- Postmates has launched a new mobile app feature called Postmates Party, which enables users to order food for free delivery by sharing delivery drivers with other nearby Postmates users, according to a press release.
- To use the new feature, users tap on the Postmates Party tab in the app, which shows which restaurants people in their area are ordering from in real time. Users have a five-minute window to decide if they want to join the delivery group "Party" and receive free delivery on the order.
- Postmates is rolling out the new feature in Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Francisco, San Diego, Orange County, Seattle, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia and Miami. "We are driven by the vision of creating a logistics infrastructure that allows goods to move throughout a city at nearly zero cost to the consumer," Postmates co-founder and CEO Bastian Lehmann said in a statement.
The rivalry between third-party delivery services is at an all-time high, and companies are racing to provide meaningful differentiation in this space — mainly through partnerships with major chains. Creating an everyday option for free delivery could give Postmates, which features more than 500,000 restaurants from around 3,000 cities on its platform, a leg up over its competitors.
That is, so long as the feature is easy for consumers to use. Thrillist argues that Postmates Party isn't as simple as advertised. While joining a Party results in a waived delivery fee, the publication noted that its wait times may be longer than usual, especially if a Party is particularly large — meaning food could be cold by the time it arrives. The publication also noted that the new feature doesn't appear to apply to all of its restaurants. The service advertises trendy brands like Shake Shack, Blaze Pizza and The Halal Guys, but doesn't give any information on whether or not users can apply the Postmates Party feature to restaurants not listed.
Postmates isn't the only platform pushing incentives to use their service, however. Uber Eats and McDonald's have collaborated with La-Z-Boy, for example, to lure would-be customers by dangling a fully loaded "McDelivery Couch" to win in a sweepstakes. But Postmates is offering an everyday feature, not an LTO.
Still, it's possible that the new Party option could put pressure on already-rushed drivers by making them juggle multiple orders at once. The offerings also seems to be trading efficiency for free delivery, and only time will tell if shaving a few dollars off their total will be enough for customers to willingly increase their delivery wait time.