Postmates vs. Uber Eats: Which is Better for Delivery Drivers?
You’re looking to make some extra money making food deliveries, and you’re stuck between two services — Uber Eats and Postmates.
Which is the better choice?
In this post, we’ll explore the two food delivery services, giving you a complete rundown on these two competing food delivery providers.
By the end of this piece, you’ll have a better idea about the pros and cons of each service.
With that in mind, let’s jump right in.
Postmates vs Uber Eats
What is Postmates?
Postmates is a company that specializes in on-demand delivery options and pickups.
Postmates offers to go beyond food delivery, providing delivery services for kitchen staples and party supplies like alcohol, among other items.
Postmates has been around longer than Uber Eats, as the service was founded in 2011 when the gig economy was starting to fire up.
However, Postmates has a smaller footprint, as it’s available in fewer markets than Uber Eats.
Plus, it has nowhere near the market share or brand-name recognition.
I’d bet a good chunk of my readers haven’t ever heard of Postmates, while virtually all of you have heard of Uber.
What is Uber Eats?
Uber Eats is an online platform for ordering and delivering takeout food.
This service was launched by Uber in 2014 as an expansion to its leading rideshare platform and is available in most major U.S. cities.
Uber Eats has since become immensely popular, providing customers with speedy access to food at all hours of the day and night, and from their favorite restaurants.
Uber Eats partners with a variety of restaurants. What’s more, the company recently expanded into liquor stores and small grocery stores.
Uber Eats also has some exclusive partnerships with restaurants.
As time goes on, it seems as though Uber Eats will likely support even more ways to help drivers make a little bit of extra cash.
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Postmates vs Uber Eats: How They Work
How Does Postmates Work?
Postmates customers have access to a much wider list of businesses than Uber Eats delivery.
For example, suppose you’re working on a project after hours, and you run out of computer paper.
Postmates can facilitate delivery from a store like Office Depot, bringing you the items you need directly to your doorstep.
This is not something you can accomplish using Uber — at least not yet — and it’s a major differentiating factor.
The Postmates app itself is very similar to Uber Eats. The design and site layout mirror each other, making it easy to go back and forth between the two platforms.
Postmates also has a strict background check and will disqualify workers if they have a criminal history or have been convicted of a DUI.
How Does Uber Eats Work?
The Uber Eats app is very similar to Uber’s rideshare service.
When buying food on the Uber Eats platform, customers can select from a menu of available food options and have it delivered directly to their doorstep.
The bill is charged directly to customers’ credit cards, and food items are available based on restaurant hours and their proximity to the customer.
From the driver’s standpoint, Uber Eats is just like picking up a passenger — except instead, you’re delivering things like pizzas, subs, and burritos to customers.
Customers can monitor the delivery time and watch the delivery person in real-time on a map.
They can also communicate with them throughout the delivery process, providing instructions and details to help complete the order as smoothly as possible.
Postmates vs Uber Eats: How Drivers Are Paid
How Postmates Drivers Are Paid
Postmates delivery drivers are paid on a variety of factors.
First, a courier will receive a flat base pay when picking up an order form a restaurant.
When the delivery is complete, a flat amount will be added to the base pay. This rate varies by city and comes out of the delivery fees that Postmates customers pay.
In addition, Postmates will tack on a per-minute rate, compensating the driver if food is not ready when picking it up.
Beyond that, drivers receive a per-mile rate for each mile they drive, bike, or walk.
Postmates also pay couriers 100% of tips, which customers can customize based on how generous they’re feeling.
How Uber Eats Drivers Are Paid
Uber Eats drivers are independent contractors, and they are paid based on three factors:
- a pickup fee
- a drop off fee
- total distance traveled
Drivers can also collect more for extra order fees and customer tips.
In addition, service fees can vary depending on the type of vehicle a driver is using.
Bicycles carry a service fee of 30 percent, for example, while cars and scooters have a fee of 25 percent.
Postmates vs Uber Eats: Pros and Cons
Postmates Pros and Cons
You’ve got the lowdown on Postmates. Now, let’s weigh the pros and cons.
- Flexible work hours
- Unlimited number of deliveries
- Postmates lets you keep the food if customers don’t show up
- No rating system, meaning drivers aren’t blamed for food issues
- Postmates drivers who complete 10 deliveries in a month receive a PerkSpot benefit, for access to discounts from local and national businesses
- Postmates accepts any vehicle
- Not available in all areas
- GPS is not as robust as Uber
- Customers don’t have to tip
- Vehicle wear and tear
- Not as popular at Uber
Uber Eats Pros and Cons
To give you a better idea as to whether it makes sense to drive for Uber Eats, let’s quickly weigh the pros and cons of the service.
