The Modest Wallet is a free digital publication delivering its readers simple personal finance solutions. We regularly partner with brands that have products and services that will help our readers. Some of the links in this post are from our partners. How we make money.
On the surface, it seems like delivery drivers have plenty of options when it comes to choosing a platform to work for.
The problem is that the experience of working for each one is pretty similar, no matter which one you go with.
Postmates and Grubhub are two options you have probably considered. The good news is there are some big differences between the two —the main one being that Grubhub lets drivers schedule shifts in advance, whereas Postmates is more focused on flexibility.
While that’s the biggest difference, there are some other reasons why you may favor the experience of working for one over the other.
We’ll explore them in this article.
Postmates vs. Grubhub: An Overview
Postmates and Grubhub are both popular delivery services. You’ll do similar work, whichever one you choose. Here is an introduction to each platform, so you know what you’re getting into.
|What You Will Deliver||Just about anything. Whether it’s food, new headphones, or a new shirt.||Meals from local restaurants.|
|Driver Requirements||18+ years old, live in an area where the company operates, have a social security number, pass a background check, own a vehicle with insurance, own a smartphone and have a bank account to receive payments.||19+ years old (21+ in Chicago and Las Vegas) , live in an area where the company operates, have a social security number, pass a background check, own a vehicle with insurance, own a smartphone and have a bank account to receive payments.|
|Vehicle Requirements||Have a car, scooter, or bicycle with relevant insurance.||Have a car (or bicycle in selected areas) with relevant insurance.|
|Pay||Average pay is $15 to $18 per hour (includes: per pickup rate, per drop off rate, per minute rate, per-mile rate and tips).||Average pay is $12 per hour (includes: per pickup rate, per drop off rate, time rate, and tips).|
|Working Hours||24/7 on-demand.||24/7 on-demand.|
|Earning Potential||Around $50,000 (*Indeed estimate).||Around $51,000 (*Indeed estimate).|
|Rating System||Customer rate delivery as a whole (thumbs up or down).||Driver recognition program (0 to 5 stars).|
|What We Like||Payment guarantees when you complete a certain number of jobs.||Driver recognition program.|
|Sign up for Postmates||Sign up for Grubhub|
What is Postmates?
Postmates is a delivery service that isn’t limited to food and takeaway (takeout).
Customers can also order groceries, electronics, clothes, or pretty much anything else. In fact, the company says it has everything the customer needs “available in an hour.”
This means drivers occasionally need to deliver for businesses that aren’t restaurants. It adds some variety to the work you do, and it means you might get more jobs outside of regular meal times, although delivering food still makes up the majority of the work drivers do on the platform.
In July 2020, Postmates was bought by delivery competitor Uber, which runs the competing food delivery service Uber Eats. At the time of writing, Uber says it plans to keep the two platforms separate. Check out our full Postmates review to learn more about Postmates.
What is Grubhub?
Grubhub started life as a takeaway (takeout) menu website way back in 2004. It switched to its current form as a food delivery service in 2014. Since then, it has grown to become one of the most popular delivery apps in the U.S.
The company has a presence in all 50 states, and it partners with 225,000 restaurants. Its vast presence means there is a good chance the company operates in your area.
Postmates vs. Grubhub: How Do They Work?
Both Postmates and Grubhub work in similar ways. Customers order food from restaurants via an app, and drivers take this food to the hungry buyers. Here is what to expect if you work for either platform.
How Postmates Works
The Postmates delivery experience is almost the same as Grubhub. But, there are some key differences, especially when taking non-food deliveries. Here are three of them:
- Postmates drivers can’t schedule shifts in advance.
- Occasionally drivers will have to order items for customers at a restaurant or store.
- If items are unavailable, you will have to contact the customer by call or text to arrange a substitution.
How Grubhub Works
Completing work with Grubhub is a simple process to get the hang of. If you are familiar with other delivery apps, you’ll know what to expect.
- Grubhub drivers sign in to the app to tell it they are ready to start working. You can also schedule shifts in advance to get priority for orders.
- Once online, you’ll start to receive notifications when work is available. If you like the job, accept it within 90 seconds, or it will be passed onto another driver.
- Head to the restaurant. The app will show directions on your screen.
- At the pickup location, collect the delivery and check the contents. Click “Got Order” if all is correct.
- Tap “Leaving” when you start your delivery. Once again, the app will show you the best way to the delivery location.
- When you arrive, tap “Arrive.” Hand over the food according to the instructions and tap “Delivered” to confirm the order is complete.
- You’ll now be made available for more work so you can start the cycle again.
Postmates vs. Grubhub: Requirements
Both Grubhub and Postmates have relatively open requirements about who can become a delivery driver. Here is an in-depth look at what you need to work for each service.
Postmates has similar requirements, although they may vary slightly by state. The biggest difference is that with Postmates, in some areas, you can start delivering when you hit 18. You can find the exact requirements where you live on the Postmates website.
