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It’s Friday night, and after a long day of work, walking the dog, and tidying up the house, cooking dinner feels like an impossible task.
I settle in on the couch, and in no time, I have my go-to order on Uber Eats cued up and ready to go.
After reviewing my order, I pause.
In the end, I decided to go for it.
I’m a priority, aren’t I?
And the sooner my food gets here, the sooner I can curl up on the couch, rewatch The Office, and unwind.
Then I look at my receipt.
Somehow, I missed that my favorite restaurant has a $5 Uber delivery fee, and there is an additional Uber Eats service fee on top of that.
What should have been a meal under $35 has now bumped up to $42 – not including the tip.
I feel a little duped – how did I not see the extra Uber Eats fees?
If this sounds familiar, then fear not – we’ve reviewed the different types of fees you’ll encounter while using Uber Eats so you know what to anticipate.
With this information in mind, you can save money when you need your midnight comfort food or a quick dinner for the family.
Table Of Contents
As food prices are gradually increasing worldwide and food delivery services become more and more popular, it can be easy to spend a ton of money on ordering a meal without realizing it.
To help you understand the inner workings of Uber Eats, we’ve reviewed why the service has become more expensive and how the app interacts with restaurants.
You can make your next order confident that you know where your money is going and that you’re getting the best deal.
The COVID-19 pandemic changed a lot of things in our everyday lives.
From mask mandates to closed indoor dining to your tiny ‘commute’ to the at-home work set up in your living room.
The pandemic also changed the price of food delivery services like Uber Eats – and not for the better.
It isn’t the cost of delivery that has increased the dollar amount on your receipt since many cities have set a cap limit on how much delivery apps can charge restaurants.
The price bump lies in the new service fee users get charged for every order they make.
All the Uber Eats fees charged – delivery, service, small order, and so on – start to add up, making meals on-demand a little harder to stomach.
Although a decent chunk of what you pay does, in fact, go to Uber, it’s important to remember that you’re also paying your delivery driver.
This means you’re paying for the time and risk they take to get you your food as well as the restaurant, which has helped keep many afloat during the global pandemic.
Supporting local restaurants has never been more critical or more accessible than it is today.
Uber Eats charges restaurants a 30% commission on every single order.
Rather than adding additional charges to users, who are already paying the aforementioned delivery and service fees, Uber Eats has shifted some of the financial burden created by the food delivery industry to the restaurants that make the entire enterprise possible.
For many restaurants, this presents a bit of a crisis. 30% is a lot to fork over, especially for smaller ma and pop places with a loyal but small customer base.
However, Uber Eats connects new customers to lesser-known restaurants like this, which brings in more revenue than usual.
To support their partnership with Uber Eats, some restaurants charge a small premium for delivering their food through the service.
While the cost of your favorite burger might be $7 at the restaurant, it increases to $9.50 on the app.
The demand for a quick and tasty meal comes at a bit of a cost, but as I mentioned before, the premium can mean the difference between getting your favorite butter chicken from across town or seeing the restaurant shut its doors for good.
Getting your food delivered with Uber Eats is as easy as ordering an Uber.
Just open the app, select your food and pay with a couple of taps using the debit card, credit card or other payment method on file (no need to give your credit card info over the phone).
But speaking of payment, how much does using this magical food delivery app cost?
The Uber delivery fee breaks down into five components, which we’ll break down below.
There are numerous Uber Eats fees you might encounter while ordering on the app.
We’ve reviewed each one so you can better understand where your money is going when you call for delivery.
This is the most basic cost involved in every Uber Eats order.
You can view the prices of each item within the app, as well as any charges for substitutions.
Note that, according to the Uber Eats website, you may see a higher price in the app menu than in the physical restaurant:
“Each restaurant decides how much they want to charge for their food. Restaurant prices and offers may vary from what you see when you visit the restaurant in person.”
From time to time, restaurants may run specials within the app, allowing you to save on your order.
They say that nothing is certain except death and taxes, and Uber Eats is no exception to taxes.
You’ll pay the applicable taxes for your area.
This generally includes sales tax, as well as any other taxes levied on courier services.
You’ll see the taxes as a separate line item when you go to pay for your order.
There are three standard fees you can expect to encounter for most orders through Uber Eats.
