Local startup Whence may have left the game, but anything anytime delivery is back in Columbus. San Francisco-based Postmates recently expanded to the Columbus market in a sweep that put the company at 40 locations across the U.S. Unlike the rash of other recent delivery additions like OrderUp and Skip the Dishes, Postmates delivers pretty much anything but booze, and does it 24/7.
Communications Manager Heather Luntz says a demand for on-demand delivery brought Postmates to Columbus. A growing foodie scene, limited delivery options and the increasingly widespread demand for the convenience of delivery also influenced the decision.
Available on Android, iOS and on the web, Postmates round-the-clock offering means lunch or dinner when you don’t feel like cooking or cold medicine when you just can’t get off the couch. (Obviously the food is only available for delivery when an establishment is open.)
When deciding what fare tickles their fancy, users can browse a curated list of local favorites, get inspired by front-page listings or search by category.
“We make an effort to add as many menus as possible,” Luntz says.
If an eatery wants more control over how they’re represented on the app, they can opt for a formal partnership.
“By partnering with Postmates they can design their own experience on the app,” Luntz says.
The business can add a curated menu or make items available at certain times, and will be featured more prominently on the app.
For non-food items, users visit the Postmates General Store or can enter a custom item they’re after.
Once they’re ready to buy, “All payment is handled through the app,” Luntz says, including tip.
Delivery fees start at $5 and go up based on distance from pick-up to drop-off. Postmates launched in a limited area covering Downtown, Upper Arlington, Short North, German Village, University District, Grandview Heights and Clintonville and comes with a be-there-in-an-hour timeframe.
“We look at Postmates as a way to move local goods in a city,” Luntz says.
So far in Columbus, the vast majority of deliveries are prepared foods, but Luntz says as customers discover its more than just food, other cases are starting to grow.
Behind the scenes is an army of Postmates. On the food end, delivery drivers will order on a customer’s behalf, pick up the goods, then make the delivery (meaning a business doesn’t have to sign up, per say). Luntz says for quick trips like grabbing a cup of coffee, a Postmate will go directly to the shop and order it themselves.
Postmates relies on their own delivery people instead of any other outside service, technically making them a logistics company. Met with positive reception so far, Luntz says she feels good about Columbus because they started small, honed in their model and expanded to other markets. They also make sure to have a solid understanding of the local geography, local merchants and a strong team on the ground at launch.
For more information, visit postmates.com.