How Postmates Works: A Step-by-Step Guide

June 15, 2023
5/5 - (1 vote)

Craving your favorite food without leaving home? Postmates has you covered! It’s a popular food delivery service that brings meals from local restaurants right to your door. You can order from all sorts of places, like fast food spots, fancy restaurants, and even grocery stores, pharmacies, and liquor shops. Postmates has made it super easy to enjoy a wide variety of foods without having to go out. Plus, it’s not just about convenience – the competition in the industry has led to better prices and improved service.

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What is Postmates?

Postmates is a popular food delivery service that brings delicious meals from local restaurants right to your front door. It started in 2011 by Bastian Lehmann, Sam Porter, and Will Hirschbach and is based in San Francisco, California. Postmates operates in over 300 cities in the United States and Canada, partnering with thousands of restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies, and liquor stores. They make money through delivery fees, commission fees, and advertising. The company has received over $1 billion in funding from investors like Andreessen Horowitz and was acquired by Uber in 2020 for $2.65 billion.

How does Postmates work?

Using Postmates is super easy. Just download the app, make an account, and start ordering. You can pick from lots of different restaurants and stores and add stuff to your cart. When you’re ready, pay for your order and a fee for delivery. Postmates is better than other services because it’s in more cities, has more options, and delivers faster. Ordering is simple and the prices are good. If you have any questions or problems, their customer service is available 24/7 to help you out.

Step 1: Setting up your Postmates account

Setting up your Postmates account is super easy. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Go to the Postmates website or download their app.
  2. Look for the “Sign Up” button and click on it.
  3. Fill in your name, email, and create a strong password.
  4. Choose where you want your deliveries to be sent.
  5. Enter your payment details.
  6. Click on “Create Account” and you’re all set!

Now, let’s talk about some handy tips to make the most of your Postmates account:

  • Pick a strong password with a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols to keep your account safe.
  • Turn on two-factor authentication for extra security.
  • Save your payment info to make ordering faster and smoother.
  • Add your favorite places to your list for quick access.
  • Set up notifications to stay updated on your orders.

Having a Postmates account comes with awesome benefits:

  • Explore a wide range of restaurants and stores for all your cravings.
  • Get your deliveries right to your doorstep in no time.
  • Pay easily with different payment options.
  • Earn rewards and enjoy discounts on your orders.
  • Reach out to customer support whenever you need help.

Step 2: Placing an order

Placing an order on Postmates is super easy! Here’s a simple breakdown:

  1. Sign in to your account
  2. Choose the city where you want your order delivered.
  3. Look through the list of restaurants and businesses available in your city.
  4. Pick the food or items you want and add them to your cart.
  5. Enter the address where you want the delivery.
  6. Select a payment method.
  7. Review your order and make sure everything looks good.
  8. Finally, place your order and get ready for it to arrive!

Here are a few more details to keep in mind:

  • Delivery fees vary based on distance and order size.
  • Postmates adds a commission fee to all orders.
  • During busy times or for small orders, there may be extra fees.
  • You can track your order in the Postmates app.
  • If you want, you can tip your delivery person once they bring your order.

Now you’re all set to enjoy the convenience of Postmates and have your favorite food and items delivered right to your doorstep!

Step 3: Finding a Postmate

Once you’ve picked the items you want to order, you’ll see a list of Postmates available in your area who can deliver your order. You can sort the list based on their availability, price, or rating. Here’s what you should know:

  1. Availability: The Postmates at the top of the list are most likely to be ready for immediate delivery, so you can get your order quickly.
  2. Price: The delivery fee depends on how far the Postmate has to travel and the size of your order. Before you request a delivery, you can see an estimated delivery fee.
  3. Rating: Postmates with higher ratings have a better track record of providing good delivery experiences. You can read reviews from other customers to help you decide.

Step 4: Delivery

Exciting news! Your Postmate is on the way to bring you your order! You’ll receive updates on their estimated arrival time as they get closer. When they arrive, you just need to meet them to get your order.

Once you’ve placed your order, a friendly Postmates courier will be sent to the restaurant to pick it up and bring it straight to your door.

Here are a few important things to know about Delivery with Postmates:

  1. Delivery Time: The time it takes for your order to arrive depends on how far the restaurant is from your location. Most orders are delivered within 30 minutes.
  2. Delivery Fees: Postmates charges a fee for delivery, which is based on the distance between the restaurant and your place.
  3. Tips: While it’s not required, it’s always appreciated to give a tip to your Postmates courier. You can tip them with cash or through the Postmates app.

To make sure your delivery goes smoothly, here are some handy tips:

  • Accurate Delivery Info: Double-check that you’ve provided your full name, address, and phone number when placing your order. This helps the courier find you easily.
  • Be Ready to Receive: Postmates couriers will call or text you when they’re on their way. Stay available to answer the door or meet them in the lobby.
  • Check Your Order: After your order arrives, take a moment to check if everything is correct. If you have any issues, reach out to Postmates customer service for help.

Post-delivery options

Postmates understands that sometimes things don’t go as planned, and they have options to help after your delivery. If you have any issues, like missing or wrong items, you can contact Postmates for help.

