DoorDash vs. Postmates is a common debate, as they are two of the most popular food delivery apps. If you’re considering working for one or both to make extra money, you need to know all of the details.
That’s why I put together this comparison resource to help.
DoorDash vs. Postmates: Overview
Choosing a food delivery service to deliver for is a big decision. You want to work for a platform that offers fair distribution of orders, pays well, and provides opportunities to increase your earnings through promotions and challenges.
DoorDash and Postmates are among the top food delivery services for drivers. They have relaxed guidelines regarding who can work for them, and they both pay a flat fee, plus you keep 100% of the customer tips.
But, like any gig app, each service has pros and cons. You might even be able to deliver without a vehicle if you live in an area where it’s feasible.
The key is determining what you want from a gig app and comparing your options with DoorDash and Postmates to see which would provide the highest earnings.
DoorDash vs. Postmates: How to Become a Driver
When you’re ready to sign up for a gig food delivery app, understanding the sign-up process is important. While the process takes only a few minutes, it could take a few days or weeks to get approved because both platforms do a background check.
Here’s how the sign-up process for both platforms works.
DoorDash Sign-Up Process
To begin dashing for DoorDash, do the following:
- Click the link below and provide your zip code.
- Enter your email address.
- Provide your personal identifying information, including your legal name.
- Create a password.
- Enter your vehicle information.
- Upload a government ID to verify your identity.
- Take a selfie on the platform to match your ID.
- Allow DoorDash to run a background and driving record check through Checkr.
- Select weekly or instant pay (if you choose instant pay, you’ll receive a DasherDirect prepaid Visa card). Otherwise, enter your bank information.
- Download the Dasher app.
Postmates Driver Sign-Up Process
To begin delivering for Postmates, you must do the following:
- Click ‘sign up to deliver on this link.
- Enter your email address.
- Choose a password.
- Provide your personal identifying information, including your full legal name.
- Upload a selfie for identification.
- Provide your mobile number to receive a link for the Postmates driver app.
Postmates will also send you a prepaid card to pay for orders that customers haven’t paid yet. You must activate the card when you receive it.
DoorDash vs. Postmates: Company Backgrounds
You already know DoorDash and Postmates are food delivery apps, but there are nuances about each app you should keep in mind when working for them as a driver.
Getting to know a company’s background may give you a better feeling for one or the other based on their market share, number of restaurants, or mission.
DoorDash started in January 2013 with a partnership with 70 restaurants on the West Coast. Today, they partner with thousands of restaurants in 7,000 cities across the US, Australia, Japan, and Canada. They also have 65% of the market share as of October 2023.
DoorDash delivers for restaurants and grocery, pet, and convenience stores. They also work hard in the communities they serve to empower small businesses and help the community.
Postmates launched in 2011 on the West Coast but not as a food delivery service. They were known as the service that would deliver anything, anytime, from anywhere. In December 2020, Uber acquired Postmates, and today, Postmates drivers work for Uber Eats in 6,000+ cities.
So essentially, if you drive for Postmates, you’re an Uber Eats driver.
DoorDash vs. Postmates: Driver Requirements & Onboarding
It’s fairly easy to get approved to be a delivery driver because there are few vehicle requirements since you aren’t transporting people, only food.
Of course, you must still meet requirements, such as passing a background check and having a clean driving record.
DoorDash Driver Requirements
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Have a valid driver’s license and insurance.
- Have a reliable car, bike, or scooter.
- Have a valid Social Security number.
- Own a smartphone with enough room to download and use the DoorDash app.
- Pass a background and driving record check.
DoorDash doesn’t require that your car is a certain age, make, or model. But you must prove you have valid insurance on the car, and the driver’s name must be displayed on the proof of insurance.
Postmates Driver Requirements
- Be at least 19 years old to deliver via car or scooter.
- Be at least 18 years old to deliver via bike.
- Have a valid driver’s license and insurance (state-issued ID is required for bike delivery).
- Have a valid Social Security number.
- Drive a 2- or 4-door vehicle.
- Own a smartphone that can run the Postmates/Uber Eats app.
- Pass a background and driving record check.
Because Uber acquired Postmates, you may come across additional requirements. In addition, the Uber Eats background check requirements are stricter than DoorDash.
