Monday, December 31, 2007

I Work For MONEY!

On my 2nd delivery tonight, the customer handed me $22 for his $21.69 order. It was a neighborhood where I was not surprised to get stiffed.

Then as I turned and was walking away, he called out, "Excuse me" and handed me 4 quarters, saying "Buy yourself a pop or a coffee or something."

I appreciate the tip (even the $1.31 tip) but I've got 7 kids and I'm not out here working so that I can buy myself an overpriced 20 oz bottle of Mountain Dew!

More appreciated was my 4th customer. She paid by credit card and handed me $2 as a tip. She then asked "Is that an ok tip?"

"Sure, two dollars is my average tip," I told her honestly.

"Well here," she said, adding another dollar. It was kind of far out, mileage wise.

I had 2 really good tips tonight ($8 and $6) in a row. But that was really about the extent of my good fortune as I took 12 deliveries in all, working 5 1/2 hours, and made $31 in tips. So my other 10 deliveries tipped just $17 in total.

I had no doubles all night, and I had 4 rather far deliveries, in a row, in the same direction, so my mileage was pretty high. I drove 63 miles, or an average of over 5 miles per run.

Tomorrow night is New Years' Eve. People think it's a great night for delivering pizza but it really only gets good late, and we're supposed to close at 11. Still I'm hoping for an above-average night, and it will definitely be better than my average Monday.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Window Delivery

As I got out of the car and headed for the sidewalk, a kid opened a huge window on the porch and waved me up. I hesitated at first because the note on the ticket said "back door" but they said it was for them and they had the money. To make this even more amusing, as I got almost to the door, the kid warned me "watch out for the dog poop" and sure enough, there were several "land mines" on the porch.

I had to take a rerun today to one of our farthest-out delivery locations. I'm not sure why, the pizzas were correct as printed on the ticket, but the one I had to rerun had anchovies. Talk about plenty of time to stink up my car!

Tonight was a pretty crappy night. Only the sheer volume made it half-decent. Out of 18 deliveries I was stiffed 5 times. Four others tipped just $1 and the coin change, while 7 more tipped $2 and the coin change. A barely-above-average $3 was my 2nd best tip of the night, and my best tip was $4.42 on my final delivery. The guy even thanked me for delivering so late. "Gets me out of washing dishes for a little while at least," I replied.

Totals for the night were 7.5 hours, 18 deliveries, $30 in tips, and 56 miles.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Quick Night

I was supposed to close tonight but I made $24 on 8 runs from 5:30 - 8:30 and got Ted to switch with me. I was able to go home early, tuck my kids in, and celebrate our 4th anniversary watching Knocked Up on DVD.

I drove 27 miles. It's always nice when your tips is close to the same as your miles!

Monday, December 24, 2007

'Twas The Night Before The Night Before Christmas

. . . and all the mom's were too tired to cook from shopping all day. I took 18 deliveries in 6 hours tonight!

My first delivery was unique. The woman wanted to "inspect the pizza" before she paid. She opened the box and even picked up a piece of pizza to make sure the bottom wasn't burnt! I've never seen anything like that before. And then she didn't tip, other than the coin change.
My only stiff of the night was to room 7 at the local Howard Johnsons.

My 2nd trip was a 4-bagger that netted me $12 in tips! I also took a triple and 2 doubles, before ending my night with 6 consecutive singles.

I didn't expect us to be as busy or tips to be as good as they were, I expected everyone to be in a depressed mood since our Cleveland Browns lost today.

I drove 63 miles and made $46 in tips. I had 3 tips over $4 but none over $4.75.

Our shop closes early (7 PM) on Christmas eve and we're closed on Christmas. I'm now off until Friday, December 28th so Merry Christmas to all my readers.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Vices And Pizza Delivery

After 3 nights in a row, I didn't deliver to 316 S.M. tonight. Ted did.

I thought I had a delivery that would prolong my life today. A few weeks ago I came across this article that staring at women's breasts can prolong a man's life. Well tonight I had a delivery to the Brass Pole, a "Gentlemen's Club."

But alas, I was greeted at the entrance and told to wait there until someone brought me the money. The stage was probable 40-50 feet away so any staring was actually more like squinting. It was a large order (6 pizzas) and I did get a tip of almost $5!

