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Choosing which service to use for a new driver looking to make some extra money doing a side gig can be somewhat overwhelming, especially if regular tipping is part of the earnings. Choosing one service over another may be entirely dependent on how the service handles tipping in addition to the driver’s portion of the payment in a specific area. This may also change on a daily basis depending on whether the service uses surge pricing at certain times or days. Let’s take a look at some of the potential services that an independent driver can work for, as well as how tipping works.
The four services listed below all perform various on-demand tasks for clients, ranging from providing rides to delivering food and packages.
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Uber, probably the most well-known name in the gig economy, was a forerunner of the business model that relies on contract workers with their own vehicles to conduct business. Uber began as a carpooling service, in which drivers with their own vehicles were matched with those in need of a ride via an app. Clients can pay and tip directly through the app, and both drivers and passengers are rated by each other to ensure safety and repeat business. Drivers for the service can expect to be paid between $12 and $15 per hour. Tipping is entirely up to the passenger and is not automatically included in the final price of Uber. However, it is important to note that the driver never sees whether a passenger has tipped or not, in order to avoid retaliating against a passenger who did not tip. The entire tip is given to the driver by Uber.
Lyft, like its competitor Uber, is a ride-sharing service, primarily a carpooling application, in which drivers with their own vehicles are matched to potential passengers via the application, which also handles payment. On average, Lyft drivers earn between $14 and $17 per hour. Lyft also does not include tips in the final price because tipping is entirely up to the passenger. If a passenger wishes to tip a Lyft driver, they can do so after the ride, through the app, or in cash. With Lyft, all tips go directly to the driver. Uber vs Lyft tipping is very similar.
Uber was only a few years old when it became clear that the demand for services such as food delivery could be a similarly profitable opportunity for the company. Uber Eats was a natural progression for Uber, as many of its drivers were already employed by competitors, such as DoorDash. Uber’s food delivery service is not as profitable as its rideshare services, with drivers earning an average of $12–$14 per hour. Clients can add tips during or after the order is completed, just like with Uber X, and workers will never know if a client has tipped or not. Uber Eats tips are typically lower than Uber X tips because most passengers tip based on miles driven, and Uber Eats deliveries are typically shorter than Uber X ride-shares.
DoorDash was also one of the first companies to enter the gig economy, focusing solely on food delivery. DoorDash began as a service that only delivered takeout orders from restaurants to customers. DoorDash drivers earn roughly the same as Uber Eats drivers, ranging from $12 to $15 per hour. Like Uber Eats, the base pay on DoorDash is typically calculated based on the number of miles driven in the delivery versus the time. The price that the driver sees usually includes a tip, but clients can also add a tip after the delivery. Nonetheless, industry studies show that DoorDash drivers earn less than Uber drivers in general. Gratuities are not required on DoorDash, but the company recommends leaving a tip before checking out in the app to give a driver an incentive to accept the order.
As we can see, working in the gig economy provides many different types of delivery opportunities for new drivers just starting out. There is usually enough work between several different services on a given day for some to make an actual career out of it, whether it is ferrying passengers or delivering food and packages. The tipping process for these services is simple, but when all is said and done, the driver’s courtesy and efficiency will determine how much of a tip they receive.
Can someone under the age of 18 apply to work as a delivery person if they deliver by bicycle?
No, almost every gig company, including the four we’ve talked about here, has a minimum age of 18, plus other requirements.
Is it necessary for a driver to bring their own food bag when delivering food?
Food delivery drivers must have both a hot and a cold bag for their deliveries. All of these food delivery services provide food bags to their drivers for an additional fee, though many drivers complain that these bags are usually too small and recommend getting a better one from Amazon.
How safe is it to work for these organizations?
When it comes to ferrying passengers, there is always some risk involved when allowing strangers into your vehicle. Although Uber and Lyft claim that 90 to 95 percent of rides go smoothly, there have been reports of drivers being assaulted by passengers and vice versa. While there have been some incidents involving food delivery drivers, they are far fewer than those involving drivers transporting passengers.
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