One question keeps coming up in my closed Facebook group, Millionaire Single Moms (have you joined yet? It’s a free, inspiring, online community for all the single mamas!): “How can I make more money?” Sometimes, the question is: “How the effing eff can I make some more money NOW?”
In short, my answer: SIDE. HUSTLE.
One side hustle in particular has interested me recently: Uber’s food delivery service, Uber Eats. Its popularity is catching on fairly quickly in larger cities, and even in some smaller towns.
With all the hype, I wanted to know, is Uber Eats a good side hustle for single moms?
The answer depends on several factors, so I did a little research to help you decide for yourself.
How does Uber Eats work?
The concept is actually very simple. Customers within an Uber Eats service area (find out if your city participates here) simply download the app, choose from local and nearby chain restaurants, and place their orders. They are given an estimated delivery time, a total, and they check out online. Once the order is placed, customers can watch the delivery partner (that’s you!) on an animated map to follow the status of their order until it arrives at their door.
For delivery partners, the process is even easier. Just log onwhen you feel like it – you can choose to work on a weekend, evenings after work, or even for only an hour during your lunch break. Hello, flexibility! While making money! Mom’s dream come true! Once you’re logged on, you’ll be pinged when an order request comes in.
You have a 30-second window to accept the trip once you’re notified. Then, just head to the restaurant, pick up the prepared food, and follow the GPS directions on the Uber Eats app. Once you arrive at the customer’s location, follow the instructions on the app to either drop off the food curbside, or take it straight to the customer’s door.
The highest demand for deliveries could be around lunch (11 a.m. – 2 p.m.) and dinner (5 p.m. – 9: 30 p.m.). It’s a smart move to stay near higher-populated areas of town, like downtown, to be the first to accept an order. These areas could have higher rates in busier times, which means you may earn more money for the same delivery you’d already be making! (More on that later!)
All UberEATS transactions occur on the app, so you won’t be handling payments. You’re paid a pick-up fee, a drop-off fee, and for mileage. Customers can even tip you in the app – and you keep 100% of that amount. Cha-ching!
Uber Eats delivery partner reviews
Uber Eats operates on a ratings system. Unlike Uber’s 5-star ratings system, UberEATS allows customers to give drivers a thumbs up or thumbs down, along with an explanation for their rating. Read on for ways to boost your customer ratings!
Requirements for Uber Eats delivery partner
Compared with the approval process for becoming an Uber driver, the requirements for Uber Eats drivers are much more relaxed. In addition to a background check process (it’s evidently SUPER fast). If you’re older than 19, have any car from 1998 or newer (this varies slightly by city), and can legally drive, you’re in! You’ll also need to pass a background check, but the company they use, Checkr, promises to be very quick to approve – often within 24 hours, which means you could be on the road working ASAP.
To qualify to drive for Uber Eats, you’ll need:
- A valid drivers license
- Car insurance (liability-only is fine)
- Proof of registration
Depending on your location, you may not actually need a car – people use mopeds, bikes and some even walk to deliver orders. It all depends on where you live.
Many Uber driver-partners turn to Uber Eats on slower shifts to make extra cash. If you’re cleared to drive with Uber, you could becleared to deliverwithUber EATS, so it may be your best bet to try both.
Read more about the process sign up with Uber driver-partner here.
Pros and cons of driving for Uber Eats
- If you’re hesitant about driving strangers, Uber Eats could be a better alternative to driving with its rideshare counterpart, Uber. With no passengers, the only thing you’ll have to chauffeur is a tasty meal.
- No waiting for payday. You can get paid whenever you want with Uber’s Instant Pay system, starting immediately after your first trip, and the program allows you to cash out up to 5x daily when you register a debit card!
- There’s the potential for long waits at restaurants to pick up the food and it could be difficult to find where exactly to deliver the food.
- You could end up driving all over town — including to sketchy neighborhoods.
Uber Eats delivery partner tips and tricks
Bring the right gear
Uber may or may not provide delivery bags, which can be an issue when it comes to keeping orders hot or cold. One pro tip is to buy your own insulated grocery bags, like these from Amazon. Bonus: they’re the perfect reusable bag for your own groceries. And since all of your business is conducted through the app, make sure to keep a car charger with you (this one is great), as well as this great car phone mount.
Stay up-to-date with Uber Eats news
Always check your email for Uber Eats newsletters — the company sends its delivery partners special offers and tips, including which locations are expected to have boosted rates, which days the “free delivery” promotions are running, and when drivers can earn extra. I can’t stress enough how important it is to know when free delivery promos are happening in your area. Delivery volume typically increases A TON on these days. Same goes for rainy days – deliveries tend to increase when there’s crappy weather
Get strategic with your location
Don’t turn on your app until you’re in a central location – the timeframe for accepting an order is short and you’ll be penalized in ratings if you are “on” but not accepting orders. If you know certain areas of town are more populated or have more restaurants, start there. Once you get your strategy and routine down, the rest is easy as pie.
Share in the comments: Have you ever driven for Uber Eats? What has been your experience?
Some of the links in this and other posts generate a commission. I never recommend products that I don’t truly believe in. Seriously – I get asked to write about stuff all the time and turn down hard cash if I’m not feeling it.
Holly Johnson is a financial expert, award-winning writer, and Indiana mother of two who is obsessed with frugality, budgeting and travel. Her personal finance articles have been published in the U. S. News, Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, and Life Hacker. Holly is founder of of the family finance resource, ClubThrifty.com, and is the co-author of Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You’ll Love. Learn more about Holly here.