Updated: 1/18/16

At my Caviar orientation, I was told that a lot of Caviar couriers used to work for Postmates. They did not have a good experience with Postmates. I haven’t drove for either of them at the time so I wasn’t sure why this was the case. Over the past month I’ve been driving for both of these platforms and now I see why couriers prefer Caviar over Postmates. Here are the 6 reasons why couriers switch to Caviar:

6. Order Rejections

Caviar have agreements with the local restaurants who uses their technology so orders are always going to be processed and fulfilled. Postmates doesn’t have this with local restaurants despite partnerships with the likes of Starbucks, Chipotle, and Walgreens. Instead, Postmates add local restaurants to their database without informing these restaurants. Sometimes you will arrive to place an order or pick up and get turned away by an irritated manager who will say “We’re not fulfilling Postmates orders, they added us to their database without permission”.

5. Unreliable Website Menu

Because Postmates add restaurants to their database without informed consent, sometimes an outdated menu will be added to their website for a local restaurant. As a result, occasionally customers will order something from Postmates.com that the restaurant could not make at the time and you, the courier, get the unfortunate task of informing the customer about the issue.

4. No Rating System

Postmates has an asymmetrical rating system very similar to Lyft and Uber. You must maintain a 4.7 out of 5.0 rating to stay on the platform. Customers who get low ratings from couriers aren’t necessarily penalized by the system. Caviar does not have a rating system which creates less performance anxiety for couriers.

3. No PEX Card

PEX card used by Postmates’ couriers to pay for orders.

Postmates couriers carries a pre-loaded debit card which they use to pay for orders. A picture of the receipt has to be taken and submitted before the delivery destination is revealed. You don’t need to do this on Caviar. Payment is processed by the technology before you are dispatched. Overall, this creates one less hassle for the courier.

2. Upfront Payout

You know exactly how much you will make for a Caviar delivery when you are dispatched. The commission will appear in the app first thing when you are assigned a delivery. If you miss the in-app notification, Caviar will text you the delivery information.

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Caviar will sent an automated text to courier to notify them of a new assignment.

The first thing Caviar does is assign you to an order and tells you how much you’ll make if you deliver. Postmates only informs you that a new job is available. With Postmates you only find out how much you made for a delivery after it’s done. Below you can see the contrast between the two platform.

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Caviar & Postmates notifications when a new delivery becomes available.

1. Better Commission

Caviar is a premium food delivery service that is used by an affluent demographic. There is a minimum order value to use the service so commission is typically larger than Postmates. This is true even though there is no tipping feature programmed into the Caviar app like there is with Postmates.


All the reasons for switching listed above boils down to one thing: user experience on the courier’s end. Postmates places their customer’s experience a higher priority than their couriers’ experience. The asymmetrical rating system is most indicative of this.

Long term this will hurt Postmates because until self-driving vehicles become mainstream, couriers are the bloodline of the on-demand food delivery industry. As this space becomes more crowded (and it already is), retention of couriers becomes necessary to remain competitive. And so far, Postmates is not doing a good job with courier retention.