The food delivery space has changed a lot since 2015. Even during hours when people are hungry, there are too many couriers fighting for jobs now. Gone are the good old days when demand was so high, and couriers were so few that Blitz was frequently 2-4X and couriers can stack three or four jobs at a time. After counting up the tips, it was good money.

A lot of couriers in Facebook groups voice concern about the lack of jobs available on the Postmates platform these days. It’s true the platform is oversaturated with couriers in most markets now. I’d say that with the exception of New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, the majority of markets are oversaturated with couriers. And those who are still making good money aren’t spilling their secrets. The majority are stuck trying to catch as many jobs as possible.

Some Postmates couriers favor doing as many jobs as possible to make more money. But the problem with this approach is obvious. There’s only a limited window of hours where demand is high. Couriers don’t control how many jobs are available. Ghrelin does.

Tradeoff

A tradeoff with trying to complete as many jobs as quickly as possible is that the quality of your service may be lower because of haste. You forget napkins and utensils. Or you leave the food at the front desk instead of actually bringing it to the customer. No tips for you.

Or maybe you accept a job and afterward realize it’s not suitable for bikers and has to cancel. Or God forbid, you forget an item at the restaurant. Enjoy your one star.

Additionally, the more you drive, the more wear and tear you incur on your mode of transportation, lowering your overall profits. That’s never okay. You want to be a profitable courier.

The solution

If the number of jobs is limited, couriers on the Postmates platforms should focus on providing excellence customer service to maximize tips. The number of deliveries you complete should be secondary to earning tips.

This is particularly the case with Postmates. Postmates couriers often post screenshots of their earning in Facebook groups. If you’re a member of these groups, you’ll often see that the tip is almost as much as (if not more than) the delivery payout.

I learned long ago that to make good money with Postmates, you have to rake in the tips. From my own experience with Postmates, the average tip I get is around $4.22. The minimum payout is $4.10 with Postmates. Think about this for a moment.

So basically, if I earn a tip from a customer I basically did a minimum delivery without driving. That’s working smarter not harder.

So focus on the tips ok? Cool.

I get it. Some people are straight up cheapskates. But the majority of people will tips if you do earn it.

Okay, so you have terrible people skills and don’t want to smile. That’s okay.

And you don’t have a background in customer service. Wait, why the heck are you a courier? No, I’m just kidding.

That’s okay too. You don’t necessarily need a lot of personality disposition to work in your favor to earn tips. There’s a more subtle and effective way.



 

Use the receipt

Here’s a simple trick that will help you earn more in tips: Use the receipt.

I recently did a small scale experiment with Postmates to test a hypothesis about earning tips with the receipt. So far, I’m pretty convinced of the results and that it’s working.

In the table below, I record the amount of money I made for nine orders. For these nine orders, I made no mention of the receipt to the customer. Not a word.

Postmates earning tips
Table 1: Courier kept the receipt.

As you can see, I made about $60 bucks. The average earning per order is $6.68. My total in tips was $7.99.

After these deliveries, I changed things up and handed customers the receipt. See the table below.

Postmates customer tips
Table 2: Courier did not keep the receipt.

For these seven orders, I made over $75 and averaged $10.74 an order. That’s four dollars more per orders!

Less work, more tips

Look at how much I made in tips. Over four times as much when I utilized the receipt ($38.80 to $7.99)!

In the condition where I kept the receipt and said nothing, three out of nine orders resulted in tips. When I handed the customer the receipt, every order resulted in tips.

Typically I don’t chase the Blitz. In the first table, one of the order was 1.5x Blitz. In the second table, none was under Blitz conditions. So Blitz has little to do with overall earning for these deliveries.

By focusing on the tips, I can accept fewer jobs, drive fewer miles, and make more money overall. And I didn’t have to hunt for the Blitz.

That’s it?

You’re probably thinking this is too simple of a tactic. Too good to be true even. But there’s actually more to it.

The key is this: Don’t ask the customer if they want the receipt. 

Most customers will say ‘No’ or ‘No, thanks’ when you ask them if they would like the receipt.

Instead, say this: ‘And here’s the receipt in case something goes wrong, you can resolve it.’

By saying it this way, you are looking out for the customer without demonizing Postmates (even if they do deserve it sometimes). You acknowledge that the technology isn’t perfect without making Postmates look bad.

Do not say ‘Here’s the receipt in case Postmates overcharge you, you can resolve it.’

Postmates does overcharge people sometimes. But it reflects poorly on the courier to bad mouth the platform they work for in front of the customer.

Leave a positive note for the customer. Make them view you as someone who is looking out for their best interest without appearing unprofessional. This last impression matters when they close out the order, rate the courier and decide if they want to tip for the service.

Finally, after the receipt transfers hands, remind the customer to close out the order and rate the service 🙂

It’s quite important that you do this before leaving. Otherwise, instead of a tip, you’ll be seeing “Pending”.

Conclusion

The times has changed for on-demand food delivery. In a saturated market, Postmates couriers should be focusing on providing excellence services and raking in the tips, not on the number of jobs they complete. The latter approach will only frustrate couriers as more independent contractors are being added to the platforms, taking away jobs.

Earning more tips means couriers will make more money without driving more miles. Postmates customers have the option to tips a percentage of the order price. The larger the order, the larger the tips will be. So make sure you hunt down a tip when the order value is high.

Ultimately if more couriers are focusing on providing excellent customer services, the Postmates platform will produce more satisfied customers who will continue to use the service. Excellence service will make it easier to bring on new customers, creating more opportunities for couriers to earn money long term. Think long term.

It’s important to note, this approach to earning tips might have different results on a platform like DoorDash because DoorDash actually tells their couriers not to give customers the receipt.

I can not guarantee this will earn you tips 100% of the time. But so far it’s working for me.

Some restaurants will not print you a receipt. Ask them to.

Try this and see if it fattens your wallet!

Good luck.

 

 

 

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