Driving for Postmates has undoubtedly opened doors to new opportunities for gig workers across the U.S.
Scheduling your own hours and working whenever you want is hard to beat. Being your own boss and answering to no one besides yourself is also pretty nice.
But perhaps what hasn’t been so nice about being a Postmates courier is the pay you’ve been receiving. Postmates lured you in by promising no fees and no time commitment while being able to take home 100 percent of what you earn for each delivery.
So why aren’t you able to make the earnings you want? It seems that no matter what you do, your earnings still float around the minimum wage line.
Postmates, the on-demand delivery service that will bring you anything, anywhere, and at any time, is one of the up and coming gig companies providing flexible employment to thousands of workers.
We dug around and found that there are some simple things delivery drivers can do to guarantee they start earning more on each shift. This is what we found.
Provide Great Customer Service
Let’s get this out of the way right now. The easiest way to make more money as a Postmates driver is to start earning more tips. Bottom line, if you can perfect great customer service and apply a few techniques, you’ll surely increase your tip amount and start making good money.
One of those techniques is going the extra mile. This means getting all of the little things right with your Postmates orders.
This could mean making sure the orders are in your delivery bag and hot when they arrive. If you also have cold items, make sure to keep them separate and in a cold bag so they stay cool.
Another trick is making sure the customer has a variety of condiments and the appropriate amount of utensils for every order.
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. If you ordered a burger, fries, and chicken wings through Postmates, you’d likely want some ketchup for fry dipping and maybe even some ranch for your chicken wings.
Who knows what the customer likes, but it never hurts to ask. You can always reach out via text to confirm order details, which leads us to our next tip.
Communicate With the Customer
The customer should always be kept in the loop. This means keeping them up to date every step of the way. The last thing you want them to do is reach out to Postmates customer support with a problem. Be proactive before there is an issue.
When picking up the customer’s order, always make sure you reach out if there are any questions or delays. If the store is out of the item the customer requested, then ask them if they would like to replace it with anything. Never make this decision on your own without consulting with the customer.
If there is a delay and it’s not your fault, make sure the customer knows the adjusted arrival time. You don’t want them to be upset about waiting around without any prior notice. You also don’t want them thinking it’s your fault because that’ll surely result in a poor tip.
When you arrive at the drop off location, make sure you nail the face-to-face interaction. Greet them with a smile and ask them how their day is going. This personal touch goes a long way.
Let them know that you grabbed extra condiments and utensils, and show them that you went the extra mile to make their order perfect.
Also, make sure you give them the receipt and remind them to close out their order on the app. The customer needs to review the order and confirm the tip after the order is completed, so by doing this, you greatly increase the chances of receiving a tip.
Your interaction with the customer should include all of these things, but make sure you keep it to a minimum. No more than a minute or so should be spent conversing.
Not many people like chatting very much when they’re starving, and plus, you have to get back on the road to knock off some more deliveries.
Fast Deliveries = Happy Customers
In today’s world, speed means everything. There’s a good chance that customers are starving when they pick up the Postmates app and place their order.
I think we can all agree that nobody wants to be waiting around with a growling stomach. So how can you solve this?
Well for starters, you can make sure every delivery is completed at lightning speed. The faster you can get the order to the customer, the better chance you have at a generous tip.
One way to make sure you quickly get to a customer’s location is by using the best navigation. Some drivers swear by Google Maps while others say Waze helps them cut through side streets and avoid any traffic delays.
Whichever app gets you there the quickest is the one you should be using.
Also, you should equip your car with a dash mount for your phone. This will not only be safer for driving, but it’ll also save you time by not having to fidget with your phone in the cup holder every time you receive a new order.
It’s better to have your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel to get there fast.
Stack Your Deliveries
In order to maximize your productivity, you should take advantage of stacking deliveries. This means that you’ll be completing more than one order at a time.
When you start your shift, you can opt-in to receive multiple orders. When you arrive at the pickup location, sometimes you’ll be notified that you’ll be picking up and delivering more than one order.
By doing this, you’ll be paid out for multiple orders rather than one while spending less time waiting at the merchant. You’ll need to deliver the orders in which they were received, so make sure you’re fast and keep the customers up to date.
This will increase your total orders and help you reach incentive levels faster. It also gives you a better opportunity of receiving tips with the expert customer service you picked up above in the previous section.
For more information on batched and stacked deliveries, head to this page.
Drive During Peak Hours
Before you’re even on the clock, you should be thinking of ways to maximize your drive time. One technique is scheduling your driving shifts during peak hours.
These are the times when delivery fees are at their highest and you’ll likely receive plenty of delivery opportunities, increasing your hourly wage.
