The food delivery market has blown up over the past few months and today I’m comparing two of the most popular options: Postmates vs Grubhub.
Overall, Postmates and Grubhub are really similar in how their apps work for drivers. You log in, accept orders as they come in, pick the orders up, and then deliver them to customers.
However, there are some key differences, including driver bonuses and how you schedule your time. I’m going to cover all of the essentials in this comparison. You’ll learn about driver requirements, pay, incentives, how each company is taking care of its drivers during the pandemic, and more.
Postmates vs Grubhub: Which is Better for Drivers?
What are Postmates and Grubhub?
Postmates and Grubhub are two of the most popular food delivery services right now. They’re fairly similar, but there are a couple of key differences that might make one stand out to drivers and customers.
Postmates is known for delivering anything, anywhere, anytime. You can Postmates groceries, takeout from restaurants, fast food, drug store essentials, and whatever other random things you want.
Postmates calls itself the “whatever-you-can-think-of delivery app.” They’ve even shared some wild celebrity orders to give you an idea of what you can Postmate.
- Demi Lovato used Postmates to order a single Twinkie
- Kendall Jenner had them deliver a space heater 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
The average delivery driver won’t see orders like that, but it’s important to understand that Postmates isn’t just for groceries or meals.
Uber purchased Postmates in July of 2020 so it’s now part of the Uber/UberEats family. But Postmates will still operate as its own brand for the foreseeable future.
Grubhub specializes in restaurant delivery only, from both local places to big chains. They have partnerships with more than 300,000 restaurants, and delivery from over 225,000 of those restaurants is available nationwide.
Since Grubhub was founded in 2004, it’s expanded to over 4,000 cities across the U.S.
Like many of the big food delivery apps, Grubhub has merged and partnered with several smaller companies since it was founded. This includes Seamless, AllMenus, LevelUp, and MenuPages.
Postmates vs Grubhub: Driver requirements
If you’re thinking about driving for either Postmates or Grubhub, the best place to start is their driver requirements. Most delivery companies have very similar requirements, but you’ll see that they’re not exactly the same.
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Have access to an insured vehicle (car, van, truck, SUV, motorcycle, scooter) or bicycle
- Have a smartphone to download the Postmates Fleet app
- Pass a background check
- Must be at least 19 years old (or 21 in Chicago or Las Vegas)
- Have access to an insured vehicle (car, van, truck, SUV, motorcycle, scooter) or bicycle
- Have a smartphone so you can download Grubhub’s driver app
- Pass a background check
The difference here is the age requirement. If you’re 18, then Grubhub would be a no-go for you, and drivers in Chicago and Las Vegas have even stricter age requirements.
How much do drivers get paid?
Delivery apps don’t pay drivers a flat hourly rate, and there are lots of factors that determine your pay (more on this in the next section). Driver pay formulas change based on how much you make per order or any given day.
It’s important to note that there can be a pretty wide range in what drivers for Posmates and Grubhub make.
How much does Postmates pay?
Bastian Lehman, the CEO of Postmates, has said that the median driver pay is $19/hour. On Indeed, drivers report hourly earnings from $12.40-$37.40/hour. Drivers on Glassdoor report that they earn from $6-$26/hour.
How much does Grubhub pay?
Indeed reports that Grubhub drivers average $11.87/hour. Glassdoor reports an average salary of $12/hour with hourly pay ranging from $3-$28/hour.
When you compare the two companies, Postmates drivers can expect to make a little bit more per hour, closer to $15/hour on average.
Which delivery app is best? Read 7 of the Best Food Delivery Services to Work For.
Postmates vs Grubhub: How is driver pay calculated?
Postmates and Grubhub both use formulas to calculate how much you make per delivery. The goal is to make sure that you’re paid more for deliveries that take more time or that are farther away. Both companies have made tweaks to their driver pay formula over time, and they may change again in the future.
Grubhub driver pay formula
One of the biggest changes Grubhub made recently was to eliminate the base order amount. Base amounts varied by market, but they were around $3-$4.
Now, you’re paid per mile for both the pick-up and drop-off end. Grubhub increased pay for the total mileage amount, and the pay formula now accounts for time spent driving and waiting.
Here’s an example of Grubhub’s pay formula that compares the previous and new model:
Grubhub drivers always keep 100% of their tips.
Grubhub shows you an estimated time and mileage amount for each order in the app, and this amount doesn’t change after you’ve accepted the offer. That means that if you get stuck in traffic or have to take a detour, you’re paid the same amount as if there weren’t any issues.
But that could also be good for drivers if the order takes less time or miles than the app thinks it will take.
Grubhub has a Recognition Program that rewards drivers for attendance, order acceptance, and block drop rates. Here’s what those terms mean:
- Attendance Rate: Percentage of time blocks that you schedule and attend
- Acceptance Rate: Percent of order offers that you accept
- Block Drop Rate: Percent of time blocks your schedule, but drop before or during the block.
This program incentives drivers showing up for work and taking as many orders as possible. Some drivers don’t accept orders because the pay looks too low.
All Grubhub drivers start at the lowest level as Partners, and then can move up to one of the two upper levels:
As you move up the ranks, you get more control over when you schedule your hours in the app, and you may get to deliver catering orders, which typically pay better.
Postmates driver pay formula
The factors Postmates uses to determine your per order earnings are:
- An amount for each completed pick-up
- An amount for each completed drop-off
- A per-minute-waited rate for the time you spend at the pick-up location
- A per-mile rate for the distance between the pick-up and drop-off locations
Postmates drivers also keep 100% of their tips.