The $5 tip was the name of the game tonight, as I got that on 3 of my first 6 deliveries, and again on my last 2. On those 5 deliveries I made $26! On my other 10 deliveries I made $15.

Other interesting things tonight were the guy who asked me to pick him up a pack of Newport Kings on my way. This happens every once in a while and we're really not allowed.

Then my final delivery was to a party where the alcohol appeared to be flowing freely. It was a credit card and there was already a $2 tip on the card, but the guy met me at the door with another $3 in singles! I asked if the 2 pizzas were going to be enough for all the people there (probably close to a dozen) and he said it didn't really matter as long as there was enough for him!

Also worthy of mention was the customer who answered the door wearing a t-shirt from "Don's Pizza in LaGrange", which I had never heard of. I asked him about it and he said that they closed a few years ago when they quit paying their bills.

Bad news of the night was one of our girl drivers had a really rough night. First she got the runaround, being sent to a very hard-to-find address in a trailer park that's not even in our delivery area. Then not much later, she stopped at a convenience store to ask for directions and ended up being harassed and even followed by some jerks that were hanging around there! She was pretty shook up!

Special thanks to GM Ady who made up a small box of fudge and candy for each of her employees as a Christmas gift! This was very thoughtful and the first Christmas gift or bonus I've gotten in 4 years of working here!

Totals for the night were 7 hours driving, 15 deliveries, $41 in tips, and 63 miles.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Making Change

We had a new driver tonight, Ted. He's in his late 30's and has a 2nd wife and 5 kids in all. We can understand each other's reason's for driving pizza! He seems like a good guy and a hard worker.

I drove for 7 1/2 hours, took 18 deliveries, drove 66 miles, and made $38 in tips. That's a pretty decent night, especially volume-wise.

When we check in we are given a "bank" of $15, a $5 and ten $1's. As the night goes on the driver may add another $5 or a few singles to his bank, but he "drops" cash to the manager throughout the night so as not to be a target for thieves.

I had a few interesting things happen tonight while "making change." First off, my first order was for $22.83. I realized that if the customer paid with 2 $20's, I couldn't make correct change, so I borrowed a $5 from the drawer, with manager approval.

Sure enough, the customer paid with 2 $20's and asked for $14 back, leaving me with a nice $3.17 tip. Then the customer asked, "That's not going to short you on one's, is it?" I told him I was fine, but it was odd as I've never had a customer ask that before.

Several deliveries later, I had a customer pay her $7.58 order with a $10 and a $1. Anytime the customer hands me a $1 along with the rest of their money, it's a pretty safe assumption that they don't expect change, as any change (other than coin change which I almost never carry) would include a $1 back to them.

Later I had a delivery for $28.32. The woman paid with 2 $20's and asked for a $5 and five $1's back, leaving me with $1.68 tip. She then handed me $2 more back. I'm not sure why she didn't just ask for $8 back in the first place?

Finally, for the 3rd night in a row I had the displeasure of delivering to 316 S. M., the serial stiffer that never tips. Their check was $9.71 so before I left, I changed in $1 and put 71 cents in one pocket and 29 cents in the other. After the guy handed me $10, I slowly dumped the 29 cents into his hand, before I gave him his food. He had a disgusted "I don't need your 29 cents" look on his face. Well now he knows how we drivers feel!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Bad Night

I left after just 3 deliveries tonight. Out of respect for my General Manager Ady, I'm not going to go into detail here. I'll simply say that we were not providing our delivery customers with our best level of service. As I left on my 3rd delivery, I told Manager Kristie that I needed to go home after this.

When I got back, Kristie told me the next delivery had a $5 tip, but even that wasn't enough to convince me to stay.

I spoke with Ady on the phone after I got home and she said she would resolve the situation.

In 1 1/2 hours, I took just 3 deliveries, drove 17 miles, and made $5 in tips ($5.23 to be precise). My final delivery was to the "serial stiffer" I mentioned a couple nights ago.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Cookies As A Tip

It happens almost every year around this time. A motherly-type lady gives me a cash tip (usually $2-3) and a small plate of cookies! I then bring them back to the shop and share. Today's cookies were very tasty. Nick and I devoured them pretty quickly.

