Since the gig economy’s inception, gig workers have been given more and more opportunities to find work outside the traditional nine to five lanes. What started out as flexible jobs as rideshare drivers for Uber and Lyft quickly blossomed into much more.
In this article, we’re going to examine Postmates, the on-demand delivery service that will bring nearly anything to customers’ doors. Specifically, we want to lay out how much drivers make and how you can maximize your earnings to give you an idea if you’d like to start working for Postmates.
How Much Do Postmates Drivers Make?
There are many factors that go into how much Postmates delivery drivers make, like the city you work in, time of day you drive, and how many hours you put in. Typically drivers will make anywhere from $10.00 to $25.00 per hour depending on these variables.
According to self-reported income figures on Indeed.com, drivers report that they make anywhere between $10.00 to $25.00 per hour. Obviously, there will be outliers from those who have little success delivering — or a great deal of success — that may fall outside of this range.
In a way, drivers have some control over how well they’re earning depending on how many orders they can cram in during their shift, when they’re driving, and how much they’re able to receive in tips.
Since there are quite a few variables that go into how much each individual driver makes, it’s important to understand how you can maximize your earnings as a Postmates driver.
But before we get into all that, let’s first see how your earnings will be calculated.
Each Postmates delivery payment is calculated using a few different variables, like how long a driver has to wait at the pickup location and how far they have to drive. Postmates earnings are also dependent on the rates of each individual city.
At the most basic level, every Postmates delivery fare will include the following amounts:
- 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)
After adding up each line item, you will have the delivery fare for each delivery you complete. All of your delivery fares will accumulate to make up your final payment once your shift is over.
It’s important to know that each of these amounts will be different from city to city, which leads us to our next point — different city rates.
City Pay Rates
Postmates rates will vary depending on which city you’re driving in. The calculations for pickup, drop-off, per minute rate, and per mile rate will all be different from city to city.
To give you an idea, let’s take a look at the difference between three cities — San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle.
The table below shows that drivers in San Francisco make more money across the board compared to the other two cities. The amount that drivers are paid for each line item exceeds the other locations.
Also, the minimum base payout per route for San Francisco is $5.00, which is more than Seattle and Los Angeles, which are only $4.00 per delivery.
So what causes this? Well, the differences can result from a few factors, some of those which include the overall supply and demand of delivery drivers, cost of living in the area, and price of fuel. Whatever the reason, each city has its own pay rates that you can use to determine your city’s driver details.
Outside of which city you live in, there are also several other factors that will help you maximize your earnings.
Postmates workers who drive during peak hours are able to greatly maximize their earnings. Lunch and dinner hours, as well as weekends, have the greatest amount of orders and the highest probability of paying increased hourly wages.
It all comes down the busiest hours being when people are the most hungry and need their food conveniently delivered. Typically the busiest time of the day is when people are working and need their lunch delivered or when they’re settling in for the night and would rather just order out.
According to Postmates, the following times will bring the most deliveries throughout the day.
- Every day from 10:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
- Every day from 5:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
- Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays have the highest demand
If you schedule your work hours to coincide with these times, you’ll have the best luck making more money as a Postmates driver. You’re also more likely to receive orders during blitz periods.
Blitz pricing occurs when there’s a high demand for orders and not enough drivers to fulfill them. During a blitz period, each delivery fare will be increased, paying you more than during non-blitz periods.
It’s in your best interest to drive during peak hours because there’s a good chance you’ll be able to receive blitz orders.
You’ll always be notified if there’s a blitz priced order before accepting the order. You’ll also be able to see the exact payout.
So now that you know when you should be driving, it’s also crucial that you know where you should be driving.
Driving in the right locations within your city can help you maximize your earnings. In order to find the best locations to drive, you can either look at the map in the fleet app or you can go to your city’s delivery detail page.
The easiest way to find the most current busy locations, you should always be checking your fleet app. If you look at the snapshot below, you can see that the areas highlighted in dark red are the busiest areas.
