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The Best Drink Carriers for Doordash Uber Eats Grubhub Postmates Contractors

Does it make sense to purchase a drink carrier as a contractor for Doordash Uber Eats Grubhub Postmates or other on demand delivery platforms? After all, if these companies aren't providing them, why should we spend our money on them? Employees should be provided these things, right?

Right.

Except, we aren't employees. As independent contractors, we are business owners. As business owners, sometimes a good business decision is to get the tools to help you make more money.

Picture of a cheap pressed paper cup holder holding four cups of coffee,, with the caption "We look at the best drink holders that Doordash Uber Eats Grubhub and Postmates contractors can use (and no, this is not one of them)"
We look at the best drink holders that Doordash Uber Eats Grubhub and Postmates contractors can use (and no, this is not one of them)

How can we make more money with drink carriers?

Time and tips.

Time is money. If you're bringing in $24 per hour, that means every minute is worth 40 cents. You only have so much time in a day. Usually, you only have a certain amount of time that you are available to do deliveries. If you can complete more deliveries in that given time frame, you make more money.

Think about the time it takes to juggle drinks, to put them into your car's cup holders or secure them some other way in your car. Think about the time it takes to get them out of your car. There are times you have to make multiple trips to your car from the restaurant or from your car to the customer's door because of juggling drinks. Maybe it's never happened to you, but I've had a couple times where I spilled a drink completely trying to juggle it getting to the customer. It might only be a few seconds here and a couple minutes there, but those seconds and minutes add up. They'll add up to the point you may fit in an extra delivery or two on some days. It only takes one or two deliveries to pay for that drink carrier.

I also think it makes a difference in tips. There's more of a sense of professionalism when you are using a drink carrier than when just juggling everything. These days, the tip is often made when the customer orders. There are still those who choose to tip in cash and there are some platforms where the customer can make tipping decisions on the app after the delivery is complete. Even a couple bucks extra once a month will add up over time.

I rank five of the best drink carriers for Drivers delivering for Doordash, Uber Eats, Grubhub, Postmates and others.

I picked out five of the most common drink carriers. I've tried them all, fully loading them with drinks, and give you my opinion on how they rank. These opinions are completely subjective and you may have different opinions. If you have a drink carrier you like that isn't in here, or if you have a different take on any of these, let me know below.

I'll post Amazon links to the ones you can purchase online. These are affiliate links which means if you do buy off the links, I may get some compensation, which helps keep this site up and running.

I'll list these in order, finishing up with my choice for the best drink carrier.

5. Four-Cup Soft Sided Drink Carrier.

I purchased a “Drink Caddy” branded version of this on Amazon a couple of months ago. As of the writing of this, it's currently out of stock. I don't know if it's a matter that re-supply is slow right now (which could be the issue if this was sourced from China) or that they decided not to continue the line.

I do see another version of it available now on Amazon from Brandzini. It's almost identical and my guess is it may have been sourced from the same place. There do seem to be a couple of differences, though I have not ordered that particular drink holder.

I can't tell for sure, but it looks like the Brandzini version might be a little better insulated than the Drink Caddy. The ad makes it look that way. Insulation is a plus. The version I have is made of double sided polyester and has no insulation. The Drink Caddy version has a little zipper pocket on the front for storing things like small condiment packets. It's a nice idea but something I've never taken advantage of. The other thing that was on the one I have but doesn't appear to be on the Brandzini version is some adjustable loops that can be used to secure smaller drinks. It's a nice idea in theory but I think the size of the pockets makes it unnecessary.

Both versions have a couple of interesting features. Basically you have two big pockets with detachable dividers. The description says you can adjust the dividers for different size drinks, but really there's only one real setting – either it's there or it isn't. There's also a loop on one side meant for holding straws. I think it's actually a great idea, unfortunately the loop but from a practical standpoint only works for one straw. While it is elastic and thus you in theory fit multiple straws in, I found it to be cumbersome and time consuming trying to get the additional straws put in.

What I love about it

This might be the most attractive option out there. There's just a very professional look to it that I really like. The soft sided, collapsible nature of this carrier makes it easier when it comes to storage. When you're carrying around a variety of delivery bags and such, it's nice that it doesn't take up space in your car. For me, that's a big plus.

What I don't love about it

The softness of it can work against it. It's not very stable. One review mentioned they needed to keep a box to hold it stable. If you get two different drinks of two different sizes, there's really no way to avoid having it tilt to the heavier side when carrying by the handle. It's also not very practical for more than two lidded drinks of the same size. Two drinks of similar size placed next to each other will amost inevitably knock the lid off one or both.

My overall impression

For me, professionalism is important. For that reason I do find that the appearance is a big plus. Unfortunately, I didn't find it very practical because of the instability and the lack of separation between the cups.

4. Outdoor Sport Collapsible 6 Cup Drink Carrier.

I've seen both Grubhub and Doordash offer a branded version of this in their stores. There is also a non branded version on Amazon. This too is collapsible, but instead of the soft sides this one will fold up flat. It holds two rows of 3 cups each.