DoorDash vs. Postmates: Earning Potential
If you’re considering driving for an app like DoorDash or Postmates, the earning potential is probably the factor you’re wondering about the most.
Here’s how they compare.
- Base pay – All orders earn a base pay that’s determined by the time, distance, and order desirability.
- Tips – Customers have the option to tip drivers when ordering and for a short time after delivery; drivers keep 100% of the tips.
- Promotional pay – DoorDash often runs promotions or challenges to motivate more drivers to log in and complete orders.
- Pickup fee – Postmates pays a flat fee for picking up orders from a restaurant, and if you pick up from multiple restaurants, they apply a multiplier to your rate.
- Dropoff fee – Postmates pays a flat fee for every order you deliver.
- Distance pay – Postmates calculates your pay based on the distance you must drive, paying a per-mile fee.
- Promotions – Postmates often runs promotions to help you maximize earnings, but they vary by area.
DoorDash vs. Postmates: Accepting and Making Deliveries
Both DoorDash and Postmates make it easy to accept and make deliveries. With both apps, you have a limited time to accept an order before it goes to someone else, but DoorDash has one outstanding feature.
With DoorDash, you’ll see your guaranteed pay, which is great, especially when it’s slow.
Generally, you have 15 to 45 seconds to accept an order before it goes to someone else, so be ready to think fast.
How you receive payment is a considerable factor. Fortunately, whether you prefer weekly or instant pay, both apps have solid solutions.
- DoorDash Payment: DoorDash pays weekly by default via direct deposit to your bank account. You also have the option to select Fast Pay and get paid instantly for a small fee. You can also sign up for DasherDirect and get instant deposits for no fee, plus earn 2% back on gas purchases.
- Postmates Payment: Like DoorDash, Postmates offers free weekly direct deposit and Instant Pay, allowing you to cash out up to five times daily for a small fee. Also, like DoorDash, drivers can apply for the Uber ProCard and automatically get instant deposits after each delivery free of charge.
DoorDash vs. Postmates: Scheduling and Flexibility
Knowing the scheduling process for DoorDash vs. Postmates is important, especially if you live in a city with a lot of competition from other drivers.
Both apps have peak times, but they vary by area. Generally, the apps are the busiest during the dinner hour during the week and all day on the weekends, sometimes late into the night, depending on the area.
DoorDash allows drivers to pre-schedule dashes to lock in their spots. To see what’s available, open the app and click on the date you want to work. If your time slots are available, you choose a start and end time and are in for that shift.
If you log on and there aren’t any available time slots when you wanted, you could log in on that day and select ‘Dash Now’ if there’s room for more drivers.
It’s up to drivers to delete or edit scheduled dashes in the app if something comes up. You aren’t penalized for canceling a shift, but not taking orders when you’re scheduled could hurt your chances of getting future orders.
Unlike DoorDash, Postmates/Uber Eats drivers can log into the app whenever available. This offers a little more flexibility since you don’t have to plan when you’ll deliver. So, if you discover you have nothing going on during peak time, you might as well make some money and start driving.
DoorDash and Postmates are spread out throughout the country. However, according to Bloomberg Second Measure, Postmates/Uber Eats has a total of 25% of the market share, whereas DoorDash monopolizes 65% of the market, so you may find more availability with DoorDash.
DoorDash vs. Postmates: Driver Support and Resources
Working as a DoorDash or Postmates driver, you’re bound to run into issues that require immediate customer support or professional help. So here’s who to contact when that happens.
DoorDash Driver Support
DoorDash offers an extensive online resource for drivers who don’t mind searching through frequently asked questions. They do a solid job covering common and less common issues Dashers may experience.
DoorDash also offers 24/7 support via chat and call support. You can contact them via your DoorDash app or call 1-855-431-0459 for more support.
Postmates Driver Support
Postmates/Uber Eats offers phone support directly through the app. If you have a problem with an order or payment or have any other questions, you must navigate to ‘Help’ in the driver app. Then, find the issue most similar to what you’re experiencing, and the app will line you up with the answer (if already answered in the app) or connect you with a support person.
DoorDash vs. Postmates: Ratings and Feedback System for Drivers
Ratings and feedback can make or break a driver’s career, so it’s crucial that you understand how each platform rates you.