If you navigate towards these areas, you should be able to receive more orders per hour and end up maximizing your earnings while you’re on the clock.
You can also head to your city’s driver detail pages to figure out the most popular areas beforehand. For instance, if you look at San Francisco’s driver page, it will tell that the following areas will give you the most orders per hour:
- Financial District
- Nob Hill
Besides where and when you should be driving, you can also take advantage of Postmates incentives to receive an extra boost to your paycheck.
Bonuses and Incentives
Postmates bonuses and incentives can help you dramatically increase your paycheck. By completing delivery goals during certain periods of time and meeting delivery minimums, you can receive additional payouts that will help pad your bank account.
Postmates offers a few different types of bonuses and incentives that will help you make more money.
- Bonus Per Delivery: Earn a bonus for every delivery accepted and completed within a certain timeframe
- Guaranteed Earnings: Complete a specified number of deliveries during a certain period of time to receive a guaranteed minimum payout
- Crushers: Complete a certain number of deliveries over a set time period to receive an additional bonus
- Tiered Guaranteed Earnings: Similar to Guaranteed Earnings, except incentives are tiered with increasingly higher payouts
Drivers will always be notified of current bonuses and incentives through the driver app. If you want to make the most out of your drive time, you should always be chasing these bonuses.
You should also always be delivering excellent customer service so you can reap the rewards of our next suggestion — maximizing your tips.
Postmates drivers get to keep 100 percent of the tips they receive. Drivers that deliver food promptly, courteously, and with excellent customer service will likely receive the most tips.
Since customers will be assessing your performance after you complete your delivery, you should always be trying to keep the customer happy. A nice smile and friendly hello will go a long way in the delivery business.
More importantly, fast delivery times with extra perks like warm food in a heating bag, extra condiments, and ample cutlery will show customers that you care. The better experience customers have, the better chance you have of receiving a tip from them.
Remember that customers are already paying a delivery fee and a service fee to use Postmates. If you’d like a generous tip on top of that, you’ll need to impress them.
Also, if you simply ask them to review their delivery on the app after you leave, there’s a slightly higher chance they’ll end up leaving a tip. It’s worth a shot!
We’ve pretty much covered all of the main ways you can increase your earnings, but there are a few more subtle tricks you can use to increase your productivity while on the clock.
Other Tips to Increase Your Earnings
There are a few more tips you can use to increase your earnings, like auto accepting new orders, stacking your deliveries, and batching multiple deliveries into one.
First off, if you know you’re going to be driving for a certain period of time, you should set your Postmates app to auto accept new orders.
Instead of you having to pick up your phone after every delivery to find the next assignment, you can let Postmates search for you while you work. This means that when an order comes up, it will automatically accept it and put it in your order queue, even if you’re still working on another order.
To enable auto accept, you simply open the fleet app, tap preferences, and then enable “Automatic Accept.”
The next tip is to stack your deliveries. This means that you will accept more than one delivery at a time to increase delivery efficiency. This will create an order queue for you to follow and will help you improve your efficiency, however, you must still complete the deliveries in the same order as they were accepted.
Lastly, you can complete batched and chained deliveries. This means that you can pick up multiple orders at once if it’s more efficient than doing the orders separately.
A batched order is when you pick up multiple orders from one restaurant or store and then deliver them to separate customers. A chained order is when you pick up multiple orders from different locations and then deliver them to customers who have similar drop-off locations.
Both of these types of order combinations help you increase the number of orders you’re able to complete while you’re on the clock and overall, help you increase your earnings.
If you’d like even more tips on how to maximize your earnings, you can check out our 9 Postmates Tips to Earn More article that goes into further detail.
Cash on the Side
If becoming a Postmates courier sounds like it’s right up your alley, then make sure you head to our Postmates Driver Requirements article to see all of the driver requirements.
Whether you want to drive full-time or make a little cash on the side driving part-time, working for food delivery companies is a nice way to supplement your weekly income.