In terms of gig economy apps you can use to make money, Uber Eats is definitely one of the most popular options around.
After all, Uber Eats is available in over 6,000 cities and 40+ countries, so it’s incredibly accessible if you want to make extra cash in your spare time.
Plus, Uber Eats lets you deliver via bike, scooter, or car, so there’s plenty of options for couriers.
But, why do some Uber Eats couriers make great money, while others can barely scrape minimum wage and end up quitting?
Well, a lot of this has to do with finding the best times to drive for Uber Eats in your city.
This is because delivering during Uber Eats peak times helps you get more orders, higher-pay, and even more tips.
So, if you’re currently driving for Uber Eats or are thinking about starting this side hustle idea, it’s time to break down the best times to Uber Eats to help you make more money.
Let’s get to it.
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The Best Times To Do Uber Eats
The best times to do Uber Eats are generally around lunch and dinner. This is because these periods are when customers are most likely to order food, so the app is busy and the potential for peak pay and tips is higher.
Uber actually has a list of suggestions for the best delivery times. According to its website, the best times to deliver for Uber Eats include:
- Lunch: 11am to 2pm
- Dinner: 5pm to 9:30pm
The company also states: “You’re likely to receive more delivery requests in locations that have more Uber Eats restaurants, typically in downtown areas. Busy areas may also be marked with higher Boost multiples when you log into your driver app.”
This is largely common sense. After all, people usually skip breakfast, cook it themselves, or pick up something on their way to work.
In contrast, lunch and dinner are when people get lazy and want to order food for delivery.
Best Hours For Uber Eats According To Drivers
Alright, so Uber Eats gives some advice for when you should deliver, but what do real drivers say?
Well, when I interviewed my friend about his deliver experience in my post on DoorDash vs Uber Eats, he had some slightly different suggestions.
According to my friend, the best time to do Uber Eats is from 5pm to midnight on any given day.
My friend states this is when you get dinner orders plus late-night snack and post-bar delivery requests. There can also be less competition with other drivers the later you stay out.
My friend also states that Friday and the weekend are the best days for doing Uber Eats because you get a lot of steady orders.
With this schedule, my friend earns anywhere from $15 to $20+ per hour:
So, this is my friend’s suggestion. For context, he delivers via bike in Toronto.
What do other couriers have to say regarding the best times for delivering with Uber Eats?
Well, if we look at what some couriers are saying on Reddit, advice seems to reflect what Uber states:
Finally, this video from YouTube channel The Rideshare Guy also covers some of the best times to do Uber Eats:
In this video, Elijah explains that the best days to do Uber Eats are Friday and the weekend since demand is very steady for orders.
Elijah also says there are four times every day that are best for delivering:
- The late-night bar rush
So, in a nutshell, here’s what these couriers suggest for the best hours for Uber Eats:
- Week Days: 10:30am to 3pm for lunch, then a break, and then 6pm to 10pm for the dinner rush and late-night orders
- Weekends: Basically 9am to 9pm or even later, since deliveries should be fairly steady throughout the weekend.
The main strategy to note is that, if you’re driving all day and need to take a break, try to take a later lunch break around 3pm to 4pm since this is when there’s a lul in deliveries.
However, I think it’s still important to test what works in your market so you can learn if there are any quirks that make certain hours better.
And, as this one driver suggests, you can still test out the mornings and also switch to driving for regular Uber instead of Uber Eats if things get really slow:
Ultimately, I think the general rule of thumb is that Uber Eat peak hours are what you should aim for, which means lunch and dinner rushes.
But don’t be afraid to stay out later like my friend does…this is when you can score some decent late-night orders!
Extra Reading – 25+ Driving Apps That Pay You.
The Best Days To Deliver For Uber Eats
The best days to deliver for Uber Eats are later in the week and on the weekends since this is when order volume is highest. These days include:
- Thursday and Friday: This is when people are getting tired from the work week and might give up on cooking, thereby increasing order demand
- Weekends: Weekends are always busy for food delivery apps.
In contrast, it might be best to avoid Monday and Tuesday if you want a break from delivery work since these days are often slower:
However, one interesting tip that Uber actually suggests is that you can get more orders on days it rains or snow.
This makes sense since inclement weather makes people want to stay in and avoid driving, so they order more food.
Just be sure to be careful on the roads if it’s slippery/frozen!
Another thing to keep in mind is that holidays, long weekends, and events can make certain days better for working for Uber Eats.
Some specific days to keep in mind include:
- Long Weekends: This basically turns friday into an extra weekend delivery day
- Events: Things like conferences, concerts, late-night bar events, and other gatherings can create a busy delivery zone
- Sports: Like events, delivering during sporting games on Sunday or major events like the Superbowl can help increase your pay
- Holidays: Look for busy ordering periods like New Year’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and other holidays.