Tonight was the exact opposite of last night. I was working with a couple newer drivers (who are slower and take fewer runs at a time) so I took more than my share of runs. I had only 1 stiff tonight (out of 15 runs) and other than that, every tip was $2 or more. I had 2 tips of $5 or more.

Total for the night was 5 hours, 15 deliveries, 40 miles, and $42 in tips. The 40 miles for 15 deliveries part is really amazing! It's mainly a factor of lots of multi-runs and good routing. I took 2 triples and 4 doubles, and my only single was just about a mile from the shop.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Snowy Sunday

We had snowy weather here in Ohio today. If anybody saw the Browns game on TV, I went to work immediately after that in similar conditions (for the first couple hours). Eventually the winds died down but the roads were still pretty nasty.

I actually had a minor accident in my van on the way home from church. I was unable to stop and bumped a big truck from behind at about 5 MPH. His truck was fine, my grill is pretty messed up, and it took us almost 1/2 hour to get our vehicles unattached.

But back to pizza driving, my Chevy Prism handled pretty well in the snow. I had 2 $5+ tips on my first 6 runs and was off to a great start, collecting $19. Then things turned sour.

For my next 10 runs, I had 2 $3 tips, 4 tips of $1 and the change (less than 50 cents), 1 coin change stiff (42 cents), and 3 exact change stiffs. I was fed up. The last one was a serial stiffer who has begun to order more frequently. If they had ordered a 2-liter I probably would have given it a thorough shaking!

My final run was another good tip ($4.67 on a $15.33 order) and I ended up with $35 on 17 deliveries over 6 hours. Total mileage was 75, even though I took 4 doubles and a triple!

Rumor was that driver Desiree went home with around $100 after her day shift today. Good for her, I just wish she'd left a little for me!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas Gifts - Pizza Style


Since we are less than 2 weeks from Christmas, I wanted to post on Christmas gifts with a pizza theme. Of course you could always give a gift card to a favorite pizza place, but I wanted to mention some other items also.

Melissa and Doug Pizza Party - This is on sale at Amazon for $12. Ages 3 and up, it's a wooden pizza set. I've never actually seen one but it seems they get rave reviews.








For the younger toddler, check out Pizza Party Elmo. You can find him at WalMart for $20. Not only does Elmo sing, but the pizza (having a face and all) sings as well. My son George will find one of these under the tree this year.




If you're shopping for a reader, you may want to consider best-selling author John Grisham's latest novel, Playing For Pizza. This book is about a pro football player who loses the championship game for the Cleveland Browns and flees to seek refuge in Italy playing in the Italian NFL. It's available at Amazon for $12.







For the baker in your life, another option I found is this neat Pizza Gift Basket, available for $80 at Gourmet Gift Baskets. It contains various pizza ingredients, as well as a pizza cutter and a pizza stone.




Finally, for the gift that keeps on giving all year long, consider a membership in the Pizza Of The Month club. For $31.95 per month (plus $13 shipping) at Clubs Of America, your friend will get 3 different gourmet frozen pizzas in the mail each month.

NY Times Article

I found a NY Times article today that expresses pretty well some of the issues that food delivery workers deal with. Check it out if you get a minute.

Also, one thing I meant to post about Wednesday night. I had a delivery and I got to the house, it looked pretty dark and nobody came to the door. Not only that the ticket had an apartment number, and this was clearly a single family home.

I knocked, and nobody answerred. I retreated to my car and called the store, and spoke with Melissa, the order taker. She had some trouble remembering if this was a new address or if it was already in the system. Also, to make matters worse, there was a note on the ticket that said "AREA CODE" but there was no area code. So my fear was that it was not a 440 number.

Melissa was not much help, so I attempted to call the customer. They were indeed a 440 number, and they were nowhere near the street on the ticket. When I finally arrived at their apartment, they mentioned that the previous driver had also gone to the wrong spot and told her that he would fix it in the system.

"Alot of people say that, but I know how to fix it, and I will. It's my gas money I'm wasting going to the wrong spot," I told her, as she handed me a $2 tip.

I actually called in while on the road and had Melissa fix it. And I double-checked the system when I got back to confirm that it was corrected.

I do get paid for an extra run ($1.10 currently) when things like this happen.

