New to Uber Eats, and some "not-so-pleasant" conclusions (?)

marctony

New Member
I'm new with Uber, and doing only UberEats delivery. In this short period of time, I have come to a few not-so-pleasant conclusions about some aspects of this "flexible" source of income. To preface my conclusions, I must state that I realize there are variables involved, not the least of which is geographic location. That said, here goes...

1.) The twenty-plus dollars per hour figures bandied about seem ludicrous. Rather, SERIOUSLY ludicrous. Unless you are someplace truly magical, this likely isn't going to happen, at least not continuously. I'm basing this on a combination of heavy traffic during lunch and dinner hours, generally poor (or no) tipping, restaurants whose name begin with "Mc", plain ol' physics, and the simple fact that I'm pretty sure Uber does not possess the capabillities of time dilation (that's Elon Musk). Even within the marginal "Boost" areas, the drive distance and time to the restaurant, finding parking and perhaps still waiting for the food, the drive distance and time to the customer, only allows for MAYBE three orders within that time-frame. MAYBE. If you're lucky. And IF you actually GET additional delivery requests! This brings me to the second not-so-pleasant aspect...

2.) Where exactly are the requests!? Not that I could actually accept more than three requests per hour during peak time, as defined above, I could certainly do my best to complete three in a gracious, customer-first manner in those sixty minutes. However, after one delivery is completed, I'm waiting sixty to ninety minutes for another delivery request. This is during peak hours, and in the "Boost" areas. What gives, Uber? Over-saturation? Competition?

3.) Now, to get to those restaurants that begin with "Mc". Uber needs to have a serious conversation with this restaurant chains project managers (McManagers?). The restaurants apparently haven't gotten any memo stating: when the order arrives, place it in the "go ahead and make it" queue. It should NOT mean: wait for the Uber Eats driver to arrive in ten or fifteen minutes, then finally look at the order and say, "that'll be about 15 minutes because we gotta make the nugget things". This is akin to ordering a pizza, the pizza place saying pick it up in twenty minutes, then when you get there in twenty minutes, they tell you they'll start making your pizza pie. Just plain BAD. And it has happened on a number of occasions.

4.) Yes, I eluded to ten or fifteen minutes drive time to a "Mc" restaurant. This is actually the quickest (read closest) time for me to get to one of these. Typically, more like twenty minutes. Then, the delivery itself is maybe a block away. So, a large amount of time is spent "off the clock" so to speak, getting to the restaurant, then likely waiting AT the restaurant (see #3 above), to have a delivery (on the clock) only several minutes down the street. Note that this "drive to Timbuktu" scenario has occurred with a number of pick-ups, not just from one restaurant chain. And only on a couple of them, have I received a "distance" bonus. This leads me to believe less of the "driver over saturation" theory, otherwise, wouldn't someone else be closer??

So, there you have it. My albeit newbie, not-so-pleasant aspects of Uber Eats delivery. This is actually kinda fun, and would like to continue with the program if it starts working better.

Comments, or constructive criticism (hopefully beneficial!) are welcome.

MT
 

Launchpad McQuack

Well-Known Member
The twenty-plus dollars per hour figures bandied about seem ludicrous.
You're new. If you stick with it, you will learn tricks to be more efficient with your deliveries and thus more profitable. With that said, I think $20+/hour is unattainable in most markets. There are exceptions, and some of the posters on this forum live in those markets. I personally, though, have never touched $20/hour for more than a couple hours at a time. I definitely can't do it consistently. Any time that I have achieved it, there has been generous tipping involved. My target is generally $15/hour gross.

I'm basing this on a combination of heavy traffic during lunch and dinner hours
Trick #1. Don't drive during heavy traffic hours. In order to make money, you either need to be doing lots of quick, short deliveries (where you can make money on the pickup and dropoff fees) or you need to be doing long deliveries (where you can make money on the miles). The time rate of pay sucks. In my market it is $0.10/minute. That works out to $6/hour, and the time rate of pay is better in my market than in most markets. If you can't get from Point A to Point B quickly and efficiently, then don't drive in that area at that time. It's not worth it.

plain ol' physics
Physics ruins everything. Just ask my perpetual motion machine. (Okay, technically, I ruined that in a fit of rage.)

only allows for MAYBE three orders within that time-frame. MAYBE. If you're lucky.
Three per hour is about the best you can do. If you can achieve that, you're operating pretty efficiently. If the circumstances are right (traffic is dead, short deliveries, steady stream of pings, no wait times at the restaurants, etc.), I can sometimes bang out four in an hour. That is a rarity, though. Even three per hour is difficult to achieve consistently.

This is during peak hours, and in the "Boost" areas. What gives, Uber? Over-saturation? Competition?
Probably both. We don't have boosts in my market, but I have heard other drivers say that they bring out drivers that wouldn't normally drive. So you have an over-saturation of drivers. Plus, Uber is facing stiff competition from the other delivery services. I have heard some drivers say that they actually make better money when there is no boost because they get a better flow of pings without a boost.