So, all in all, I think Uber Eats busy times can fluctuate depending on weather and special events.
But, as a general rule of thumb, prioritize weekends and Thursday and Friday and skip Monday and Tuesday if you need a break.
Overall, the best days to deliver for Uber Eats are similar to the best times to do DoorDash and best Instacart times, so use some common sense and your judgement!
Extra Reading – The Best Ways To Make $3,000 Fast.
Uber Eats Peak Hours – What They Are & Why They Matter
When you drive for Uber Eats, you can work anytime you want, just by opening the app and going online.
This is different from driving for DoorDash, where you can actually schedule shifts and sometimes can’t even work in a zone if there are too many other couriers.
That being said, one factor that influences the best times to do Uber Eats is working during peak hours.
This is because Uber Eats can actually pay drivers a bonus on every order they complete for delivering during busy periods, known as peak pay:
So, as a rule of thumb, looking for opportunities to earn peak pay is generally worth it, so check the Uber Eats app regularly to see what orders are like for a particular day.
This is one of the most important tips for Uber Eats drivers since it can seriously boost your income.
Other Tips For Uber Eats Drivers
I wanted to wrap up this post on the best times to drive for Uber Eats with a few more tips for couriers to help increase earnings (and safety).
- Be Safe At Night. My friend likes to deliver late, but you need to be safe, especially if you’re a bike courier. For starters, wear reflective bands if you’re a bike courier. You can find reflective bands or vests on Amazon starting at around $15, but the safety is worth the price. Additionally, use common sense and don’t deliver in sketchy parts of town when it’s very late.
- Take Smart Breaks. If you’re delivering all day, you should take a break. But time your breaks during lulls in deliveries, like 3pm to 4pm. Alternatively, have a later break and try to dodge some rush hour traffic from 5pm to 5:30pm before hitting the dinner rush.
- Switch Up Apps. If Uber Eats is being slow, check out other apps, like making money with Instacart or Amazon Flex, to see if you have more luck.
- Wait Near Busy Areas: This is an obvious tip, but wait near more restaurants so you increase the chances of getting order requests, especially if it’s a slow day.
By working at Uber Eats peak times and using some common sense, I think you can boost your Uber Eats earnings and make life easier as a courier.
Extra Reading – Is Instacart Worth It For Making Money?
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are The Slowest Days For Uber Eats?
Tuesday and Wednesday tend to be slow days for Uber Eats drivers. This is because people tend to reset their schedules during the week and get back on track with life, so there’s less order volume overall.
However, this can change if there’s bad weather since people are more likely to order in than eat out.
Is Uber Eats Busy In The Morning?
Uber Eats isn’t as busy in the morning as it is during lunch and dinner. This is the same for most food delivery apps, and the fact is that many people skip breakfast or make breakfast themselves at home. However, Saturday and Sunday are busier Uber Eats times for breakfast delivery since orders are more consistent throughout the day.
What Are Some Good Uber Eats Alternatives?
If you drive at busy Uber Eats times, I think it’s a great way to make quick money and can be quite reliable.
However, there are plenty of other side gigs like Uber Eats you can use to boost your earnings, including:
- DoorDash: The leading food delivery gig that lets you deliver via bike, car, or scooter.
- Instacart: One of the best ways to get paid to shop for people’s groceries.
- Shipt: Another leading grocery delivery job like Instacart.
- Grubhub: A very popular food delivery gig like Uber Eats and Instacart.
- ParaWorks: This new gig app lets you deliver packages for money and earn around $25 per hour.
Ultimately, these are some of the highest paying apps in the delivery space. And you can lean on them if Uber Eats is slow and you want to get as many orders as possible.
Extra Reading – The Best Apps That Pay Real Money Instantly.
Well, there you have it: those are the best times to do Uber Eats according to the company itself and real couriers.
I think the main takeaway is to use common sense and to also test a few different times in your market.
Just remember to track your earnings, fuel expenses, and work to learn the areas of your city that are best for delivering.
You can also try out other food delivery gigs like DoorDash and Instacart to ensure you’re getting as many orders per hour as possible!
If you know the busiest Uber Eats times in your city, also leave a comment to help other couriers make more money!
I’ll catch you guys in the next one!
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Tom is a full-time blogger and freelance writer with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and the gig economy. His work has appeared on dozens of personal finance websites like Money Crashers, The College Investor, Investor Junkie, and more. This Online World is all about providing people with honest ways to make and save more money by using technology. To learn more about Tom, read his About Page!
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