GrubHub vs Postmates: Driver Comparison Guide
Some drivers may only work for one platform. Others prefer playing the numbers game and driving for multiple food services.
It’s a tale of David vs Goliath: the underdog delivery platform vs the veteran restaurant delivery service.
Depending on what you need and what you’re looking for, one delivery service might be a better fit for you than the other.
We’re going to lay out how these platforms work, what the driver requirements are for each, and highlight some payment details.
- What Are GrubHub and Postmates?
- What Are the Worker Requirements?
- How Is the Pay Calculated?
- Bonuses, Incentives, and Programs
- Which Platform Is in My Hometown?
What Are GrubHub and Postmates?
GrubHub and Postmates are both gig working fast food delivery apps that diverge at one major difference — GrubHub only delivers customers’ food from restaurants while Postmates will deliver pretty much anything a customer wants.
These two delivery companies aim to make the lives of their customers easier by delivering food or other products directly to their home for an affordable delivery fee.
As far as drivers are concerned, GrubHub and Postmates offer ambitious gig workers like you the ability to enjoy a flexible work schedule and an opportunity to be your own boss.
Driving for either of these services means that you’re not a full-time employee, but instead an independent contractor. If you play your cards right you can make decent earnings with each service.
Let’s take a look at each delivery platform.
GrubHub is the top dog in the restaurant food delivery business. Founded in 2004, it’s in nearly every major market in the U.S. and has more delivery orders than any other platform out there.
For a delivery driver, this means that driving for GrubHub, one of the most popular food delivery services, would increase your chances of receiving more orders. In turn, your earnings potential may be higher for GrubHub since so many people are using the platform.
With GrubHub, your shift is very simple. You receive an order, pick it up from a participating restaurant, and deliver it to the customer’s current location. You’ll only ever have to pick up orders from restaurants and not any other stores. The food will always be prepared and ready for you to grab, no shopping around in a store is required.
Like most gig working jobs, you’re able to choose when you want to work with GrubHub. If you wanted, you could even work 24 hours a day and seven days per week.
One difference that GrubHub implements is scheduling blocks of time when you want to work. By scheduling these blocks up to one week in advance, you’re able to receive driver priority on orders during your shift.
So how does Postmates compare?
If GrubHub is the top dog of food delivery, then Postmates would be considered the new kid on the block. Founded in 2011, Postmates delivers nearly anything to customers at any time of the day.
While GrubHub focuses only on restaurant delivery, Postmates specializes in delivering pretty much any products from any store in your city. This could be food from a restaurant, groceries from the market, or a stack of paper from the office supply store. This can even include alcohol delivery.
This means that you won’t just be picking up and delivering orders. You may also need to enter stores, find items using a shopping list, and then deliver it to customers.
Another difference is that you’ll be using a Postmates prepaid credit card to purchase these orders instead of just picking them up.
Unlike GrubHub, Postmates will send you to pick up deliveries from any restaurant or store. These businesses may or may not be partnered with Postmates.
This means that you may be sent to places that aren’t thrilled about sending deliveries to customers using a third party.
These awkward and sometimes uncomfortable encounters don’t come up with GrubHub since all orders are conducted through established partners.
What Are the Worker Requirements?
The requirements for becoming a driver for GrubHub and Postmates are almost exactly the same. Both of these services want their drivers to be safe drivers who are able to pass a background check, and for the most part, require drivers to have a means of transportation to complete orders.
For both services, applicants may be disqualified if they have a felony conviction or violent crime on their record. As long as you don’t have any of these blemishes on your record, you should be able to become a driver.
Let’s take a look at some more of the requirements.
The main Grubhub driver requirements are that drivers are at least 19 years old, have a vehicle or bicycle to deliver orders, and pass a background check.
Since this is a delivery service, drivers must have the means to complete deliveries. If you decide to use a car, the only requirement is that it must be covered by auto insurance. You would also need a valid driver’s license and two years of driving experience under your belt.
If available in your city, you can also use a bicycle to deliver orders. If you chose this option you would need to have a valid state ID.
Lastly, a working and up-to-date smartphone are needed, plus a bank account that can accept direct deposit payments.
To summarize, here are all of the GrubHub vehicle and driver requirements:
- Must be at least 19 years of age (Chicago drivers must be 21 or older)
- Have at least two years driving experience
- Own an iPhone with iOS 8 or higher, or an Android with 4.0 or higher (data plan required)
- Drivers must have a valid driver’s license and a vehicle covered by auto insurance
- Bikers do not need a driver’s license, but they do need a valid state ID
- Must have a checking account to receive direct deposit payments
- Must pass a Grubhub background check
Like we said before, the requirements for driving for Postmates are nearly the same as GrubHub. The one major difference is that in order to drive for Postmates, you only need to be 18 years old.
