What’s It Like To Drive For Postmates?

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Table Of Contents

Postmates is a digital delivery service that local businesses (mainly restaurants) use to deliver their prepared food or other goods. It is a perfect example of a side hustle that more and more people are using as either their main source of income or to supplement their existing revenue stream. As we will see in this article, the barriers to entry are extremely low which are continually making ridesharing companies like Postmates, a more attractive job prospect.

To review working for Postmates it’s a good idea to have a little background of the industry and company. Around 2010, online food ordering and delivery started to become a more glamorous option to get food. A slew of companies started, and one of them was an online delivery platform called Postmates. These services solved an age-old problem that made delivery possible for restaurants that didn’t already deliver.

So what’s it like to work for a company that’s valued at $1.85 billion?

Since it was founded in 2011, Postmates has changed the way it pays its employees for delivery. While workers didn’t take kindly to the change (from $4 per job to $1.90 per pickup, $0.50 per drop-off, $0.07 per minute and $1.29 per mile), Postmates claimed the change has increased the drivers average hourly rate by $2 per hour from 2017 to 2019.

In this article, we’re going to teach you about the company and dissect employee reviews of it so you can be more educated on the delivery service before you fill up your tank.

Related: Best Delivery Driver Jobs

Here’s What Drivers Have To Say About Working For Postmates

On the career site, Indeed, Postmates has received 3 out of 5 stars from 1,914 reviews. On Glassdoor it received 2.5 out of 5 stars from 1,569 reviews.

Source: Glassdoor

Source: Glassdoor

Pros of Driving For Postmates

Given the rating, there are almost as many 5 star reviews as there are 1 star. The biggest benefits cited are flexibility and independence, which allows drivers to work pretty much whenever they want. Postmates also kicks back one hundred percent of tips back to the drivers, something that not every gig delivery service does. You also get paid weekly which puts cash in your pocket faster and more consistently.

According to Indeed, the average salary for a full-time delivery driver is $50,360 which is twelve percent above the national average. Remember, though, you have to pay for gas. This is why in larger metropolitan areas you can often find delivery drivers on bicycles, scooters, or motorcycles.

Cons of Driving For Postmates

One of the common complaints in the reviews is the amount of idle time you can spend, even in peak times, sometimes earning a mere $7 per hour. There is also the question of the lack of direct communication with the company, something that services like Uber and Lyft offer their employees.

As with any job, many of the reviewers griped about the amount they were being compensated for their time after factoring in the cost of gas, wear and tear on vehicles and the amount of risk associated with increased time on the road.

There are a few horror stories and 1-star reviews as well that include stories of drivers not getting proper compensation for their time.

Dovetailing into the interaction with restaurant employees themselves, you might run into some unruly ones whose normal carryout tips will go in your pocket.

Also, unlike, say, a pizza delivery job, there is rarely any light at the end of the tunnel as far as promotions go. In fact, you technically don’t work for Postmates but are classified as a paid contractor for them. So if you’re looking at this as a foot in the door to a possible career at Postmates’ headquarters in San Francisco, you might want to look elsewhere, like a pizza delivery job, where your odds of being promoted to a manager are far greater than driving for Postmates*.*

All in all, this job is unofficially classified as a gig. It’s attractive to people like college students and folks looking to earn extra cash after work and on the weekends, so don’t make the mistake of making it out to be more than what it is.

For example, below is a list of benefits that employees at Postmates corporate receive:

  • 401K Plan
  • Dental Insurance
  • Employee Discounts
  • Health Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Vision Insurance

As a paid contractor, you will receive none of these benefits, not even for working full time. There is also the matter of car insurance, something that, again, pizza delivery drivers receive, but Postmates drivers don’t.

Finally, there are a few horror stories in regard to the position. One ex-employee said his car got towed while on a delivery.

How To Start Driving For Postmates

According to various accounts online, Postmates has one of the simplest onboarding processes of any of the rideshare apps available. No training period required, no fuss.

Signing Up To Postmates is a Simple Two-Step Process 

1. Go to the site, fill out your information, and pass a background check.

2. Once approved (about three days), you receive a welcome kit in the mail which includes your pre-approved credit card that you can make food purchases with. You just need to own a smartphone and be at least 18 years old. Here is a list of the cities where Postmates currently operate.

Below is what it looks like in the app as you start your onboarding:

Join The Break Community

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Making The Deliveries

Once you’ve completed the onboarding phase, you are ready to turn on the app and begin completing deliveries. When you’re “available” you will get pings asking whether or not you want to accept or skip a delivery.

After you complete a delivery (picking up and dropping off the food) Postmates will show you what your estimated payout is, how long the delivery took, how far you traveled, and how long you waited at the restaurant for your order. Once the process is complete, you will get another ping and repeat. The distances can vary, and so can your wait times. There are two different times you can wait; either at the restaurant for the food to be prepared or in your car in between deliveries. This is why some Postmates drivers recommend bringing along a book or having a good podcast queued up so you’re not twiddling your thumbs in between deliveries.

One thing worth noting: there is no fee to sign up, which isn’t the case for other similar services.*

Below is what a typical in-app restaurant delivery looks like (pre and post pickup) with Postmates.