The booking fee is where you pay for the convenience of having food delivered to your door at the tap of a few buttons.
Like the Uber booking fee you pay when you use the regular Uber service, this fee goes to cover Uber Eats’ operational costs like Uber Eats driver pay.
There is no one answer to the question “How much is the booking fee?”
The amount of the fee varies based on your market, the distance between the restaurant pickup location and the delivery address and, ultimately, Uber’s discretion.
In general, you can expect the fee to be under $5, but the only surefire way to get a sense of the delivery fee is to use the app for yourself; there are simply too many markets and variables to quote specific delivery fee estimates.
In March 2021, Uber Eats introduced a service fee for Uber delivery orders, but the cost does not apply to merchants who deliver orders from their own restaurants.
The fee is 10% of the order value and requires a minimum of $1.
Because this fee is new, it tends to be the reason why many customers are surprised by the bottom line of their receipt.
The next time you feel like your meal price has increased out of nowhere, it could be helpful to check how much Uber Eats charged you a service fee first.
A small order fee is applied to any order that doesn’t reach a minimum requirement.
Small order fees differ from city to city.
The previous three costs are certain no matter when you place your order or where it comes from.
The next two costs, however, may or may not apply depending on your circumstances.
The first of these costs is the busy fee.
Where allowable by local law, Uber Eats will charge a busy fee when order demand exceeds available driver supply.
This additional fee is similar to the surge pricing that Uber charges when rider demand exceeds the number of drivers available — it’s a separate flat fee that varies based on demand.
As explained on the Uber Eats website, “Pricing is dynamic and is calculated by taking into account how many people want to use the service and how many delivery partners are on the road in a certain area.”
Since the busy fee is calculated using dynamic pricing, there’s no way to predict what it will be in advance.
And even within the same geographic area, it can vary from restaurant to restaurant (since some local restaurants are more popular than others).
That being said, busy times tend to be evenings and lunch time, as well as Friday and Saturday nights.
One way to avoid the busy fee is the schedule your order in advance.
This is because “scheduled meals are subject to these fees based on the fee amount at the time of the order, not the delivery time.”
If you know you’ll want delivery from a popular restaurant at a time when there’s typically high demand, schedule the delivery in advance from within the Uber Eats app at a time when demand is lower.
If you find yourself needing to update your delivery address, wanting to add to your order, or needing to cancel your order altogether , then you’ll likely encounter one of these fees.
We’ve all been there.
Five minutes after putting in your order, you need to add a side order of fries to balance out that cobb salad.
Fries are still a vegetable, after all!
So you head into the app and add your last-minute cravings while the restaurant is still preparing your order.
Delivery adjustment fees also apply to updated addresses.
If you’ve moved from one location to another and need your driver to drop off your food at the new location, then you’ll be charged a delivery adjustment fee to cover your courier’s extra time and effort.
Have you had a change of heart and need to cancel your order?
Uber Eats will charge you a cancellation fee to cover your driver’s time.
To protect drivers and their rights, some states have implemented state-specific fees.
California introduced the CA Driver Benefits Fee to fund benefits offered to drivers through Proposition 22, which includes a healthcare stipend, additional insurance coverage, minimum earnings guarantee, and others.
Customers who use Uber Eats often can subscribe to the Uber Eats pass and end up saving money over time.
Users who subscribe to the Uber Eats Pass pay only $9.99 a month and receive free delivery on all orders.
Users with the Pass also get 5% off eligible orders above $15.
The subscription can only be applied to participating restaurants, which are marked by a green ticket under the merchant’s name in the app.
If you like to order frequently, then you might want to consider an Uber Eats Pass.
The $9.99 will eventually pay for itself.
This fee isn’t required, but it is recommended and appreciated!
The final cost involved in an Uber Eats order is the tip.
Tipping is optional, but we encourage you to do it, especially if you received excellent customer service.
Restaurant delivery is long, hard and sometimes dangerous work (try biking through rush hour traffic and you’ll see what we mean).
What’s more, drivers are independent contractors who don’t receive a salary or benefits.
Therefore, Uber Eats gives you the option of leaving your delivery person a tip.
Even a couple dollars is appreciated — a bit of extra money can add up.
