Uber Eats drivers make good money when they know the best times to work. Making yourself available on the app doesn’t mean you’ll magically make $20 an hour.
It takes careful planning and an understanding of your area to determine the best times to drive and make the most money.
Discover Peak Hours for Driving
If you’re going to drive for Uber Eats, you might as well get the most bang for your buck, right? No one likes to waste time. If you spend too much time waiting for new orders, you aren’t maximizing your opportunities.
Fortunately, most areas have peak hours for driving or times when there is a higher demand for drivers.
The key is to find these peak hours so you can constantly be delivering rather than waste time waiting.
Why Driving During Peak Hours Matters
Driving during peak hours ensures you maximize your per-hour rate.
For example, if you accept an order at 2 PM and sit around until 4 PM for the following order, your per-hour rate will be pretty low. If your order paid you $10, that’s $5 an hour and probably not worth it.
On the other hand, if you take an order at 2 PM, 2:30 PM, 2:45 PM, 3:00 PM, and 3:30 PM, you’ll significantly increase your per-hour rate, assuming you take orders that pay well and earn great tips.
The bottom line is that it makes the most sense to work fewer peak hours than to work more non-peak hours and waste your time.
What Is the Best Times to Do Uber Eats for Drivers: According to Drivers
Of course, you’re probably wondering when the best time to drive for Uber Eats is if you don’t want to waste your time.
The hours will vary based on area, demand, and sometimes even driver opinion.
However, you’ll make the most money for most areas during the lunch rush of 12 PM to 2 PM and the dinner rush of 5 PM to 9 PM.
Check your area to determine if those times are the true ‘rushes’ or if the times altered slightly. The key is to find those peak times to work and make the most of your active time on the app.
Drivers’ Opinions on the Best Times to Do Uber Eats
Most Uber Eats drivers on Reddit agree that the lunch and dinner rush is the best time to work.
Most agree that Mondays and Tuesdays are the slowest days, and if you want to give a large chunk of your day to Uber Eats, 4 PM to 10 PM is your best bet.
They also agree that weekends are a great time to work, especially if you can handle working late nights.
The late-night bar rush is a great time to make the most money on Friday and Saturday nights.
Earning Potential: $15-$25 / hour
Taking advantage of incentives like Quest and Boost can make Uber Eats one of the best paying delivery jobs available.
Best and Worst Days to Do Uber Eats
- Thursday – Friday: As you get later into the week, the rush picks up for Uber Eats drivers. Many people are tired of cooking, so they order lunch and dinner, giving Uber Eats drivers plenty of opportunities.
- Saturday – Sunday: Weekend rushes are the busiest at night. This is when gatherings happen, and people want to order out, whether having a party or just a Netflix and chill night.
- Monday – Wednesday: Most Uber Eats drivers avoid the beginning of the week. It’s usually the slowest, and many restaurants have opted not to open on Mondays because of it.
The Lunch and Dinner Rushes
The lunch and dinner rushes are the most common times to work for Uber Eats. However, you might not make much at lunch if you don’t live in an area with a significant business presence. Try to position yourself in an industrial area or area with a lot of businesses, as they are most likely to keep you busy.
If not, save your Uber Eats driving time for the dinner rush. They can start as early as 5 PM for young families and go as late as 9 PM for those families with so many activities that they sit down later to eat.
The Late-Night Bar Rushes
Don’t forget about the late-night bar rushes on the weekends. Friday and Saturday nights are a great opportunity for Uber Eats drivers that live near many bars. When people arrive home, they’re often hungry from a night of drinking, and because they can’t be on the road, they’ll pay for Uber Eats.
Other Favorable Driving Opportunities
Timing your shifts during the lunch and dinner rushes are the best way to make money on Uber Eats, but there are other times to consider too.
- Surges (Events): If your area has a large event, or you know of a rash of parties going on because of a particular sports game or other events, consider making yourself available on Uber Eats. Pay close attention to what’s happening in the area, such as concerts, festivals, or even big high school or college games. Figure out where the largest rush of orders will be and position yourself for the best chance of securing more orders.
- Holidays: If you don’t mind working on holidays, you may pick up great orders on New Year’s, St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and Halloween.
- Inclement Weather: Most people don’t want to leave their houses when the weather gets bad. Since they still need to eat, they are more likely to call Uber Eats. If you have a safe car in bad weather and don’t mind being out in it, you can make good money since many drivers will also avoid going out in bad weather.
- Major Sporting Events: If you live in an area with major sporting events, you might make good money delivering food before, during, or after the event. People tailgating may order food, as will those who come home after a long day of drinking and rooting for their team.
