In this day and age, food delivery drivers make the world go round. Getting food to your doorstep has never been so easy. Thanks to services such as Postmates, you can order food or other convenience items (car parts, video games, makeup, you name it) from almost anywhere with just the click of a button. I love ordering carryout and other paraphernalia through Postmates, which is popular in Kansas City. Apart from being a loyal customer, could I become an avid courier too? I decided to deliver as a Postmate for a week, and this is my Postmates driver experience.

Becoming a Postmate:

To become a Postmates driver, experience is not necessary. Anyone 18 or older can join Postmates Fleet and become a Postmates connoisseur. I entered my information and set up my account, registered my vehicle type (as I planned to drive rather than, say, walk or bike), downloaded the Fleet app, and linked my bank account for payment deposits. After a few days, I received a package in the mail with my prepaid Postmates card and very conveniently an insulated Postmates hot/cold bag. I activated my card, and now I was set for deliveries!

Delivery basics:

Delivery opportunities can be accepted via the app. After accepting, you complete the pickup and confirm it in the app. Then you drop the delivery off and again confirm it in the app. 

Ground rules:

1. I am to do a minimum of two deliveries per day, every day for seven consecutive days.

2. I am to do all my deliveries by car.

Day 1

Okay I am so anxious lol. I’ve never done anything like this before. I’m usually the one who orders delivery, not does the delivering. Do it for the people, Ayesha.

The first oddity I came across was that the prepaid Postmates card says 'Debit' in the corner, but for unpaid orders (orders when you have to use the card) select credit to pay for the order. I'm not worried about making a fool of myself; I'm worried about messing up someone's order or not being able to find my customer. This is someone's livelihood at stake, at least temporarily.

After assuring myself that everything would be fine, I finally pressed the "Go Online" button. My phone started to ding and buzz out of my hands. Apparently that's what the app does for approximately 20 seconds when there is an order available to accept. I freaked out a little bit more, got a handle on my phone, and finally clicked accept on my first order. Operation: Postmates driver experience, initiated. Here we go.

1st delivery: Opera House

Earnings: $4.10 + $3.63 tip = $7.73

The app showed a map on the screen and gave directions to Opera House from my location. As I drove there, my location would constantly update on my screen as well as my customer's screen to give live updates on how close I am to the location. The same happens when driving to the drop off location.

Ayesha Godil

This was a prepaid order, so all I had to do was pick up the order and drop it off. I picked up the order and confirmed it. After confirming the pickup is when you get the address for the drop off location as well as any drop off instructions left by the customer. This is a pretty smart way to make sure everyone within delivery range has an equal opportunity of placing an order as it avoids drivers skipping on accepting orders based on where a customer lives. I used the GPS directions to get to the drop off location, and as I went to go find parking, the customer called me asking where I was. The customer was able to see my location and saw I had arrived. I didn’t realize my customer would be standing right outside of the building, so instead I drove up to the curb and handed the customer the order. In the app, I confirmed the drop off. First delivery, check.

2nd delivery: Opera House

Earnings: $4.10 + $1.81 tip = $5.91

I accepted this order, feeling confident since my first delivery was from the same place. This order was also prepaid, so I again did not have to use the Postmates card. The customer thoughtfully texted me with better directions knowing that GPS usually miscalculates that specific drop off location. After confirming the drop off, I got a low battery warning.

Ayesha Godil

“Please charge up! You will be logged off at 10%!”

This was probably a good stopping point.

Tip: If you want to do a lot of deliveries consecutively, bringing a car charger or external battery would be helpful. The Fleet app constantly uses up phone battery since your location settings have to be on to use the app. The data used for the GPS can also be pretty draining.

3rd delivery: Yard House

Earnings: $4.10 + $4.10 tip = $8.20

I did this delivery later at night after charging up. I was a little nervous about the pickup for this one because it's difficult to find parking downtown and I didn't want to delay the delivery. But there was an open spot right in front of Yard House just for me. This delivery was not paid for, so I got to use my Postmates prepaid card for the first time. The cashier asked, "Debit or credit?" and I remembered to say "Credit." The app also asked to add a photo of the receipt before confirming the pickup. I added the photo, confirmed the pickup, dropped off the food, and confirmed the delivery in the app. Hooray for day one.

Note: Payments are not transferred immediately, so you can't get your money right away. It takes four to seven business days to finalize the direct deposit. There is also a $0.15 charge for each transfer to your bank account. Payments are deposited by Postmates per day no matter how many deliveries you do. 