This is great news for younger drivers out there who are looking to make a few extra bucks here and there with a gig working job.
Another difference is that in some markets if you don’t have a vehicle you can even walk to deliver orders. Other than that, everything else is pretty much the same as GrubHub.
The full requirements for becoming a Postmates driver are the following:
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Own a car, truck, scooter, bicycle, or motorcycle to complete deliveries (Postmates allows you to walk in some cases)
- Vehicle must be insured
- Pass a Postmates background check
- Own a smartphone capable of running the Postmates app
How Is the Pay Calculated?
How drivers are paid is slightly different between these two platforms.
GrubHub’s payment model is much more simple and only factors in a few variables.
Postmates, on the other hand, looks at quite a few items, which makes sense since the nature of a Postmates delivery can be more complicated than a GrubHub delivery.
GrubHub will compensate drivers for each order using the following variables:
- Base rate that is generally around $3.00 to $4.00
- $0.50 per mile driven from restaurant to customer
- 100 percent of tips
GrubHub also offers a guaranteed minimum pay in applicable markets. Depending on which market you’re driving in, you may qualify for this minimum payment.
Postmates orders factor in quite a few variables for their drivers. This ensures that drivers are rewarded for every part of their order, in case there are some things that take longer than others.
For each Postmates order, you’ll see an amount for the following items on your order invoice:
- 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 will be some orders that amount to very little, but you shouldn’t worry because Postmates will award you with a minimum amount that is generally around $3.00 or $4.00.
Bonuses, Incentives, and Programs for Each Platform
Postmates and GrubHub both incentivize their drivers but in different ways.
GrubHub takes the approach of rewarding drivers who consistently use their platform and have high order acceptance rates over time.
Postmates, on the other hand, focuses more on bonuses, delivery challenges, and incentives for completing orders.
Let’s take a look at each approach and you can be the judge for each.
While GrubHub doesn’t offer bonuses, it does incentivize its drivers to schedule shifts ahead of time and also drive more consistently.
In regard to scheduling shifts, drivers who schedule their shifts ahead of time are given first priority on orders during their shift. This will definitely help you receive more orders and make some extra cash while driving.
Also, GrubHub rewards drivers with a tiered incentive program. Drivers who have higher order acceptance rates and deliver more often can climb the ranks of drivers.
The best drivers will gain access to first dibs on catering orders, prime time delivery orders, and additional referral program bonuses.
With Postmates, you can expect to receive in-app incentives and bonuses on a regular basis. These offers are aimed at getting you to drive more throughout the week and during busy peak hours.
These incentives come in two forms, Bonuses and Guaranteed Earnings.
Bonuses are more short-term goals and challenges you can complete. This can be extra earnings on deliveries during a certain time or completing a certain number of orders over the listed period.
Guaranteed Earnings are goals you’re trying to complete throughout the week or on a certain day. This can be completing a certain number of deliveries over the course of a few days.
To explain further, it would be easiest to show you a few examples of what these incentives look like.
Here are a few examples of actual bonuses and guaranteed earnings from Postmates:
- Per delivery: Earn $4 extra for each delivery you make between 4:00–7:00 p.m.
- For sum of deliveries: Earn $15 for completing six rides between 6:00–8:00 p.m.
- Simple guaranteed earning: Complete 30 deliveries in the next four days and earn a guaranteed $400 (excluding tips)
- Tiered guarantee earning: Complete five deliveries during dinner hours (5:00–9:00 p.m.) on Friday
Which Platform Is in My Hometown?
Last but not least, we should check to see if GrubHub and Postmates operate in your city. Both of these services are behemoths and there’s a good chance you can work for either.
We would have to say that GrubHub is much larger than Postmates and has been around longer, so there’s a good chance it’ll be operating in your market. GrubHub is offered in over 1,600 cities.
Head here to see if you’re able to drive for GrubHub in your city.
Make sure to go through the application process to be 100 percent sure. We went through the application process and found out that GrubHub is already at full driver capacity in our market.
It’s a bummer for us, but better for current drivers since this means they’re capping how many drivers can be on the road at one time. That means more money for those drivers to make.
Sure, GrubHub is older and larger than Postmates, but don’t count this service out. Postmates has been steadily growing and entering new markets by the week.
Postmates is available in 385 active cities. Head here to see if Postmates operates in your city.
Which One Fits Your Lifestyle?
GrubHub and Postmates are two of the most popular delivery services out there. Both provide drivers with an excellent opportunity for flexible employment.
We recommend weighing your options and deciding which service fits with your lifestyle more.
Also, you could always sign up and drive for both to see which one you enjoy more. It really is all up to your own personal preference.