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Postmates now offers a way to get free delivery on meal orders

Postmates has unveiled a new feature that wipes out the delivery fee for customers.

“Postmates Party” waives the cost of delivery if you don’t mind your food order being put together with others from the same restaurant when it goes on its delivery run.

This means your meal might arrive a little later than it otherwise would, and possibly a little colder if it’s the last of the batch to get delivered. But since many restaurants that run their own delivery operation already send out meals in batches, it may not make a lot of difference to most Postmates customers.

A couple of things to bear in mind — the option will only appear on the Postmates app at busy times when a restaurant is cooking up multiple meals for multiple customers at different addresses. Also, for greater efficiency and to ensure no one has to wait too long for their food, each “Party” only gives you five minutes to place an order.

“Postmates Party is a fun way to give customers the option to save money by ordering from popular restaurants that people all around them are ordering from in real time, like Shake Shack, Blaze Pizza, The Halal Guys, and more,” the San Francisco-based company said in a blog post announcing the new delivery option. “By joining the Party, customers can share the delivery from popular restaurants and get free delivery.”

To join a Party and make use of the offer, start by tapping on the Postmates Party tab in the app. Next, choose a restaurant and place your order — within five minutes.

“The trending merchants will be shown, and customers who place an order before the time runs out get free delivery on the Postmates Party order,” the company said in its post.

The new feature has the potential to make Postmates’ operation more efficient and could tease out more orders from customers who were previously put off by the cost of delivery.

The system is similar to one being tested by Uber Eats. Uber Eats Pool, which takes its name from Uber Pool, the part of the company’s ridesharing service that groups riders together for cheaper fares, differs mainly in that it offers discounts on meals while retaining the delivery fee.

Postmates Party launches first in Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Miami, Chicago, Seattle, Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Diego,  and Philadelphia, and Long Beach and Orange County, California, with more locations to follow.

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