Peak hours coincide with when people are eating lunch and dinner. There also tends to be more orders between Friday and Sunday when people are beginning and ending their weekend.
The best times to drive are the following:
- Every day from 10:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
- Every day from 5:30–8:30 p.m.
Dinner time tends to be the most popular time to drive, so if you had to pick one, dinner is the way to go.
Also, in order to maximize the number of orders you receive, make sure to head to hot spots in your city.
Hot spots are areas that guarantee a high concentration of orders. As you see in the screenshot above, areas that are highlighted in dark red have the most deliveries during busy periods. Make sure you’re in one of these zones and watch the orders roll in.
Take Advantage of Blitz Pricing
Blitz pricing is your new best friend. Get to know it and make sure you take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way.
Blitz pricing occurs when there are more deliveries than couriers on the road at one time. If this is the case, you’ll receive a blitz pricing notification which multiplies every order fare by the described amount. This means you can earn up to two times the fare for each delivery you complete.
For example, if you receive a blitz pricing notification for “1.5x”, you’ll receive 50 percent more on every order you complete. That turns a $10 fare into a $15 fare, just like that.
It’s in your best interest to drive during these periods and take advantage of this feature whenever you can.
Capitalize on Bonuses and Incentives
Capitalizing on bonuses and incentives is also a productive way to earn more cash. If you drive smart and often, you can hit driving goals to receive bonuses and guaranteed earnings.
Postmates rewards you for driving often and completing many deliveries. If you do so, you can receive an extra boost in your paycheck.
Postmates has a range of bonuses and incentives that you can strive for. Here are a few examples of bonuses and guaranteed earnings you may see using Postmates:
- Per delivery: Earn $5 extra for each delivery you make between 5:30–8:30 p.m.
- For sum of deliveries: Earn $20 for completing nine rides between 6:00–9:00 p.m.
- Simple guaranteed earning: Complete 50 deliveries in the next five days and earn a guaranteed $500 (excluding tips)
- Tiered guarantee earning: Complete seven deliveries during dinner hours (5:00–9:00 p.m.) on Friday to earn a guaranteed $80
Just like taking advantage of blitz pricing, capitalizing on bonuses and incentives is your ticket to higher earnings.
Enable Auto Accept
One of the core principles behind maximizing your earnings is to pack in as many orders as you can while you’re on the clock.
A crucial feature that enables you to fit more orders in and be ultra efficient is the auto accept feature. When you enable the auto accept feature, you don’t need to worry about looking at your phone and browsing for the next delivery.
Instead, auto accept will line up your next order while you’re still completing the current order. You can literally finish one order and be onto the next in a matter of seconds.
To enable auto accept, head to the account preferences section in your Postmates fleet app. Then tap “Automatic Accept” to turn on the feature.
When you’re on the clock, you’ll simply tap the “New Offers” button to turn the feature on and off. When you want to take a break, you can turn it off, finish your lined up deliveries, and then you’re all set.
Reduce Costs and Don’t Forget About Taxes
After checking the box on all of the tricks mentioned above, the last thing you can do is try to minimize your driving costs.
The less driving and wear and tear you put on your vehicle, the better off you’ll be. This may mean navigating to hot spots where you likely won’t need to drive very far to complete deliveries. In order to save a little extra fuel, in between orders you should also avoid driving around aimlessly.
You could even look into using a bicycle, scooter, or motorcycle to complete orders. This will greatly reduce your driving expenses, however, may bring up challenges of their own. Also, using a bicycle to complete deliveries isn’t available in every market, so make sure you check beforehand.
Lastly, remember that working for Postmates means that you’re an independent contractor. As an independent contractor, your taxes are not withheld which means you’ll be responsible for them at the end of the year.
Make sure you set aside about 30 percent of your wages to cover your taxes at the end of the year. Also, be very diligent about tracking all of your expenses, including mileage.
There are plenty of great mileage tracking apps, so there is no excuse to not do this. It’s easy. And the more you can write off at the end of the year, the better off you’ll be.
Take These Tips and Run With Them
While we talked only about Postmates delivery in this article, these principles apply across a range of food delivery platforms.
If you’re a delivery person for Doordash, GrubHub, or Caviar, you can use these tips and tricks to increase your overall earnings.
If you’re a rideshare driver for Uber or Lyft, you can also take some of these ideas and apply them to your trade to maximize your earning potential.
It really all comes down to knocking out as many orders as you possibly can while you’re on the clock. But most importantly, making sure you’re delivering great customer service to increase the chances of receiving larger tips.
Remember some of these tricks and start earning more on your next shift!