This particular drink carrier folds flat, taking up less space than most the other alternatives.

What I love about it

This particular carrier makes some improvements on the soft sided one above. I like the way it folds flat, this allows it to take up less space when not in use and in fact makes it easy to store inside a catering bag. This can add some efficiency. The solid panels make this more stable than the soft sided carrier and the well defined drink holes secure the cups a little better. This is especially good for small and medium size drinks and for coffee cups. The wells are deep enough to hold those drinks stable. The handle is high enough that having drinks in the carrier doesn't make it awkward to carry.

What I don't love about it

To be honest, it's still not as stable as I would like to see. When setting it down in the car with drinks loaded, there's a tendency for the sides to try to fold up. This can make it possible for the whole thing to tip over. The drink holes are still close enough together that lids can interfere with one another (however, unlike the Drink Caddy/Brandzini if you are holding four drinks you can still keep separation between the drinks). My biggest complaing might be that it's not as good for larger drinks. The larger cups sit higher, some won't slide all the way down into the well. That can leave the cups sitting a bit high centered and prone to tipping over lengthwise.

My overall impression

I think this is a step up from the soft sided carrier and can work great in a lot of situations. The stability is a bit of an issue.

3. Rubbermaid Deluxe Carry Caddy

I have seen this for awhile and have been intrigued by it. When I first saw it on Amazon it was advertised more for carrying cleaning supplies or sports water bottles. More recently at least one reseller has been advertising it for delivery use as well. I had noticed that a lot of people have been buying it after visiting Amazon off one of my links on the site. It's similar to another option I like but that isn't on Amazon, so I thought maybe this would be a more readily available option.

This carrier is a solid polyethylene 8-compartment carrier. It has room for up to eight 32-ounce bottles and can work nicely for carrying some drink cups.

What I love about it

This thing is stable. At 16 inches by 11 inches it is going to be hard to tip it over. Even if holding one drink in a corner it's wide enough that it's less likely to tip. It can hold eight drinks, a definite plus. It also sits deep enough that the drinks aren't as likely to get high centered as the 6 cup collapsible carrier.

What I don't love about it

This is not a good option for carrying smaller drinks. You will notice that it doesn't have an actual divider between the compartments. Coffee cups and small drinks can slide from side to side or could tip over within the compartment. It takes up a bit of space when not being used because of its size.

My overall impression

It was a very close call which to rank higher between this and the foldable carrier above. I ranked it higher because it is far more stable and is better for larger drinks. The drawback is that the lack of a divider between compartments makes it less practical when using smaller drinks.

Cardboard Drink Carriers

You probably didn't expect to see that one, did you?

I'm not talking about the ones in the picture at the top of this article. Those are just too unstable. I've had too many drinks tip over while sitting in one and I'm always afraid of it collapsing when handing to the customer.

These are the taller sided carriers. I recently purchased a bunch of the two cup 44 ounce carriers. Okay, I bought way more than I expect to ever use – I'll get into that in a minute. These are made of kraft cardboard (somewhat thin cardboard). There are options for 2-cup holders and 4-cup holders. I purchased the 2-cup option. They arrive folded flat and you can unfold them into the carrier you need.

What I love about them

These things are surprisingly simple and easy. I first thought about getting some for myself when some restaurants were using them. I just found that drinks seemed to sit nicely in them and there was a surprising range in capacity. The handle is tall enough to carry comfortably and it keeps the lids from bumping into each other. Even though it's designed for 44 ounces, there are tabs you can fold in for smaller drinks and I've been surprised how well those hold the smaller cups in place. I chose the two cup option because there are enough times that's all I need and it's easy to carry two together in one hand.

These are different than the others. I bought these with the intent to give them away. I've had too many times where handing individual cups off from my drink carrier to the customer could be time consuming. It's kind of awkward, sometimes they have to take the drinks inside or put them down somewhere before I can give them the rest of the food. The package I bought, listed above, the final price was about 22 cents per unit. That seems a bit much but when I figure my time is worth 40 cents a minute ($24/hour) or more, that's not a bad trade for 30 to 60 seconds or more of time savings. I think this can make the transition smoother, and sometimes being less awkward with the customer can be reflected in the tip.

These are narrow enough that you can fit them inside delivery bags. I reviewed the American Metalcraft PBSB-1512 delivery bags not long ago, This actually fits nicely inside the short side, and that bag has a divider you can place between the drinks and the hot items.

What I don't love about them

I'll admit that the lightweight kraft board makes me a little nervous with larger drinks. It holds them steady, but sometimes I wonder. The 2-cup holder that I got could tip lengthwise, so it's not as secure as the Rubbermaid option. Some are going to have an issue with this being a one time use type of thing and the environmental impact, however with it being recyclable and compostable, I don't think it's as big an issue.

Cost is a bit of an issue just because you're paying for something you'll give away. Like I said, at 22 cents each, I'm okay with trading that for time savings. The problem with that is to get it at 22 cents each, I had to buy 250 of them. In smaller quantities the shipping cost alone is 50 cents apiece or more. If you have a restaurant supply place locally that carries these, that might be a good option where you don't have to buy so many of them.

