Uber Eats Driver Gets a Rush from Big Exciting Tips. He Takes ‘High-Value Orders’ & Receiving the Tips Feels ‘Like Gambling’

Zack Love
4 min readApr 22

A 56-year-old Uber Eats driver in California focuses on “high-value orders” that he hopes will tip more, such as orders coming from Beverly Hills or Pacific Palisades.

credit: Victor Avdeev on Unsplash

An Uber Eats driver in California lives by a simple motto: “Go big, or don’t bother at all.”

The New York Times reported what it is like for Brantley Bush, a 56-year-old Uber Eats driver that gets a rush from high-paying orders. Brantley moved to Los Angeles in 1991 from Mobile, Alabama as an actor and has followed a similar path of other “struggling actors” trying to make ends meet while between acting gigs. He waited tables and has done catering gigs, but he wanted the flexibility to take acting classes and go to auditions. To fill the income gaps, he ended up delivering food for Uber Eats.

Bush Seeks Out the ‘High-Value Orders’

Some orders pay good tips, while others do not. This is the life of an app-based delivery driver.

Bush tries to carefully select “high-value orders” that will get him big tips. He focuses on prime establishments that are frequented by celebrities, and sometimes they pay handsomely. Do they always pay big? No, but some do.

He prefers to wait for orders in a Pacific Palisades neighborhood in Santa Monica. This is his Batcave, waiting on the right order, to launch his Batmobile into action, which happens to be a 2000 Subaru. Close enough.

How Tipping Works in DoorDash or Uber Eats

In DoorDash and Uber Eats, a customer adds a tip in advance of receiving their order, and the delivery driver cannot see how much of a tip they received until after dropping off the food. These companies “only pay drivers a few dollars per trip, so most workers’ income comes from tips.” (Source: The New York Times)

Three Orders Taken on a Saturday Night & What Customers Tipped

On one Saturday night, this is what his night looked like for earnings.

Zack Love

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