- Flexible work hours
- Use your own vehicle
- Unlimited hours
- No boss or supervisor
- Uber’s robust GPS system and map for improved navigation
- Uber fee impacts income
- Vehicle wear and tear
- Long wait times at restaurants
- No insurance benefits
- Customers aren’t required to tip
It should be noted that Uber Eats has a strict policy regarding background checks. Applicants who have had DUIs, felonies, and sex offenses will be disqualified from working for Uber Eats.
Obviously, you’ll also need a valid driver’s license.
In addition, Uber is very particular about the vehicles they allow for deliveries. For example, vehicles cannot be older than 2004. Also, cars with visible rust, dents, scratches, and political stickers are not allowed.
Uber Eats is also strict about the condition of bicycles and scooters they allow.
Unfortunately, if you have an older car, you might have to save up for a newer ride before even contemplating whether you can take on Uber Eats as a gig.
But if you’re thinking about driving for Uber for a living, it may be worth the investment.
If you’re driving for Uber in addition to Uber Eats, having a nicer car may also qualify you for Uber Lux.
Some passengers are willing to pay more for a luxury automobile ride. So it could pay dividends to invest in a fancy automobile.
Just remember that if you buy a fancy car, you may not want to regularly transport smelly, messy, and greasy food to customers.
Over time, spills and odors will take a toll on your vehicle and potentially degrade its quality and resale value.
Postmates vs. Uber Eats: And The Winner Is…
To help you zero in on the choice that makes the most sense for you, let’s compare the two different services.
From a safety and quality standpoint, Uber’s vehicle regulations are appreciated from the customer’s point of view.
Most customers would rather have their food delivered in a vehicle that’s clean and able to absorb bumps and potholes, for example.
After all, the food needs to be intact when it’s delivered.
That said, Postmates offers a policy that’s more lenient for drivers, resulting in a lower barrier of entry that’s less restrictive.
If you have a trusty car that doesn’t meet Uber’s requirements, you can drive for Postmates.
🏆 Winner: Postmates
The pay structure is relatively similar.
However, Uber is more well-known and available in more cities, giving drivers more opportunities to earn income.
What’s more, Uber Eats drivers also have the opportunity to pick up passengers if they have a car that meets their qualifying conditions.
You can almost think of it as two different jobs.
🏆 Winner: Uber
Postmates isn’t as widely available or well-known, but the company partners with a wider variety of organizations resulting in more delivery opportunities for drivers — particularly when it comes to late-night or specialty orders.
That said, Uber Eats has some exclusive partnerships with places like McDonald’s.
This is important to consider if you live in a place with limited food opportunities.
If most people in your area order McDonald’s for late-night delivery, you don’t want to be on the wrong side of the delivery partnership.
🏆 Winner: Postmates
Alternative Delivery Services To Explore
Postmates offers a unique service by extending into items beyond food delivery.
When it comes to food, though, there are many other providers that you may want to consider driving for.
In addition, many cities have local delivery services that you may want to consider.
For example, Florida has the local Delivery Dudes service, which operates in various towns across the state.
Keep your eye out for local services that may offer better rates and experiences than some of the leading market providers.
Postmates vs Uber Eats: Which Is Best For You?
Ultimately, Uber Eats and Postmates are very similar — to the point where it doesn’t make sense for drivers to be exclusive about which company they work for.
If you want to hustle, you should strongly consider using both apps. Why not? There’s probably enough work to make it a full-time job, considering the recent surge in deliveries due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
And while you’re at it, install Lyft as well. When you head out to drive, flip back and forth between apps to see who is offering the best rates and what’s generating the most traffic.
For example, some rideshare apps will offer surge pricing at certain times, while other delivery apps avoid it to attract customers.
Working for multiple food delivery apps or rideshare apps simultaneously is perfectly fine, as long as you don’t conduct any deliveries or pickups while you are on the clock for another company.
It’s an easy way to increase the chances that you’re able to work continuously during the hours you’re dedicating to this kind of work.
Beyond this, you should also build a network of friends and family who will potentially pay you to make late-night deliveries.
An easy way to do this is to send a text or email out to your network letting them know you’re out and about making deliveries.
With the right customer base, you could even offer “free delivery” knowing that you can earn a solid payout from tips.
This way, you can work under the table and pocket all of the income (minus taxes) without paying companies like Uber or Postmates any fees. All of the proceeds will go directly to you.
I always recommend thinking long term and as an entrepreneur. Someday, you could potentially start a local delivery company if it interests you.
Think about your local market, identify a need, and look for a way to start a business of your own. That’s the ticket to reaching financial independence faster and retiring sooner.