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Thursday, January 24, 2013

On Pizza Delivery

I realize this blog is "ramblings on cast iron" and not "ramblings on pizza delivery".

In fact, I've written about making your own pizza instead of delivery-- it's so much better!

But I was a pizza delivery driver myself, for two years, so I often find myself in heated discussions with people who have absolutely no clue about the realities of the job.

First, let me say that I try not to order delivery if I can help it. Only if I'm in a hotel in a strange town, and that's the only way I can get dinner.

If I don't have time to make my own, I pick it up.  It's cheaper, it's faster, and the pizza is hotter that way.  But also, based on principle.

The most important thing I can stress to you people is, TIP THE DRIVER.  

Regardless of whatever reason you think you shouldn't, and I've heard them all; I don't want to hear your excuses.  Just, take it from me:  Tip the driver.  Why?

If for no other reason, we always remember who tips and who doesn't.  

And while I had more class than to tamper with anybody's food, it DOES happen.  

Some drivers are even more unethical than that; They do, after all, know where you live.  So, tip the driver.

Even though I never went to those extremes, I often worked a 12 hour shift without a lunch break.  So if I knew I wasn't getting a tip, I took a lunch break.  I'd stop for lunch, stop for gas, and THEN deliver the pizza.

They ALL do that.  If they have multiple deliveries-- tippers get theirs first, non tippers get theirs last.  It's a fact.

So, why else should you tip the driver?  

Because it's simply the right thing to do.  

Let me clarify some common misconceptions:

That "delivery charge" tacked on by the company, does NOT go to the driver at all.  The company charges you for the delivery, and pockets the money.  

Pizza drivers are NOT paid minimum wage anymore.  Companies now pay them "tipped employee" wage, as low as $2.13 an hour.

Pizza drivers do NOT drive company cars.  They drive their own cars, and they are NOT reimbursed for mileage.  

They get a small "per delivery" stipend, usually less than a dollar, regardless of how far they had to drive. That doesn't even cover gas, let alone the oil change they have to get every month, the brakes, tires, etc.

Pizza drivers are NOT insured by the company; They have to buy their own commercial auto insurance, which is very expensive.  Personal auto insurance does NOT cover anything, if the car is being used for company business.

Pizza drivers do NOT just deliver pizzas.  They also answer the phones, make the pizzas, package the pizzas, and wash dishes. 

Pizza drivers do NOT "just take the pizza out of the bag and hand it do you."  They fight traffic and bad weather, risk getting mugged and attacked by dogs, to bring you your food.

And to address the most pathetic excuse of all:  "If they don't like it, they can go find them another job!"  

Have you ever called for a pizza delivery, only to be told that they could not deliver that night because they had no drivers?  I have.  That's because they took your advice!  

If you don't want to tip the driver, then go pick it up yourself.

If you can't afford to tip, then you can't afford to order pizza. Make it yourself.

One time, I was told that I was getting no tip because it was her child buying it with her allowance money, "sorry".  

I was also sorry, that she was not teaching her child to do the right thing.

Tipping the driver is simply the right thing to do.  There is absolutely no excuse for not tipping.

I decided to stop ordering delivery unless it's a last resort, because I object to the companies' exploitation of their drivers.  

They charge a delivery fee that does NOT go to the driver; They refuse to properly reimburse for the cost of using their own vehicles; They refuse to properly insure their drivers; And now they refuse to pay the federal minimum wage!

But when I do order delivery, I tip the driver.  

Not only is it the right thing to do, but believe me, you're better off if you do.


  1. oh here's a footnote: "Oh thank you Jesus for the customer who gave me a pamphlet instead of a tip! I got saved that day!" Said NO PIZZA DRIVER EVER.

  2. Another footnote: Sometimes I'd get tipped in all nickels, and they would apologize. My response was always "I don't care if it's nickels, pennies, or food stamps... as long as you tip."

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