To work for Postmates, you must:
- Be 18 or older.
- Live in an area where the company operates.
- Have a social security number.
- Pass a background check.
- Own a registered vehicle with insurance if you plan to drive.
- Own a smartphone that can run the Postmates app.
- Have a checking account you can use to receive payment.
Grubhub drivers must:
- Be 19 or older.
- Have a smartphone that can run the app.
- Have a cell phone plan with enough data.
- Have a valid driver’s license.
- Have auto insurance.
- Pass a background check.
- Live in an area where the service operates.
If you don’t have a car, some areas will let you deliver by cycling. In this case, you don’t need a license or insurance, but you must still have a valid state ID.
Postmates vs. Grubhub: Sign-Up Process
If you’re looking for a way to earn money fast, then delivery jobs are perfect. Both Postmates and Grubhub have a super quick, easy-to-navigate sign up process.
Postmates Sign Up & Approval Process
To sign up for Postmates, you must first fill out a form on the registration page. You have to create an account and then populate it with:
- Biographical information.
- Information about your vehicle.
- Your photo.
You then have to set up direct deposit and authorize a background check. Doing this in advance means that once Postmates accepts your application, you can get to work right away.
You will have to wait for a Postmates card to be sent to you in some areas, which can slow the process down slightly. Any issues with your background check will also delay your application.
Once you register your card, it typically takes one to three days for the company to decide on your application. If accepted, you can begin working by signing in to the app.
Grubhub Sign Up & Approval Process
The Grubhub process is very similar to the Postmates process. First, head over to the registration page to apply. Then answer the questions, complete your profile, and authorize your background check.
Once approved, you have to complete an onboarding session. This will be either in-person or online. You can then log into the app and start driving. Easy!
Postmates vs. Grubhub: Pay
Pay is pretty similar at both companies, although there are slight differences in how each company calculates your earnings. The money you get will also depend on where you live.
The biggest factor that will influence pay is how busy the service is in your area. If one has significantly more jobs available, then it will usually result in a higher hourly rate.
Drivers may find they can maximize earnings by opening both apps during shifts to increase their chances of consistent work.
A good pay-related feature both services offer is instant cash out, which lets you transfer money to your bank account as soon as you complete a job.
Postmates pay also depends on where you live. But you will always earn:
- A set amount per pickup.
- A set amount per drop-off.
- A per-minute rate for the time sent at the pick-up location.
- A per-mile rate for distance traveled between pick-up and drop-off.
As with Grubhub, Postmates drivers get to keep all their tips. Here are other typical earnings from popular cities across the country.
|City||Rate per pickup||Rate per drop-off||Rate per minute||Rate per mile|
|New York City||$1.80||$0.70||$0.07||$1.05|
The exact amount you will earn working for Grubhub depends on your area. Pay will always consist of:
- A per-mile rate to the pickup location.
- A per-mile rate to the drop-off location.
- A rate for every minute you spend on a job.
Drivers also take home all their tips.
Postmates vs. Grubhub: Working Hours
Both Postmates and Grubhub offer 24-hour service, which means you can theoretically find work at any time of the day. Whether there will be enough work available depends on the area you work in.
If you live in an area where restaurants close at 10 p.m., you won’t have much work after that time. But, if you live in a city with many people working late (or early), you may have more scope for unusual hours.
The best way to discover the optimal times to work in your area is to sign up to the platforms and see what demand is like at different times. Once you’ve delivered for a few weeks, you can begin to set your schedule more effectively.
Additionally, keep an eye on unusual events as scheduling work around these times can increase earnings.
For example, students come back to college in September which can lead to more orders if you live in a university town. People may also be more likely to order food during big sporting or TV events.
Postmates Working Hours Available
As Postmates drivers deliver a wider variety of items, there is the chance for work outside of meal-times.
But most customers use the platform for food, which means it is still busiest when people are usually eating meals.
Postmates says that peak hours are from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and from 5.30 p.m. until 9.30 p.m. The company also says that Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays typically have the most demand.
Grubhub Working Hours Available
Grubhub is typically busiest around mealtimes and weekends. The platform lets drivers schedule hours in advance, and those who do so will be prioritized for deliveries during shifts. This can increase the chances of you receiving consistent work during both typical and unusual hours.
Postmates vs. Grubhub: The App
As you’d expect, the app is central to the experience of working for both Postmates and Grubhub. They both offer similar features that make it easy to work for either company.
The Postmates app is called Fleet by Postmates. The biggest difference between it and the Grubhub app is that it doesn’t let drivers schedule shifts in advance.
It allows drivers to:
- Register to become a driver.
- Start a shift.
- Accept or reject orders.
- See information about deliveries.
- Manage payments and track earnings.
- View available promotions and offers.
- See which areas are busy.
Grubhub delivery drivers use an app called Grubhub for Drivers. It’s separate from the main app you’d use to order food. The app is compatible with both Android and Apple Phones, and it lets workers:
- Sign up to become a driver.
