Postmates launches a free group delivery option

Postmates is launching a new delivery option that comes without its sometimes pricey service fees: essentially, carpooling for your food.

The new delivery option, called Postmates Party, allows you to opt in to having your meal delivered as part of a group. The food will still be delivered to each person separately, but it’ll be sent out in a batch, with the delivery person making multiple stops along their route.

It means your order could take slightly more time to arrive. But in exchange, Postmates drops its delivery fee, which is sometimes too high to make ordering out worth it.

For now, Postmates is only launching its Party service in major US cities, and it’s not clear if it’ll be available for all restaurants. Postmates lists Shake Shack, Blaze Pizza, and The Halal Guys as examples of restaurants you’ll be able to group order from.

But for the restaurants available, it may be a good deal if you don’t mind waiting.

You won’t always be able to join a Party order, though. Postmates says Party orders will be active at busy times, when multiple people are ordering from the same restaurant. Once you join a party, you and everyone else ordering will have five minutes to check out.

Group rides were added to ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft years ago. They’re more efficient overall, and they’re a good way to save some money as a customer. For meal delivery, this kind of approach makes even more sense — restaurants already tend to send their delivery person out with multiple orders at a time. If Postmates can translate that into free delivery, that’s even better for customers.

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