Hello everyone! As you may have seen on my blog or my YouTube videos, I have worked as a delivery driver for both GrubHub and Postmates. Some people have asked me about what the differences are between the two, so I thought I would take some time and write about the differences between working for the two companies as a driver.
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The Hiring Process
Getting hired with GrubHub, at least in my geographic region, was pretty similar to Postmates. I did not have an actual “interview” with either company and instead my hiring as an independent contractor depended on the submission of an online form and the successful passing of a background check. It seemed like maybe there were more vehicle-specific questions with GrubHub than there were with Postmates.
This is where things got a little bit different. GrubHub required that I attend either an in-person or online training session before starting work as a driver. Postmates, on the other hand, required only that I watch a brief training video before driving. I felt a little more prepared for the job with GrubHub before starting work than I did with Postmates as a result. I would highly recommend that Postmates Couriers take some time out and read both the help forums on the Postmates Fleet website and read about the experiences of Couriers online for advice before starting work.
This is an area that is MUCH different between the two companies-
GrubHub requires that you sign up for specific shifts called “blocks,” which are offered on a first come, first serve basis. The blocks are typically short, 2-5 hour chunks of time and there are always more blocks offered around lunch and dinner. Once you have signed up for a block you MUST work that block, get a replacement, or try to call the Drivercare line to drop it just like you would with a regular job. If you don’t show up for a scheduled block you may be penalized or have your contract revoked. You are not required to work a minimum number of hours (nor do you have a maximum) and you are never under obligation to sign up for a block.
Because the blocks are first come, first serve, sometimes you may not be able to work at the times you would really prefer and I found myself working multiple blocks with huge gaps of time in between when I would have preferred to continue working. A typical Saturday for me might be 11AM-2PM (1st block), a three hour break, then I’d work 5PM-9PM (second block) if I wasn’t able to get the late afternoon hours before others grabbed them.
Postmates is significantly more flexible in this area. You do have to work at any specific time and and there are no shifts or “blocks” to sign up for. You can literally just get in your vehicle and work whenever you want to. Just like with GrubHub there is no minimum or maximum number of hours you have to work. The only thing is, with Postmates you are not offered an hourly minimum so it will still be advantageous for you to work during lunch and dinner when the business is most heavy.
Postmates provides you with one insulated tote bag that will keep the temperature of the food regulated during your deliveries, plus a Postmates credit card to make purchases for the customers (if you want more info on how this works, check out my blog post here). At least in my region, you do not get a shirt of hat and can wear whatever you want during deliveries.
GrubHub provides two bags (one small and one large), a hat, a cap, and a laminated sign to put in your windshield. I much preferred having the extra gear that designated to the customers and the restaurants that I was indeed a GrubHub delivery driver.
Support for Drivers
GrubHub offers a “Driver Care” phone line that you can call at any time during your deliveries when you have trouble. While they do offer help menus in the driver app if you wish to figure out things on your own, there were a number of times when I still found myself calling this phone line and enjoyed having it as a resource.
Postmates, on the other hand, does not offer a driver care phone line. In most cases you must go through the help menus in the app to fix your problems. There are situations where if you encounter very specific issues and enter details about them in the help menus, Postmates may place an outbound phone call your way to help you out but it is very rare and difficult to prompt such phone calls. You must be willing to work independently and autonomously when working as a Postmates Courier.
The Work Flow
GrubHub has you delivering from restaurants only and it’s a pretty basic process- you go in, pick up the order, and go out. In my region I was usually a little bit less busy with GrubHub than I was with Postmates and often found myself waiting in my car doing nothing. The upside to this, though, was that I was guaranteed an hourly minimum so I would still get paid during my block even if the base pay wasn’t all that much.
Postmates is more complex in the scope of its services to customers- they can deliver from ANY store or restaurant and you will need to pay for certain orders yourself with the Postmates credit card. On occasion you will need to place the orders to the restaurants as well. This creates a more varied work experience. Because Postmates doesn’t offer an hourly minimum but rather a base minimum per order, you will need to stay busy on your shift if you want to make money. This requires a bit more strategy than it does driving for GrubHub.
If I ever find myself waiting around in my vehicle without any orders with Postmates, this will mean I MUST move to a busier area (or work during a peak time around lunch or dinner) if I want to make money. As a result of this I’ve had to carefully consider the neighborhoods and times of day I choose to work. Driving around looking for orders uses up more gas so I also have needed to be more strategic with my gas usage.
GrubHub customers must pay their tips in advance of receiving the food through the app because of the way the app is structured, if they tip with a credit card that is. Cash tips were more rare (at least for my orders) with GrubHub. The app prompts the customer to leave a tip and it is framed as a standard for the customers to do so (which is a plus for the drivers). The issue is, however, that because the credit card tippers must submit it before you actually deliver the food, the tip is not influenced by your customer service. So if you really go above and beyond to connect with the customer that will not be factored into the tip (unless they tip in cash).
Postmates customers pay their tips after you deliver the food. The app will prompt them with a notification (if they have notifications turned on) to please leave a review and to tip the driver after the food has been dropped off. While most customers tip through the app, I did receive more cash tips with Postmates. You have to be a bit more diligent in your efforts to impress the customers if you want to receive good tips. I try to make the customers happy by sending them texts with updates as I’m getting their order picked up as a way to introduce myself to them and humanize an otherwise automated, tech-driven experience. I will have another blog entry at a later date with some of my advice for getting better tips when working as a Postmates Courier, but I think it is possible to get MORE money in tips with Postmates than you can with GrubHub if you play your cards right.
GrubHub is a little more structured and offers more driver support and training but is significantly less flexible when it comes to scheduling. Postmates offers much less driver support and training, requires a bit more strategy if you want to earn a good amount of money, but is ultimately way more accommodating when it comes to schedule flexibility. Whichever company is right for you is going to depend on what you are looking for personally. Depending on the hours you work, I would say their pay is relatively competitive with each other. With both companies the basic principles of working during lunch and dinner, going to busy “hotspots,” and keeping a good, efficient workflow (without speeding!) are going to be your best bets for making the most income.
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