Symmetry

My first and last deliveries were identical (and nice) tonight. Each was for 1 pizza for $15.58. Each customer paid with a $20. Each customer instructed me that no change was necessary! Very nice!

Nick also had an interesting thing happen tonight. I was washing dishes and he brought me the calculator. Our cash in the store should have been $543.21.

I took 8 deliveries (plus 1 rerun) in 5 hours, drove 44 miles, and made $24 in tips.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Another Pizza Guy Murdered

I just found this story about the arrest of a man for the murder of Dominos pizza delivery driver Cory Lind, 20, in Massachussetts.

Lind had left on a "routine delivery" on Monday morning. Co-workers called the police when he did not return and they could not locate him.

This is the 2nd murder of a pizza guy I've heard about in the past couple weeks, the other being in California. Scary stuff.

Be careful out there!

Pizzeria Reopens

This article tells the story of the opening of D'Tutanelli's Pizza. D'Tutanelli's is in the same building and uses mostly the same recipes as Granny D's.

This is where the previous owner was shot and killed several months ago.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Fees On Credit Card Tips

Last week I got into a discussion on a fantasy football message board. The original question was, why was food and alcohol split apart on a check for a company dinner, and whether the customer should tip the same on both the food and the alcohol.

One restaurant owner, while giving his point of view, mentioned that he deducts the fee his business pays to the credit card processing company from the tip, considering this cost to be directly related to the tip.

I think this is an underhanded way of transferring a portion of the cost of doing business to the employee, and not giving the employee the full amount of the tip that the customer intended.

I did some googling and found this article. Apparently a company in California was similarly deducting the fees from the servers' tips. A group of servers took the restaurant chain to court and lost. The California legislature then enacted a new law, AB 2509, prohibiting this practice.

This wouldn't affect me much either way as less than 20 % of my deliveries pay by credit card, and several of those that do either give a cash tip or don't tip at all, but the principle of it alone would probably be enough to encourage me to seek employment elsewhere.

Customer Interactions

Tonight started off decent, I had $10 in tips in my first 2 hours. Unfortunately I only made $4 in the next 3 hours. Totals for 5 hours were 9 deliveries, $14 in tips, 35 miles.

When I arrived at my next to last delivery, there was a woman maybe in here late 40's standing by the front door smoking a cigarette. We had the following conversation:

Woman (yelling back into the house): "There's a man here"

Woman (to me): "What do you have?"

Me: "Pizza."

Woman: "Are you going to give it to me?"

Me: "Are you going to give me the money?"

Woman: "No."

Me: "Then I can just go home"

Woman (to younger girl, early 20's): "He won't give me the pizza."

Me: "No money, no food."

Woman (as her daughter handed me the money): "Don't order from these guys anymore."

Woman (to me): "The other guys give me the pizza first."

Me: "Good for them."

Woman: "You're talking yourself out of a tip"

Me: (silence) . . . "Thanks" (as her daughter handed me a single $1 back as a tip.)

My next delivery was just about as bad. It was to a very nice apartment complex. I rang the buzzer and a man in his early 20's came down to the door and gave me $25.60 for his $25.58 order.

"Sorry about no tip tonight" he said as I counted the money.

"I guess I'm sorry too, huh" was my reply.

Monday, December 10, 2007

December 2007 Carnival Of Pizza

Welcome to the December 10, 2007 edition of Carnival of Pizza. We have an interesting mix of posts this month.

Recipes

Fellow runner Katy presents a delicious-looking recipe called Pizza Margherita posted at sugarlaw.

Other

Jamie presents A Slice of the Best posted at Explorer Pass Blog. Jamie's post gives out some information on a tour of Brooklyn through pizza! Sounds like a great way to see some of New York's best pizzerias.

blue skelton presents It’s Spiderman Pizza Delivery posted at Blue Skelton Publications. I'm not sure when this event actually happened, but apparently it was a promotion with Papa John's to go along with the Blu-ray DVD release of Spiderman 3. Police, fire, and rescue workers from southern California (who recently battled wildfires) received 6000 "Hometown Super Hero" pizzas! Very cool!

