Updated: Jan 20
Let’s get this out there right now...
I’m a terrible employee.
I hate schedules. I want to come and go as I please. I want to work, and lay out of work - at my convenience. I want to be at my beck and call. I don’t want to talk to anyone unless I want to talk to them. I want to accept or decline what jobs I want to take. If I want to binge on the latest Paramount or Netflix show for three days and lay out of work then that’s what I want to do. Sound familiar? If it does, you may have a ;little entrepreneurial blood trickling through your veins.
Or…you could just be lazy AF.
UberEats gets that.
Now before you start thinking this is a puff piece for Uber…it’s not. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m critical of all the gigs. At times I've been especially harsh on Uber and at times I’ve been equally or more so on the other gigs in this space.
THE NEW DOMINOS
When I say Uber gets that, I mean they get what a gig worker wants in the process of delivery. And they get it better than the other gigs do. Each has their own way of doing things. The UberEats platform borrows from Uber Taxi to do its bidding. It’s almost like someone actually designed the app with delivery drivers in mind. Crazy, right?
It’s simple. It gives the information needed, and it’s straight forward. In fact, I often refer to it as the Dominos of the gigs because it knows the job here is delivery. Uber realizes their product is delivery. Uber finally realized what Dominos has known for decades. There’s no shortcut via robots, drones, or self-driving whateves to get from the restaurant to the customers door. In fact, Domino’s knew their greatest product was their service. They covet it so much, they refuse to allow anyone but them to deliver their product.
The others tend to act like delivering the product is tertiary, right behind verifying you're at the right address and facing east - while standing on one leg. The other apps are so anal and distrusting of drivers that it almost takes an act of congress to deliver a burger. That said, Uber is the best model I’ve found since Dominos. Allow me to elaborate...
FLUFF IS GOOD FOR MARSHMALLOWS,
It's a no frills app. It has its own GPS and doesn’t rely on Google Maps or any third party system for the basics. Uber is driven to improve its delivery process. They’re trying to work on what they do, without adding a bunch of fluff and unnecessaries. They're always thinking about the fastest way to get the food to the customer. I appreciate that because I am too. Why? Because I, like Uber, know that’s my first priority. Faster deliveries mean more deliveries, means more money.
Let’s be real. Uber isn’t making the food. They have no recipes. They don’t own the vehicles. They don’t have fleets of magic carpets. They don't even have drivers! They are aggregators. They deliver the food of the restaurants they amass using borrowed help and they know that's their bread and butter.
I’m not saying Uber is perfect. Far from it. But in its space, for what it does, it is best in class. This is still a young industry, sans traditional delivery models like pizza and Chinese. There's lots of room to grow and mature.
Ubers founder, Travis Kalanick, couldn't have given two four-letter "brown words" about drivers money while he was around. In fact, he not only lobbied against adding tips, he refused to consider it. But Uber has shifted gears. The autocratic Kalanickian ethos that made the public cringe and investors unhinged is in the rearview mirror now. The Uber engine has been set to overdrive, revving up the company, while steering it toward profitability and away from controversial money-losing egocentric bias.
Has Uber ‘"arrived”? No.
Are they on their way? Yes.
If you’re an UberEats driver now, you can actually make money. In the bad ol’ days…not so much. Uber now utilizes a routing system that collects and routes deliveries to combine the stiffs with tips. Drivers take batched orders that allow them to make money. Uber also gets to spin off the least desirable runs at the same time in this system. Think sub-prime lending housing market 2008...something like that and OPA! Happy Meals all around!
I’m not suggesting any driver run with UberEats exclusively. I would never tell a driver to run with one app, ever! In fact, while I’m telling you that UberEats is the best app, I don’t recommend it as a primary driver app. I'm saying to get it and run it in the background as a backup to your primary app.
UberEats will keep you busy with a lot of offers. Many will be around the five dollar range. These short runs are stopgaps while waiting for bigger ticket orders from your primary delivery app. You will also have your standouts that will be Money.
Remember when I told you that Uber knows its function is delivery? This is where Uber shines. Uber fires restaurants. Yes, it de-platforms chronically underperforming restaurants, like it does drivers. Churn is deeply imbedded in Ubers culture. It enables them to be so efficient. You may say this way of doing business is cold and inhumane but I understand the need to rule by fiat.
Uber not only expects, it demands orders be ready - via prior agreement with the restaurant. This motivates restaurants to be more time aware to Ubers needs. Restaurants know Uber ain't playin. What does this mean for you?
Drivers can slide in on UberEats and pick-up one of these runs, go three miles and make a quick five bucks, while waiting for Door Dash or GrubHub to kick in. This is all because Ubers orders are prioritized. The've made sure of that. And if you're driving for Uber, you are the direct beneficiary of it.
This is where you can add some money while you’re waiting on pings. I would find it more odd than not to turn on my Uber app and not get pinged right out of the gate. I run UberEats and GrubHub and I get more offers from Uber at about 8:1 ratio!
TRANSPARENCY IS THE NEW BLACK
Ubers app also has a real-time feature that pinpoints your location and shows full mileage of the entire run, from ping-point to drop-off. It displays it for you, with the payout, on the offer screen.
For those of you old school drivers who abandoned the app for lack of transparency or tips, those days are over. Uber found its trip transparency and lack of in-app tips to be wanting and moved to fix it.
Uber is famous for the plug and play feature on its app. There’s no schedule, there’s no defined area or zone that a driver must stay in to get offers. Hit “GO” on the app and youre on your way. It also continues to offer the instant pay feature it pioneered.
Trip transparency, smart routing, and tip enabling took Uber from yellow flag to green, and keeps it in the race for top gig. The Kalanick damage now behind them, Uber is still smarting from his skid marks. New leadership has replaced old, staid thinking. It's given this also-ran new life and energy that seemed impossible a few short years ago. Will it continue to improve or slink back to the autocratic version of its worst self?
For now, it seems to have overwritten some ill advised code, rebuilt the engine and thrown out the unnecessary parts that made it clunky and slow. Will it perform like a Landcruiser or a Jeep? If you own a Jeep, you know why the vital answer to that question is not a Jeep.
I know this looks like a glowing review of UberEats. It isn't. I'm telling you the good things about the app and the company. That's what this post is about. There are plenty of things to be critical of with all the gigs and you can be sure I will cover them all.
Here is a link to try UberEats out...