Note Time Ranges for Uber Eats
Uber Eats is available 24/7; they never close. That doesn’t mean, however, you should make yourself available 24/7.
If you want to do more than the lunch and dinner rush, it’s best to make yourself available at 9 AM or later up to 3 PM during the week. Then, you can make yourself available again from around 5 PM to 10 PM.
The time in between is ‘dead time’ in most areas. This is when you’d significantly lower your per-hour rate if you made yourself available. So instead of wasting time being active on the app from 3 PM to 5 or 6 PM, take care of other important tasks, free up your time to work the dinner rush, and make more money for your time.
Choosing the Best Time Based on Location
Of course, these times vary significantly by location. For example, if you live in an area where business people take lunch early because they start work much earlier than 8 AM, you might want to work earlier to make more money.
The same is true of the nighttime rush. If you live in an area with most college students or young people, they may eat much later than in areas with older families that like to have their night finished by 6 PM.
Choose Busy Places for Driving
No matter where you live, you should always position yourself in the busiest areas. If you don’t live near the restaurants, sit near there, so you get more orders. If you’re too far away from the restaurants, you won’t have as many opportunities sent to you because they’ll go to closer drivers.
Additional Tips to Maximize Your Earnings
Timing your shifts during the rush, surges, or special events and positioning yourself where it’s busiest is the key to making the most money with Uber Eats, but here are a few more tips.
1. Double Dip and App Switch
Uber Eats doesn’t prevent you from delivering for other gig-sharing apps.
For example, you can also deliver for DoorDash or even Instacart while being active on Uber Eats. The key is to ensure you remember which app you accepted the order from and turn the other apps off until you deliver the order.
If dealing with multiple food delivery apps is too much, you could also drive for Uber, assuming you meet its driver requirements. Since you already passed the background check for Uber Eats, that won’t be an issue.
However, Uber has stricter vehicle requirements to ensure the safety of their passengers. If your car passes the requirements, you can toggle between both services.
The nice thing is it’s only one app for Uber and Uber Eats, so you can make it easy on yourself and maximize your earnings.
2. Sit Back, Relax, and Enjoy a Break
Don’t work yourself so hard that you burn out physically or mentally. I already talked about how working during down times is pointless. You’ll decrease your per-hour rate and have much higher opportunity costs for other things you could be doing.
It’s okay to take a break and enjoy yourself, especially when there aren’t many orders. However, to determine when you should work, choose your minimum per-hour rate and do what you can to make it.
You’ll soon see that staying active during slow times isn’t worth it and your time is better spent working during the rushes, even if you have fewer hours to work them.
3. Night Time Vigilance and Safety
If you live in an area where nighttime hours offer the best pay, be sure you’re safe. Don’t deliver in areas known for high crime levels or lesser-known places where something could happen, and no one would know.
Uber offers many safety features in their app, including sharing your location with friends and family. Use all the safety features provided to remain safe.
When delivering, carry a flashlight in case the area isn’t well-lit, and never step foot into someone’s home. Uber allows you to refuse the request to preserve your safety.
Frequently Asked Questions
Choosing the best times to do Uber Eats is important. You don’t get paid if you aren’t delivering food, so it makes the most sense to work when it’s the busiest.
Is Uber Eats busy during morning hours?
In most areas, Uber Eats is not busy during the morning. Most people are focused on their coffee and grab-and-go breakfasts and are less likely to use Uber Eats. Use your mornings for yourself and make yourself available during the lunch and dinner rush to make the most money.
How much can someone make driving for Uber Eats?
Uber Eats drivers make $15 to $20 an hour, depending on the location and hours worked.
You can make much more or less than that, depending on how you structure your time. Find the best times to work in your area so you can make the most money per hour and maximize your opportunity.
How much can someone increase their earning potential with Uber Eats?
Making the most with Uber Eats means finding the best driving times, providing great customer service, and working during surges or boosts. In addition, watch for promotions or quests, which are opportunities to make even more money by meeting the challenge, such as doing a certain number of deliveries in a specified period.
Key Takeaways: The Best Times to Do Uber Eats
The best times to do Uber Eats vary by location, but knowing the busiest times in your area is important. Focus on the lunch and dinner rushes, or take advantage of the late-night bar rush if you’re a night owl.
Know the events in your area, and find the busiest spots for businesses at lunchtime. Don’t work during the non-peak hours because it will be a waste of your time. Instead, save time and energy for those rushes when you can make much more money per hour and enjoy your earnings.