Delivering Food Pays Better Than You Would Think
Postmates? Doordash? Waitr? Which One Should You Choose?
I’m always up for an adventure and my love for a good challenge (and some extra cash) led me to download the Fleet app, (Postmates) Dasher app, (Doordash) and Driver app (Waitr).
Each app holds the same function: to connect an eager delivery driver (HI!) with a hungry human waiting rather impatiently, after pushing a couple buttons, for something to satisfy their rumbling stomachs.
While each app may seem the same to the orderer with a late-night taco craving, the app has its different quirks and ways to earn money for the deliverer.
I’ve been on the ordering and delivering side of each of these apps. (Mostly the delivering side, I shouldn’t be spending any more money than I already do.)I’m here to let you know how worthwhile these options are for people who work as couriers, and which one is your best choice depending on your specific situation.
Biggest thing I love about delivering for Postmates. You are your own boss. You turn on the app whenever you want and turn it off the same way. There are also options on the app to deliver by car, bike, or scooter depending on your market. The website lays out the guidelines for becoming a Postmate. You need to be at least 18, but other than that the requirements aren’t especially heavy. After passing a background test the company will send you a prepaid card and a hot bag.
Once you’ve received these you sign into the app, and begin receiving orders. Postmates advertises $25 per hour earnings for couriers. From personal experience, I’ve been able to earn that much in an hour, but that’s if everything “goes right”. If the restaurant I’m delivering from doesn’t mess up the order or the traffic isn’t too heavy, and if the person I’m delivering to is feeling generous that day and tips me a healthy $4 or so.
For me, living in Pensacola, FL, the pay formula is as follows:
Rate Per Pickup
Rate Per Dropoff
Rate Per Minute
Rate Per Mile
So, say if the delivery was 5 miles away from me and it took me 12 minutes to deliver it I would earn $5.60 plus any tips I earned for the delivery. To see what your market looks like click here.
I’m a music lover so one of my favorite things about Postmates is the fact that I’m able to listen to your own music or podcasts as I drive and jam out to my heart’s content.
You’re also able to cash out all of your earnings the second you make them. So if you need a little extra money quickly and have some extra time on your hands, I would recommend this service for you.
If you look online the reviews for Postmates can get a little heated. Past couriers exclaim in words upset enough to hear the anger laced in their words through the screen that the pay is too measly to even make a profit or break even.
“ There’s too many drivers for anyone to make decent money for the time they spend waiting. Being said you won’t have any more luck anywhere else in this business.”
Pay could be a lot better then what they offer I spend more on gas then what I receive in delivery… Sometimes it’s just not worth it…most I made was 12.00 from a delivery
The biggest complaint is the wear and tear being a deliverer puts on your car, plus the expense of gas puts most of what you earn back into your gas tank.
Unlike apps such as Doordash, the company does not tell you how much you’ll be making for the accepted delivery. My tip ratio over the 2 months I’ve been working has been 60%-70%. Postmates also prompts the customer to tip after they receive the order and pay for the initial delivery. While all other companies prompt the customer to tip while they are ordering.
This could be looked at in one of two ways: You’re getting paid for your actual service and speed instead of a random guesstimate made by the customer of the delivery service. Or the fact that the customer could completely forget about you and the delivery by the next time they get on the app to satiate their cravings.
On the deliverer’s end, the one thing that makes me the most upset is I’m unable to see the ratings I’m getting from the customer. I know there is an option to rate the deliver being on the ordering side of the app, but I’m not sure if or how it affects my pay rate or how many orders I receive.
My favorite thing about Doordash is the transparency I have about how much I’m going to get paid for a delivery. You see all of the payment upfront, including the tip, before you even accept the delivery.
Signing up works about the same way as Postmates with them sending you a prepaid card and hot bag. You’re also able to see your rating, and how you’re doing per each delivery.
On the website, DoorDash advertises that you will earn between $15-$25 an hour. Most drivers who post videos to YouTube claim that they earn between $7-$10 per delivery, and they average 2–3 deliveries per hour. Of course, when you’re just learning the ropes, you may have some trouble figuring out how to maximize your deliveries, so you might earn closer to $9-$10 per hour at first. Still a decent amount, and if you can get scheduled for good times you’re guaranteed to earn some pretty good compensation.
You can make a decent amount on DoorDash only if your market is particularly busy. DoorDash will only allow you to start receiving orders if it’s busy enough in your area. (Highlighted pink or red.) If not there’s no way to even go online.
Doordash is more of a scheduled app as well. There are only so many slots per hour in your market. You are able to choose which hours you want to work, but popular times (where you make more money) fill up very quickly. This could also be looked at as a pro because if you are scheduled for those hours you’re guaranteed a certain amount of deliveries rather than the market becoming oversaturated with deliverers (like Postmates).
Sometimes your deliveries can be completed quickly, but you are at the whim of the restaurant’s schedule, too. So if they have a backlog or take a while to prepare a meal, you could be stuck waiting. The same goes for how long it will take to get to your delivery destination. Your drive could be 30 minutes or five to make a delivery.
Waitr is definitely a lot more reliable than DoorDash or Postmates. There’s a lot less to find online about this platform though.
The Process for becoming hired is just a little bit different than DoorDash or Postmates. There is a more formal interview where you meet up with a Lead Driver who goes over the requirements of the job and the next steps you should take. Then after finishing the paperwork, you meet up again for a paid hiring session.
After you’ve finished the hiring session you’re able to sign in to the app and begin taking orders. My favorite thing about the app is you’re able to see literally everything upfront. Including the customer’s address. Also, unlike DoorDash and Postmates, you never stand in line to order the food or guesstimate about the length of the time it will take you to get to the customer. As you can see from the screenshot below, you’re able to see the time until the food is ready. (69 minutes)
With Waitr I’ve been able to pick up as many hours a week as I want. You make $5.44 an hour no matter how many or how little deliveries you receive. You’re also guaranteed a $4 tip for each delivery you make. If the customer tips you less, Waitr brings the tip to $4. So if you’re making one delivery an hour, at the very least, you’re making $9.44.
As you can see here from this Airtable of working 4 hrs, I earned 56.64 at the very least. That’s $14.16 per hour. This was also my first day at Waitr while I was still working out the kinks.
Waitr is more of a part-time job than a side hustle. There’s about 5 apps you need to be able to navigate with this job instead of just one, taking up a little more space on your phone, and a little more complicated to figure out at first and navigate.
Like DoorDash, you are required to set a schedule, but you do set your own hours, at a minimum requirement of 20 hours per week. With the shifts being 4 to 5 hours each.
Once you pick up those hours you’re required to clock in and clock out, corresponding to those hours. The apps through this platform are still quite glitchy and require a good deal of maintenance that can be frustrating at times. Overall though, this app is my favorite to make the most money from.
All of the apps have their strengths and weaknesses. Postmates is driver-saturated and has no support whatsoever. DoorDash pays the least but is a little more structured. Waitr could be too structured for some people’s liking, but you do make a set amount using this app. The key is to figure out how to make these apps work in tandem to your advantage.
This kind of work is not for everyone. I consider it pretty easy money, but it is still work. I’ve made over $600 dollars in one week working these apps at my choosing. You do have good and bad days. There are some days where your customers are interesting and fun to deliver to. There are other days when people don’t help make your difficult day any better. You set your own hours. You don’t have a boss, so it teaches you about entrepreneurship. I’m enjoying the freedom being a delivery driver has given me. Give it a shot. You might be surprised how much money you make.