Some food delivery services operate in Seattle, WA, amongst the more known services are UberEats, DoorDash, and Postmates. This article was prepared by a delivery driver that works for all three and compared each one to evaluate which service is the best to work for.
The driver used to order food through UberEats and decided he wanted to supplement his income by working for them. He decided to sign up for the three leading delivery services at the same time, so he would not be left without income in case of a slow evening. These are the results of his findings.
I'll start with the signing up process, a quick review of which company is the fastest to start working for and which takes the longest and hardest to process.
Signing Up for UberEats
UberEats has the simplest sign-up process. He went online into the UberEats site and put in his information, made sure he had car insurance and passed the background check. He didn't think that Uber does the background check because the day after signing up he received an e-mail stating that he was approved for work.
Signing Up for Postmates
This was a little bit longer to process, since their background check takes about a week and a half, so you will need to be patient before you can start delivering.
Signing Up for DoorDash
This is the most complicated of the three to sign up for, since you have to go to their office, which is in Pioneer Square, downtown. You sit down with a representative that gives you a brief interview and maps out the details of how to be a DoorDash delivery driver. You watch an induction video and then you must wait a few days until they complete the background check. Once you pass the background check, you can start working.
Car and Driver Requirements for Postmates, DoorDash, UberEats, Amazon Flex and Deliv
Signing Up Conclusions
DoorDash requires the most work, Postmates is the longest to wait for, and UberEats is the simplest and easiest.
Earnings and Working
Now I'll discuss which company pays the best, how they pay and how much you earn as well as present the workload for each company.
Working for UberEats
The work interface is great because you are your own boss. On his first day, he didn't have a clue what he was doing. He just received orders via the app, and he drove to wherever he was told to deliver to. The work was addictive, on his first day he worked for nine hours and on the second day he worked for eleven hours.
UberEats pay's the least of the three companies, it pays the least, and you rarely get tipped. In fact, they discourage tipping. On the upside is you don't work so hard for them. With UberEats it's less door-to-door delivery and more curbside delivery, so the customer meets you at your car. You don't have to pay for the food at the restaurant; it's ready for pickup when you get there, so the waiting time is minimal. This can also be a bit of a downside since they do pay for waiting time, which is a bonus but in reality, doesn't happen that much. With no waiting time and a curbside pickup, you end up delivering fast which opens you up to more deliveries per hour, and you can make up to $11 per hour.
My driver, customer satisfaction rating, is at 100%, and that's after delivering 80 food deliveries which is due to the ease of the work. The downside is that they pay you per distance traveled, which means that you need to drive at least five or six miles to earn eight to ten dollars, and that puts a lot of wear on your car. You also burn through a lot of gas, so, if you drive a whole day for UberEats, a quarter of that will go to gas and other car expenses. There is an upside when delivering during a boost pricing area, although some areas can slow down the delivery time due to traffic. So, to conclude, UberEats is busier, less waiting between deliveries and quick curbside drop-offs, it's a great starter service to earn money.
UberEats give you a fast payout card, so if you want to cash out your day's earnings on the same day you can, it only costs 50 cents, and you get your daily income deposited on your card.
Working for Postmates
Postmates pays better than DoorDash and UberEats, now that's out of the way, let's check out why. Tips are the main reason, and they are based on the size of the delivery. For instance, you can get a $100 to $130 order, and you will get around $21 tip for that delivery. It might take an hour to complete one or two deliveries for Postmates, in the same time it would take me to deliver four or five UberEats, but the tips are around $36 per hour ($21 and $15), and that's added to your base income. Having said this, it does not happen like this all the time. Balancing out the tips and earnings with Postmates since they do not need to tip, can lead to earning only $6 per hour, so the overall take has to be averaged out over the whole day. Here is an example of how a Postmates delivery will work; the busiest area for Postmates is downtown Seattle or the urban areas, the problem with downtown is parking your car, which you have to do occasionally since you might have to place the order yourself.
On the occasions you don't have to order, you might have to wait a while, and those delays add to the overall time. Once you get the delivery, you have to drive down to an apartment in a complex in downtown Seattle, and you have to park your car. On occasions when there is no parking, you will have to park illegally, and then it becomes a race between you and the $40 parking ticket, which can be half your days' pay. I haven't got a ticket yet, but have been warned a few times.
Now, once you get to the apartment complex, you have to buzz the right door buzzer or find the right apartment, and that can mean climbing up a lot of stairs or taking an elevator. The whole process of the actual door to door delivery process is between 30 to 40 minutes. You can do about three UberEats deliveries at the same time for the same amount of cash and less hassle. Having said this, usually you do get tips, and that tips the scales in favor of Postmates.
DoorDash or Postmates
The main difference between Postmates and UberEats is the fact that you can reject as many deliveries as you want for Postmates. This allows a Postmates driver to select the better restaurants to work for and amass a better tipping clientele.
