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Driver Makes $100k a Year Driving 84 Hours a Week on UberEats

Uber Eats driver earned $8K in one month and filmed it all for TikTok.

Credit: CNBC

In 2020, several jobs have been interrupted by the pandemic. With such, businesses like restaurants have been limited to offering takeout or delivery only. Prior to this, many people have looked at working for food delivery services as a side hustle; however, prompted by the circumstances, one Sam Lyon decided to try it full time.

Lyon, 26, has recently gone viral on TikTok after recording his progress towards reaching $100k in a year while working for UberEats. 

Prior to TikTok, Lyon owned his own online business. However, after the pandemic killed off his enterprise and caused a hiring freeze, Lyon sought alternatives. 

Lyon created what he called the “Uber Eats Challenge.” His goal: to make as much money as possible while working for UberEats. During the whole month of June, Lyon recorded and shared his experience on TikTok.

The Challenge

UberEats allows drivers to be online for a maximum of 12 hours. As such, Lyon worked 12 hour days, 7 days a week, for 30 days. According to CNBC, Lyon would work from 10 am to11 pm, with a one-hour lunch break in between. 


pt 1. of my Uber eats challenge #foryou

♬ Buttercup – Jack Stauber

According to Lyon, his goal was to reach $8,000 in a month. At this track, he hoped to reach about $96,000 by the course of a year. For comparison, someone who works a typical five-day work-week would average $72,530, sharing a difference of about $23,470. 

As reported by Vice, Lyon’s expenses included “gas ($599), mileage (4,844 miles), an oil change ($49), a phone holder ($5), and taxes (30 percent or ~$2,961).” In the end, Lyon’s post-tax income estimated to a total of $5,396, with another $653 in expenses. 

Lyon grossed $8,357 in 29 days. However, rather than resting on his thirtieth day, Lyon dedicated his final day to fundraise for the Save the Children Foundation. In total, he donated $720 in tips and earnings.


DAY 30 uber eats challenge. We did it. #fyp #foryou

♬ Buttercup – Jack Stauber


Credit: Karolina Grabowska/

As entertaining and tempting as Lyon’s challenge may appear, writers like Vice’s Edward Ongweso Jr. make it important to not recommend Lyon’s actions.

In his article, Ongweso Jr. explains, “in most states, other types of commercial drivers are prohibited from driving more than 10-11 hours a day or 60 hours a week.” Working over 11 hours can result in driver fatigue, which by consequence can prompt an increase in fatal car crashes. 

Moreover, studies have showcased that “driving full-time for ride-hail companies [provides] a serious toll on a driver’s health and mental well being.” With such information, one can explain how poor working conditions have led to a string of app-based driver suicides in places like New York City. 

More surprisingly, Ongweso Jr. calls out the mistakes in Lyon’s calculations. In Lyons own TikTok breakdown, he accredits a third of his income ($2,988) from tips, meaning Uber only paid him $5,369.

Long story short, after considering the IRS’s vehicle operating costs, and a 30% extract by income taxes, Lyon was only actually left with $3,360 as his month’s earnings. Knowing this, working for UberEats 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, proved to only profit up to $40,320 a year, about $60,000 less than the expected $100k. 

The Ugly Truth

With such kinds of information, Ongweso Jr. hopes to encourage both consumers as well as employees to be critical of the recent propaganda gig companies like Uber and Lyft have been releasing. 

As large corporations, Uber and Lyft have revealed to sharing unethical preferences. As Ongweso Jr. states, such companies “have now spent $181 million on Yes on Prop 22, a campaign supporting a ballot measure that would exempt them from following California’s labor laws.”

Moreover, in light of #BlackLivesMatter, Uber execs have also proven to implement characteristics akin to systemic racism. Examples include Uber paying subminimum wages to its Black and Brown employees, to hiking up its prices for trips in non-white neighborhoods. 

uber lyft
Credit: Thought Catalog/

In the difficult conditions that abound the state of the world, wanting to ride along Lyon’s UberEats challenge may be tempting. However, as Ongweso Jr. implies, it is best to hit the breaks and instead critically reconsider such a task.

Read More: How Darknet Dealers Are Taking Advantage of the Covid-19 Pandemic

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