DoorDash Rating System
DoorDash has a rating system of 1 to 5, and they consider your last 100 deliveries. You must maintain an average rating of 4.2 to prevent deactivation. Fortunately, DoorDash removes any bad reviews beyond your control, such as slow restaurant service or unexpected traffic.
In addition to the 4.2-star rating, you must also maintain an 80% completion rate, so you must complete at least 80% of the orders you accept. Fortunately, DoorDash doesn’t require a specific acceptance rate, so you don’t have to worry about deactivation if you don’t accept orders.
Postmates Rating System
Postmates/Uber Eats doesn’t have strict requirements regarding driver ratings. Instead, they keep an eye on things, looking for consistently low reviews. If they notice this, they may warn you, and if you don’t fix the issues, they can deactivate your profile. However, unlike DoorDash, they don’t have a minimum rating requirement.
Also, unlike DoorDash, Postmates/Uber Eats doesn’t consider your acceptance or completion rate when determining your eligibility.
DoorDash vs. Postmates: App User Experience
The app user experience is vital for food delivery apps because time is money. The easier it is to use the app, the faster you can accept orders and earn money.
Fortunately, DoorDash and Postmates/Uber Eats offer user-friendly apps that make running your food delivery gig a cinch. Both apps provide in-app services, including directions and maps, to reach your destinations the fastest.
Both apps also have heat maps so you can see where to best position yourself to be as close as possible to the most orders.
Postmates vs DoorDash: Pros
When choosing between Postmates and DoorDash, it helps to look at the pros and cons of each app.
Pros of Driving for DoorDash
DoorDash has many benefits for drivers, including the following.
- Flexible Schedule and Work-Life Balance: You set your own schedule by pre-scheduling shifts or ‘Dashing now.’ You decide when you want to work and can cancel any pre-scheduled shifts if something comes up and you cannot work that time.
- Earning Potential and Tips: DoorDash offers many promotions and challenges, making it easy for drivers to earn more money. You also keep 100% of customer tips, increasing your earnings.
- No Micromanagement: You are your own boss with DoorDash. It’s up to you to meet the DoorDash requirements, such as maintaining a 4.2-star rating to stay active. No one will breathe down your neck, like at a traditional job.
- Access to a Large Customer Base and Popular Restaurants: DoorDash has a tremendous piece of the market share, so almost anywhere you are located, you’ll be able to find available DoorDash shifts and make money.
- Minimal Start-up Costs and Vehicle Requirements: DoorDash doesn’t require much to start up beside a working vehicle, and they aren’t picky about the vehicles you drive. As long as you pass a background check and have a valid license and insurance, you can drive for DoorDash.
Pros of Driving for Postmates
Postmates isn’t as well-known, but since it merged with Uber Eats, it is a household name. Here are the perks of driving for Postmates/Uber Eats.
- Flexibility and Freedom to Choose Your Schedule: You don’t have to set a schedule with Postmates. You log on when you’re available and start picking up orders. It’s straightforward.
- Earning Potential and Instant Pay: Postmates/Uber Eats drivers make an average of $21 to $24 an hour, depending on the area, and drivers can pay for Instant Pay and get paid up to five times a day for a small fee.
- Diverse Range of Delivery Opportunities: Postmates doesn’t strictly deliver restaurant food. You may also get orders to pick up from convenience stores, pet stores, or even grocery stores. You won’t shop for the order, though. You pick up the already-shopped and paid-for order and deliver it to the customer.
- No Vehicle Requirements or Expenses: Like DoorDash, there are very few vehicle requirements; they simply want you to have a reliable car with at least two doors.
- Access to the Postmates Fleet App and Support System: The Postmates Fleet app is only for drivers and is separate from the Postmates app customers use. Drivers can access customer support directly in the app to get answers fast.
- Potential for Personal Growth and Networking Opportunities: Driving for Postmates/Uber Eats may open up more possibilities if your vehicle meets the stricter Uber requirements. Diversifying your efforts between restaurant deliveries and driving people can increase your earnings.
DoorDash and Postmates: Cons
Like any gig app, there are downsides to driving for DoorDash and Postmates, like the below.
Cons of Driving for DoorDash
DoorDash is a popular app, so many opportunities exist to discover its downsides.
