The amount of grocery and food delivery apps out there seems endless.
Should you drive for one of these services?
It should be an easy question to answer, right?
As a new driver, deciding which on-demand food delivery service to work for isn’t as easy as it sounds.
To the naked eye, the differences between DoorDash and Postmates are hard to spot.
From a driver’s standpoint, the platforms are similar in many ways.
When it comes to picking a platform to drive for, it all boils down to which platform fits your lifestyle.
Luckily, we’re here to give you a helping hand to figure out which platform is right for you.
Whether you’re new to food delivery apps or an experienced driver for other delivery companies, we want to give you the information you need to decide which platform you should be driving for.
We’re going to compare DoorDash with Postmates and go over all of the delivery details, driver requirements, and payment information you’ll need to make your decision.
- What’s a Delivery Like?
- Working Hours
- City Availability
- Additional Programs
- Driver and Vehicle Requirements
- Pay Calculation
- Bonuses and Incentives
- Payment Process
- Where Do You Fit In?
What’s a Delivery Like?
To start off, DoorDash drivers deliver food from local restaurants to customers.
This is DoorDash’s bread and butter (they’ll deliver that, too).
This is the main differentiator from Postmates, which delivers more than just food from restaurants.
A typical shift consists of you turning on the DoorDash app and waiting for your first delivery to come through.
When you receive your first delivery notification that describes what you’ll get paid for completing the order, you have the choice of accepting or declining.
Once you accept a delivery, you make your way to the DoorDash partner restaurant to pick up the order.
When you arrive at the restaurant you’ll need to purchase the food with your “Red Card,” which is a prepaid card you’ll use to pay for food at restaurants.
Not all orders will require you to use the card, only those orders that read “Pay with Red Card” or “Place Order” on your driver app.
After that, you drive to the customer’s drop off location and give them their order.
Piece of cake.
With this on-demand delivery service, you can expect to deliver food, drinks, or groceries from any store in town.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a restaurant, office supply store, or a pet store, pretty much any store you can think of is on the list.
Once you turn on your Postmates app and receive your first order, you’ll drive to the restaurant or store to pick up the order items.
Similar to DoorDash, you’ll pay with a Postmates credit card.
The difference is that every purchase will be made with this card, whereas with DoorDash only some purchases are completed this way.
All that’s left is to drive to the Postmates customer, drop off the goods, and get ready to do it all over again.
DoorDash is a little more tame than Postmates.
The hours vary by each city, but delivery drivers won’t have the option of working 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
You also have two ways of Dashing.
The first is to schedule a future dash by going into the app and selecting your day, start time, and end time.
The upside to scheduling your shift is that you will be guaranteed a spot during that time slot, regardless of how many drivers are out there.
The second option is to Dash Now.
This is when you open the app at any given time and start driving.
The only downside to this approach is that you may not be able to drive at any given moment.
What do we mean by this?
A unique feature that DoorDash implements is a limit on the amount of Dashers driving at any given moment.
DoorDash does not want drivers getting on the clock and not having enough work to make a satisfactory amount of money.
Therefore, if you decide the second option, Dash Now, then you risk not being able to drive in your requested area at your desired time.
Postmates allows drivers to be on the clock at any given time.
If you wanted, you could drive any day of the week at any time of the day.
Postmates doesn’t have the option to schedule your shifts.
If you’re all about flexibility and flying by the seat of your pants, this should not bother you one bit.
However, DoorDash might be onto something by limiting the amount of drivers on the road at one time.
By matching the amount of drivers with the current demand, you avoid having those slow periods where drivers are unable to get deliveries.
As a result, Postmates drivers are a little more vulnerable to logging on and not being able to find a satisfactory amount of deliveries.
DoorDash is available to drivers all across the nation.
In total, there are 46 cities with more being added every day.
Postmates surpasses the amount of markets that DoorDash is in by quite a bit.
