Why Uber Eats estimated arrival keeps changing (and the Fix)

Why Uber Eats estimated arrival keeps changing (and the Fix)

If you’re someone that always has their eyes on the app after making an order, you may notice a lot of anomalies very common on Uber Eats, especially with the map.

90% of the time, these are usually bugs.

But what happens when you notice the arrival time of orders always changing? Or is this the norm on the app?

This article will take a look at this exclusively.

4 Reasons Uber Eats estimated arrival keeps changing (Finally)

Increasing estimated arrival time is quite on most food delivery companies like DoorDash, and now Uber Eats.

Basically, these companies do this to sort of adjust their initial estimation based on issues that may have risen on the way to bring your order.

But why would they choose to change the arrival time instead of just leaving it, so we, customers, can accurately tell how late they are?

Well, my guess is that they do this to avoid their late delivery policy from affecting them negatively.

So, what are the factors that prompt these companies to increase their delivery time?

1. Stacked Delivery

An untold problem of food delivery companies is to make deliveries more financially efficient.

This is the reason why Pizza and Chinese foods were the only types of food delivery service that existed back in the day. Drivers could easily stack them, and make faster deliveries.

And this can only be worst when companies want to be greedy.

One way Uber Eats have pushed to solve this “problem” is by implementing stacked deliveries more frequently.

This means, instead of a delivery driver picking up a single order, they’d be given multiple orders to deliver at a go.

The cons of this move are delayed delivery, cold food, and changes in delivery time.

This is also one of the reasons, why if you’re someone who consistently checks out your map during delivery, you may notice the driver going opposite your location (even when he should be delivering to you).


Unfortunately, there’s no fix to this, as it’s up to the company to decide to whether they’d stack your delivery with something else.

But if you’re willing to spend more money, you could opt into paying for priority delivery.

This will make sure your order is delivered first in a list of stacked orders and also prompt your driver to generally make fewer stops between the pickup and drop-off.

2. Restaurants delays

Arrival time estimations are done by considering factors like the total distance of the delivery, live traffic information from drivers, delays reported by government agencies on the road, and even historical traffic data.

These are some serious hard work being done here, although it’s important to mention that Uber Eats partners with Google Maps to make this happen.

However, there could be a lot of things out of the control of both parties that could lead to delayed delivery and even worst, having the estimated arrival time jump from one point to another.

One of these is “Restaurant delays”.

If there’s anything that can be controlled to improve delivery time it’s most likely the restaurant.

There are a couple of restaurants that are known to keep drivers waiting endlessly. If you’re unfortunate to order from them, you may have your order delayed.

For instance, here’s a complaint about this by a driver…

Complaint from Uber Eats driver about long wait of restaurant resulting to estimated arrival changing

In the event of an extremely long wait time from the Restaurant, Uber Eats would need to adjust the initial estimated time they had set for you to match with the Restaurant has for you.


If you’re so conscious of getting your order delivered early, order from a nearby restaurant.

Also, aside from MC Donalds, Taco Bell, Chick-fil-A, and a list of other popular restaurants heavily flooded with customers, Fast food restaurants usually have a better delivery time.

3. Drivers are dropping your delivery

One of the repercussions of long wait times by restaurants is the fact that most drivers would usually cancel a delivery after a certain amount of time (normally 5 minutes+).

This could also happen or be more frequent in the event a delivery isn’t really worthwhile (maybe the customer didn’t tip) and there’s an issue on the way, or the restaurant again, delays the order.

It’s only justifiable since the delivery business is all about maximizing your use of time.

Unfortunately, the moment a driver cancels a delivery, Uber Eats would need someone else to pick up the order.

Most importantly, the company would need to adjust the estimated arrival time to fit the new driver.


While you also have no control over this factor, tipping or tipping well can make your order less likely to be dropped by a driver. Of course, drivers are always after profitable orders.

4. Traffic and Long distance delivery

Pretty much obvious, but they’re worth mentioning.

While a lot of effort goes into determining how long deliveries would take, even after considering traffic, the estimation isn’t always 100% accurate. There’d always be misses.

There could have been unusual traffic on the road, a sudden emergency that may have prompted the driver to take a longer route, and a lot of other scenario that was not put in place on the default estimation.

What to do when your Uber Eats estimated arrival keeps changing

As we’ve discussed a lot of things can influence the issue of estimated arrival time changing on Uber Eats.

But most importantly, it’s not a technical issue but normalcy in the company.

So can you do anything to reduce to stop or reduce issues like this? Well, here are some tips we recommend.

  1. Order from Nearby Restaurants: The closer it is, the better it is. Ordering from nearby restaurants could just be helpful if you want your delivery done faster. You can sort restaurants by distance on Uber Eats.
  2. Order during Non-peak hours: To minimize delivery delays, consider ordering outside of peak meal hours when demand is typically high. Off-peak ordering often results in faster restaurant and delivery times. On DoorDash, peak periods are commonly between 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM for lunch and 4:30 PM to 8:00 PM for dinner
  3. Contact the company: Yes, experiencing this is quite common, but when it becomes run-of-the-mill, you might want to contact the company, at least to know what’s going on from the right source.

Final Thoughts

And that’s a wrap — for the reason why you may sometime have the delivery time on your app fluctuate way above what was initially prescribed.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. Learn more about this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like