DoorDash vs. Postmates — these two delivery heavyweights offer customers new ways to get food fast, but which is the best food delivery service to work for?
As food delivery has become one of the most flexible and widely available ways to make extra money, side hustlers need to know which companies are the best to work for. That’s why we’re taking a closer look to compare how DoorDash and Postmates stack up in categories like availability, driver requirements, pay, driver support, and more.
Table of Contents
- About DoorDash and Postmates
- Postmates vs. Doordash: Availability
- DoorDash vs. Postmates: Driver Requirements
- Postmates vs. Doordash: Driver Pay
- Postmates vs. DoorDash: Scheduling Delivery Hours
- Postmates vs. Doordash: Accepting and Making Deliveries
- Postmates vs. Doordash: Getting Paid
- Postmates vs. Doordash: Driver Ratings
- Doordash vs. Postmates: Driver Support
- Postmates vs. Doordash: Signing Up to Deliver
- Can You do Postmates and Doordash?
- Alternatives to Postmates and DoorDash
- How Much Drivers Really Earn With Postmates and DoorDash
- Final Word: Is DoorDash or Postmates Better for Drivers?
About DoorDash and Postmates
Working for DoorDash or Postmates is a very similar experience overall, but let’s do a quick overview so you can get to know each delivery service before we dive into availability, driver requirements, pay, and so on.
Founded in 2013, DoorDash is now delivering food for over 340,000 local and chain restaurants in more than 7,000 cities across the U.S., Canada, Japan, and Australia. It now controls nearly 60% of the total U.S. food delivery market according to Bloomberg Second Measure. That’s more than Uber Eats, Postmates, and Grubhub combined.
The way DoorDash works for drivers is that customers use the mobile app or website to place orders, and then a Dasher (what you’re called when you drive for DoorDash) accepts the order, picks it up, and delivers it. The app tells you exactly where to go and any special delivery instructions.
DoorDash has experienced tremendous growth since it launched, and customers can now order much more than takeout, including:
- Gourmet bakeries
- Wine and liquor stores
- Pet supplies
- Office supplies
- Baby items
In 2022 alone, DoorDash has also added partnerships with top grocery retailers, Tractor Supply Co., and Dick’s Sport Goods.
Read our full DoorDash Driver Review to learn more.
Postmates is now owned by Uber Eats, and it launched in 2011 and quickly became known as the “anything, anywhere, anytime” delivery service. It even shared some wild celebrity orders to give you an idea of what you can Postmate, like:
- Demi Lovato used Postmates to order a single Twinkie
- Kylie Jenner had them deliver “3 cozy blankets” from Target
- Chance the Rapper had Postmates deliver adult coloring books and men’s swim trunks
- Post Malone once had $8,000 worth of Popeye’s biscuits Postmated to a party
Most Postmates drivers won’t see orders like that, and new Postmates drivers are being onboarded as Uber Eats drivers since Uber purchased Postmates in 2020.
Uber Eats and Postmates are virtually identical services now, and you can learn about the changes in our Postmates vs. Uber Eats comparison.
Postmates vs. Doordash: Availability
DoorDash and Postmates are available in nearly every major U.S. city and suburb, but DoorDash has a significantly larger market share. DoorDash is sitting at 59%, Postmates is 3%, Uber Eats is 24%, and Grubhub is 14% of total monthly sales.
For drivers, DoorDash holding such a large market share means customers are choosing to order from DoorDash at a much higher rate than Postmates. It’s also worth reminding you that since Postmates is transitioning to Uber Eats, it makes sense for Postmates to hold a much smaller portion of the total food delivery market share.
The winner is… DoorDash
DoorDash is the winner because not only does it hold a significantly larger market share (meaning customers overwhelming choose DoorDash over Postmates), Postmates is folding into Uber Eats.
DoorDash vs. Postmates: Driver Requirements
One thing you can expect to be the same across delivery services are the driver requirements. What’s nice about this is that since you can sign up and deliver for multiple services, meeting the requirements for one service means there is a high likelihood you’ll meet the requirements for another.
DoorDash Driver Requirements:
- At least 18 years old
- Have an iPhone or Android smartphone
- Any car, scooter, or bicycle (in select cities)
- Valid driver’s license
- Auto insurance if driving
- Social Security number if delivering in the U.S.
- Consent to a background check
Learn more in DoorDash Background Check (What to Expect in 2024).
Postmates Driver Requirements:
You need to be at least 18 years old to deliver by bicycle or foot and 19 for all other delivery methods. To deliver by car or scooter, you need a valid driver’s license, and you’ll need a government-issued ID for bicycle and on-foot deliveries. For all methods, you will also need to submit your Social Security number of a background check.