Day 2

I don't know why this is sinking in now after so long, but delivering for Postmates is a real job with real benefits. Being a part of Postmates Fleet connects you with enrolling for a healthcare insurance plan. You also get perks via PerkSpot and a free subscription to Postmates Unlimited after completing a certain amount of deliveries for the month! No delivery fees on orders seals the deal for me.

1st delivery: Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen                            Earnings: $5.09 + $2.12 tip = $7.21

I had to place this order myself with the information the customer had given in the app. This order I was kind of afraid to touch the food but I also wanted to make sure everything was there. Checking was worth it though because I noticed the apple pie was missing. I went back inside for it. Then I took a picture of the receipt for the app, pressed pick up, dropped off the food, and confirmed the drop off.

2nd delivery: Protein House

Earnings: $4.10 + $1.68 tip = $5.78

This was a simple pick up and drop off.

I had never actually heard of Protein House! As a Postmates delivery driver, I didn't realize how much I would get to learn about the Kansas City food scene.

Day 3

I was busy in the daytime with an exam, so I didn’t get to turn on the available for deliveries button until later. In the meantime, I actually tried Protein House for the first time! I would have never thought to explore this place if I didn’t get an order placed from there. My delivering Postmates driver experience was turning into an all-round food experience.

Finally, I got a request at 11 p.m. This was late, but I made a commitment to do this for a week, so…

1st delivery: TiKiTaco

Earnings: $4.10 + $5.22 tip = $9.32

I felt a bit more comfortable with the delivery process, so I decided to turn on the “accept more deliveries” mode. This would allow me to accept one more delivery while delivering another order.

I had to pick up an order from TiKiTaco that I just needed to drop off. I called the customer to ask about drink preference (the app didn’t specify which drink to pick up), and I discovered that this 39th Street gem has Dr. Pepper and a bunch of other sodas in glass bottles! What a game changer.

I accepted my second delivery while delivering this one.

Ayesha Godil

2nd delivery: Wendy’s

Earnings: $4.10 + $5.80 tip = $9.90

Ordered, paid, picked up, receipt photographed, dropped off, conquered.

This was a very long and specific order. I felt a bit awkward because after every item I ordered, the lady taking my order kept asking “would that be all?” and I was like "No there’s more..." After every item for 10 items. One of the grilled chicken sandwich items was out and the cashier asked if I wanted to order a spicy or homestyle version instead, but then mentioned that I could wait for the original item. I thought it would be better to give the customer what they wanted so I decided to wait the eight minutes. The workers may not have been happy, but I just needed to do my job right too lol.

The drop off location was so fancy and awesome. I can't say where, but believe me, it was really cool.

I accepted the next delivery while delivering this one.

3rd delivery: Rhythm & Booze

Earnings: $4.56

This was a prepaid pickup. After dropping off the order, I dishearteningly turned off the find more deliveries feature because I needed to go home. I can't even deny that I started enjoying this. Four more days of fun lehgo.

Day 4

This time I went out specifically to make deliveries rather than my usual passive approach (do it while I’m already out). I tried going out at the dinner peak hours to optimize my amount of deliveries without waiting having gaps between deliveries. I headed over to the reddest area on the map, the "hot spot" where I would have the best opportunity to get deliveries to accept.

Ayesha Godil

1st delivery: Beignet

Earnings: $4.10 + $4.00 tip = $8.10

Picked up and dropped off. The customer called me upon seeing I had arrived in the app. I was a little flustered that I couldn't stop at the curb for the delivery because there was a line of cars behind me (thanks downtown). I had to find somewhere to park instead. This was a little stressful, but it worked out.

2nd delivery: Subway

Earnings: $4.10

Ordered, paid, picked up, receipt photographed, dropped off. This was a complicated order and I was paranoid of botching it and giving a customer an allergic reaction on accident. The Subway only had one strawberry cheesecake cookie left, but the customer wanted three. There is an option in the app to select when a product is unavailable, but I didn't have the heart to do that. Instead, I got one strawberry cheesecake cookie and two chocolate chip cookies. Looking back, the ideal option would have been to call the customer to ask their preference, but that didn’t occur to me at the moment. Fortunately, the customer still appreciated the other cookies.

3rd delivery: Opera House

Earnings: $4.10 + $2.45 tip = $6.55

Picked up. Had to fill the root beer myself. Dropped off. I checked the time and realized I had done three deliveries in one hour, which is pretty good might I say for a beginner like me.

Day 5

1st delivery: El Fogón

Earnings: $4.10 + $4.93 tip = $9.03

Pick up. Drop off. Spillin' Coke trippin' on the mailbox.  #badatjobee

2nd delivery: Sol Cantina

Earnings: $4.10 + $2.66 tip = $6.76

Picked up. Dropped off.