When trying to cash out daily pay, Postmates is worse than UberEats, since it takes a $2.50 per transaction via a third party, and it's not for the full day's earnings. It takes Postmates a week or so to calculate your tips, so you don't know how much you have made a day until you get the weekly payment statement. Sometimes there are delays in payments, so Postmates is a crapshoot regarding when and how much you are going to be paid. You will also work a bit harder since you need to photo every receipt and sometimes the orders are heavy, so it is harder work than UberEats and DoorDash.
Working for DoorDash
DoorDash is a great company to work for, although it also has its downside. With DoorDash it's not as simple as UberEats and Postmates, you cannot just go out and work. With DoorDash you must prepare your weekly schedule ahead of time. While I like working for DoorDash, there are moments when there are no time slots available, and I end up without a working schedule. Another issue is where to delivery, you have to be close to DoorDash partner restaurants, so don't position yourself in South Seattle, there is no work there.
When you do get work, you know exactly how much you earn and what the tips are since they calculate the tip into the delivery before you make the delivery. This way you know exactly what you are earning on every order. DoorDash customers always tip, so this is a great upside. You also get a company credit card, like Postmates and you may need to wait for an order to be ready.
Similar to UberEats, you cannot reject too many deliveries if you do your acceptance rate goes down, and you are rated by the number of deliveries you make as well as a reject. This is an issue to contend with because sometimes they send you on a seven or eight-mile delivery for a $10 pay. You do want to maintain an acceptance rating above 80% so that you can reject the ridiculous deliveries, just plan it out correctly. You will have to prepare for bad deliveries, which usually start at the restaurant that takes too long to prepare the order, and then continues through hard traffic and finally find a way to the customer's door. Customer doors are hard to reach since they have not mapped in any Google Map or Apple Map app, so you know how to get to an address location but not to a specific door. This means you must call and ask the customer for exact delivery directions. The moment you do this, the customer for some reason, instead of respecting your concern for a fast delivery, rate you lower than five stars.
When you take delivery, make sure you include all the utensils and condiments, and add more, it always helps. Never forget an item, I did once, and no matter how hard I try, there are those single deliveries where you forget an item, like soda, and that damages the delivery and ruins your ratings too. Remember, you are not making minimum wage, in Seattle, you will earn between $13 to $14 per hour for DoorDash.
With Postmates you can reach $20 to $25 per hour, DoorDash around $13 to $15 and UberEats around $18 per hour.
My Ratings for UberEats is 4.8, for Postmates 4.8 and DoorDash only 4.5, but that's because I am meticulous in finding addresses and improving myself, which is a bummer with DoorDash since customers don't appreciate the perfection of finding an address. Maybe because for them it's easy, they live there, and they take it for granted that everyone will know how to reach them as they do.
You have to calculate your expenses, to see what you earn, and you have to include your car depreciation into your calculations to get the right amount. These expenses add up to $12 o $13 per day, so you must be careful when mixing the workload.
Mixing the Load
I find it best to work for all three, and plan my week out to maximize my income based on the prime times for each company. If you log onto one company and the service is slow, then log onto another company to speed things up. The only one you cannot do this with is DoorDash, so on the hours you are not working DoorDash you can alternate between Postmates and UberEats.
Choosing which one to work for is also up to you, each one has different emotional tolerances, and you have to decide what your mood is capable of handling. UberEats is far the easiest to work for, but the pay is not the best. Working for DoorDash gives you exactly what you earn every delivery and Postmates makes the most money, but you never know how much and when you will be paid.
Over time, you will start to pick up the nuances of working with three different companies and when and where it is best to work for them. These strategies include, where and when to work for each company, which restaurants to accept and where to leave your car running when picking up or delivering, although with UberEats you don't need to worry about a drop of waiting. You can plan the number of rejected orders, but don't reject more than 10% to 20% of the orders with UberEats ad never or try not to cancel any orders after accepting them. Some orders do require you cancel them, such as a five o'clock in the afternoon delivery to 3rd Avenue downtown if you like to walk that's fine. Otherwise, there is no way you will make the delivery on time in a car. So, cancel that if you accept it since you never know where the delivery is with UberEats until after you accept it.
UberEats treats the drivers poorly, and they don't give you a delivery bag to carry the food, neither for hot nor cold food. On the upside, UberEats customer and driver service is the best, so at least the customers are happy, and when you have an issue, they will respond quickly and in real time.
Postmates don't help drivers, and contacting them is an issue all by itself.
Bottom line, all three companies have their upsides and downsides.
UberEats: Poor pay, easy work, controlled rating environment, good support services
Postmates: Great pay, great company, hard work, bad support services
DoorDash: Average pay, controlled rating environment, average support services.