- Inconsistent Earnings and Lack of Stability: There’s no way to predict when earnings will be high or if there will be orders. Your best bet is to watch the heat map and follow the pattern, scheduling shifts when it’s the busiest.
- Wear and Tear on Your Vehicle: Delivering food can put a lot of wear and tear on your car, and you’re responsible for all the costs incurred to maintain it.
- Limited Control Over Delivery Routes and Schedules: The only control you have over the delivery routes is not accepting an order, but then you don’t make money. In addition, DoorDash shifts can fill up fast, so if you don’t jump on early enough, you might miss a shift.
- High Competition Among Drivers: DoorDash is a more popular food delivery app, so the competition is steep. To get the most orders, watch the heat map and position yourself closest to where the orders are to increase your earnings.
Cons of Driving for Postmates
Postmates has its downsides, too, but they are pretty similar to the disadvantages of DoorDash.
- Inconsistent Earnings and Tips: No one can predict a Postmate driver’s potential earnings because you can’t predict the demand. Since Postmates isn’t everywhere DoorDash is, there might be slightly less demand.
- Wear and Tear on Your Vehicle: Delivering for gig apps means you put the miles on your car, use your gas, and cause premature wear and tear on your vehicle that you’re responsible for handling to continue taking orders.
- High Expenses and Low-Profit Margins: As an independent contractor, you’re responsible for all expenses incurred running your Postmates business. This decreases your profit margins and should be considered when deciding if a gig app is right for you.
- Safety Concerns and Risks on the Road: The more you’re on the road, the higher the risks become. There are also risks of delivering to certain locations. Be sure you always know your surroundings, have proper safety measures in place, and that a loved one always knows your location.
- Lack of Employee Benefits and Job Security: Since you’re an independent contractor, you don’t get any benefits or have job security. While you can work at will, you could get deactivated without warning if you violate too many terms.
DoorDash vs. Postmates: Which is Best?
This is the million-dollar question that everyone reading wants to know. But you might be surprised to hear that the answer is subjective.
Postmates and DoorDash are similar for drivers, but DoorDash takes the lead because of its ability to pre-schedule shifts and has a much larger market share. But if Postmates is more popular in your area, of course, that’s the better choice.
Postmates and DoorDash offer similar services for customers. The better one is the one that services the customer’s area and partners with the restaurants or retail establishments they want to use.
DoorDash vs. Postmates: Alternatives
You can use many delivery services as an independent contractor, along with DoorDash and Postmates.
Instacart is a grocery-delivery service. However, unlike DoorDash, you shop the order yourself and then deliver it to the customer. It operates similarly, though, with drivers earning a flat rate per order plus 100% tips.
Grubhub is another food delivery app very similar to Postmates and Uber Eats. It’s not in as many areas, but it is prevalent in those it is in.
Here are the most frequently asked questions I receive when debating DoorDash vs Postmates.
Which Platform Offers Better Promotions?
DoorDash often has better promotions, and they offer them more frequently because of their larger market share; they have more orders to cover.
Can I Schedule Deliveries in Advance With Both Platforms?
You can schedule deliveries in advance with DoorDash, not Postmates. If scheduling is important to you, DoorDash is the better option.
Can You Drive for DoorDash and Postmates at the Same Time?
Neither app says you can’t drive for another simultaneously, so if you want to maximize your earnings, you can. Just be careful not to make mistakes or forget to shut one app off when delivering for the other so you don’t ruin your acceptance or completion rate.
How Does Customer Support Compare Between DoorDash and Postmates?
DoorDash and Postmates have similar customer service options, with the website FAQ as the primary resource and the option to contact customer service directly if you can’t find what you’re looking for.
How Do DoorDash and Postmates Handle Delivery Issues or Disputes?
DoorDash and Postmates are very customer-focused. If there are issues, they ensure the customer is 100% happy. However, they stand behind their drivers, too. Both platforms ignore reviews that aren’t warranted or were due to circumstances outside of your control.
DoorDash vs. Postmates: Who Comes Out on Top?
When comparing DoorDash and Postmates, both are great apps to consider working for.
The right one for you is the most popular app in your area, with available shifts when you can work. The key to both apps is to provide excellent customer service, keep up your ratings, and maintain a good completion rate.