Postmates is in a total of 385 active cities, and like DoorDash, is adding more markets everyday.
An additional program that DoorDash gives its drivers access to is DoorDash Drive.
This is somewhat of an upgrade for drivers who have passed a certain criteria.
DoorDash Drive is a program in which restaurants request to use DoorDash to make their deliveries.
For instance, a customer calls Antonio’s Italian Restaurant and orders pasta and tiramisu.
Antonio’s will notify DoorDash and then you’ll be designated to that food order.
In order to qualify for DoorDash Drive, you must have at least 100 deliveries, have a rating above 4.5, and have a 90 percent completion rating.
Once you qualify for this program, an invite will be sent to you in your app.
DoorDash also touts that it partners with other businesses and services that will make your life better.
One partner is Stride Health which helps you decide which personal health care plan is best fit for your life.
Since you’re a driver for DoorDash, it’s free.
They also partner with Everlance, which helps you track your business expenses.
The service can potentially help save you hundreds of dollars by the time tax season rolls around.
If you’re a Dasher, you can also use this service and are able to upgrade to the premium service for only $1 for the first year.
Compared to DoorDash, Postmates is lacking in this area.
There doesn’t seem to be an opportunity for experienced and top-notch drivers to upgrade to a more exclusive delivery option, like DoorDash Drive.
This seems like a miss for Postmates, because the most experienced drivers will always be in the same tier as every other driver.
In regards to other additional programs, Postmates doesn’t really offer too much more besides for Postmates Plus Unlimited, which is unlimited free deliveries for orders of $20 or more.
In order to qualify for this, you must complete 25 deliveries each month.
Also, drivers who complete 10 deliveries per month will be given access to PerkSpot, a service that gives you access to local and national deals from shops.
Driver and Vehicle Requirements
The requirements to become a driver for DoorDash and Postmates are nearly the same.
In order to become a driver for both of these platforms, you must match the following criteria.
- Must be 18 years old
- Must own an iPhone or Android smartphone
- Must give your Social Security number
- Pass a criminal background check
- Pass a background check
The background check considers arrests or criminal accusations that are current or pending, or that resulted in a conviction within the last seven years.
If you’re able to pass these few requirements, you’ll be on your way to driving for both of these services…as long as you also meet the vehicle requirements.
The vehicle requirements are pretty much identical for both apps.
Both services have very little vehicle requirements.
As long as you can get from A to B, then you can drive it.
If you’re driving a car, truck, or motorcycle, the only thing you need is a valid driver’s license, vehicle insurance, and insurance.
You’re also able to use a scooter, bike, and even deliver by walking in some cities.
It all depends on your city’s rules.
Payment details is another area where the two services diverge.
For starters, DoorDash strives to make the pay fair and consistent for every driver and for every delivery.
Before drivers decide if they want to take a delivery, they’re able to see what the pay will be.
Drivers then know if the delivery is worth doing and can choose accordingly.
This guaranteed amount is based on several factors including distance you’ll have to drive, if you have to place the order yourself, size of the order, parking, traffic, and how long you have to wait at the store.
For each delivery, you’ll receive at least $1 for the delivery and 100 percent of the tips.
If this pay (including tip) doesn’t reach the guaranteed amount, you’ll be compensated with a “pay boost” to meet this amount.
On deliveries that surpass the guaranteed amount, you’ll get to pocket all of it.
The Postmates pay calculation is more broken down for you to see exactly what’s going into your pay.
For each delivery you make, you’ll see amounts for the following in your Postmates driver app.
- Pick Up
- Per Minute Rate (includes wait time while at the pickup location)
- Per Mile Rate (between the pickup and drop-off point)
- Tips (you keep 100 percent)
There’s also a minimum payout amount that you’ll receive if all of these do not add up to very much.
Each city has their own payment amounts and mileage rates.
Bonuses and Incentives
DoorDash offers a handful of bonuses and referral promotions for couriers.
