On a recent trip to Los Angeles, Utahn Mishea Kucher discovered the delivery app Postmates.
“I didn’t have a car and was staying relatively far from most stores, so it was a hassle to try to get food or even stop by somewhere and get drinks,” said the 22-year-old from Sandy. “So, for our groceries, snacks, whatever we needed, we just had Postmates bring it to us. And it was so great!”
The app has added four Utah cities — Salt Lake City, South Jordan, West Jordan and West Valley City. And some locals are ecstatic.
“We finally have Postmates in Utah. OMG yes to never going to the store again,” tweeted Toria Faketui.
She’s not the only one who’s excited. Salt Lake Mayor Jackie Biskupski’s office is planning an official release welcoming the service to Utah’s capital city.
“They asked if they could put out their own press release. We were, like, ‘Sure!’” said Postmates spokesperson April Conyers.
Founded in 2011 in San Francisco, Postmates is a delivery app that will bring you breakfast, lunch, dinner or just dessert — but it’s not just a food delivery service.
“You can have them run to a store and grab something for you,” said Kucher. “So if you’re busy with something at home and need something really quick, someone can just bring it to you. It’s like food delivery service meets convenience and grocery stores. You can get anything from pretty much anywhere.”
It’s available at Postmates.com or the app on iOS or Android.
Postmates charges a flat fee of $3.99 to deliver from one of its “merchant partners” (like Chipotle and 7-Eleven); $5.99 (plus a percentage of the purchase price) for “anywhere merchants” — every other retailer.
You can also buy a monthly subscription for $9.99, which covers all deliveries with a purchase price of $20 or more; a yearly subscription brings that fee down to $6.99 a month — $83.88 for a year, paid up front. (Go to postmates.com/unlimited.)
And it’s not all about food. In other cities, diapers and baby formula are “huge,” Conyers said. So the Salt Lake Valley seems like a natural — particularly “if you have a houseful of kids and you need one thing. And you don’t want to pack them up and put them all in the car and take them over to Walmart or whatever,” she said.
“We do a lot of cold medicine. We do a lot of stuff from convenience stores,” Conyers said. “People send Postmates to supermarkets, to cosmetic stores. We make a lot of trips to Home Depot.”
What do-it-yourselfer hasn’t been in the middle of a home-improvement project and discovered he/she forgot to get all the necessary supplies?
“In Salt Lake, we can’t do alcohol deliveries. But everything else,” said Conyers.
“You can get anything from pretty much anywhere,” said Kucher, whose Twitter plea of a couple of weeks ago was answered: “CAN POSTMATES COME TO UTAH PLEASE.”
A quick glance through social media reveals more than a few people who insist that, because of Postmates, they’ll never leave their homes again.
“We see a lot of people tweet that way. I’m pretty sure they don’t just stay home,” Conyers said with a laugh.
The company has been launching in cities around the country; it estimates it’s now available to half of all Americans. It started in bigger cities and has been working toward smaller metro centers — more than 100 as of this month.
“Salt Lake has been in the plans for a while. It just kind of took us a while to get there,” said Conyers, a Weber State University grad. “We take a look at how many people have opened the app in a city, and that helps us determine where to go next.”
The company also factored in that Salt Lake City has a large population of college students, because college students use the service and many of them are looking for part-time jobs.
The company does not release information on how many couriers it has in a city, but it has been “ramping up” to launch in the Salt Lake Valley.
Hopefuls can apply at postmates.com/apply. You have to be at least 18 and have a valid driver license and proof of insurance — if you use your car.
“We have people who use scooters. We have people who use bikes,” Conyers said. “It all depends on where they are and what they want to do.”