Rate your experience: After your order, you can rate the restaurant and courier. Your ratings help others decide where to order and which courier to choose.

Leave a tip: Tipping is optional, but it’s a nice way to thank your courier. You can tip in cash or on the Postmates app.

Report a problem: If something is wrong with your order, let Postmates know. They’ll look into it and take action.

Share your order: If you’re enjoying your food, you can share it on social media. Postmates makes it easy to share your order with a link for Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Saving money with Postmates

  • Use promo codes: Postmates often gives out special codes that can help you save money on your orders. Look for these codes on their website, social media, or in emails.
  • Consider Postmates Unlimited: If you order from Postmates a lot, subscribing to Postmates Unlimited can save you money. You’ll get free delivery on orders over $12 and other perks.
  • Order smartly: Ordering during less busy times can help you save money. Avoid peak lunch and dinner hours if you can.
  • Look for restaurant discounts: Some restaurants offer special deals on Postmates. Check out the app or website to find places with discounts.
  • Remember to tip: It’s nice to tip your delivery driver as a way to show appreciation. The usual tip is 15%, but you can give more if you think they did a great job.

Maximizing your experience

  • Use the Postmates app: The Postmates app is the best way to order from them. It’s easy to find restaurants, browse menus, and keep track of your orders.
  • Set up your preferences: When you sign up, you can choose your favorite restaurants, dietary preferences, and delivery address. This makes it easier to find the food you want.
  • Use the chat feature: If you need help with your order, you can chat with Postmates customer support.
  • Leave feedback: After your order arrives, you can leave feedback for the restaurant and the driver. Your feedback helps Postmates improve their service.

Avoiding common mistakes

  • Remember the delivery fee: The price you see doesn’t always include the delivery fee. Make sure to factor in the fee when comparing prices.
  • Stay within a reasonable distance: Ordering from faraway restaurants can result in higher delivery fees. Choose places that are closer to you.
  • Don’t forget to tip: Tipping your driver is a nice way to say thanks for their service. Remember to include the tip when calculating your total cost.

How Postmates makes money

Postmates makes money in different ways to support its services and keep things running smoothly.

Postmates fees: When you order something through Postmates, they add a delivery fee and a service fee to cover their costs. The delivery fee, which is usually around $5, pays for bringing your order right to your doorstep. The service fee, about 9% of the total order value, helps support the platform and its operations.

Advertising revenue: Postmates earns money by partnering with businesses and featuring them on their platform. These businesses pay to have their names and offers displayed in search results and on the Postmates app. It’s a way for businesses to get more customers, and it brings in additional income for Postmates.

Delivery fees: Postmates charges businesses a fee for each order they handle. This fee, around 15% of the total order value, covers the costs of managing the delivery process and providing a convenient service for both customers and businesses.

Other revenue streams: Postmates has other sources of income as well. They offer subscription plans like Postmates Unlimited, where customers pay a monthly fee for benefits like free delivery on certain orders. Postmates may also make money through selling branded merchandise or partnering with other companies.

In 2021, Postmates reported a total revenue of $730 million. As more and more people rely on food delivery and on-demand services like Postmates, the company’s revenue has been steadily growing. In 2019, they made $500 million, showing a huge increase compared to the previous year. This growth reflects the rising popularity of Postmates and its ability to provide convenient delivery services to a larger customer base.


In summary, Postmates has been growing quickly because more people are using it to order food and other items. This has helped increase the company’s revenue. However, there are challenges like competition and high costs. Postmates has a strong brand and many users, which helps it keep growing. As more people want things delivered quickly, Postmates can make even more money. By focusing on customer needs, being innovative, and adapting to changes, Postmates can continue to do well. Overall, Postmates’ goal is to provide great delivery experiences and keep growing in the on-demand service industry.

Commonly Asked Questions

To check if Postmates delivers in your area, go to their website or use their app and enter your zip code. It will show you a list of nearby restaurants and stores that you can order from.

The cost of using Postmates depends on factors like how far the delivery is, the time of day, and the items you order. They charge a delivery fee, a service fee, and sometimes a small order fee. The delivery fee is usually around $5, the service fee is 9% of your total order value, and the small order fee is typically around $1.50.

Yes, you can track your delivery in real-time using the Postmates app. It shows you where your driver is and gives you an estimate of when they’ll arrive.

Yes, you can order alcohol in some areas through Postmates. Just remember that you need to be at least 21 years old and show proof of age when your delivery arrives.

Postmates has a referral program that rewards you for referring friends. When your friends sign up using your referral code, they get a free delivery credit, and you earn a $10 bonus.

If you want to become a Postmate, you can apply on their website. You need to be at least 18 years old, have a valid driver’s license, and pass a background check.

Yes, Postmates offers discounts and promotions. They might have free delivery on orders over a certain amount, promo codes for savings, or their Postmates Unlimited subscription that gives you free delivery on eligible orders and other benefits.

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    Rohan Murthy

    Rohan Murthy is a freelance writer and in-house content lead at Zipprr, a custom software development company. With over 7 years of experience, he specializes in writing about business, technology and startups. As the in-house content lead, he creates blogs, whitepapers and webpage content for Zipprr. He has also worked with many other clients as a freelance writer, providing long-form and short-form content.