To live in the modern world is to know a level of convenience unparalleled in human history. You can now get on-demand delivery of just about anything at any hour of the day. Nowhere is this trend more evident than food delivery services. These delivery companies can bring you way more than just the pizza or Chinese takeout of the past. Nowadays, you can choose delivery from restaurants that range from fast food to gourmet, from cuisines that range from Mexican to Mongolian.
With so many delivery apps on the market, however, it can be difficult to know which one to choose. To give you some clarity on the matter, we’ve created a series of guides comparing different food delivery apps for both drivers and customers.
In this post, we’re going to take a look at DoorDash and Postmates, helping you to figure out which service you should choose for your delivery needs.
How We Compared the Services
When looking at the two services, we compared them based on five key criteria:
We’ll rank DoorDash and Postmates for each of these and then tell you which we think is the best pick overall.
The best food delivery app in the world is useless if it doesn’t offer service in your area. Between DoorDash and Postmates, which is available in more cities?
Postmates is the clear winner here. The app is currently available in 189 cities across the United States. DoorDash, meanwhile, is currently available in 50 cities, including a few in Canada. Therefore, DoorDash does have an international advantage compared to Postmates.
In terms of total number of people reached, however, Postmates wins. Of course, this situation could easily change if DoorDash receives another round of funding or takes other steps to expand their operations.
When comparing ease of use, we looked at both the user interface of the food delivery app itself and the number of steps necessary to place an order.
Overall, we think that the two apps are equal in their ease of use. They both have very similar user interfaces, as well as ordering processes that are basically identical. Both apps require you to create an account before you can browse available restaurants in your area, something that’s frustrating as a customer who wants to peruse the app.
Both will allow you to create an order before you input any payment information, and both allow you to track your order’s progress in real time. The DoorDash app and Postmates app differ in other important ways, which we discuss below, but in terms of ease of use they are equal.
Cost is an important factor to consider when choosing a food delivery app, as delivery isn’t free. DoorDash and Postmates both charge delivery fees, as well as some additional fees during times of high demand.
The DoorDash pricing works as follows:
- Delivery fee — This is what you pay your dasher (delivery driver) for their time and work. The fee varies based on your market, as well as current demand for deliveries. You’ll pay more during times of higher demand (usually a couple extra dollars).
- Service fee — This fee helps DoorDash run their operations and partner with new restaurants.
- Price of the menu items plus tax — DoorDash claims you’ll pay the same price as you would at the restaurant.
- Optional tip — If you want, you can leave your DoorDash driver a tip to show your appreciation for great service. This isn’t required, but it is a nice gesture that helps make DoorDash a sustainable job for drivers.
For Postmates, the pricing is similar:
- Delivery fee — This fee is $3.99 for Postmates Partner Merchants (you can identify these by looking for the green checkmark next to their name in the app). For all other merchants, the fee ranges from $5.99 to $9.99.
- Service fee — This is a variable percentage-based fee applied to all orders. These fees help cover the service’s operating costs.
- Blitz pricing — During times of high demand, you’ll pay extra for deliveries. This extra fee is calculated by multiplying the delivery fee by a variable amount. It’s the same principle as Uber’s surge pricing.
- Price of the items plus tax — This will be the same price as in the store, something you can verify with receipt for your order.
- Optional tip — You can tip your Postmate if you like. As with DoorDash (and most other delivery apps), tips are not required. They’re certainly appreciated, though.
Where the two apps diverge in terms of pricing is a key feature that Postmates offers: Postmates Unlimited. With this service, you get the following benefits:
- $0 delivery fee on all orders over $20
- No blitz pricing
The service costs $9.99 per month. If you’re going to be making a lot of deliveries, it could be a good deal, especially if you want to order during times of high demand.
Overall, we think that Postmates Unlimited offers a better pricing structure if you’re going to regularly place orders over $20 and want to order during busy times. Otherwise, the two apps are equal in terms of pricing, both using similar models to determine what you’ll pay. That being said, it’s worth doing your own comparisons, as the conditions of your market (and where you live within it) could make one service cheaper than the other.
When it comes to restaurant selection, Postmates is the clear winner. This mainly has to do with how flexible the app is. While Postmates does have a list of restaurants and other merchants to choose from, it doesn’t limit you to ordering from merchants on their platform.
You also have the option to instruct your Postmate to pick up an order at any restaurant you can think of within the area that Postmates service is available. You can then give your delivery person custom instructions on what to get you.
You will pay more for this service, but the fact that it’s an option sets Postmates apart not only from DoorDash, but from all the other food delivery apps on the market.
Still, DoorDash does boast a decent list of partner restaurants on its own. You’ll have enough options available to satisfy all but the most specific cravings.
In addition to restaurant delivery, both apps also allow alcohol delivery in select markets. Once again, however, Postmates could be better if you want to get a very specific kind of alcohol delivered, one not available at just any liquor store.
Customer service is key to delivery operations being successful. As a customer, you want to make sure that you receive good service from both the person making your delivery and from the company that stands behind them. How do the two apps compare in this regard?
Neither company has a customer support phone number available. Both have email support available, though it’s not straightforward to get to it. You have to go through a series of forms on the company’s website in order to initiate your email support ticket; you can’t directly email someone.
Looking at a series of customer reviews on Trustpilot, a site that allows customers to share their experiences with a product or service, neither company scores particularly well. People complained about the high cost and lack of transparency that came with the delivery fees, as well as out-of-date menus and incorrect orders.
Both DoorDash and Postmates have similar complaints, however, so it’s a toss-up when it comes to the companies’ customer service. Notably, DoorDash does have some recent positive reviews, though the negative reviews far outweigh them.
Of course, there is likely some bias occurring in these reviews, since people are more likely to report negative experiences than positive ones. Therefore, we encourage you to try the apps and see for yourself what the customer service is like.
Get the Best Food Delivery App for Your Needs
We hope this guide has helped you understand whether to choose Postmates or DoorDash. Overall, Postmates wins, especially if you’re going to be placing a larger volume of orders. The flexibility you get when choosing where your food is delivered from is also a serious perk that pushes Postmates into the winning spot.
If you’re interested in other ways you can have food delivered, check out our guides to these other popular food delivery apps:
Curious if it’s better to deliver for DoorDash or Postmates? Check out our comparison.