People are using food delivery services more than ever these days, as restaurant dining rooms were closed, reopened for a second, and are now closing again.
To stay in business, chain restaurants and local diners have used mobile ordering apps to get their food to customers.
As demand has increased, we’re starting to see larger food delivery companies start to acquire smaller services. On the heels of Grubhub’s sale to Europe’s Just Eat Takeaway, Uber has just paid $2.65 billion for much-smaller competitor Postmates.
But what does that mean for us, the people who buy the food, as well as the people who deliver the food?
Postmates’ fees tend to be higher for customers.
There are three kinds of fees you’ll pay in addition to the food you buy with both Uber Eats and Postmates:
- A delivery fee: between $0.99 and $7.99 per order for Uber Eats, and between $3.99 and $5.99 per order with Postmates.
- A service fee, 15% of the order subtotal with Uber Eats, and an unpublished, variable percentage with Postmates.
- Any tips you may give your drivers.
Consumer research site Kinetic 12 placed a number of similarly priced orders on the various food delivery services, and found that Postmates had almost double the average delivery fee of Uber Eats, and a 27% higher service fee.
An Uber Eats merger will likely bring down the prices for Postmates customers.
Uber Eats will likely improve Postmates’ delivery time.
A Spoon University survey of both services showed that Uber Eats was faster than Postmates by about 10 minutes on average. That’s because Uber Eats sends orders directly to restaurants, while Postmates drivers are responsible for both placing orders and delivering them.
Should Postmates’ infrastructure just be converted into Uber Eats’, there would be an improvement, time-wise.
Postmates pays drivers up to $10/hour more than Uber Eats.
One of the things drivers love about the Postmates service is that 20% tips are built into every order; customers have to go out of their way to reduce or eliminate the tip.
Meanwhile, Uber Eats drivers are estimated to make $10-$11 an hour, and Uber has been known to change the way pay is calculated.
A merger might not be good for the drivers who’ve enjoyed Postmates’ high-end delivery pay.
Postmates’ and Uber Eats’ unlimited delivery subscriptions are about equal.
Uber Eats Pass costs $9.99/month for free delivery on all orders of $15 or more, plus it takes 5% off every order.
Postmates Unlimited is also $9.99/month (or $99.99/year), with free delivery on all orders of $12 or more.
The big question: Will Uber Eats deliver non-food items like Postmates?
One of the things that sets Postmates apart from other food delivery services is that customers can order convenience-store and grocery items, like toothpaste, protein shakes, and toilet paper. Uber Eats historically hasn’t done that.
But in the wake of Uber’s announcement that they’re going to start delivering groceries, it looks like they’ll be expanding their reach. Whether it’ll be as widespread as Postmates, though, remains to be seen.
Postmates has access to more than 250,000 businesses, while Uber Eats offers more than 100,000.