1. And the Winner! It's not even a drink carrier.

The best thing I've found so far and that I use far more than anything else is the 6 Tray Art Caddy by Michael's. It wasn't designed to be a drink carrier but the dimensions seem to be almost perfect for that use.

The 6 Tray Art Caddy by Creatology from Michaels

What I love about it

Let me count the ways.

It's incredibly inexpensive if you can walk into a Michaels store. They sell these puppies for less than $4.

It's stable. Sitting at 12 inches by 9.25 inches. and at 5.25 inches tall, it's broad enough that it's far less likely to tip over while you're driving.

The compartment size is almost perfect. Smaller glasses may tend to rattle around, however they sit deep enough that they won't tip over. Most large drinks fit comfortably inside. I think it's impossible to get a true one size fits all solution (unless you can quickly adjust the size of the holder) but this actually gets about as close as it gets. The compartments aren't so deep that smaller coffee cups are hard to get out. So far the larger 44 ounce cups don't fit 100% into the compartments, but they seem to set in deep enough that they don't feel high centered like they do with the foldable carrier above.

What I don't love about it

There are really only two issues now for me on this. One is the color selection. I'm not crazy about the current green or pink that are offered on the website. I was okay with the blue one that I have now. The other is that I do wish the handle were taller. If I have cups sitting in the middle compartments, it's hard to grab the handle.

There had been a third issue that I was going to put here – that you can't get it online. In the past Michael's was only selling these in store. However, when I pulled up the link for the article, I noticed that they were now offering it online.

My overall impression

I've been starting to use the kraft carriers more lately though maybe that's because I don't want to be sitting on top of 250 of these things, you know? But for purely carrying and securing the drinks, I have yet to find something that works better.

There's a part of me that wishes I could make some money off of telling you that. This is the one item I've listed that I don't have an affiliate link to. It's just that it has fewer issues than anything else. There's really only one thing that comes to mind if I were to improve it, and that's to come up with a little taller handle.

A couple of other options.

I'm starting to see some delivery bags pop up with drink carriers added to them. I'm not sure I've seen any that I'm totally sold on.

The American Metalcraft PBSB-1512 bag has pockets on the sides but they're not deep enough to hold drinks real steady. There's also a feature that allows you to tuck a drink in between the side and the insulation. Servit makes some catering bags that also have pockets that are slightly better for holding drinks, however the pockets are almost too deep to be practical.

I've mentioned in the past a bag that I purchased that has cup holders built into the side. It's an interesting concept though I found the size of the holders wasn't exactly ideal. They were too deep for smaller drinks and posed an issue with knocking the lids off and didn't feel wide enough for larger drinks. I also didn't like the flimsy base of the bag, but all that may be just personal preference.

Finally, I noticed a new bag lately. It has a fold out compartment on the front that has individual drink holders. I'm tempted to try it – it's called a GIT Bag. By the pictures the cutouts for holding the drinks seem to small but maybe it might work.

In the end, a lot depends on how you do things. I go back and forth on whether to tote the drinks around in something reliable or whether to be able to just hand them off in the carrier.

What do you use and like the best?

Leave your comment below.

Could this help someone else? Please share it.

Robyn Zipsie

Wednesday 10th of June 2020

I have a hot pink one from Michaels and it works great! I keep it in my small DD bag (not currently doing DD) so I can just carry it right up to the door. Love it!

ronald.l.walter

Friday 12th of June 2020

It's nice, those things fit very nicely into the bags. There's times I find myself using them for my personal drink instead of my car's cup holder.

Brent Taylor

Monday 25th of May 2020

Can't see buying the cardboard things. While some restaurants run out (they shouldn't), they're free ( and all should provide them).

Most of what you've presented here doesn't address insulation. It's super important. We're hauling milk shakes, ice cream sundaes and, obviously/always, soft drinks with ice. And it's warm enough even at 60, yet alone the 90's, to melt these things sufficient to disappoint customers. Frankly, it seems the majority of my orders don't include drinks because, I suspect/don't really know, of this melting issue or due to the absolute price rip-off (higher cost of take-out/delivery) of cheap beverages often mostly ice. That is, you have ice at home (it's just frozen water, cheap) and a 2-liter bottle costs less than the buck or more you'll pay. But I do haul these things. And you're correct, it can be a wrestling match. I've taken to using the corrugated thing at the top of your article in one of those Uber Eats bags I've "dedicated" to cold items (hot bag/cold bag -- same thing) that lack the strong scent of foods. But as you know, a little ice sweat or spillage -- moisture dissolves the things. Your tote from Michaels looks appealing -- if it will fit in that bag. last year I used a hard side cooler (small one though) and stuffed plastic bags as buffers against tipping. If this type of tote will fit in a larger one of those, that'd be good. Also mean to carry blue ice. As mentioned, it's hot. And that time of year again where the iPhone overheats and turns off (last week, Stride bailed, app wouldn't run).

Anyway, thanks for the article. Good thoughts.

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