Uber Eats recommends adding a tip for your driver to show your appreciation.
Tips can be adjusted after your food has arrived in case you want to thank your driver for going the extra mile.
To show you how these fees are applied to a real order, I’ll walk you through my Friday night Uber Eats splurge.
My shameless go-to order is a pepperoni pizza from my city’s best pizza joint and a salad to get my daily serving of greens.
I add my cravings to my cart and head to the checkout.
Here’s how my receipt broke down the Uber Eats fees:
*You can choose to add priority delivery for $1.49, especially if you’re like me and you get a little bit hangry.
After reviewing my receipt, I could see where things started to add up.
I initially expected my bill to be around 32 bucks, but the price shot up with the added Uber Eats fees – delivery and service fees.
If you’re like me, you probably don’t want to be spending around $50 every time you have a craving or don’t have the time or energy to cook a meal.
You can certainly go without the additional priority delivery charge (patience is a virtue, isn’t it?), but being aware of how quickly Uber Eats’ small fees add up will save you from a headache later on.
Ordering from your favorite restaurant doesn’t have to break the bank.
Here are a few options Uber Eats users have to save some money.
The Uber Eats Pass costs users $9.99 a month and gives users $0 delivery on every order.
For orders that are $15 and up, users also get 5% off.
However, it’s important to remember that the Uber Eats Pass only applies to eligible restaurants.
You can tell which restaurants are eligible by the green ticket that appears beneath their name on the app.
It feels like every time I open the Uber Eats app, there’s a great promotion going on.
Sometimes the Uber Eats promo code gives you free delivery or offers for you to ‘Spend $15, Save $5’.
If you know you want to order a meal but you aren’t certain what you want, browsing today’s promos can help you find a great discount and your new favorite restaurant.
Let’s address some other common questions and special cases that can arise when dealing with Uber Eats pricing and payment.
Are Uber Eats Items Marked up from Restaurant Prices?
Some restaurants choose to increase the price of their items on Uber Eats to cover delivery costs.
The slight markup is intended to make up for the 30% commission Uber Eats takes from the restaurant for each order.
So, you’re still supporting your favorite restaurants by ordering this way.
What Percentage Does Uber Eats Take from Drivers?
The service fee Uber Eats charges its drivers depends on the method of transportation used.
Can I pay for an Uber Eats order with an Uber gift card?
Yes, you can.
You can use an Uber e-gift card or other gift card for both Uber fares and Uber Eats delivery, as long as you’re using the gift card within the country where you purchased it.
Note that you’ll need to have a secondary payment method associated with your account in case the gift card balance isn’t sufficient to cover the cost of the order (or any tips you choose to leave).
Can I use Uber credit to pay for Uber Eats orders?
No, Uber Rider and Uber Eats credits work separately, and you use separate apps for each.
You can only use Uber Rider credit to pay for Uber trips.
For Uber Eats orders, you’ll need to use Uber Eats credit or a different payment method.
However, you can use an Uber Eats gift card instead.
Is Uber Eats or DoorDash Cheaper?
Both Uber Eats and DoorDash have opportunities for users to save money.
Uber Eats is best known for its promotions, through which users can save money on delivery fees, get extra food for less money, or get a discount depending on which promos are available that day.
DoorDash, on the other hand, is cheaper for small orders.
DoorDash doesn’t charge a small order fee as Uber Eats, so if you know your order will be restricted to one or two items, DoorDash can help you save money.
What Is an Uber Eats Pending Charge?
A charge might show up on your Uber Eats account if you’ve recently added a new method of payment and the app is waiting for verification.
Is there a calculator to estimate Uber Eats delivery fees?
At the moment, no.
There is no calculator to estimate Uber Eats delivery fees outside of the Uber Eats app itself.
Does Lyft offer food delivery?
At the moment, no.
However, they are working on offering delivery options , but we’re not sure when those will actually be available.
You can save some extra cash when you want to order in just by being aware of the various fees Uber Eats has.
If you find yourself turning to Uber Eats several times a week, subscribing to the Uber Eats Pass is the best way to avoid excessive delivery and service fees.
Browsing Uber Eats’ promos is another great way to get more for less and might even introduce you to your new favorite restaurant.