Thursday, January 1, 2015

Split Pay for Pizza Drivers

So the minimum wage in Ohio goes up in 2015 from $7.95 to $8.10.  The minimum for tipped employees is $4.05.  Our franchise chose 12/31 (since some people may work past midnight) to implement this as well as "split pay" for drivers.

Split pay means we are paid sub-minimum while we are driving (and thus earning tips) and minimum when we are in the store, doing dishes, prepping dough, and other non-tipped tasks.

Our franchise chose $6.10 as the driver rate ($2 less than the minimum) but they did grandfather in all current drivers, so our split rate is $7.95 (our previous rate).  If not for the grandfathering I would be pretty upset.

My time was evenly split tonight, 3:32 on the road and 3:33 in the store.

This was a non-typical New Years Eve for me, I made good money early then things slowed down the last hour (but we closed at 11.  I prefer to stay open until 1 on NYE).

Totals for the night were 7.08 hours, 14 deliveries, $54 in tips, and 67 miles.  Oh and I made a $2 tip on a pick-up order at the window! And I met my new GM (Will) ... if my transfer goes through.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

... And I'm Staying

First the drama.  The GM that welcomed me on a trial basis at the new shop has been "demoted".  She is no longer a GM anywhere, she is being sent to "train" as an assistant manager at a different shop for 2 months, then she may get another trial as a GM.

One of the 2 Assistant Managers at the same shop put in her 2 weeks notice to go work the front desk at Kalahari.
  • I am making better tips ($3.59 avg compared to $3.01 at the other shop) and more $ per hour ($14.97 compared to $13.38).
  • I feel the neighborhood is safer.
  • The shop is smaller (fewer employees) so I get to learn new skills such as answering the counter or the pick-up window.
  • The shop closes earlier, so I am not as tired the next day.
All of this led to me calling my old GM this morning and asking to be permanently transferred to the new shop (despite the drama and not knowing who the new GM will be).

So I drove tonight, wasn't expecting much as it was a Monday and my previous Monday at this shop was 10 deliveries and $30 in tips.  Tonight was totally different:  19 deliveries and $58 in tips!

Manager Lilly remarked that she had never been as busy on a Monday. I did notice that during the last couple hours I had a few repeat deliveries to neighborhoods that I had recently delivered to ... also I have noticed some other drivers that don't consistently use their car toppers ... coincidence?

Monday, December 22, 2014

New Shop, Big Bucks!

So about a week ago, I thought I was working on a Friday night and found out I wasn't on the schedule.  Mostly on a lark, I called former manager Meredith.  When I started at this shop back in June, she was an assistant manager.  Within about a month she got transferred and is now the GM at a franchise the next town over.  This is a sleepy lakefront town.

Anyways, Meredith replied that she actually did need a driver.  I didn't really want to work farther from home, but since I'm on Christmas break from my day job as a math teacher, I do have time to travel.

This shop is the smallest of the 3 I have worked at.  There is no dining room, it is delivery / carry-out only.  There is no dish machine, all the dishes are washed by hand (by the drivers, me).

My first delivery tip was $5 (to the cashier at the local Marathon station).  Next another $5 on a $50 order.  (Had to rerun because someone else packed the order incorrectly.  Kind of frustrating but learned not to trust others.)  Third delivery was a $3 tip who apologized that she couldn't give more.

I was liking this town!

Next another $5, and then $10 on another large ($55) order, then 2 more $5's.

I was starting to notice a pattern at the former store, that the dinner crowd tips better than the late night crowd, and this was definitely the case, as my next 6 deliveries included a stiff, 2 $2's, and 3 $3's.  Final delivery of the night was another $10 tip (on a $20 order).

Totals for the night were 6.99 hours, 14 deliveries, 56 miles, and $62 in tips.  I was the only driver from about 9:30 until close (midnight, on a Friday).

I've got 5 more shifts planned over the next 2 weeks (including 2 more Fridays plus New Years Eve).  If this continues, I may seriously consider a permanent transfer!

Saturday, November 29, 2014


We have a weekly phone contest for "upselling", in other words, asking the customer to add a side order (wings, breadsticks, Pepsi, desserts) to their order.  You have to take 15 orders and I usually don't work enough hours to get that many orders.  Winner gets a $10 gas card.

I noticed today I was 4/4 on upselling (the computer shows the top upsellers of the day) so I made a concerted effort to get to the phones for the rest of my shift.  I had the boss check and towards the end of the night I had 14 orders and was in the lead (among qualified employees).

But by that time we were no longer busy and the manager asked me to cash out my deliveries and clock out.  I was hoping the phone would ring again but it did not.  So right before I clocked out, I took my own order, a cookie and breadsticks.  That gave me the 15 minimum and put me (barely) in the lead.

Then the phone rang again.  I took the order but unfortunately all they wanted was a pizza!  Now I was out of the lead.  There are 4 more days in the week but since I don't work, my chances are pretty slim that everyone's upsell will fall below mine.  Oh well.

Totals for the night were 6.47 hours, 13 deliveries, 59 miles, and $45 in tips.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Better Safe Than Robbed!

As I've posted here before, the night before Thanksgiving is one of my favorite nights to deliver pizza.  Many kids are home from college, getting back together for the first time since summer.  And many mom's are busy preparing Thursday's big meal and are looking for an easy way to feed the family on Wednesday night.

The night started off super, with 3 five-dollar tips and a seven-dollar tip in my first 4 deliveries.  Then things plummeted.  Manager Nick had properly staffed (or maybe even over-staffed) the drivers and I ended the night with 8 hours, 13 runs, $36 in tips, and 66 miles.  (The stores computer expected me to drive 61 miles).  So my last 9 runs netted me a total of $14 in tips.  Pretty crummy.

But the story of the night was crime.  About a week ago a driver from a rival pizza shop was robbed in our town, and Tuesday a driver from our chain, about 5-10 miles away, was robbed on a delivery.  So of course we were all alert and on our toes.

A little after 11 I had a potential double, but one of the orders was to a new customer.  Our protocol after dark is to only accept delivery orders to new customers that are pre-paid by credit card.

This order had been placed online and was NOT prepaid.  I tried several times to call the customer to work out the payment, but there was no answer.  So I left the order in the shop and the manager eventually cancelled it.  Apparently the customer called around 12:30 wondering where their pizza was.

Moral of the story ... I don't want robbed, and if you really want your pizza, answer your phone!