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Don’t Be Too Quick On That Acceptance Button With Your UberEats, GrubHub, Or Doordash Driver App

Updated: Apr 12

GrubHub order screenshot
GrubHub Offer. D-driver, R-restaurant, C-customer. Note the miles and order number highlighted

If you're running two apps at the same time (and you should) then you might want to be cautious about "premature" acceptances or preemies, as I call them.

Now, you may say that preemies is a term used to describe babies born too early and you would be right, but you would also see my point.

Let's assume you're running both the Uber and Doordash driver app. You have a tendency to be, by turns, both greedy and overtly cautious. Kinda like the old devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other. Balance is key. I say be cautiously greedy!

To be able to run two apps at the same time you must first be able to run one efficiently. The driver MUST know the area they're working - intimately. Time is the next consideration and knowing the area well is essential to getting the time right.

Remember, the apps are tracking you and the customers are too (when tracking works). Take the example here. Note where I am (D), the restaurant is (R), and the customer is (C). Note also the asterisk and line highlighted in yellow.

Note also that while this is a screenshot of a GrubHub order, all the apps do the same nonsensical thing and leave out the customers address until the order is accepted (or in the case of Uber, even more ridiculously so, until after the order is confirmed picked up).

My point being, I obviously know where I am (D). I know where this restaurant (R) is. The joker in the deck is, I'm not at all sure where this customer (C) is until I tap the Accept button. I have all the general info I need to accept or reject this offer including the direction the order is traveling in. With the miles added, I have enough information to help me make an acceptance decision.

Note also the order number next to the yellow asterisk. There is only one order in this offer. That's two stops, a pick-up and drop off. If it were two pick-ups that would be four stops (or in the case of two orders picked up at the same restaurant, three stops). The mileage may stay near the same but the time to complete the four stops would increase as the chances double for something going wrong (e.g., wrong customer address, dog issue, restaurant issue, road construction, wrecks, etc.)

Just like an infomercial, "But Wait, There's More!" If you're doing an Uber order you can't see the second drop-off location until you've completed the first drop-off. The apps don't make it easy for you to work them both at the same time but the gig companies aren't stupid and they realize they share drivers, so if you are efficient and know the area you're working, you can do it.

Always be "miles aware."

That is, know how long it takes to get to your destination, what traffic is like on the route (all traffic areas are not created equal!). On average, surface streets take about two minutes to go a mile. Interstate or expressway it takes about a minute per mile. These numbers increase to about 3.5 minutes a mile on surface streets to who knows what on interstates during busy traffic times.

Remember, I highly discourage Interstate driving because of the limitation of "outs" on routes. On surface streets you have a plethora of bypasses and cut-throughs. Should something go wrong you can keep moving. Interstates, you're trapped.

Having said all that, there's this... Given that you follow all I just said and you know your area, and the behavior of your restaurants (how fast they prepare food) you are prepared to make acceptance decisions and increase your income.

Ubereats screenshot
Note the red, blue, and yellow boxes

Behold the UberEats order offer here. In the blue box you will note the number of orders. In the yellow box you will note the restaurant and one destination of the two deliveries. In the red box you will see me (the arrow) and the current destination (house). As I am currently on a separate delivery. This is all the info I have been given for this offer to make an acceptance decision.

Can you tell why I declined this offer? Several reasons, the mileage is the first, the drop-off is the second, the biggest though, is the unknown.

I know where that restaurant is (know your area). It is 100 yards from this drop-off. I know where the streets are at the destination (know your area) and they are about 13 miles away from the restaurant.

The unknown is what is the other pick-up and drop-off that is going to lead to another 40 miles?! Big No on this one.

Leaving two apps open is great for short deliveries of less than five miles as those are typically lower offers but because the pick-ups and drop-offs are so short there are less traffic issues to deal with and the restaurants are bunched together. You can be in the middle of one offer and accept another. Remember the minute per mile average and calculate accordingly.

Before you even make it to your first offer or while you are finishing up that offer you may get another offer from the same vendor. Beware of this as it will possibly be a low ball offer, and if you accept it you may lose out on a better offer from the other vendors app. My rule is if the add-on offer is 8 or more dollars and it's only up to 4 miles additional then I will take it. If it's $5 for another 2 miles or less I will take it. It may seem random but my experience has told me this is the way.

This may sound confusing but after some time you will pick it up with ease. Some mistakes will be made but remember that mistakes make for the best lessons. Pro tip, I use one earbud to keep track of pings because one app may dominate your notifications and you won't see the offers from the other app but you will hear it!

I hope this helps you increase your money and cut down on your gas. As always I wish you Happy Trails!

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