These days, it seems as though you can get just about anything delivered straight to your door—and in many cases, you can get what you want without much of a wait. From grocery delivery to restaurant food delivery, and even housekeeping services, there are plenty of options available to you that can save you a lot of time and hassle.
Since 2011, Postmates has been providing grocery and food delivery services—though it has only been within the past few years that the popularity of this San Francisco-based service has really started to ramp up. In fact, if you live in or near a major United States city, there’s a good chance that Postmates is available in your area.
Of course, with any delivery service comes the issue of tipping/gratuity etiquette. Should you tip your Postmates delivery driver and, if so, how much? And when should you leave a tip? By having a better understanding of what Postmates is and how its workers operate, you can make informed decisions regarding gratuities.
What is Postmates?
Specifically, Postmates is a delivery platform that more-or-less combines the services of a restaurant-delivery app (like Uber Eats) with that of a grocery-delivery app (such as Instacart). The idea of Postmates is that you can get nearly anything you could ever imagine delivered to your door in less than an hour.
The Postmates app is available on both Android and Apple devices; when you log into the app, you can enable location services to instantly view a list of all the available stores that you can order from in your area. This can include anything from restaurants and bars to grocery stores, pharmacies, and even clothing stores. With the exception of a few types of items (including gift cards, firearms, and illegal substances), Postmates customers can get nearly anything delivered that’s available in their area.
Pros and Cons of Using Postmates
When compared to other delivery services, such as DoorDash or Instacart, Postmates offers the unique advantage of being able to bring nearly anything to your door in about an hour. While food delivery is the most popular service used among Postmates customers, it can be helpful for getting other essentials you need without having to leave your home. This can include anything from clothing and cosmetics to home goods and just about everything in between.
When compared to other delivery services, Postmates is also competitively priced. In general, you can expect to pay between $5-10 for delivery. However, during peak times for certain items, your order can be subjected to “blitz” pricing. During these peak times, delivery rates can increase due to high demand. For example, if you want to order tacos from a local taco stand that’s always busy around dinner time, you can expect to pay more for delivery during the dinner rush.
Another potential drawback to keep in mind when it comes to using Postmates is that the cost of your order isn’t guaranteed; with each order, you’ll be given a price estimate that is usually pretty accurate. However, actual costs can fluctuate based on service fees and other factors.
What You Need to Know About Tipping
If you’re thinking about ordering from Postmates for the first time, you may be wondering what to expect when it comes to tipping your delivery driver. When you go to place an order with Postmates, you’ll see that a delivery fee is automatically added to your order; it’s important to understand that this delivery fee is not a driver gratuity. You can compare this tipping to how much to tip housekeeping guide.
Should You Tip Your Postmates Delivery Driver?
The simple answer? Yes. You should always plan to tip a Postmates delivery driver. Many of these drivers rely on tips, as they typically make less than minimum wage when you calculate the “average” earnings from hourly deliveries alone. In fact, the Postmates app even automatically calculates and suggests a 20% tip for each order, though you have complete control over what you end up tipping your delivery driver.
Still not convinced you should tip your Postmates driver? There are a few other things to keep in mind. For example, consider the fact that most Postmates drivers earn about $4 per delivery. Even for those who are able to complete two deliveries an hour, that still adds up just over the Federal minimum wage. When you combine this with the fact that these drivers are also using their own vehicles and paying for their own fuel to get to your house, it’s easy to see why they rely on tips.
How Much Should You Tip Your Driver?
While the Postmates app will always calculate a 20% tip automatically, there are a lot of considerations you should keep in mind when deciding how much you should tip your driver. While you should generally expect to tip between 15% and 20%, there are cases where you may want to tip even more.
For example, if you used a promo code on your order that brings the total down to $10, a $2 tip may “technically” equate to 20%. However, you may still wish to tip your driver based on the original total of your order before any promo codes. If your order would have ben $15 before your promo code was used, this would mean leaving your driver with a $3 tip if you want to leave a 20% gratuity.
Of course, you should also factor in the quality of the service you received when tipping. If your driver was rude or if he or she missed some items in your order, you might justify leaving a smaller tip. However, make sure that you’re not punishing your delivery driver for something that may not have been their fault. For example, if the restaurant you ordered your food from was extremely busy and your order was a few minutes late as a result, this isn’t the fault of your driver. The same applies if they hit rush hour traffic trying to bring your order to you.
When Should You Tip Your Driver?
The Postmates app gives you the option to add a tip to your order after delivery; if you have a credit card linked to your account, this is typically the easiest option available. Of course, you also have the option to leave a cash tip directly with your driver once your delivery arrives similar to tipping your movers once they are done with their service.
Many drivers prefer to receive cash tips because this allows them access to the money right away. When tipping through the app, drivers must wait for the money to be transferred to their accounts. Ultimately, when and how you decide to tip your driver is up to you. If you’re more comfortable with tipping cash, your driver will probably appreciate this. If it’s easier for you to tip through the app after the delivery is made, this is fine, too. The Postmates app actually makes it easy to leave a tip and will even calculate the amount for you based on your selected percentage, if you’d like.
The main thing to keep in mind that is when your driver makes your delivery and you tell him or her that you’ll leave a tip in the app, you need to follow through. All too often, customers will forget to leave a promised gratuity.
Other Considerations for Tipping a Postmates Driver
Remember that your Postmates driver is likely not making much more than minimum wage based on earnings from deliveries alone. He or she is also putting wear and tear on his or her personal vehicle, paying for gas, and possibly waiting in rush hour traffic to get your delivery to you as quickly as possible. Often times, Postmates drivers will also go above and beyond by contacting customers directly with questions related to their order preferences. With all this in mind, there is really no good excuse not to tip your driver.
While 20% may be the generally accepted industry standard, you may consider throwing a few bucks your driver’s way if he or she goes above and beyond. The same applies if you had an especially complicated order. Furthermore, because Postmates regularly offers special promotions that include free delivery credits, it’s never a bad idea to share the love by giving your delivery driver a few extra dollars.
The Bottom Line
While Postmates does not require you to tip its delivery drivers, it’s almost always a good idea to leave your driver a tip. In fact, this etiquette could be applied to most services in the growing gig economy. And when you need a little help cleaning up after enjoying a Postmates take-out order, a professional cleaning company is there for you. Maid Sailors offers a wide range of cleaning services. Contact us today or use our convenient online form to schedule your next cleaning!