Side Hustle Highlight – Uber Eats

One of the easiest side hustles I have ever done is food delivery. I started working for Uber Eats in 2020, shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Because of the shut down, my work at the PT clinic could no longer provide me full time income. So to make up for those lost hours (and to get out of the house!), I began to deliver food!

How to Sign Up to Become an Uber Eats Driver

It was very easy to sign up. I Google’d “How to Become an Uber Eats Driver,” and the first link took me to this page:

You sign up with your basic information and complete a background check. You will also need to add your car information, driver’s license, vehicle insurance, direct deposit information, and upload a profile photo. Additionally, you will have to fill out some tax info, as you are being hired on as a 1099 independent contractor.

You will complete all this other tasks on the Uber Driver app. This app is very important, because this is how you will receive and complete deliveries.

The process to get approved took a couple weeks, but once I was approved, I was ready to hit the road!

How To Start Delivering Food

Now that you’re approved, open the Uber Driver app to get started. Your home page will look something like this:

So friendly of Uber Eats to welcome me!

This map allows you to see what areas are having a higher volume of deliveries, so you can have a better chance of receiving a delivery request. Once you’re ready to go online, you hit the GO button, and you will start to receive delivery requests!

Advantages of Uber Eats Delivery Driving

Make Your Own Schedule

I only go online when I feel like it! During the COVID-19 pandemic, I was able to do deliveries when I wasn’t seeing patients. This flexibility was crucial for me, as I was still working part time in the PT clinic.

Don’t have to say Yes to Every Delivery Request

When you receive a request, you can Accept or Deny it. I typically will hit Deny when the delivery is too far and the pay doesn’t make sense for me to go that far. I may also hit Deny when I know it’s delivering in a not-so-great area of town. Either way, you have the freedom to choose!

Get to Explore Your City

We were new to South Bay Los Angeles when I started delivering. It was a great way to explore my neighborhood! I learned traffic patterns and street names, and eventually realized that I could find my way around the area just by street name. I don’t think I would have felt more comfortable getting around my neighborhood without delivering!

Learn About Local Restaurants

I had picked up food from little hole in the walls and local restaurants that I had never heard of before. I would keep all these places down on a Note in my phone, and when I got home I would research them all. It was a great way for me to find new places to try! If someone was ordering takeout from here, it must be pretty good.

Disadvantages of Uber Eats Delivery Driving

Gas/Fuel and Car Wear-And-Tear

If you drive a regular car like me, you need gas in order to run the car. With gas prices skyrocketing the last few months, it has definitely been tougher for Uber Eats delivery drivers. Even if you have an electric car, you are still putting more miles on it than if you were to just use it a few times a week, causing natural wear-and-tear to the vehicle. Most people only use their car to get to and from work, and to run occasional errands, so you may find yourself needing to do more auto maintenance than you are used to.

Busy Only During Lunch and Dinner

Yes, the hours are flexible. However, you will have a much higher chance of making money when you’re working during peak hours. For Uber Eats, it’s lunch and dinner. The rates even go up during this time in some locations! But that may mean you probably will be eating your own meal at an off time, or maybe even in your car in between deliveries.

Mostly Relying on Tips

Uber Eats itself doesn’t pay that much for the delivery, so most of your payment is coming in the form of tips. Uber Eats does give the customer a recommended tip amount, but ultimately it is up to the customer to make the decision of how much to tip you.

Overall Opinion on Uber Eats

For me, it was a great adjunct when I was only working part time as a PT. I would only do a few deliveries a day, for maybe 1-2 hours at a time. In the cooler months, I would bring my dog along with me to keep me company, which was fun! I also used the time to catch up on podcasts, which was great.

But sometimes, the deliveries would take me farther from home than I would have preferred. The money was inconsistent, as some days had more tips than others.

There are better, more passive ways to make money through side hustles. However, if you’re in a pinch, and want to make a quick buck, this may be the side hustle for you!

Like what you read? Check out some of my other blog posts!

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