Side hustle spotlight: delivering for Uber Eats
Updated: Sep 30, 2019
Earlier this year, I signed up to deliver for Uber Eats in an attempt to monetize my “in-between” time. This is time right after I drop my kid off from school or if I have an hour to kill between appointments. I have also experimented with doing deliveries en route while on a lengthier drive.
The first week I delivered with Uber Eats was my most profitable, thanks to a sign-up promotion where I got a $20 bonus if I completed five deliveries. My schedule was pretty flexible during that time period, so I would drop my kid off at school, get some work done at the local coffee shop, attend an exercise class or go for a run, and then turn on my my Uber Eats app at lunchtime. I quickly found that my threshold for food deliveries is about two or three before I am ready to move onto something else. Doing two deliveries at lunchtime can amount to anywhere from $7 to $18 depending on whether or not you land a tipper.
Landing a tipper is actually all the difference between Uber Eats feeling like a waste of gas and being worth it. Delivering food for 45 minutes to an hour for $7 is hardly worth it. There are other side hustles that can pay better in a shorter amount of time. Delivering food for the same about of time for $18 makes it suddenly a very nice side hustle. People seem tip on Uber Eats approximately 25% of the time. For me, tips have ranged from $2 to $6.
Below are screen shots of a week with a promotion, a week with a good tip and a pretty lame week.
I have also found Uber Eats deliveries to be useful as an en route task. For example, when driving home from Boulder after a Sunday morning long run, I did two food deliveries in downtown Denver on my way to my kid’s gymnastics class. This both gave me a little bit of pocket change, as well as the ability to claim my drive home as business mileage.
There is no pressure from Uber Eats to do a certain amount of work. They will throw out incentives to try to get you on the road, but they will never be on your case to perform. I do not get push notifications harassing me to go online. Having a bunch of side hustle apps on the back burner is a no-brainer, especially if you have ever had a moment where you realized that your checking account is a few bucks short of being able to pay a bill without dipping into savings.
Uber Eats also follows one of my favorite pay schedule models: weekly. They pay by direct deposit once per week. You can also request immediate payments to a debit card for a fee or to an Uber debit card for free. I have not done immediate payments yet, but it's a nice option to have in my back pocket.
Sign up for Uber Eats with THIS LINK and you are guaranteed to make at least $300 in total payout for your first 30 trips (as of this writing, check the link to see if the promotion has changed).