Should Uber drivers work for Postmates?
In the process of dialing in your rideshare strategies, you’ve likely thought about the potential of adding a food delivery app or two to your repertoire. But is it worth it? And which services are the best ones to work for?
These, of course, are big questions. And we’re here to help you work them out. Here’s the skinny on adding DoorDash, UberEats, and Postmates to your workload.
Working for DoorDash
DoorDash is an on-demand food delivery app that hires independent drivers to do deliveries. Unlike with other rideshare and delivery apps, with DoorDash you sign up for shifts up to six days in advance instead of just logging onto the app. You can always drop into a shift without signing up in advance if slots are available, but you can’t always count on that. In other words, it’s not as on-the-fly as other platforms.
- Be 18 years or older
- Have access to any car, truck, motorcycle, or scooter
- Own a smartphone
- Have a driver’s license with at least two years of driving experience
- Have valid insurance
- Provide a social security number (for a background check)
- Pass a background and driving record check
- Complete an orientation online or in person
How much does DoorDash Pay
DoorDash’s website claims a driver can make up to $25/hour, but that might be a stretch. Most Dashers make $8-15 an hour, including tips. However, DoorDash guarantees you’ll make at least $10/hour, so if you make less than that, the company will pay the difference.
Ultimately, what you make depends on how many deliveries you can do per shift. Every delivery has a minimum payout of $6 per order and there are things that can bump that up. For one, you get to keep 100% of the tips, and unlike some delivery apps, DoorDash’s app encourages tipping.
On top of that, DoorDash implements a system called “pay boost,” which gives you a little extra cash based on the difficulty of the delivery, the distance, etc. Additionally, some cities give new drivers a $100 on-boarding bonus.
- Minimum hourly wage. DoorDash ensures you’re making at least $10/hour, so if it’s a slow day, you don’t have to worry too much about losing cash.
- Tips. The DoorDash app encourages tipping, so it’s more likely you’ll bring home a little extra cash with this app over others.
- Drive what you want. Unlike Uber and Lyft, driving for DoorDash does not require you to have a specific year, make or model of—or even a car at all. A motorcycle, scooter, or even bike will do.
- Set shifts. If you’re trying to supplement your rideshare driving with some deliveries peppered in between rides, DoorDash might not be right for you. When you sign up for a shift, you’re basically commiting to driving for DoorDash for a set amount of time, meaning it’s harder to drive for, say, Lyft in between.
- Set geographical areas. When you sign up for a shift, you also select a specific geographic area. You won’t get any orders outside of this area. While that’s helpful when you’re driving specifically for DoorDash (i.e. you won’t be forced to waste time driving all over town) it might hinder your ability to also give rides in between
- Ordering. While sometimes customers will order and pay directly through the app, sometimes you have to personally put in the order and pay with a Red Card, a company-provided expense card, at the time of pickup. This can take up a lot of time that could be spent driving.
Working for UberEATS
UberEATS is Uber’s food delivery arm, which is an option within the normal Uber app (as well as a stand-alone app). While some markets allow you to sign up to exclusively be an EATS driver, others require that also be an UberX driver. That can affect some of the below requirements.
- Be 19 years or older (21 in Canada)
- Have a driver’s license and at least 1 year of driving experience
- Have regular insurance
- Have proof of vehicle registration
- For EATS-only profiles, your car must be 1996 or newer. Otherwise, vehicle requirements are the same as UberX
How much does UberEATS pay
EATS drivers are paid for each delivery based on a pickup fee, a drop-off fee, and a mileage fee. Uber then takes a 25% cut of each order (though some markets may be 20%). If you have to do more than one drop off, you’ll get a drop-off fee for each different address that you have to deliver to.
So, using Los Angeles as an example, here’s what you’d get paid for a delivery: $2.50 for a pickup + $0.60 for mileage (3 miles at $0.20/mile) + $3.00 drop off fee = $6.10. Uber’s 25% fee would take $1.52, so your total payout would be $4.58. If you receive a tip, that’s all yours, but they are rare with EATS (see below).