Busy Pay is an added bonus that occurs when DoorDash is receiving a lot of orders.
In your app you’ll receive a Busy Pay notification.
This means that for every order you complete, there’s an added bonus.
The amount will vary depending on how busy it is and how many drivers are available.
This is in addition to your Peak Pay, which is a “surge” type pricing that applies to delivery times within the busy hours of lunch and dinner.
Another incentive that DoorDash offers is a Guaranteed Minimum.
A Guaranteed Minimum is an offer that says you’ll make at least a certain amount per hour while working.
Guaranteed Minimums are typically offered during peak hours (lunch and dinner time) and if you meet all of the requirements for the promotion, you’ll be paid out the hourly minimum promised.
The requirements to get paid the Guaranteed Minimum are the following:
- Sign up for the dates, times, and areas that were offered to you in the text message
- Complete the number of deliveries required while the minimum offer time is in effect
- Average at least 1.3 orders while the minimum is in effect
- Accept at least 90 percent of orders that come your way
If you check the box on all of the above and make an hourly wage (delivery pay plus tips) under the Guaranteed Minimum, you’ll be compensated with an “Extra Pay” after you complete your shift.
Postmates gets a little crazy with all of the bonuses and incentives it offers.
You’ll have plenty of opportunities to make some extra cash by completing any of the following bonus challenges.
The incentive structure gets more granular than DoorDash and has a few different types of offers that you’ll be able to achieve.
The offers are broken out like so.
Bonuses: These are day-to-day rewards you receive for meeting certain daily requirements.
- Per Delivery: You can earn more for each delivery you complete during the specific timeframe.
- Example — Earn $3 extra for each delivery you make between 6:00–8:00 p.m.
- For Sum of Deliveries: You must complete a specific amount of deliveries during the listed timeframe to receive a bonus.
- Example — Earn $10 for completing four rides between 5:00–7:00 p.m.
Guaranteed Earnings: These are weekly goals that reward you with a minimum payment if you complete all of the requirements for the offer.
- Simple Guaranteed Earning: When you complete a certain amount of deliveries during a specified period you’ll be rewarded with a minimum earning.
- Example — Complete 25 deliveries in the next three days and earn a guaranteed $300 (excluding tips)
- Tiered Guarantee Earning: These are almost the same as the last bonus mentioned, however, these are more timeframe-based.
- Example — Complete 10 deliveries during dinner hours (5:00–9:00 p.m.) on Friday and Saturday
You have two payment options with DoorDash.
You can either get paid on a weekly basis or receive Fast Pay.
With the weekly payment option, you’ll be paid for every delivery you made from Monday to Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Payments will process Sunday night and will take anywhere from two to three days, depending on your bank.
You’ll then receive your paycheck by Wednesday night.
With Fast Pay, you are able to cash out your earnings once a day for a fee of $1.99.
To qualify for Fast Pay, you must have completed 25 deliveries and have been a Dasher for at least two weeks.
You must also have a debit card, not a prepaid card, to receive Fast Pay deposits.
The same two payment options are also available with Postmates.
The first one, the weekly direct deposit, doesn’t charge you any fees.
You will be paid out on Monday for your previous week’s work ending Sunday night at 11:59 p.m.
The second option is the Instant Deposit which will charge you $0.50 for every deposit.
You can deposit as many times as you’d like, but remember that you’ll be charged this fee every time.
In order to get paid in this way, you’ll need to have a linked debit card that has at least $5 in the account.
Where Do You Fit In?
After looking over everything and evaluating the pros and cons of DoorDash and Postmates, where do you think you fit in?
Depending on your preferences and what you need, one platform may be better suited for you than the other.
Or perhaps both of these grocery delivery services sound like a nice fit and it’s too hard to choose.
You could always test the waters and drive for both and then see which one you like best.
We hope this guide has helped you find the food delivery service that’s a better fit for you.
Enjoy your new role in the gig economy!