Sagar presents Top 50 Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants in the World posted at Travelhacker. I expect at least many of the vegetarian places serve pizza. Four of the top 50 write-ups specifically mention pizza, including 2 of 10 in North America.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of pizza using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Slow Start, Fast Finish

I took 18 deliveries tonight. I didn't get as much as a $3 tip for any of my first 16 deliveries. Then I got a total of $9 on my last 2. Totals for the night were 6 hours, 18 runs, $37 in tips, and 66 miles.

I expected that we would be busy, and we certainly were. Chilly, rainy weather, combined with a 4 PM Browns game, and people out all day Christmas shopping, led to many delivery orders.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Happy Birthday (2 nights)

I turned 40 on the 8th. This encompassed 2 shifts, the last hour of Friday night, as well as Saturday night. Both nights were pretty slow, business-wise.

Friday I worked 7 hours, took 13 deliveries, drove 48 miles, and made $29 in tips. Saturday I worked just 3 hours, took 5 deliveries, drove 22 miles, and made $13.

One of the highlights of Friday was recognizing a customer by voice. Mrs. Washington, who ironically lives in an apartment on Washington Avenue. She's an older lady who lives alone. She always pays with exact change and then adds a $2 tip.

Saturday I was scheduled to work longer but my kids soccer team (which I coach) had our game moved to 7:30 PM. Thanks to Felonious Dave for covering for me until I could get in (around 9:30 PM).

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Patterns

A couple interesting patterns tonight. My first 4 tips got bigger and bigger.
  • 69 cents on a $31.31 order
  • $1.92 on a $11.08 order
  • $2.42 on a $12.58 order
  • $4.00 on a $21.57 order
Then my final 4 deliveries were all to low income or government assisted housing. And you could pretty much tell by the tips.
  • $0.41 on a $19.59 order
  • $1.92 on a $11.08 order
  • $0.17 on a $16.83 order
  • $2.43 on a $19.57 order (this couple had bought a home and was moving out.
Tonight was my first night to drive my newer Chevy Prism in snowy conditions. We got a couple inches today and some of the sidestreets have been packed down (not salted or plowed). It did ok, but I do have to be a little more careful and give myself time to stop.

Several new workers tonight, including 2 new managers in training. Former IHOP worker Brianne and our own driver Kristie both wore the gray shirts that signified "manager".

In 5 hours, I took 11 deliveries, drove 44 miles, and made $22 in tips. It was a pretty average night.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Welcome Back Felonious Dave

One of our former assistant managers, known as Felonious Dave, returned tonight. He's currently managing a Taco Bell but he's going to be working for us 1-2 nights each week to earn some extra cash. Dave's a good guy and I'm glad to see him again.

My first 3 deliveries tonight were to 3 different streets with the word Ridge in their name.

I took 9 deliveries in 5 hours, making $19 in tips while driving 32 miles. Second to last driver Todd went home around 10 but I only had 1 run after that.

I didn't get to leave until around 12:30 as Nick was trying to re-hang some vent covers in the kitchen and the screws and nuts weren't the same matching size. Felonious Dave is considering buying a pizza franchise. Nick and I had a nice discussion on how much profit potential there might be in a pizzeria and what sort of business we might open if we did have 1/2 million in cash.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Busy Sunday, Talking Pizza

From 5 until 8 tonight seemed like about as busy as we have been on a Sunday in recent memory. The weather was crummy (it was cold and rainy) and the Browns were on TV, playing at Arizona in the 4PM game.

In fact, driver Jon was there the whole time I was, but I never saw him until he was getting ready to go home around 8. We had 5 drivers for most of the rush and still my first 5 trips were 4 doubles and a triple.

The funniest thing to happen tonight was on my final delivery. A little girl about 2 told came to the door while her mom was getting the money. I smiled and said hi. The girl bashfully went back into the apartment and told her mom "The pizza said hi to me." Her mom told her it must have been the pizza guy because pizzas can't talk. (She must not have seen the new Elmo toy.)

My worst tip of the night was $1.17 on a $18.83 order that was at least a mile out of our delivery area in the first place. If it hadn't been the 3rd run of my triple I probably would have been upset. My best tip was $7.00 on a $35.05 credit card order a little after 10 PM.

Totals for the night were 6 hours driving, 18 deliveries, 54 miles, and $49 in tips. This was the most profitable Sunday I've had in quite some time.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Maps vs. GPS

Prospective pizza driver David from Michigan wrote, How do you learn the areas and is a GPS unit a practical tool?

