Postmates vs. Uber Eats – Who Wins?

In today’s world, convenience and on-demand satisfaction are must-haves. We anticipate getting what we want, when we want it, or we will take our money elsewhere.

This should come as no surprise.

Businesses that provide instant gratification do better than their competitors.

This is due to one simple fact: people are willing to pay a little extra to avoid a hassle. Especially when it comes to the daily routine of eating. As a society, our preference for convenience has changed in the way we do lunch.

This shift has led to immense growth in the food delivery realm.

To meet the ever-increasing market demand, the number of delivery food apps has skyrocketed. Now, consumers can choose from Uber Eats, Postmates, GrubHub, DoorDash and many others. This creates more opportunities for drivers to earn some money. Of course, this creates a new problem: deciding which company to go with!

To make the choice a bit easier, we created the following guide, which puts two of the largest food delivery companies back to back.

Read our full guide to understand who wins in the battle of Postmates vs. Uber Eats.

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Delivery Process

When you are hungry and don’t feel like cooking or going out, you still want a good meal. That’s where Uber Eats or Postmates comes in. Each service goes about the delivery process a little differently. For consumers and drivers, this may sway your preference for one company over the other.

So let’s take look at how Uber Eats and Postmates do business.

Uber Eats Delivery

When a customer places an order, the restaurant receives it automatically. Meaning, there is no downtime waiting for the delivery driver to place the order. For consumers, this may appear to be the perfect on-demand meal solution they need. For drivers, this means there is a clock counting down against them.

Restaurants should have an order completed by the time a driver gets there. However, traffic and other delays can prevent this from happening. When this occurs, both the driver and the restaurant look bad because the food is cold on arrival.

To reduce the likelihood of food sitting around, some restaurants now wait until a driver arrives to start making an order. This is well-intended, but leads to longer wait times for customers and lower tips for drivers.

Nevertheless, once the drive picks up the food order, customers can watch the driver’s progress while they are en route. This makes it very easy for consumers to estimate when their food will arrive. This convenience makes it easier for hungry workers to plan their lunch break accordingly.

Once the driver arrives at the final delivery destination, there are two options based on what city you are in.

  1. In some cities, Uber Eats encourages customers to meet the driver at the curb for a quick exchange.
  2. In other cities, drivers are encouraged to deliver food to the customer’s doorstep.

That’s right. Uber Eats has different delivery options based on the city you are in.

Some cities require the customer to request door to door delivery, whereas others are flat out curbside only. It is speculated that the distinction is largely due to driver convenience. In areas with limited parking, it makes perfect sense for curbside to be mandatory.

Those who really want their food delivered to the door have one ace up their sleeve, regardless of location. Let the driver know you will be tipping handsomely if they meet you at the door. In most cases, this works.

Postmates Delivery

When a customer places an order via Postmates, the app sends a notification to their drivers. Once a driver accepts the order, consumers are notified of the approximate delivery time.

Once the driver gets to the restaurant, one of two things will occur.

  1. Either the restaurant has received the order via Postmates
  2. Or the driver will have to place the request themselves.

In the event that an item ordered by the customer is not available, drivers need to contact them and ask for a substitution. After that is squared away, drivers need to check the Fleet app to see if the order was prepaid by the customer or not. If it was, no further action needs to be taken by the driver in regards to payment.

For orders that are not prepaid, drivers will need to cover the charge using a prepaid card issued by the Postmates. Postmates updates the amount on a driver’s prepaid card to match the expense of the customer’s order. Regardless of whether or not the order was prepaid, be sure to snap a photo of the receipt you get and enter in how much the total is.

From there, drivers tap the Start Dropoff button and take the delivery to the customer.

Postmates is a door to door service only. This means that regardless of circumstance, drivers are required to meet the customer in person. This may sound terrible at first, especially since parking can be a nightmare. However, tipping and payment usually make up for any extra stress.

What This Means for Customers

With both apps, customers do not have to directly interact with the restaurant. This is all handled by the driver. In cases where drivers are required to make the order in person, customers may have to wait longer to get their food.

What This Means for Drivers

The entire ordering process is much easier for Uber Eats drivers. Drivers simply pick up the order and deliver it. They do not have to fiddle with orders, worry about payment, or have to contact customers to ask for substitute items.

Plus, Uber Eats deliverers are not always expected to meet a customer at the door. This can be a huge advantage if you live in an area with a lot of confusing apartment complexes. That said, tips can suffer when a customer is asked to meet the driver outside.


Pricing

In general, the pricing methods used by both Uber Eats and Postmates do not have much of an effect on how customers are charged. Drivers, on the other hand, get paid using unique fee structures which results in a noteworthy difference in pay. Let’s review how drivers are paid and how customers are charged when using the app.

Uber Eats Pricing

Uber Eats customers pay for the cost of the food, applicable taxes, and a predetermined Uber Eats fee. Although the fee varies from city to city, on average the Booking Fee is $4.99. New customers can save money with promo codes that take $5 of your first two orders.

As for how drivers are paid out, figuring out the pay owed for a delivery takes a bit more work. Driver’s pay is broken out into segments, with a different amount for each:

  1. Order Pickup
  2. Order Drop-Off
  3. Mileage
  4. Tips

Uber takes a profit cut of anywhere between 25-35%, except for tips. Driver’s are allowed to keep 100% of earned tips. Like many ridesharing programs, Uber Eats also rewards drivers if they take advantage of referral bonuses.

Postmates Pricing

For Postmates customers, pricing is essentially the same: each order comes with a predetermined delivery fee tacked on. Postmates delivery fees vary based on whether or not the restaurant is a Postmates partner.

