Postmates vs Grubhub: Which Should You Choose?

You want food delivered, but you don’t want to place a phone call. Not that long ago, you would have been out of luck in this scenario. These days, however, you have a truly overwhelming variety of options for getting just about anything (food and otherwise) delivered on demand.

The large number of options, however, can make it difficult to decide which food delivery service you should use. It’s easy to sit there frozen, not sure if you should go with DoorDash, Uber Eats, Seamless, Caviar, Amazon Restaurants, Postmates, or Grubhub.

With this article, we hope to take some of the confusion out of the matter. In this installment of our series comparing different food delivery apps, we’re going to examine the differences between Postmates and Grubhub. Both are big names in the food delivery industry, but which is better? Let’s find out.

Postmates vs Grubhub Comparison Criteria

To determine which app reigns supreme, we compared them based on the following criteria:

  1. Availability
  2. Ease of use
  3. Pricing
  4. Restaurant options
  5. Customer service

By comparing based on the above, we can give you an overall picture of which app is better. Of course, one app might still be better for your specific situation. For instance, if one app delivers your favorite restaurant but the other doesn’t, then the choice is easy. The comparison in this article will get you started, however, and it will make it easy to choose if you’re not sure what the difference is between the two apps.

Availability

Let’s start with a look at where each of these apps is available. After all, none of the other qualities we’ll discuss matter if the app doesn’t make deliveries in your city.

When it comes to availability, Grubhub wins. The service is available in over 1,600 U.S. cities and London. This means that the odds are good of you getting delivery in most parts of the country.

Postmates, on the other hand, lacks this level of availability. That doesn’t mean they don’t have an extensive U.S. presence; they’re currently available in over 100 cities across the U.S., and they continue to add cities based on demand. If you’re in any major metropolitan area like Chicago, San Francisco, Austin, Boston, or New York, you can likely get Postmates. Check their website for a full list of available markets.

Ease of Use

Up next, let’s look at which app is easier to use. This really comes down to two things: how easy is it to navigate the app, and how many steps are necessary to place an order. In this respect, Postmates is the winner. The main reason is how easy the Postmates app is to use.

This isn’t to say that the Grubhub app doesn’t work, but it lacks the smooth experience of Postmates. The Grubhub interface feels cluttered at times, with too many options available. We had to hunt around at times to figure out what the next step was to complete the order.

With Postmates, in contrast, navigating the app was much easier. Each step of the ordering and checkout process is presented on a separate screen, making it clear what to do next. This may seem like a small detail, but speed is an important consideration when it comes to food delivery. If placing the order takes longer than it would to go pick it up yourself, it defeats the purpose of using the app in the first place.

Pricing

Delivery can’t be free (unless you’ve got a coupon, of course). But the price of delivery can vary between food delivery apps. How do Postmates and Grubhub stack up based on price?

Let’s take a look at how each app prices their deliveries, starting with Postmates. Postmates uses the following pricing structure:

  • 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 the receipt for your order.
  • Optional tip — You can tip your Postmate if you’d like. As with DoorDash (and most other delivery apps), tips are not required. They’re certainly appreciated, however, since Postmates couriers are independent contractors and every dollar counts.

In addition to the above, Postmates offers a subscription service called Postmates Unlimited. With this plan, you get a $0 delivery fee on all orders over $20 and no blitz pricing. The service costs $9.99 per month.

For Grubhub, the pricing is much simpler. You only pay the fee that the restaurant charges (if they charge one). You would pay this delivery fee even if you ordered directly from the restaurant, so you’re not paying anything extra to use the Grubhub service. The specific fee varies based on the restaurant. You also have the option to tip your delivery driver when you pay for your order, or you can give them a cash tip when they drop off the food.

Overall, then, Grubhub wins based on price, especially since they don’t charge additional service fees or employ any kind of busy pricing. If you place a very large volume of orders, then Postmates Unlimited could be cheaper. You just have to do the math and decide if you order delivery frequently enough for the subscription to be worth it.

Restaurant Options

Postmates vs Grubhub: Which Should You Choose?

We can talk all day about what it’s like to use each app or how much it costs, but at the end of the day, what you care about is the food you get to put in your mouth. How do the two services compare based on their restaurant options?

Overall, the two services are equal in this category. Both have popular food options from major and local restaurants. We will say that if ordering from Chipotle is especially important to you, Postmates might be a better option due to the recent partnership between the two companies, which added delivery from an additional 300 Chipotle locations.

One thing to note about Postmates is that you’re not limited just to specific restaurants, or even to restaurants alone. For a fee, you can have a Postmate courier pick up custom orders from any store you can think of. As long as you can get there with GPS directions and explain how to find the item you’re looking for, your Postmate can get it.

This opens up a lot of possibilities that Grubhub doesn’t offer, including delivery from that obscure sandwich place you hope never gets too popular or even delivery of alcohol (in markets where it’s allowed). However, we think that in terms of pure food delivery, Postmates is still equal to Grubhub overall. It all depends on what you want to have delivered.

Customer Service

The majority of food deliveries will go off without any issue. However, sometimes issues will arise. Maybe you’re having problems with your linked credit card, or maybe an order was incorrect. In the event that you do have a problem, it’s good to know that you can turn to the company’s customer service department for assistance. How do Postmates and Grubhub compare in this respect?

For customer service, Grubhub is the clear winner. They have 24/7 phone and live chat support that’s clearly available on their website. For any issues you have, help is just a phone call or message away.

Postmates vs Grubhub: Which Should You Choose? - Support

Postmates, on the other hand, has much more limited customer support available. The only info we could find on how to contact them as a customer is an email address. This address, however, is only available Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST. This means you could be in for a frustrating time if you have an urgent issue with your order (or just want the reassurance of speaking to a live person).

Grubhub vs Postmates: Who Wins in the End?

In the battle of Grubhub and Postmates, Grubhub emerges victorious. The company’s availability, pricing, and customer service set it apart from Postmates. That being said, you might still prefer Postmates if you care more about ease of use or getting delivery from a specific restaurant that doesn’t have a contract with a food delivery company.

For more information related to Postmates and Grubhub, check out these articles:

  • Postmates Driver Requirements — What you need to do to drive for Postmates, including the necessary background check and vehicle requirements.
  • How to Become a Grubhub Driver — An overview of the Grubhub application process for drivers, including what you need to do and how much you can make.