You’ll notice that both services require drivers submit to a background check, and they actually use the same third-party service, Checkr. The background check looks into your driving history and criminal records. Major red flags are felony convictions, sexual offenses, DUI convictions, drug and alcohol problems, or more than three moving violations.
If you are clear of those issues, then you shouldn’t have any problem passing the background check for DoorDash or Postmates.
The winner is… Tie
It’s a tie because DoorDash allows delivery drivers as young as 18, but not on-foot couriers. Postmates does allow on-foot couriers, but you must be 19 to deliver via car or scooter.
Postmates vs. Doordash: Driver Pay
Let’s just start with what you probably came for… does Postmates pay better than Doordash? Or is it the other way around?
While drivers for both apps report fairly similar earnings, there are subtle enough differences that mean DoorDash drivers average $15-$25/hour while Postmates drivers average $10-$17.
Both companies pay drivers based on orders, not an hourly rate. But drivers calculate their hourly pay by totaling what they’ve made for the week and dividing it by the number of hours worked. Order to order pay can vary dramatically over the week, and calculating hourly pay is often a better indicator of whether or not a job is worth your time. To understand how per order pay is calculated, let’s take a look at DoorDash and Postmates driver pay formulas.
Postmates Driver Pay Formula
Before Uber Eats purchased it, Postmates calculated your per order pay based on market specific rates for pickup, drop off, time, and mileage. In simple terms: the amount you earned for each Postmates order = pay for each completed pickup + pay for each completed drop off + time spent waiting in the store + distance traveled.
Rates varied by city, and the table below gives you an idea of what drivers earned for each category in different U.S. cities:
|Rate per pick-up
|Rate per drop-off
|Rate per minute
|Rate per mile
Additionally, new Postmates drivers used to see a Starter Guarantee that promised they’d earn at least X dollars in their first few weeks. The terms depend on where you’re driving. For example: new drivers in Houston, TX who completed 30 deliveries in 14 days are guaranteed to earn at least $200.
Postmates also offered bonuses to increase your pay, including:
- Bonus per delivery: Earn an extra payout bonus for every delivery accepted and completed in a specific time frame and zone.
- Crushers: This bonus was for completing a certain number of deliveries in a set period of time.
- Invitees: When you got people to sign up as Postmates drivers, you earned a guaranteed amount for each invitee that completes a certain number of deliveries in their first few weeks.
Now, Postmates drivers are paid using the Uber Eats formula which is less transparent and is calculated based on:
- Base fare: This is your pay for pickup, drop off time, and distance.
- Trip supplement: This is a newer earnings component that takes into factors like total time and distance, and Uber Eats/Postmates says it “Helps make every delivery worthwhile.”
- Promotions: There are a few different promotions, including Surge and Boost, that turn on when there is a high demand for orders.
- Tips: You keep 100% of your tips.
DoorDash Driver Pay Formula
DoorDash uses the Dasher Pay Model, which is base pay + promotions + tips, and that total is your take-home pay.
Your base pay is the amount you keep no matter what, and it ranges from $2-$10 and varies by order.
Promotions include Peak Pay, which is when certain areas are in high need of delivery drivers. These areas light up red in the driver app, and you’ll see the additional dollar amount you’ll earn for each delivery you make in a Peak Pay area.
DoorDash also has Challenges, which is currently in beta mode. Challenges give drivers additional pay for completing a certain number of deliveries in a set amount of time. When you combine base pay, promotions, and tips, DoorDash drivers can realistically expect to make $100 a day.
When you compare the two pay models, DoorDash’s isn’t much more transparent than Postmates’, except that DoorDash advertises its base pay range of $2-$10. Both services have made changes to the pay formula over the years, and it’s likely we’ll see more changes in the future.
The winner is… DoorDash
DoorDash wins because we like that drivers earn a higher average pay and have a little more transparency in the base pay amount.
Postmates vs. DoorDash: Scheduling Delivery Hours
Remember when we said that Postmates delivered anytime? That means you can make money driving for Postmates 24/7. Now, you’re not going to earn as much at certain times of the day (lunch and dinner hours, plus Friday-Sunday are the busiest times), but the idea is that you can use any of your spare time to make some cash.
DoorDash has a Dash Now option if you’re in an area that lights up red or pink in the app. Those areas have a high number of orders coming in for new Dashers. But you can also schedule your hours in advance with DoorDash. The best times to deliver for DoorDash are identical to the best hours for Postmates: meal times, the weekends, and late night hours.
The winner is… DoorDash
Side hustling is all about flexibility, but some people are going to want something they can plan out and count on, which is why DoorDash wins for us here. You can schedule time blocks anywhere from a week in advance to day-of with DoorDash, or you can also sign on during busy hours and deliver even if you aren’t scheduled.
Postmates vs. Doordash: Accepting and Making Deliveries
When you’re ready to start delivering, you’ll log in to either app and see what orders are available.
