Postmates has been around longer than most food delivery services, making it a solid choice for placing orders and working as a driver.
Read on to learn more about how Postmates works and what it’s like to work for the company.
Table Of Contents
What Is Postmates?
Postmates is a delivery service that will deliver just about anything to your home or business.
You simply order what you want, and a short time later, it’ll be delivered by a Postmates driver.
Postmates is based in San Francisco.
It launched in May of 2011.
Its founders are Bastian Lehmann, Sam Street, and Sean Plaice.
The business was one of the first food delivery services and is similar to other services like DoorDash or UberEats.
The main difference is that they deliver non-food items in addition to food.
How Does Postmates Work?
As a customer, you can order just about anything you want through Postmates.
The service is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Step One: Get the App / Create an Account
You’ll first need to download the mobile app using a smartphone.
There’s also a Postmates platform online if you want to order from your computer.
If you don’t have an account, you’ll need to create one before ordering.
Step Two: Find a Restaurant or Store
From the main page, you can browse through popular restaurants and stores that are near you and offer delivery or pickup.
You can also search by name or filter based on what you want to be delivered.
Some areas offer a feature called Party.
Under this tab, there will be certain restaurants where you can get free delivery.
You’ll have to act quickly, though, as the promotion may last for only a few minutes.
Step Three: Place Your Order
Once you’ve chosen a restaurant or store, you’ll be able to choose from their available items.
You’ll see a menu, and many restaurants will allow you to customize your order, such as requesting certain ingredients be removed.
Step Four: Complete Your Order
Next, you’ll finalize your order.
Be sure you’ve ordered what you want so that you don’t have to go through the process of making a change.
If you haven’t already, you’ll enter your payment information.
Step Five: Track Your Order
Once you’ve placed your order, you’ll be given an estimated arrival time.
You can also use the app to see where the driver is and when your order is picked up.
Postmates is similar to many of the other delivery services available.
Postmates vs. GrubHub
For customers, GrubHub offers only food, not other goods.
However, their pricing is more consistent, and you can pay a subscription fee to save.
For drivers, GrubHub lets you schedule hours ahead of time, so you can treat it more like a job than a side gig.
Postmates vs. DoorDash
Like GrubHub, DoorDash also offers a subscription service.
They also offer goods along with food.
While DoorDash is available in more locations, Postmates operates 24/7.
Drivers can schedule their work ahead of time with DoorDash.
Postmates vs. Caviar
Caviar only delivers food, and its main focus is on fine dining. Postmates offers a wider selection.
Drivers can schedule work ahead of time with Caviar.
Postmates vs. Instacart
Instacart only delivers groceries, while Postmates also delivers from restaurants.
For drivers, there’s more work involved with Instacart, because you always have to shop.
Where Is Postmates Available?
Postmates hasn’t spread quite as much as some of the other delivery services.
However, if you live in a large city, there’s a good chance it’s available.
Areas of Operation
Postmates is currently available in over 100 cities across the US.
While it’s currently limited to major metropolitan areas, the company continues to grow and add new locations.
Before ordering through Postmates, you’ll want to ensure that it’s available where you live.
Who Can Sign Up for Postmates?
Almost anyone can sign up for Postmates as long as you live in one of its service areas.
To order from Postmates, you’ll just need a device with an internet connection and a credit or debit card.
Once you make an account, you’re good to go.
Postmates workers are required to meet specific criteria before getting a job with the company.
These criteria include:
- 18 years or older
- A valid U.S. driver’s license
- A social security number
- A mailing address
- Live in or very close to a city where Postmates delivers
- Pass a background check
- Upload a headshot photo to the Postmates platform
- Checking account for direct deposit
For the background check, Postmates will look into your criminal history and driving record.
They do not like to hire a delivery driver with any significant offenses.
You’ll also be required to have a smartphone that works with the Postmates Fleet app.
You’ll need iOS 11 or Android 5.0 or later.
How Much Does Postmates Cost?
There are a few fees associated with ordering from Postmates.
Postmates charges a service fee and delivery fee for each order.
While the cost is a bit extra money than what you may pay with another delivery app, Postmates does offer some added features, such as delivering more than just food.
Postmates charges a service fee for every order you place.
This fee isn’t a flat fee and instead is a percentage based on the cost of your order, where it’s from, and where it’s being delivered to.
The delivery fee is based on where you live and what restaurant you’re ordering from.
If you collect from one of Postmates’s partner restaurants, you’ll pay between $1.99 and $3.99.
If you order from a non-partner, you can pay anywhere from $5.99 to $9.99.
There are a few other fees you may incur.
A small cart fee of $1.99 is applied to any order under $12 (or $10 in L.A.).
You may have a cancellation fee depending on why and when you cancel.
You may pay additional fees during blitz pricing.
Do You Tip Postmates Delivery Drivers?
Following the rules of tipping etiquette, it’s customary to tip your Postmates driver.
While they can earn well, their wages are supplemented by tips.
Aim to tip between 10-20% of your bill.
Working for Postmates
If you need to make some extra money or are looking to work full-time, you may want to be a Postmates delivery driver.
It’s an easy way to make money while still controlling your work schedule.
How Postmates Delivery Works
Postmates workers do most of their business through the Postmates Fleet app.
You can set up your shifts ahead of time, or you can make yourself immediately available if you have some free time.
You’ll be able to accept and decline jobs at will.
If it’s a food order, customer service will place the order for you, and you’ll only have to pick it up and deliver it.
If it’s an order from a store, you’ll likely have to select the items yourself.
When picking up an order, you may already pay for it, or you may have to pay with a prepaid card.
You don’t use your own money.
How Many Hours You Can Work
There’s no minimum or maximum for how many hours you can work.
It’s up to your schedule and how much money you need to make.
How Much Money Do Postmates Drivers Make?
As a Postmates delivery driver, you have the opportunity to make more or less money, depending on your budgetary needs and your available times.
According to Glassdoor, drivers can earn between $5 and $54 per hour.
Where you work and how many deliveries you can make per hour, these numbers are influenced by how you work.
The rates will vary based on where you live, but you can expect to be paid a flat fee for each pickup and dropoff.
You’ll also be paid per mile you drive and spend per minute in the store shopping or waiting on an order.
You’ll also make tips.
Postmates workers are paid weekly via direct deposit into a checking account.
If you need your money sooner, you can set up an immediate deposit, which is linked directly to your debit card.
You can take out money when you want but pay $0.50 for each withdrawal.
Bonuses and Incentives
Postmates offers various bonuses and incentives for their drivers who go above and beyond.
The incentives vary but are usually centered around completing a certain number of deliveries within a given time frame.
How To Apply
After checking to make sure you meet the above criteria, you’ll also need a vehicle and driver’s insurance (unless you plan to deliver by foot/bike).
You’ll fill out a simple application and submit proof that you meet the requirements.
Postmates will then do a background check into your criminal and driver’s record.
If everything checks out, you’re ready to start.
Whether you’re looking to get food and other items delivered or if you’re looking for a side gig or full-time job, Postmates is a solid company with a good reputation.
For customers, they offer options beyond what other delivery services may offer.
If you want to be a Postmates courier, there are many benefits to working with the company.
You can set your hours and make a decent paycheck and tips.
You also have an employer that trusts you instead of subjecting you to an unfair rating system.