Keep in mind, though, that Uber's competition doesn't have to be your competition. It helps to run multiple apps and not just Uber Eats. Tonight for me, GrubHub was really busy and Uber was dead. Sunday night, Uber was busy and GrubHub was dead.

It should NOT mean: wait for the Uber Eats driver to arrive in ten or fifteen minutes, then finally look at the order and say, "that'll be about 15 minutes because we gotta make the nugget things".
I haven't had this problem much. For the most part, I have good luck with McDonald's. There are one or two that do what you say. I have black listed those locations and will not pick up there. Which brings me to....

Trick #2. Be selective where you pick up. Over time, you will learn which restaurants are profitable to pick up at and which ones are not because they cause you problems (no parking, long wait times for orders, etc.). If you find that a restaurant is consistently not profitable to pick up, then reject delivery requests from that restaurant. You don't have to take every ping that they throw at you.

Yes, I eluded to ten or fifteen minutes drive time to a "Mc" restaurant. This is actually the quickest (read closest) time for me to get to one of these. Typically, more like twenty minutes.
Trick #3. Do not drive ten to fifteen minutes to get to any restaurant........especially not a McDonald's. The only time I ever take a ping that is 10+ minutes away is if (1) there is a hefty guarantee ($12+) attached to it or (2) I am in a dead area and want to go to the area where the ping is anyway.

This leads me to believe less of the "driver over saturation" theory, otherwise, wouldn't someone else be closer??
The ping doesn't necessarily go to the closest driver. If you read this forum, you will find that there is a lot of speculation as to how Uber's ping algorithm works. Proximity is definitely part of that algorithm, but it definitely isn't the only thing that is considered (or even the most important thing). You may be getting these pings because the algorithm has learned that you will accept them.
 
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Invisible

Well-Known Member
Launchpad made excellent points, such as how the $20/hr is not realistic in most markets. Sure sometimes I make that for a few hours, but not all the time. I wish I did!

Like he said, run multiple apps and don’t accept those long pickups. It is slower this time of year, and in my area where we have cold, yucky winters, people want to get outside and go out to dinner more once we have decent weather (now in 50s to 60s).
 

marctony

New Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
Hey, thanks for the response and some really excellent tips, Launchpad. Or Mr. McQuack, if you prefer to keep it on a strictly professional level. :wink:

"Trick #3. Do not drive ten to fifteen minutes to get to any restaurant........especially not a McDonald's."
After today, this has been burned in to memory...unless a guarantee is included. Just a little concerned about being so new, and declining requests.

"Keep in mind, though, that Uber's competition doesn't have to be your competition. "
Pure logic. I love it. :smiles:


MT
 

Krahazik

New Member
There was a time where I stopped driving for UberEats because fo the long dead-head (no load, off-clock) miles just to turn around ong go short distance. That was before the garonteed $ payout for a trip. I find that a bit of a nice improvement.
I have not had to much trouble with restaurants most of the time.

As to wait times, oh my got. I have comments about Ubers definition of "busy" and "soon" in their feedback. Tell me I'm in a 'busy' area and to expect trips 'soon' and then end up sitting for 30-60 min. Usually if I hit the 60min mark, I call it a day and log off. Sometimes I wonder if some of the information we are getting comes form the UberX side of the app and not filtered just for eats drivers.

I am around the Seattle Metro area, though I stay mostly around Bellevue area, despite Downtown Seattle sometimes having very good boost rates. Heck no for me. To much hassle.

Also I try to avoid idle driving around. When I finish a delivery, I pop over to the nearest public shopping plaza, business parking lot and sit. Less fuel spent waiting for the next trip.

I think I average 10$/hr on a good day and I agree with some others, 3 trips in an hours sound about right for an average.
I only drive about part time, a little after lunch period. I do other courier work when not doing UberEats.
 

Launchpad McQuack

Well-Known Member
I have comments about Ubers definition of "busy" and "soon" in their feedback. Tell me I'm in a 'busy' area and to expect trips 'soon' and then end up sitting for 30-60 min.
"You're in a busy area. Expect trips soon," means that Uber wants you to stay in the area where you are. This message is a tool that Uber uses to manipulate drivers. It is not for your benefit, and it does not necessarily mean that the area is busy. It could mean that you are presently the only driver in that area, so they don't want you to go somewhere else. There may not have been an order placed in that area for the past hour, but they want to have a driver available there in case one is. I fell for this early on, and then it clicked in my head and I felt like an idiot. If I was in a busy area, Uber wouldn't need to tell me it was busy. I would know it was busy because I would be.......well.......busy.
 

