Postmates and DoorDash are among the fastest-growing food delivery apps, and both apps are now hiring delivery drivers in most major US cities. Delivery drivers for Postmates and DoorDash receive orders from local customers and use their own vehicle to pick up and drop off deliveries. Drivers are paid for each delivery and set their own hours.
But is delivering for Postmates or DoorDash a good job? I looked into both jobs to find out how much can you make as a driver, and what the jobs are really like. I found that the requirements to get started are easier than Uber & Lyft, and the pay for Postmates & DoorDash is around $10–$15 per hour before factoring vehicle-related expenses.
Driving for Postmates
Postmates is an on-demand delivery service that allows users to request deliveries of all types from local stores and restaurants. Most Postmates deliveries are for food delivery or small items like home and office supplies.
What do Postmates drivers do?
- Receive delivery requests within the Postmates app and navigate to the restaurant or store
- Deliver the item to the customer’s location using directions from the app
- Drivers don’t schedule shifts. Log in to the app when you want to work. Work as much or as little as you want
- Postmates customer support places the order if they can. Otherwise, drivers place the order at the store and pay with a Postmates credit card
Postmates driver requirements
- Must be 18 years or older
- Have access to an insured vehicle, or a bicycle
- You can deliver with a car, truck, van, bicycle, motorcycle, or scooter
- Pass a background check
How much money do Postmates drivers make?
- Postmates drivers can expect to make $8–$15 per hour in most markets
- Drivers are paid a fee for pickup, a fee for drop-off, paid for wait time at the restaurant, and paid per mile between pickup and drop-off
- There is a minimum payout per delivery of around $4
- You receive 100% of tips. Customers can tip inside the app after the delivery is complete
- Hourly guarantees are sometimes offered. You must accept 100% of requests to qualify
- Blitz pricing, similar to Uber’s surge pricing, increases the delivery fees during peak hours
- Payments to you are made 4-7 days after the delivery
Example: How Postmates drivers are paid in Los Angeles
The payout equation is slightly different for every city, but to give you an example of how Postmates calculates driver earnings for a delivery, here are the rates in Los Angeles.
- $1 for pickups
- $1 for drop-offs base pay – as soon as you accept the delivery
- $0.10 per minute wait time while you wait at the restaurant
- $0.80 per mile from the food pickup to the drop-off
Sign up to drive for Postmates to be eligible for the best new-driver promotion. That link is my referral link, and I may receive compensation for referring you.
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Driving for DoorDash
DoorDash is an on-demand food delivery app that hires independent drivers to do food deliveries. Unlike Postmates, DoorDash orders are restricted to food only. Much like Postmates, you use an app to receive orders, then navigate to the restaurant and the customer.
What DoorDash drivers do
- Receive delivery requests inside the DoorDash app and deliver them to the customer
- Drivers must schedule shifts up to 6 days in advance
- It’s possible drop into a shift if slots are available
- The customer enters their order through the app and pays through the app, all drivers do is pick up and deliver the food
- On some orders drivers have to order the and pay with a special DoorDash credit card called the ‘Red Card’
- Delivery requests will be limited to the geographical region you select
DoorDash driver requirements
- You must be 18 years or older
- Have access to a vehicle or bicycle
- Any car, truck, motorcycle, or scooter
- Own an iPhone or Android smartphone
- Driver’s license with at least one year of driving experience
- Valid insurance — name on policy
- 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 do DoorDash drivers make?
- DoorDash drivers can expect to earn around $8 – $15 per hour
- DoorDash shows the minimum guaranteed payout of a delivery before you accept it
- You receive $1 + 100% of tips, with a guaranteed minimum payout. If that sum is less than the guaranteed payout, a ‘pay boost’ is added to meet the guaranteed minimum
- The guaranteed minimum is a calculation of variables like difficulty of the order, distance you’ll have to drive, etc
- Tipping feature in the app encourages customers to tip. You keep 100% of tips
- Busy Pay, similar to Uber’s Surge pricing, pays more for deliveries during periods of high demand
- You are paid weekly via direct deposit
Apply to become a DoorDash driver online. New driver bonuses are available in some cities.
Is being a delivery driver for Postmates or DoorDash a good job?
Delivery jobs with Postmates and DoorDash are flexible jobs that allow you to schedule your own hours and put your car to use as a productive asset.
Upsides to delivering for Postmates and DoorDash jobs
- The work is flexible. Schedule your own hours. Hop into a shift with only one hour of notice
- You can earn tips. Getting lucky with generous tipping can put your pay into the $15–$20/hour range
- It is easy to get hired and easy to get started
- The vehicle requirements are easy. Unlike Uber and Lyft, you can drive for these apps with ANY working car.
- Drivers under age 21 are eligible. Uber and Lyft require drivers to be 21, but Postmates and DoorDash both hire drivers 18 and older
- A good way to use your car to make money if you can’t get hired by Uber or Lyft or if you were deactivated
Downsides to delivering for Postmates and DoorDash
- No guaranteed wage, potential low pay. If you don’t get many deliveries, your pay can be less than the minimum wage!
- Fuel costs, wear and tear on your car. You might still find that fuel expenses plus wear and tear on your car seriously eat into your income, even if you deduct vehicle expenses on your taxes
- Hassles of food delivery. Parking, communicating with restaurants and customers, finding the right place to drop off the delivery
What about other delivery jobs like UberEATS, Amazon Flex, and Deliv?
UberEATS is Uber’s on-demand food delivery app and it’s very similar to DoorDash and Postmates. If UberEATS is available in your area, it’s an option worth exploring. It has easy vehicle requirements and the pay is around the same as DoorDash and Postmates.
- Driving for UberEATS: What it’s like to deliver food for Uber
- Can you deliver in your car? Delivery vehicle requirements
Two other delivery apps that offer flexible work are Amazon Flex and Deliv. With Amazon Flex, drivers deliver packages to Amazon customers and get paid a flat rate for shifts. Deliv is a same-day package delivery service that pays drivers an hourly wage and compensates for miles driven. Both are good options to look into if you’re looking for work in the delivery app space.
Want to try a delivery job? Your next steps
DoorDash and Postmates make it easy to apply and get started. If you’re interested, your next step is to complete the application process and wait for the results of pass your background screening. After that, you can be on the road and delivering within a few days.