Our store had a huge wall-map with a grid. The computer assigns the grid to the delivery ticket when the order is placed over the phone, so we know where to start looking. In about 2-3 months you will have a pretty good idea where 95 % of the streets are in your area.

A GPS may be handy at the beginning, but I would not rely on it. Learning the streets yourself will help you to know what goes together as a double. Also, the time it takes to key in the address will slow you down.

What would be really cool is to have the address barcoded on the delivery ticket, so that you could just swipe the ticket with a portable barcode reader in your car, and have the address entered into the GPS automatically.

Friday

I had a pretty decent night tonight. I took 16 deliveries and only 2 stiff. Some teenage boys thought it was funny to count out 35 pennies but then they had the total wrong and owed me $25.59 (not $25.35 that they thought). Still, they (intentionally or not) tried to short me $1 but I counted their cash before I gave them their food.

The other stiff was also some high school boys who paid $20 for their $19.57 order.

On the other hand, I did have 4 tips of $4 or more, including a run of $5 - $4 - $2 - $5. I made $16 in those 4 deliveries. It's stretches like that that can really make or break your night.

I would have made more money but our business totally died shortly after 11 PM. I seriously don't think the phone rang once after 11:30.

For the night, I worked 7.5 hours, drove 58 miles on 16 deliveries, and made $39 in tips.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

November 2007 Monthly Totals

Shifts: 14
Hours: 79
Deliveries: 173
Tips: $384
Miles: 626

Average miles per delivery: 3.6
Average deliveries per hour: 2.2
Average tips per delivery: $2.22
Average tips per hour: $4.86
Average cash per hour: $7.27 (tips plus mileage)
Total earnings per hour: $14.12 (includes wage of $6.85)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wednesday Pizza Delivery

I drove 4 hours tonight, taking 7 deliveries. I brought in $18 in tips and drove 25 miles. Mileage was kind of low as 3 of my deliveries came on 1 trip. My lowest tip of the night was $1.50, higher than my average was on Monday.

Closing driver was Nick. I remember the good old days when I was always the closing driver, but recently both Nick and Mike like to close. Which is pretty much fine with me.

Not much else to say except that tonight was my last night working with Manager Michelle before she gets transferred to her new store. Good luck to her.

Pizza Driver Killed in California

This horrible story describes how Thanh Thach was on a delivery, became lost, and was shot this week in Richmond, California.

Investigators don't believe it was a set-up, as he was a few blocks from the delivery location and Pizza Hut had delivered there in the past. Also, his phone, money, and pizza were left so it was not a robbery. Police think it may have been part of a gang initiation.

Pizza delivery is still one of the most dangerous jobs in the US.

I'm glad my town is somewhat safer. There are a few bad areas but they are blacklisted and we will not deliver there. Incidents like this are the reason why.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Shortchanged

The theme of tonight was me getting stiffed.

Now, most pizza drivers I know consider anything less than $1 to be a stiff, or not a tip. I got stiffed 7 times tonight out of 13 deliveries. I'm not sure I've ever had a night with a higher stiff percentage.

First order of the night was for $14.08. Guy hands me $20 and I hand him back $5 in singles. He stands there looking, obviously expecting his 92 cents. I don't have any change on me or in the car. I ask him if he has the 8 cents, and when he says no, I just give him the $1 and walk away. Stiff #1 = -$0.08.

Fourth order of the night, the customer doesn't even give me good instructions. I knock at the front door for what seemed like 5 minutes, seeing a light and tv on inside. Finally an older lady answers the door obviously confused to see me. She asks the name and directs me around back and up the stairs. A girl is waiting at the top of the stairs to hand me $20 for her $19.59 order, including a free pizza for her kid thanks to our reading program. Stiff #2 = $0.41.

Sixth order is $11.58 less than a mile from the store. Young man meets me outside, digs out $11 from his wallet, then adds 2 quarters and a dime. "Keep the 2 pennies," he says. Stiff #3 = $0.02

Ninth and tenth orders go together. Ninth order, customer has their kid stiff me. Kid hands me $10, $5, and a pile of quarters for the $19.57 order. I count the quarters and there's $3.00 I tell the girl that's not enough money. She goes back inside, comes back and drops more quarters into my hand. I count again, now we're up to $19.25. Still short by 32 cents. The woman inside the door says "he has $20" and I call back "no I don't." The girl looks on the floor and brings me 2 more quarters. Stiff #4 = $0.18.