With Postmates, you’ll see the order plus any additional offers, and you have 15 seconds to decide whether or not you want to accept an order.
In the DoorDash app, you will see orders plus your guaranteed pay, which is unique to DoorDash. You have 45 seconds to click “Accept” if you want to take an order. Note that not accepting orders can affect your overall DoorDash driver rating, but we’ll explain more about that further down. Spoiler: Ratings aren’t as big of a deal as it used to be.
Both apps send you a prepaid card and an insulated bag after you sign up to deliver. You use the card to pay for any orders that aren’t pre-paid for in the app. The bag is used to keep food hot or cold while you’re on route, and both apps give you turn-by-turn directions for drop off, along with any specific delivery instructions.
The winner is… DoorDash
We’ve spoken to drivers about the amount of time you have to accept or decline an order, and the difference in 15 to 45 seconds is huge, and as we’ll explain shortly, acceptance ratings don’t matter as much as you might think. That’s why DoorDash gets our vote for this category.
Postmates vs. Doordash: Getting Paid
Both delivery services pay drivers weekly via direct deposit, so you’ll need a bank account to get paid. Deposits take around 2-3 days to show up, and most drivers see the funds in their accounts by Wednesday evening.
If you don’t want to wait for direct deposit, both apps have an option to cash out quickly
- DoorDash: If you’ve made at least 25 deliveries and have dashed for at least two weeks, you’re eligible for Fast Pay. It costs $1.99 to cash out your earnings instantly. Or, you can sign up for the DasherDirect prepaid Visa Business card (it’s free) and earnings are instantly deposited after each delivery.
- Postmates: You can sign up for Instant Deposit by linking your debit card to the Postmates Fleet App and pay $0.50 to cash out instantly.
The winner is… Tie
DoorDash charges more to use Fast Pay, but there is a free option if you’re okay having your earnings deposited onto a prepaid card instead of your bank account. However, Postmates charges a third of what DoorDash charges for its Instant Deposit feature.
Postmates vs. Doordash: Driver Ratings
Driver ratings are a hot-button topic in the driver community, and most services have adjusted or eliminated the negative impact of ratings in recent years. Here’s what you can expect from DoorDash and Postmates:
Postmates Driver Ratings
Postmates ditched it’s five-star rating system for simple thumbs or thumbs down. Initially, Postmates said about the ratings, “The customer’s choice will never affect you, your standing, or your ability to stay on the platform.”
However, since Uber Eats acquired Postmates, ratings do matter a little more. Now, your rating is calculated based on your last 100 deliveries, so if your received a thumbs up on your last 95 out of 100 deliveries, your driver rating is 95%.
How does it affect your ability to make extra money? Well, here’s what Uber Eats says, “Every city has a unique minimum overall rating that delivery people using the Driver app must stay above in order to continue to access the Driver app. You’ll be notified if your overall rating approaches the minimum rating for your city.”
Not super helpful, but driver reviews state that the threshold is around 80% to 85% depending on city. It’s unlikely that you’ll be kicked off the app, but you make see a decrease in orders.
DoorDash Driver Ratings
DoorDash has a five-star rating system based on four factors:
- Customer rating: This is a 1-5 scale calculated from your 100 most recent ratings (old ratings are replaced as new ones come in). You need to maintain a 4.2 average rating on DoorDash can deactivate your account. DoorDash removes any ratings below 5 in the case of long wait times at restaurants, missing or incorrect items, extreme weather conditions, system-wide outages, and more.
- Completion rate: The percent of deliveries you’ve completed out of your 100 most recent deliveries. But if an order is canceled by the customer or merchant, those won’t count against your completion rate. You need to maintain a completion rate of at least 80% to stay on the app.
- Acceptance rate: This is the percentage of deliveries you accept. There’s no minimum acceptance rate to stay on the platform.
- On-time/Early rate: This is how many orders have been delivered on time or early out of your 100 most recent deliveries. While there are no minimums, DoorDash says that repeated lateness may result in deactivation.
It’s worth mentioning that both of these delivery services have made changes to their rating systems so drivers aren’t unfairly rated based on events outside of their control. This is a change most services have adopted, and we’re happy about it.
The winner is… DoorDash
While we like that both DoorDash and Postmates are limiting the effects of negative reviews, DoorDash is much more transparent in how your ratings are determined and how they affect you.
Doordash vs. Postmates: Driver Support
In the past couple of years, food delivery services like Postmates and Uber Eats have all been finding ways to support their drivers amid crises. Here’s what you can expect:
DoorDash driver support
To offset rising fuel costs, DoorDash is offering a temporary weekly gas bonus aimed at high mileage drivers. It pays a $5, $10, or $15 bonus if you drive at least 100-225 miles per week. And for DoorDash drivers who sign up and use the free DasherDirect prepaid business Visa debit card, they can earn 10% cashback on all gas purchases. All Dashers qualify for the card, and there’s no credit check.