Once You've Signed Up And Are Accepting Deliveries

There are opportunities to give your paycheck a little boost...

Blitz Mode is when the delivery payouts are slightly higher during peak times when Postmates needs more drivers. The app has a notification feature to tell you when the times are so you will never miss out.


There are also bonuses that happen when you execute a certain amount of deliveries in a given period of time. With all this said, even though you can work your own hours, Postmates makes it more worth your while to work nights and weekends, when people are eating more and are more amenable to paying premiums for delivery. You’re going to make more on Saturday night than you would on Monday morning.

Postmates Party & Referrals

A relatively new option, Postmates Party is an option that allows users to get free delivery. It’s similar to UberPOOL in that multiple users share the same order. Under the Postmates Party tab on the app, once an order is placed, you’ve got five minutes to place an order from a restaurant where an order has already been placed.

Postmates has an ongoing referral program where both the user and the person referred get credit after using the referral link which can be found in the Account section of the app. The credit varies by time of year and city.

It might be a good idea to mention these features to your regular customers to try and save them a little coin. Remember, you still get the tip, which might just increase after a forgone delivery fee or extra credit.

The incentives don’t stop at just your customers. Postmates offers incentives for additional drivers that you sign up that complete a certain number of deliveries in a given period of time.

Other Delivery Opportunities

In addition to restaurants, Postmates offers all sorts of other delivery options, as well, like electronics, alcohol, sporting goods, and hardware items to name just a few. So there’s a good chance you might be stopping off at your local grocery stores - or practically any non-food businesses - every once and awhile. The only things Postmates won’t pick up and deliver are controlled substances, weapons, live animals, gift cards, and people.

USA Today did an article chronicling some of the strangest deliveries and patterns of the year seen by Postmates drivers.

Some of the deliveries include:

  • $1,000 worth of Taco Bell
  • The best tipper gave $10,000 on more than 600 orders
  • In December, customers place orders for 79 percent more batteries than they do for any other month

How Does Postmates Compare?

As can be expected with any industry that is seeing massive growth, there is stiff competition; most notably with Uber Eats, DoorDash, and GrubHub. According to Entrecourier.com, Postmates delivery drivers earn the most of any of the above platforms, coming in at $22.48 on a per hour basis, but don’t actually get paid the most because there are different parameters of payment for the different services.

However, when taking pay, app intuitiveness, deliveries, independent contractor relationship, and support into consideration Postmates actually scored at the bottom of the four main delivery platforms. It was the same article that recommended driving for multiple platforms if this is an avenue you decide to go down.

Working For Postmates Corporate

Below is a list of current openings at one of Postmates’ five corporate locations which include Bellevue, Nashville, New York, San Francisco, and Vancouver, the majority of which are located in San Francisco.


As of this writing, Postmates Corporate has openings in the following departments:

  • Analytics
  • Brand & Communications
  • Business Development
  • Design
  • Engineering
  • Finance & Accounting
  • Growth & Strategy
  • Information Technology
  • Legal
  • Operations

The ratings on Indeed and Glassdoor are saturated with reviews from drivers, but you can still find reviews on the two sites from corporate employees by narrowing your search to the cities that have offices. The highest salary reported for a software engineer was currently $158,999 which is an astounding 51 percent above average.

If you live in one of these cities or are thinking about relocating and have aspirations that are grander than joining “the fleet,” you should consider applying… and don’t forget to take advantage of the free massages they offer.

Company Health

If you do decide to jump into the Postmates world, you can rest assured knowing that the company has garnered $681 million dollars in financial backing as of this writing, and plans to go public soon. The company currently operates in over 3,500 cities throughout the United States and Mexico and services over 500,000 establishments.

Postmates was founded in 2011 by Bastian Lehmann, Sean Plaice, and Sam Street and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

Lights, Camera, Action

If you want a first-hand experience of what it’s like to join the fleet, there are an array of Youtube videos that feature vloggers taking you through a day in the life of what it’s like to drive for Postmates. One of the vloggers had a great answer to the question: Is it worth it? The vlogger stated, “it’s worth a try.”

This takes us back to the equal balance of 5 and 1-star reviews found on Indeed. Some people will love it, and some people will hate it, but you won’t know until you try. Yes, you don’t have a boss you have to answer to and you can work your own hours. But at the end of the day, it is a job and you will have to work hard at it just like any other job in order to be successful.

Bottom Line

If you have a hectic schedule and can’t, or don’t want, to be somewhere at a certain time every day, Postmates probably will suit you just fine. Think about if you had the kind of job where you did have to show up at a certain time every day and you didn’t; you would get fired. But with Postmates you can come and go as you please. If you live in a big enough city, you can work pretty much 24/7 for a few weeks to get all your bills paid, and then take a few weeks off, and repeat the cycle. Different strokes for different folks is the expression.

Or, conversely, you can go out and work for a few hours, take a break, and then work for a few more.

As mentioned in the Pros section at the beginning of the article, one of the biggest benefits is that you get paid rather quickly; not having wait for a bi-weekly paycheck is a huge perk that Postmates drivers enjoy, second only to the tips they receive.

On that note, just like a bartender or a waiter, you are tipped for the service that you give, so if you hustle (without speeding) you are more likely to be a successful Postmates driver.