I finished my first few deliveries on the Caviar and Postmates platforms this evening . Here’s how it went.
Scheduling. I scheduled a 5:00 – 6:00 PM shift with Caviar. My assumption was that there would be a lot of deliveries around dinner time. I went online around 4:53 PM and had to drive west from my home on 97th Ave because Caviar currently does not operate past 82nd Ave. I drove toward downtown, where there are many restaurants close together.
First Dispatch. As I got closer to downtown Portland, I got my first order at 5:24 pm. The order was for Buffalo Gap Saloon & Eatery, which is a few minutes south of City Center. The Caviar Courier app said I would earn $11.29 for this delivery, which isn’t bad so I accepted and headed to Buffalo Gap Saloon & Eatery.
I arrived and ‘checked-in’ at the restaurant through the Caviar Courier app. Then, all I had to do was find the bartender and tell him “I’m with Caviar, here for a pick up”. The food wasn’t ready and so I had to wait for a few minutes. Once the food was ready and handed to me, I pressed “Verify Items” on the app. After verifying the items, the app shows you the address of customer. This delivery took 55 minutes from start to finish.
Break. After I delivered the food, I drove around town hoping to get another dispatch. But around 6:21 PM, the traffic was starting to get really bad so I decided to turn off the Caviar Courier app until it died down. You just hit the “Go Off Duty” button on your app to turn it off. I was still learning this courier thing so I wanted to avoid a high-stress situation like being stuck in traffic trying to make a delivery.
Second Dispatch. Around 7:50 PM I turned the app back on. I was not scheduled for a shift at this point. Basically, after you complete a shift, you’re free to freelance. Eight minutes later, I was dispatched to Mi Mero Mole on Division Street.
This order was worth $9.07. I drove there, and repeated the steps: checked-in with the app, told the cashier “I’m with Caviar, here for a pick-up”, and waited. All total, the delivery took 32 minutes from start to finish.
After that delivery, I drove around for another 16 minutes before calling it a night with Caviar.
On Duty. I logged off of Caviar but I wasn’t ready to call it a night. At 8:46 PM, I opened the Postmates Courier app and went “On Duty”.
Job Accepted. A job was instantly available for me. Deliveries are called “jobs” on Postmates. This “job” was for Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen, which is a popular new Vietnamese restaurant in Downtown Portland. Some people label it as hipster. In the app, the restaurant’s location on the map is a green dot and I’m a blue dot. I accepted the job and it immediately directed me to the restaurant. A timer appeared at the top of the screen, “59 minutes”. Couriers have one hour to complete a job.
Arrived. I arrived 9 minutes later and parked in front of the restaurant. There wasn’t too much hassle finding a parking space as Downtown Portland is pretty quiet on a Tuesday night. I walked in and told the cashier “I’m with Postmates, here for a pick-up”. She asked for my name and then rung me up. I paid with the PEX card. She handed me the receipt and I took a picture of it in the app (this is required). A few minutes later, the food was ready.
Delivery. Once I completed the delivery, I pressed “Complete Delivery” in the app and was told I made $4.40 for this job. I was also asked to rate the customer. I gave them a 5-star. It took around 22 minutes for this delivery. I found out in the app that the customer had tipped me $3.52.
The courier experience reminded me of my days completing missions in the Rockstar game Grand Theft Auto, Vice City on the PlayStation 2. In that game, you can see where you need to go on a map of the city. The concept is the same with these on-demand platforms. It’s amazing to me the times we live in.
Overall I liked the Caviar experience better. Unlike Postmates, there was no need carry a pre-loaded debit card, perform a transaction, then take a photo of the receipts for verification. Also, the commission is better when you think about it in terms of dollars per hour. I will do some more deliveries and then take a look at the math and calculate my earnings in dollars per hour for the deliveries I did this evening. I will let you know what I found.