That said, UberEATS drivers can expect to make around $8-12/hour
- Flexible hours. Unlike DoorDash, with EATS there is no shift scheduling format. Just sign into the app and you’re good to go. This makes it easy to incorporate EATS into your usual rideshare strategy by picking up orders between rides. Additionally, EATS deliveries count towards Quest rides, so if you’re going for that Uber bonus on a slow night for rides, EATS can help get you there.
- No ordering or PEX cards. Also unlike DoorDash, EATS will only you ping you with a pickup once the order has been placed with the restaurant. You don’t have to mess around with ordering or payment cards. Just food.
- Wider geography. EATS will send you far and wide for a delivery, but this isn’t a bad thing: because you get paid per mile, a higher-distance delivery will yield a higher fares.
- No payment for waiting time. Because you’re getting paid per order with no minimum hourly payment guarantee, waiting around for food can feel like a waste of time. Postmates pays for this time (more on that below), but EATS does not.
- No in-app tip option. The EATS app doesn’t prompt customers to give a tip, so you’re relying on relying on cash at the time of delivery. And this doesn’t happen very often.
- Vehicle requirements. Other services don’t care what you’re driving as long as it’s legal and gets you there. Uber, however, is far more picky.
- No guaranteed payout. As mentioned before, a slow night driving for EATS will take a bite out of your profits.
Working for Postmates
Like DoorDash, Postmates is an independent food delivery service that has both restaurants and stores on the platform. So unlike with the other food delivery apps, you might be stopping by a 7-Eleven on occasion to deliver someone a slurpee.
- Be 18 years or older
- Have a valid driver’s license
- Have a car or a bicycle
- Have insurance
- Own a smartphone (or lease one from Postmates)
- Pass a background check
How much does Postmates pay
Like DoorDash, Postmates claims that “experienced” couriers can make up to $25/hour, but research suggests otherwise. To break it down, Postmates pays all drivers a base pay of $1.35 per order as soon as you accept the delivery + $0.10/minute while you wait at the restaurant + $1.03/mile between the restaurant and the drop off location. So if you drive 3 miles and wait 5 minutes, that’s $4.94 per delivery.
You do receive 100% of tips, and customers are prompted to tip inside the app after the delivery is complete.
In some markets, hourly wage guarantees are sometimes offered, but you have to accept 100% of requests to qualify.
Additionally, Postmates offers Blitz pricing, which is similar to Uber’s surge pricing and increases the delivery fees during peak hours for an opportunity to make a little extra.
All told, you can expect to make $8-15/hour in most markets.
- Tips. Having a tipping option in the app makes all the difference.
- Drive what you want. Like DoorDash, any car that will get you there is good with Postmates.
- Flexible hours. Just sign in and start delivering.
- Order stacking. Postmates allowd you to pick up several orders from restaurants at once, then focus on delivering in a way that makes sense. This can save time and boost productivity.
- Waiting time. If the restaurant is taking their sweet time, you don’t (totally) lose out on cash.
- App functionality. Unlike most on-demand apps, Postmates doesn’t snap to the foreground when a ping come in. That makes it pretty easy to miss the orders and miss the money.
- Ordering. Like DoorDash, Postmates often requires that you make the order yourself (sometimes at the restaurant or shop) and pay with an expense card. This alone takes up time, but Postmates also requires you to take photos of the receipts so the card can be reimbursed. That’s a time suck and an easy step to forget.
- Long wait times. Likely the reason Postmates introduced waiting time payments is because the ordering system often requires you to wait a long time. While other delivery apps already have the restaurants cooking the food while you’re driving to them, Postmates often has you placing the order once you get there.
Who should drive courier services?
Though the companies all say it’s possible to make good money driving for their platforms, it’s clear that isn’t really the case. Even the CEO of Postmates said at a TechCrunch event: “I’d like it to be a full-time job in the future, but the reality is it’s probably a really good part-time job.”
That said, it just might be the right part-time job to supplement your ridesharing work. If you’re having a slow night, you can switch over to a courier service and see if you get any action there. Or if you’re working towards a Quest, an UberEATS delivery can quickly get you there.
Additionally, it can be taxing to deal with driving people around all day. Switching to having food as your passenger for a little while can help keep the less outgoing drivers sane.
Our best advice: Don’t bet on making all your money this way, but adding it to your action plan can yield strong results.