Tenth order, teenager answers the door and hands me $10, $5, and a quarter for his $15.07 order. "Thanks for the 18 cents," I exclaim with glee as I hand him his food. Stiff #5 = $0.18.

Eleventh order is also less than a mile away. There's a note on the ticket "Be sure they have enough money." Apparently a driver got shorted there in the past. Woman gives me $20 for her $16.83 order and pockets the 3 $1's I hand her back. Stiff #6 = $0.17.

Thirteenth order, I pretty much knew it was coming, the customer had asked on the phone "What is the minimum amount for delivery?" Girl gives me $12 for her $11.70 order. Stiff #7 = $0.30.

Interesting discussion of the night consisted of trying to help Desiree understand how to handle a package. She has a broken phone from T-Mobile that she has tried 3 times to return, but it keeps coming back to her. Come to find out, except for letters to prison, she's never actually mailed anything.

Totals for the night were 13 deliveries, 41 miles, $15.20 in tips, and I drove 5 1/2 hours. I was afraid I was going to have to get clocked out manually as I was afraid I didn't make the minimum 5% in tips that the computer makes us declare, but my total sales delivered was $177.19 so my tip rate was 8.6%.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Is Pizza Deductible?

I had 2 "stiffs" tonight and each of them upset me in their own way.

The first one paid $15.08 by exact change, and then asked for a receipt. "Sure, you gonna claim that on your taxes?" I asked as I handed him the receipt.

Not much later, I had a delivery to my own neighborhood. There are only 41 houses in my development, and this particular house, I knew the mother (of the adult girl who paid). She gave me $9 for an $8.58 order, saying "That's all for you."

Totals for the night were 6 hours of driving, 16 deliveries, $32 in tips, and 62 miles. Biggest tip of the night was $5+ on a $25.57 order to some nurses on the 10th floor of the local hospital.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Black Friday

I don't know how many people (besides my wife) went shopping today, but I do know that there weren't many who chose pizza over leftover turkey tonight.

In 7 hours I took just 12 deliveries, made $23 in tips, and drove 52 miles. Not an especially good night.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

'Twas The Night Before Thanksgiving

The night before Thanksgiving is always a busy night for us, for a few reasons:
  • There's no work the next day, it's more like a Friday than a Wednesday.
  • Many kids are home from college and get together with friends.
  • Many moms are busy preparing the feast for Thursday and don't want to fix dinner on Wednesday night.
In the past we haven't staffed right and have been short drivers, and I've made ALOT of money. Not tonight. During the rush (and we were busy) we had seven drivers. That is as many as I ever remember us having.

General Manager Ady saw my new pants today and approved. She also gave me a new uniform hat and shirt, as my old one was very worn and faded and looked shabby compared to my pants.

From 5:30 - 11 tonight I worked 5.5 hours, took 12 deliveries, drove 40 miles, and made $25 in tips. But then we kept taking orders for another half hour or so while we were cleaning up. I took 3 more deliveries, drove 11 more miles, and made $11 from 11 to midnight.

My final delivery was to a bunch of college kids. One of them called out, "Hey mister pizza guy, we need a deal, we're just poor college students." I told him they already were getting a break, since we were supposed to be closed. The kid who paid gave me $16 for a $15.57 order. But then a girl gave me another 85 cents. That doesn't sound like much, but $1.28 puts me in a much better mood than $0.43.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

AROD vs. Pizza Delivery Guy

I found this site that compares your annual salary to that of baseball player Alex Rodriguez.

For a pizza driver salary, I used my most recent hourly total of $13.57 x 40 hours x 52 weeks = $28225.6.

The Stat Attack A-Rod-O-Meter - YOUR ANNUAL PAY: $28,226

A-ROD is expected to sign a ten-year contract with the Yankees with a base salary of $27.5 million per year. It would take you 974.3 years to earn that much.

A-ROD would make $2,291,667 per month. It would take you 81.2 years to earn that much.