In response to the pandemic, DoorDash offered temporary “sick leave” pay during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Both drivers and customers can now request contactless deliveries.
Postmates driver support
Postmates follows Uber Eats driver support and began adding a temporary delivery surcharge of $0.35 or $0.45 to every order to help with gas costs. Customers pay the additional fee, and drivers keep 100% of the surcharge.
There was also temporary financial assistance offered at the height of the pandemic.
Postmates vs. Doordash: Signing Up to Deliver
If you’re eligible to work for Posmates or DoorDash and they offer deliveries in your area, it’s time to sign up. Both apps have a very similar sign-up process:
- Apply online to deliver – sign up for DoorDash here
- Complete a background check
- Receive an activation packet, which includes a prepaid card and insulated bag for deliveries
- Download the app
It can take between 1-2 weeks after you apply for either to start delivering.
Can You do Postmates and Doordash?
Yes! Just like rideshare companies Uber and Lyft, you can deliver with both DoorDash and Postmates, and many drivers do.
The benefit of driving for both is that you open yourself to more delivery options, which equals more cash. Many drivers run the apps at the same time, and find orders in either app that are close to where they’re delivering. And if orders slow down in one app, you can always check the other.
Alternatives to Postmates and DoorDash
Postmates and DoorDash are only two of a handful of popular delivery services out there. You can learn more about your options below:
Instacart shoppers can schedule hours in advance.
Shipt shoppers must schedule their hours in advance.
Drivers must schedule hours in advance
How Much Drivers Really Earn With Postmates and DoorDash
With both Postmates and DoorDash, you’re going to make the most money as a driver in a high-traffic area of a large city. You’ll also need to make yourself available during busy times, which are lunch and dinner hours and Friday through Sunday, plus any time there is a major televised event or holiday that keeps people home.
Busier times mean less downtime as a driver, and too much downtime will only cut into your pay. Think about it like this: your first delivery took you 20 minutes, then you sat for 20 minutes waiting for your next delivery. You’re not being paid for that downtime between orders. This is why many drivers sign up for both companies.
Another reality for drivers are expenses, like:
- More frequent car maintenance
- Overall wear and tear on your car
- Special insurance for rideshare and food delivery drivers
Then there are taxes… Couriers for both DoorDash and Postmates are considered independent contractors, meaning neither company withholds taxes — you are responsible for this. Both companies will send out 1099-MISC forms for drivers that make $600 or more throughout the year, but you’ll still need to report earnings under that amount, especially if your combined earnings for both companies are $600 or more.
You can take a mileage deduction at tax time, and the IRS has the rate set at 65.5 cents per mile for 2024
There are also a few eligible deductions that you may be able to take on your taxes with either delivery service:
- Car insurance
- Tolls and parking
- Your phone and phone plan
- Accounting costs
To take the most accurate deduction (how you keep as much money as possible in your pocket), it’s best to track your mileage and expenses from day 1, and we recommend the Everlance app to help with that.
Final Word: Is DoorDash or Postmates Better for Drivers?
Both of these are 100% legit side hustles, and there are unique features to each that make them both worth checking out. However, DoorDash edges ahead in our ratings because drivers average more per hour, can schedule hours or drive when they have time (assuming the app is busy), and it has a much bigger market share.
Overall, Postmates and DoorDash are both flexible side hustle apps that will help you money in your spare time with pay that’s comparable to what you would make driving for Instacart, Uber, or Lyft.
So, if you can find the time and want to make more money, check out both apps and see how they work for you.
Both DoorDash and Postmates drivers are paid per order, not a flat hourly rate. They both use pay formulas that are based on time, distance, and difficulty level.
Postmates and DoorDash are very similar in how much they cost consumers. They both run promotions and offer coupons to make delivery cheaper.
DoorDash holds nearly 65% of the market share compared to the 3% held by Postmates, meaning DoorDash is considerably more popular than Postmates.
Overall, DoorDash drivers report higher earnings than Postmates drivers, but it’s worth mentioning that Postmates is now owned by Uber Eats as of 2020.
- Earning more on certain types of orders (ex. alcohol): Earn more per order as compared to restaurant orders. Actual earnings may differ and depend on factors like number of deliveries you accept and complete, time of day, location, and any costs. Hourly pay is calculated using average Dasher payouts while on a delivery (from the time you accept an order until the time you drop it off) over a 90-day period and includes compensation from tips, peak pay, and other incentives.
- Get paid instantly (DasherDirect): Subject to approval
- Cash out daily (Fast Pay): Fees apply
- Start dashing today: Subject to background check and availability
- Dash anytime: Subject to availability