- Schedule hours.
- Start shifts.
- Confirm the stages of delivery.
- Accept or reject jobs.
- See which areas are busy.
- Organize payments and work history.
Postmates vs. Grubhub: Earning Potential
Earnings can vary widely, depending not so much on which platform you choose, but what conditions are like in your area.
Both platforms pay per job, not per hour. Reports suggest that most drivers take home between $10 and $20 per hour, depending on work availability.
Remember that you are a contractor, not an employee. This means you will have to pay your own taxes and expenses, like gas and car repairs.
The best way to work out each platform’s earning potential is to sign up and give them both a try. This will show exactly how much you can make.
Because earnings depend on how quickly you can complete jobs, your per hour rate may increase as you get used to the working conditions and learn the quickest way around your area.
How Much Can I Make with Postmates?
Indeed suggests that Postmates drivers earn an average of $10.96 per hour. Glassdoor puts the average hourly rate at between $9 and $13 per hour. On its app store listing, Postmates says that most drivers earn $25 an hour or more.
How Much Can I Make with Grubhub?
Indeed suggests that the average rate for a Grubhub delivery driver is $11.91 per hour. Glassdoor puts the average rate at $13 per hour. Both of these figures are based on reported earnings from drivers.
Postmates vs. Grubhub: Rating System
The rating system is one of the biggest differentiators between the two services. That’s because while Grubhub has one, Postmates doesn’t.
While Postmates customers can rate their overall order, there is no rating system for drivers.
The company says this is so drivers aren’t held responsible for factors outside their control. Not having a rating system means you aren’t rewarded for good work, but also means the overall experience is fairer.
Grubhub’s driver recognition program rewards top drivers with the ability to book shifts before other workers. They also get priority for catering orders, which the company says can result in bigger tips due to their higher value.
The program has two tiers. Premier drivers get priority over Pro drivers, who get priority over regular drivers.
Whether you qualify for a program depends on three metrics:
- Your block attendance rate, which is the percentage of scheduled blocks you attend.
- Your order acceptance rate, which is the percentage of orders you accept while on a shift.
- Your block drop rate, which is the percentage of blocks you drop before or during a shift.
These are the requirements for each level of the program:
- Premier: 100% attendance rate, 95% minimum order acceptance rate, and under 10% block drop rate.
- Pro: 100% attendance rate, 85% or higher order acceptance rate, and under 20% block drop rate.
It’s worth noting that the company doesn’t use a customer rating as part of the requirements to qualify for the above program. As long as you are consistent with your scheduling and accept most jobs, you can qualify.
Postmates vs. Grubhub: What We Like
Both Postmates and Grubhub provide plenty of things we like. Here is a look at some of the best features of each platform. There is a lot of crossover between the two, although some of the factors are platform-specific.
What We Like About Postmates
- Quick and easy registration.
- Fast payment.
- Easy-to-use app.
- Potential for non-food orders.
- Start driving at 18 years old in some areas.
What We Like About Grubhub
- Quick and easy registration.
- Fast payment.
- Easy-to-use app.
- Ability to schedule shifts in advance.
- Program that rewards top drivers.
DoorDash vs. Grubhub: What We Don’t Like
As with any job or delivery platform, there are downsides to working for DoorDash or Grubhub. We’ve listed some that stand out below:
What We Don’t Like about Postmates
- Pay your own taxes.
- Expenses eat into profits.
- Orders can be complex.
What We Don’t Like about Grubhub
- Pay your own taxes.
- Expenses eat into profits.
- Scheduled drivers are prioritized, which can make the service less flexible.
When choosing between Grubhub and Postmates, the biggest factor is first, availability in your area, and then, how busy each platform is. If one doesn’t have a presence yet where you live, or not as many people use it, then choose the other.
Assuming the presence is similar, then the main differentiator is whether you want to schedule shifts and have the ability to join a top-drivers program or whether you’d rather have a more flexible delivery experience. If the former choose Grubhub, if the latter, choose Postmates.
For many drivers, the best thing to do is sign up for each platform. You can then try them both out and stick with the one you prefer.
- 13 Best Delivery App Jobs to Make Extra Cash
- Postmates vs Uber Eats: Which Platform is Best For Drivers?
- Postmates vs DoorDash: Which Side Hustle is Best For Drivers?
- Postmates Driver Review: Make Extra Money Delivering Stuff
- DoorDash Driver Review: Make Extra Money Delivering Food
Get our free Side Hustle Handbook with the best strategies to multiply your income sources today.
Plus our best money tips delivered straight to your inbox.
Ricardo is an entrepreneur, investor and personal finance nerd who enjoys spending time with his family and friends, travelling and helping others achieve their financial goals. Ricardo has been quoted as a personal finance expert in several online publications including Healthline, Bankrate, GOBankingRates, MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, U.S. News & World Report, Forbes and USA Today.