Since Uber Eats launched in Australia in 2016, the platform has grown to support over 30,000 restaurants and provide work for tens of thousands of people looking for flexible, accessible work. 

We recently asked advisory firm Accenture to take a deep look at the experience of delivery people currently earning on the Uber Eats platform. This report, ‘Making Delivery Work for Everyone, for the first time combines Uber Eats’ administrative data in Australia with demographic surveys to better understand the motivations, experiences, and earnings of delivery people using the Uber Eats App. 

It found that Uber Eats provided access to work for many who would otherwise struggle to work, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 60% of respondents reporting they found it difficult to access traditional employment which comes with barriers such as resumes, interviews and prior experience requirements. 

In addition, delivery people reported that flexibility was a key attraction of working on Uber Eats (90%) and 4 in 5 are satisfied with their experience. 

The study also assessed data on approximately 6.9 million deliveries made in Sydney between August and December 2020, involving 9,389 delivery people working on the Uber Eats app. This data showed that average earnings through the Uber Eats app are $21.55 per hour after costs during meal times. 

There are very few jobs that offer the kind of flexibility you get with Uber Eats, or allow you to start earning as quickly, and these findings show how valuable those benefits are to many accessing on-demand work. 

Other key findings from  ‘Making Delivery Work for Everyone’ include: 

  • Uber Eats is widely used for supplementary income: 79% of delivery people work an average of 30 hours or less per week. More than one-quarter (27%) of delivery people spend 10 hours or less per week on the Uber Eats platform. 
  • 63% indicated that they joined Uber Eats to earn another source of income. However, during COVID-19, 57% of respondents said that income from Uber Eats was essential for them.
  • This flexibility offered by the Uber Eats platform has allowed 4 in 5 delivery people (79%) to work another job in addition to Uber Eats, and 34% to engage in studies while working on the app. 
  • Average earnings for delivery people in Sydney was $21.55 an hour after costs during mealtimes. This varies by the vehicle used for delivery with after cost earnings coming to $21.92 for bicycles and e-bikes, $21.97 for those who deliver on a motorcycle and $20.74 for those who deliver with a car. This includes all online time over the hour, which includes time between deliveries, and does not account for any additional income earned via other delivery apps during the hour.  
  • Australians are spending 210% more on food delivery today vs before COVID-19, even as in-venue dining returns to pre pandemic levels, highlighting the economic value on-demand food delivery provides to the restaurant industry both in surviving COVID and into the future. 

While the report shows delivery people value the flexibility and ease of access of on-demand work, it also makes recommendations to further improve the quality and support available. These include providing protection to all delivery people while on the job, creating channels for continuous feedback and accountability to improve platform work, and facilitating innovation in pooled or proportional benefits for all platform workers.

I’m glad to say Uber Eats recently announced a new package of measures to help support delivery safety. We also led the way in providing specialised insurance which covers certain accidents and injuries, as well as income support, should something go wrong while a delivery person is on a trip. This insurance is delivered at no additional cost to people using our platform to earn, and we have recommended to governments that insurance be made a minimum requirement for all on-demand platforms. 

We’ve also recently committed to launching permanent Uber Eats Delivery Advisory Forums, so we can find ways to improve the Uber Eats experience while maintaining the flexibility and ease of access that is so clearly valued by those who earn with the platform. 

We want to work with governments to build a better, stronger safety net for independent workers that preserves the flexibility and autonomy they value and look forward to discussing this report’s proposals with stakeholders and those who work in the on-demand sector.