Restaurants that are not partnered with Postmates are not promoted via the app and can be identified by the $5.99 delivery fee. Postmate Partners have a reduced delivery fee of $3.99 (depending, of course, on location). Like Uber, new Postmates customers can save money on their first few orders with special promotional codes.

The difference in delivery fee has little to no effect on driver pay. Postmates delivery drivers start out with a base pay of $1.35 per order. Each minute that goes by while a driver waits at the restaurant racks up an additional $0.10. Once drivers leave the restaurant, each mile traveled to the drop off location translates to an additional $1.03 in pay.

Here’s an example:

  • Driver receives an order ($1.35)
  • Driver waits 5 minutes at restaurant ($.50)
  • Driver travels 3 miles to destination ($3.09)
  • Total Earnings: $4.94 (not including tip)

These rates obviously fluctuate based on location. Postmates also has “Blitz” pricing when demand is high. During Blitz pricing, Postmates incentives drivers by offering a higher rate.

Looking to make more money with Postmates? Check out our complete guide to Postmates driver referral codes.

One of the major perks in driving for Postmates is the tip. The app automatically calculates a 20% tip for drivers. This passive way to encourage tipping has a healthy rate of usage.

What This Means For Customers

Fees are posted upfront on both apps. But customers may see lower fees on Postmates due to restaurant partnerships. Bear in mind, when Blitz pricing is in full swing prices will be higher than normal.

What This Means For Drivers

Tips are the lifeblood of a food delivery driver. In general, Uber Eats does not make it easy for drivers to receive tips, despite the new option for customers to do so. Postmates, on the other hand, actively encourages tipping via auto-calculating tip amount. By using this method, customers have to go out of the way to avoid tipping. From our research, Postmates drivers make pretty good money once you factor in these tips.

6 Reasons to Become an Uber Eats Driver


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App Experience

Regardless of expense or payment, there is one subject that can deter both customers and drivers from using an app: usability. If an app runs slow, is confusing, or leaves the user feeling frustrated for whatever reason, that person will no longer want to use it. Although both Postmates and Uber Eats apps are well-designed, there may be a few hang-ups for you in regards to design.

Uber Eats App

Rideshare enthusiasts who wish to start placing orders with Uber Eats cannot use the Uber app for that. Instead, they must download a completely separate mobile app or place their order via a desktop. Drivers, however, can freely use the exact same Uber app.

Furthermore, drivers who already work for Uber can easily transition to Uber Eats. Plus, the Uber Eats app earned a 4.8-star rating in the iTunes App Store, with about 472K users backing the rating.

Postmates App

Like Uber, Postmates has two apps. One for drivers and a separate one for customers. Customers can forego downloading the Postmates app and use a computer. Which may be a good idea considering the Postmates App seems to be struggling with bugs.

For example, there are reports for customers paying delivery fees despite paying upfront for free delivery. This issue, plus a few past bugs have not helped Postmates achieve the same high rating in the iTunes App Store that Uber Eats has. To-date, Postmates app has only 3.2 stars and 9.9K ratings.

What This Means For Customers

Although the experience is generally the same for both apps, Uber Eats definitely seems to have fewer bugs.

What This Means For Drivers

Uber rideshare drivers seeking to get into the Uber Eats business can easily do so. Orders can be accepted via the regular Uber Partner App without much effort. Nevertheless, if you are new to both Uber and Postmates, there is very little difference in app usage.


Driver Requirements

Both apps require drivers to pass a background check. That said, there are noteworthy differences between Uber Eats driver requirements and Postmates driver requirements. Regulations vary based on location and the type of vehicle drivers intend on using to make deliveries. Check out the differences below.

Uber Eats Driver Requirements

  • Car delivery:
    • Must be at least 19 years old
    • Have a 2 or 4-door car made after 1998
    • Driver’s license and vehicle insurance must be valid
    • Have at least one year of driving experience in the U.S.
  • Scooter delivery:
    • Any make or model 2-wheel scooter
    • Must have motor of 50cc or less
    • Can not be able to travel faster than 30 mph
  • Bike delivery:
    • Be at least 18 years old
    • Have a government-issued ID
    • When signing up be sure to choose ‘Biking’ under transportation method. Bear in mind, not all locations have this option available.

Postmates Driver Requirements

  • At least 18 years old
  • Must pass a background check
  • No car requirements

What This Means For Customers

Unless you have a preference for the vehicle your driver delivers in, there is no significant difference for customers.

What This Means For Drivers

If you have an older vehicle and prefer to use it for deliveries, you have a better chance of doing so with Postmates than you do Uber Eats.


Coverage Area

Whether or not Postmates or Uber Eats is available in your area will determine if you can use the app to its full potential. Fortunately, both apps are expanding their coverage area fairly fast.

Uber Eats Coverage

Uber Eats is currently available in these cities. You may notice that Uber Eats is not exclusive to the United States, which is pretty awesome.

Postmates Coverage

Expanding their coverage area is a major goal for Postmates. To-date, customers and drivers can use the app in these cities.

What This Means For Customers

Due to the existing infrastructure Uber, they are able to reach more areas and expand to new locations faster.

What This Means For Drivers

As an Uber driver, you can probably start picking up Uber Eats orders today if you are ready. For everyone else, if you are located in a major U.S. city, chances are you can start working for either food delivery service, pending a background check.

Both food delivery service apps aim to meet customer demand for convenient meals. Each app achieves this goal in their own unique way, however, Postmates seems to be a bit more buggy. Above all, the automatic tipping may be a selling point for drivers who are just starting out. Those who are currently working for Uber may prefer to simply stay with Uber since they will have no problem picking up Uber Eats orders on the fly.