As Postmates takes Northwestern by storm, workers share delivery experiences, job quirks

Amanda Svachula, Reporter

During brutal Evanston winters, while most Northwestern students hibernate in their dorms, Postmates are out and about making deliveries.

Postmates, an on-demand delivery service, expanded to Evanston in October. Originally from San Francisco, it has locations all over the country. It delivers food, retail and basically anything a customer can order from a store.

Customers put through orders either online or via the Postmates app.

“As soon as our customers place an order from any restaurant or store they’d like, the order gets dispatched to Postmates who are on duty in the area,” said Gillian Wu, Postmates’ operation lead for the Evanston and Chicago markets. “Once a Postmate accepts the delivery, they head to the pickup location, get the items requested by the customer, then deliver them to the customer.”

Postmates use various forms of transportation ranging from cars to bikes to scooters. Bad weather conditions don’t stop them from making deliveries.

“The worse the weather is, the better our business is,” Wu said. “When we see snow falling or temperature dropping, that’s when we know it’s going to be really busy.”

Weather and lack of parking sometimes create roadblocks for deliverers. But Postmates are exposed to all different types of people, and places and are able to learn more about the geography and layout of different cities, Wu said.

“I like being able to go around in the city and not having a set schedule. (I also like) not being trapped in behind the desk and being able to explore the city and learn about it more,” Postmate Daniel Corley said.

Recently, Postmates sponsored NU Sigma Chi’s Derby Days fundraiser. Each sorority received a promotional code in order to compete in a competition. For every promotional code entered, the company donated $1.

“We saw that some of our friends were starting to use Postmates, and we thought it would be cool to reach out to them and see if they wanted to grow their brand on campus,” said Weinberg sophomore Mark Fishman, co-chair of Derby Days. “In the end, the promo code competition raised us almost $1,500 for the week, which is incredible considering we didn’t expect more than a couple hundred uses.”

At the end of the day, for a Postmate, the customer and his or her experience is the top priority, Wu said.

“The most rewarding thing is that we don’t deliver just food,” Wu said. “We bring comfort and joy and light into people’s homes. We make people‘s lives more simple and delightful by bringing something directly to their door.”

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Twitter: @amandasvachula