The rates for each of those factors depend on the market you’re delivering in, and bigger, busier cities tend to have higher rates. For example, where I live in Houston, Texas, Postmates couriers earn $1.50 per pickup, $0.95 rate per drop off, $0.07 rate per minute, and $0.50 rate per mile.
A Postmates courier in Chicago earns $1.45 rate per pickup, $0.70 rate per dropoff, $0.07 rate per minute, and $1.01 rate per mile.
The market you’re in also determines your Postmates Starter Guarantee. This is how much you can expect to make if you complete a certain number of deliveries in a certain number of days. The Starter Guarantee in Charlotte, NC is a guaranteed $400 including base earnings and delivery bonuses if you complete 60 deliveries in 14 days. This is the minimum amount you’ll make and doesn’t include tips.
Postmates has other kinds of incentives for couriers, too, including:
- Bonus per delivery: Each an extra payout for every delivery you accept and complete in a specified time frame
- Crushers: Complete a certain number of deliveries within a set period to earn an extra payout bonus
- Invitees: Invite your friends to start delivering for Postmates and you can earn a guaranteed amount for each invitee who completes a set number of deliveries within the first few weeks
The bonus per delivery and Crushers incentives encourage Postmates drivers to drive during busy times and accept more orders. These incentives can add a couple of dollars or more to each delivery.
How does the driver pay formula affect drivers for Postmates and Grubhub?
I like that Grubhub recognition program – it’s nice to be rewarded for showing up to work – but it could hurt drivers if they have something come up at the last minute that prevents them from working during their scheduled blocks.
Postmates bonuses reward drivers for completing more deliveries when they’re working without any penalties.
When you get paid
Postmates pays their couriers every week via direct deposit. It can take 2-3 days for the money to show up in your bank account. You can keep track of how much you’ve earned for the day or week in the Postmates Fleet app.
To access your Postmates pay even faster, you can link a debit card to the app and use instant deposit. You can cash out whenever you want, but there is a $0.50 fee per instant deposit.
Grubhub sends driver payouts on Thursday over every week. These go out via direct deposit and take around 3-5 days to show up in your bank account.
There is also an instant cashout option with Grubhub. Like Postmates, it costs $0.50 per cashout, but that fee is waived if you’re using a Chase checking account.
Scheduling time in the app to drive
In that last section, I mentioned that Grubhub has drivers schedule blocks of time to drive. This is like a traditional part-time job where you schedule your hours to work. This can make it easier to plan ahead and you’re guaranteed to work the hours you schedule.
The flipside of Grubhub’s scheduling is that it gives scheduling priority to drivers who are in the upper level of Grubhub’s Recognition Program. You have to work to earn that privilege.
Postmates drivers don’t have to schedule blocks of time, instead, they can open the app and work whenever they have the extra time. While this gives you more flexibility, the downside is that if there are already a lot of drivers on the app, you won’t earn as much.
How are Postmates and Grubhub keeping drivers safe?
Both companies are working hard to keep their drivers and customers safe during the pandemic – this is true across the board with food delivery apps.
What Postmates is doing:
- Postmates started offering no-contact delivery earlier this year. It’s an option customers can choose when they place an order, and they give specific instructions for where to drop off their order
- They are placing temporary holds on anyone’s accounts (merchants, drivers, and customers) if they’ve tested positive for COVID-19
- Postmates set up the Postmates Fleet Relief fund to help cover the costs of medical care or co-pays related to COVID-19
What Grubhub is doing:
- New driver kits include face masks and hand sanitizer, which are available for reorder every 30 days
- Drivers can request contact-free deliveries
- Grubhub has a community relief fund to help delivery partners and merchants who have been impacted by COVID-19
Grubhub also offers an affordable health services plan through UnderWing health. It’s $20/month for drivers and includes board-certified doctor visits via phone or video, no-cost prescription coverage for common ailments, and mental health services.
Which is better: Grubhub or Postmates?
Both of these delivery services are pretty similar overall, but I want to go over the differences and standout features so you can decide which app is best for you.
Where Postmates shines
Overall what drivers love most about Postmates is flexibility. I’ve heard this from many couriers.
Postmates doesn’t require you to schedule time in advance, and drivers have equal access to orders when they work. You have more chances to increase your earnings with Postmates with per delivery bonuses and Crushers.
Where Grubhub shines
Grubhub is great for those who know for sure when they can work. You can schedule hours in advance and are rewarded when you show up.
Grubhub also has a couple of perks that add value to the job, like the UnderWing health services program and free instant deposits if you have a Chase bank account.
But here’s the thing: you don’t have to pick one service over the other. You can sign up and make money for both Postmates and Grubhub. The most successful drivers (those who make the most money) sign up for multiple companies and toggle back and forth between two or more apps.
You end up with less downtime between orders because you can accept orders from more than one app.
Postmates vs Grubhub: The final word
Both of these services are solid side hustles to supplement your income, and you can work them as flexible part-time jobs.
There are also a handful of other popular food delivery companies you can sign up. Learn about your options below:
- Postmates vs Uber Eats – Which is Better for Drivers in 2020?
- DoorDash vs Grubhub – Which is the Best for Drivers?
- Shipt Shopper Review – What it’s Like Working for Shipt
- Instacart Shopping Side Hustle: How Much do Instacart Shoppers Make?