). But these busy days are scarce in a year.
Here are two screenshots of my earnings. One day I earned $180 —including tips and boost— working 8 hours. The next day I made 102 dollars working 6 hours. Out of this 102 dollars, $68 is from uber, and $34 is from tips.
I’ve delivered food in New York City, Westchester County, and Nassau County. When the earnings in these areas are so miserable, I certainly can assume that earnings in other cities would be worse than this.
UberEats Sign Up Process:
You have different vehicle options to deliver food. You can sign up to deliver food with a bicycle, car, or other forms of motorbike. During the signup process, uber asks for a social security number for background checks. But it takes very little time from Uber to activate an account. If you have submitted all the required documents, took your selfie, and provided your Social security number, Uber would activate your account within 24 hours.
When Uber activated my account, first, I tried to deliver food by bicycle. But it’s very tough. Especially on cold days. It’s not safe either. Later I started delivering food in my car. Here is the problem. If you deliver food by bicycle, you do a lot of physical work. On the other hand, if you want to deliver by car you need to have a car, pay insurance and gas. Either way, the UberEats delivery payment is the same.
Food Delivery Process:
Here I’m going to present to you the whole process of UberEats delivery and why I believe it’s a hassle with less compensations.
Step 1: Wait for Job
We go online in the Uber Driver app and wait for a job. When the job comes, the Uber app shows a message with a dollar amount of how much we could earn on this job. If we accept the job, Uber shows the address of the restaurant from where we need to pick up food.
The restaurant could be 5 minutes away; sometimes, it could be 15 minutes away. We call this distance “dead miles” because we don’t get paid for this distance. Even if we get to the restaurant and wait, but the customer cancels, we don’t get paid.
Step 2: Parking Near Restaurant
After getting the call, we drive up to the restaurant. Now we face the first hassle — parking. Sometimes there would be parking lots but the majority of the time there is none. Especially in New York City. If there is no parking, I double-park my car to pick up the food from the restaurant. On several occasions, I got tickets. A single ticket is enough to erase your whole day’s earnings.
Step 3: Pick Up Food
After parking, at a safe location, I go inside of the specified restaurant and tell them that I’m here to pick up foods for “customer name.” Here is the second hassle. Most of the time the food is not ready yet to pick up. It makes me angry. Here’s why. When a restaurant gets a food order, they are supposed to prepare the food first then click on a button on their app that says food is ready for pickup. This would prompt Uber to assign an UberEats driver. Then the driver would come to pick the food up. However, I noticed the majority of the time; the restaurant would accept food orders and click “food is ready for pickup” instantly. This is a waste of UberEats drivers time. Most of the time, After driving 8-10 minutes to pick up food, I regularly find that the restaurant needs 5-10 minutes more to prepare food. Sometimes 15 minutes.
On a few occasions, I found, at Burger King and other fast-food restaurants, the item customers ordered is not available anymore. This makes the situation worse.
In rideshare driving, once we reach the passenger’s house to pick them up, they have a 5 minutes grace period. If the passenger does not show up in these 5 minutes, we can cancel and get paid a cancellation fee. Not valid for UberEats delivery. We don’t get paid unless we pick up the food and deliver it. So all the waiting while the restaurant prepares food is unpaid.
Step 4: Deliver The Food
After I pick up the food, UberEats provides the delivery address. After I reach my delivery destination, I try to find a safe parking spot. Again, finding a parking spot in NYC is very tough. If I don’t see any spot, I double park and go to the apartment to deliver the food.
The majority of the time, the instruction from the customer is to deliver the food to the door. Only on rare occasions, the customer would come out to pick up. In New York City, most of the delivery is in apartment buildings. So, this also takes some time.
Step 5: Get Paid
In ridesharing, drivers get paid by miles and minutes. Not for UberEats drivers. We get a fixed amount. For example, if the job says that I would get $3 for this delivery, then it’s $3. It doesn’t matter where the restaurant is, how much time I wait inside the restaurant, and how many floors I have to go up to deliver the food.
In rideshare, passengers sometimes go 15 to 20 miles. This leads to good earnings. But in UberEats, the delivery is always within 2 to 3 miles. So, UberEats earnings are not good unless it’s busy and I make a lot of deliveries.
Step 6: Get Feedback.
I take all these hassles to deliver the food, and then occasionally uber would notify me that the customer complained. They did not get all the items, or the restaurant gave the wrong food. I do my due diligence to pick up all the food, but restaurants sometimes make mistakes. Still, I get the blame for it. And after doing all this work, I earn $10 per hour.
This income is not entirely mine, either. I pay gas, insurance, car payment from my UberEats delivery earnings. Then I keep some money aside for income tax. The rule for Tax in Taxi driving is, you keep $20 apart for tax for every $100 you earn. At the end of the day, I’m left with almost nothing. To make ends meet, you need to deliver 10 to 12 hours a day. This is not easy. Moreover, UberEats delivery income is not consistent. For example, from 11 PM to 10 AM delivery jobs are nonexistent when all the restaurants are closed.
Car’s Wear and Tear:
When I go to a restaurant, I turn off my car, pick up the food, and come back. I start my car, go to the delivery location. After parking, I turn off my car again, deliver the food, and come back. I start my car again. This frequent turn off – turn on affects the car’s 12V battery and starter motor. As an UberEats delivery driver, I have to deal with it.
During food pickup at restaurants and delivery at customers home, I try to find a safe parking location. Sometimes due to situations, I double park or park somewhere where parking is not allowed. I got several tickets for this. In New York City, parking is very tough, and traffic enforcement agents are always out there to give you tickets on the slightest excuse. This is another problem UberEats drivers continuously face.
Among all these negativity, the only good news is that UberEats customers tips frequently. But it’s a shame that uber does not pay its drivers properly, but force them to make themselves dependent on tips. But don’t count on tips. The actual earning from Uber is meager roughly $10 per hour.
If anyone asks my opinion of UberEats delivery, I tell them to avoid it. It’s an unprofitable business. Or do it temporarily until you get something better. This can’t be your full-time job. However, I’m not sure how it’s possible to prepare yourself for a better job when you are busy delivering food 8-10 hours a day.