3rd delivery: Denny’s

Earnings: $4.10 + $2.33 tip = $6.43

Paid, added receipt, picked up, dropped off. This time the app showed official Denny's images of the burger and cheesecake the customer ordered.

Ayesha Godil

They looked...

Ayesha Godil

...SO GOOD. 

I regretted not being able to sit down and order any for myself for two seconds before regaining focus.

4th delivery: Pancho’s Mexican Food

Earnings: $5.39 + $5.66 tip = $11.05

I was having so much fun I decided to accept another order and pick up a friend! I ordered, paid, added the receipt, picked up, and dropped off the order. Pancho's is very popular, especially on weekend nights, and the line was very long. I let the customer know via text that it would take a while before I would get to deliver.

Ayesha Godil

The line was. so. long. SO LONG. But that meant more car hangout time for me and my friend. Also, Postmates pays you for how long you have to wait at the merchant, so my base payout ended up being raised. *cha-ching*

Day 6

1st delivery: Fric & Frac

Earnings: $4.10 + $2.63 tip = $6.73

Picked up, dropped off. The customer left instructions to park in the back and to come to door on the deck. I felt uncomfortable walking up a flight of stairs in someone’s backyard to a deck. And I couldn’t find the house number. I went to the front of the house to confirm the house number. When I went back, I was relieved to see the customer had come out anyway. Whew.

2nd delivery: Pancho’s Mexican Food

Earnings: $5.04 + $5.37 tip = $10.41 

The line at Pancho's was even longer than it was yesterday! I notified the customer via text about the delay. Texted customer, ordered, ordered, added receipt, picked up, dropped off, and got paid extra for waiting at the merchant #swag

I accepted the next order after picking up the Pancho's order.

3rd delivery (cancelled): Taco Bell 

Earnings: $0.00

This Taco Bell location was closed when I arrived. I called the customer to let them know. In my app I selected “Merchant is Closed.”

Ayesha Godil

The Super Mario Bros game over sound effect played in the app when the order cancelled!!! I was bummed about not being able to complete and deliver a customer's order, but I wouldn't have had this real Postmates driver experience if I had.

Ayesha Godil

Day 7

A new update to the app! The Fleet app now allows you to use Google Maps as your GPS if you choose in Preferences. The earnings tab is a lot easier to navigate, and you can now see a complete breakdown of how much you earned per order with regards to minimum payout, distance traveled, time taken, and tip. There's also a new feature that allows you to choose if you want to accept orders manually or automatically, which is useful for those who want to deliver consecutive orders.

Ayesha Godil

1st delivery: Chipotle Mexican Grill

Earnings: $6.15

The older and newest versions of the app allow you to receive notifications for Blitz bonus, which is when there is surge pricing for deliveries (more demand for drivers). You can earn up to three times as much as the base price during Blitz.

Ayesha Godil

I hadn't been able to accept a delivery during Blitz thus far, but I finally got to do it today!

Ayesha Godil

This was a pick up, pay with card, and drop off. I used the Google Maps feature to take me to the drop off location (a hospital ICU? Am I even allowed up there?). Unfortunately, I was directed three miles in the opposite direction to a similar address. The $86 worth of Chipotle was heavy to carry and started leaking. I felt so bad for taking so long to get there and the leaking bag. I wanted to be done for the day, but I had to do at least one more delivery according to the ground rules I set at the beginning of the week.

On the bright side, I got 1.5 times the payout with Blitz!

2nd delivery: KC Smoke Burger

Earnings: $4.00 + $4.94 tip = $8.94

I LOVE KC SMOKE BURGER. My favorite burger place of all time. And I got to pick up an order from there. I felt so honored.

Picked up and dropped off.

3rd delivery: Taco Bell

Earnings: $5.50

A really complicated, 10-item order... paid, picked up, and dropped off. Day seven, complete.

Total end-of-week earnings (with tip): $148.36

^And that was just with a few deliveries per day!

The week flew by! I’m actually obsessed with this. Postmates makes the delivery driver experience so rewarding and so much fun with the app, almost as if I'm playing a game. And the reward is $$$! And the blessings of all your customers - which usually comes in the form of a tip - so also $$$. I'm looking forward to continue making more deliveries with new features, such as chained and batched deliveries, to improve both my Postmates driver experience as well as customer satisfaction.

Operation: Postmates driver experience. Delivery: success.

If after this week-long journey with me, you don't seem into being a Postmates delivery driver, then here, that's okay: order away. The ordering lifestyle is just as great.

Your Postmate,