Krahazik

New Member
"You're in a busy area. Expect trips soon," means that Uber wants you to stay in the area where you are. This message is a tool that Uber uses to manipulate drivers. It is not for your benefit, and it does not necessarily mean that the area is busy. It could mean that you are presently the only driver in that area, so they don't want you to go somewhere else. There may not have been an order placed in that area for the past hour, but they want to have a driver available there in case one is. I fell for this early on, and then it clicked in my head and I felt like an idiot. If I was in a busy area, Uber wouldn't need to tell me it was busy. I would know it was busy because I would be.......well.......busy.
You make a good point. When your getting pings when your almost at a delivery point and basically not sitting still waiting for orders, you know its a busy day. I don't really fall for the message as its obvious to me really. When I do feel like waiting for a bit, I have my tablet with me, and nothing else really to do that can't be done on the tablet.
 

amazinghl

Well-Known Member
When I was with UE for my phoenix market, average was $12-14 before boost/promotion was cut. Then $3 a trip was all I was getting and I stopped during UE.

Now that I'm with GH, average has been more than $20 and has been for the last 4 months.
 

marctony

New Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
I just downloaded my csv files and did a few quick calculations within the sheet. The reasonably pleasant surprise is that I'm averaging $9.69 per delivery. Now there's a base to build on.
 

reg barclay

Well-Known Member
Moderator
If pings are sparse in your area, then I suggest signing up for one or more other delivery options, like Doordash etc, if they're available, and run the other app(s) at the same time to increase chances.

There is no need to accept deliveries 15 minutes away. Set time and/or distance limits to the pings you accept.
 

blondebaedc

Active Member
I just downloaded my csv files and did a few quick calculations within the sheet. The reasonably pleasant surprise is that I'm averaging $9.69 per delivery. Now there's a base to build on.
That's actually really decent for UE. What is your market? I'm in DC and, so far, my best week with UE looks like this: averaged $21.88/hr (average $9.38/job). That was @ 44% tip rate (?) and when they were running tip matching promotions for March Madness.

I've been doing GrubHub recently to try it out and see how its different and so far, I've been happier with GrubHub. It pays more overall (according to my current data) -- but I will have to do another couple of weeks with GrubHub to make a true comparison.
 

Rickos69

Well-Known Member
That's actually really decent for UE. What is your market? I'm in DC and, so far, my best week with UE looks like this: averaged $21.88/hr (average $9.38/job). That was @ 44% tip rate (?) and when they were running tip matching promotions for March Madness.

I've been doing GrubHub recently to try it out and see how its different and so far, I've been happier with GrubHub. It pays more overall (according to my current data) -- but I will have to do another couple of weeks with GrubHub to make a true comparison.
Are you OK with signing up for time slots? That is THE MOST important reason I consider UE the best part time job in the world. No punch in punch out, no bosses.
 

blondebaedc

Active Member
Are you OK with signing up for time slots? That is THE MOST important reason I consider UE the best part time job in the world. No punch in punch out, no bosses.
The schedule format on GrubHub doesn't bother me. No one wants to drive during the times I can drive, so the slots are always open. lol

I agree that food delivery (or something similar to this type of thing) is the best way to earn some side money, just because you're not obligated to show up somewhere for a certain amount of time every day and no one is looking over your shoulder evaluating your work.
 

Rickos69

Well-Known Member
I didn't mean set limits in the app. I meant just reject pings that are further/longer away than a certain time or distance.
Whether to reject a far away ping also has to do with how much they are offering you to do it.
If a ping is 11 mins away and they are offering me $13 to do it, I will, and have. especially during really slow times. The money adds up, and my Mazda 3 is pretty economical.
 

reg barclay

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Whether to reject a far away ping also has to do with how much they are offering you to do it.
If a ping is 11 mins away and they are offering me $13 to do it, I will, and have. especially during really slow times. The money adds up, and my Mazda 3 is pretty economical.
Agreed, it can depend a lot of things. While I may have implied setting a hard and fast limit, that really wasn't my intent. But the OP implied they were accepting trips that were definitely not profitable enough for them. So I just meant to bring out that they don't have to accept anything they feel wouldn't be.
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How come doing UE only?
That was my point above. If UE isn't busy enough, I'd run at least one of the other delivery apps. In my area, I usually need 2 to keep busy enough.
 

Ssgcraig

Well-Known Member
Agreed, it can depend a lot of things. While I may have implied setting a hard and fast limit, that really wasn't my intent. But the OP implied they were accepting trips that were definitely not profitable enough for them. So I just meant to bring out that they don't have to accept anything they feel wouldn't be.
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That was my point above. If UE isn't busy enough, I'd run at least one of the other delivery apps. In my area, I usually need 2 to keep busy enough.
But why not Uber, Pool, X etc.
 

Launchpad McQuack

Well-Known Member
Are you OK with signing up for time slots? That is THE MOST important reason I consider UE the best part time job in the world. No punch in punch out, no bosses.
I never sign up for time slots in advance. The whole reason I'm doing this lousy food delivery gig to begin with is because I don't want to work on a schedule, so signing up for time slots would completely defeat the purpose. If I wanted to work on a schedule, I'd go get an actual job and make better money. If I'm getting ready to start driving (or already driving) and a time slot is available right now, then I will sometimes grab the open time slot just so I can get the guaranteed hourly minimum if it is slow. Plus, you supposedly get better pings while working a time slot, but I have not found this to be the case thus far. Otherwise, I just go online without signing up for a time slot.
 
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