A-ROD would make $528,846 per week. It would take you 18.7 years to earn that much.

A-ROD would make $169,753 per game. It would take you 6.0 years to earn that much.

A-ROD would make $38,842 per plate appearance. It would take you 1.4 years to earn that much.

A-ROD would make $18,861 per inning. A-ROD earns your annual salary every 1.5 innings.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Paying Not To Work

I did something tonight I never did before. I paid someone (Steve) $1 to take one of my deliveries. It was to a house I knew I would not get a tip. (Steve got 13 cents). I'm pretty sure Steve knew it too.

On the night I worked 6 hours, took 14 deliveries, drove 58 miles, and made $37 in tips.

Oh and I wore these pants (but in black).

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Wait Around Wednesday

Tonight was a pretty quiet night. I worked 5 hours, drove 27 miles on 7 deliveries, and pulled in a very nice $22 in tips, an average of over $3 per run. Maybe these high gas prices ($3.15) are having an affect on people.

I got reminded again tonight about the dress code, as I was still wearing my jeans. I am going to have to do something different, I suppose. I've been putting it off.

I really don't have much to write about, but there are 2 interesting threads on a fantasy football message board that I frequent that are mildly relevant, since our pizzeria fired a waitress last week. One is about a restaurant manager that recently fired a waitress and the other is about a businessman that is considering firing his assistant, and wonders about the timing and possible severance pay.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Marcus Gunn Jaw-Winking Phenomenon

A few years ago, I was taking a rare sit-down break, having some pizza with a few co-workers. What I saw sort of freaked me out. My friend Nick's eye seemed to open and close when he chewed. It was really odd.

Being not-so-subtle, I asked him about it. He told me he it was called the Marcus Gunn Jaw-Wink, and that he had always had it and he had no control over it.

Well, since I've had this blog, I've been wanting to post a video, not to make fun of Nick, but to share this phenomenon with others who may have this condition, so that hopefully they will feel a little less weird.

Check out the video on YouTube to see Nick's eye in action! I think the video is much cooler than this animation. And a special thanks to Nick for sharing.

Yahoo!

Yahoo! has various "Featured Articles" that they rotate. One of the ones in rotation yesterday was titled Tipping Tips. Along with the page linking to the article was a link to a search titled Find Amount To Tip Pizza Delivery.

This blog is #10 in the search results and our traffic yesterday was at least 5 times the normal traffic for a Monday.

I Love The Rainy Nights (usually)

Check out this post in my other blog for a story about my kids coming to help me at work on Friday night.

I drove tonight and the weather was rainy from start to finish. Usually that means big volume and big tips. Tonight we had 4 drivers until almost 9 PM, and in my first 3 hours I took just 3 runs. Shortly after 9 the other 3 had all been sent home and I was on my own.

Finally we got busier and I took 6 runs in my last 2 hours. In 5 hours on the road, I took 9 deliveries, drove 31 miles, and pulled in $22 in tips.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pizza For Steelers Fans In Cleveland

My final delivery of the night was just before 11 PM. I knocked on the door and as the customer came to the door I made my standard greeting of "Hey how 'ya doing tonight?"

Then I noticed he was wearing a Steelers T-shirt. "Oh a Steeler fan huh?", I said in a mildly disgusted tone. "I guess I won't say anything about it."

"It's good to be a Steeler fan isn't it?" he asked.

"I guess it is today," was my answer. Since his Steelers beat my Browns 31-28.

In 6 hours I took 12 deliveries. I didn't write down my starting mileage. I made $29 in tips.

I worked with a new driver today, Jon. He's driving a gas hog, a Ford Escape, but he seems like a good worker so far. Also, we lost an employee today. Waitress Erica got fired. I don't know all the details, so I won't speculate.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Eva Longoria Delivers Pizza To Striking Writers


Check out this video I found on CNN. If you wait through a minute of the strikers yelling "We write the storia for Eva Longoria" and then another minute of her saying she supports the writers, you get to see about 5 seconds of her passing out Domino's Pizzas from the back of a van.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Getting Started - Pizza Driver Tools

I don't drive again until Sunday night so I wanted to take a little time and finish a few posts I've had in the back of my head for a while. The first one is on what I call "Driver Tools." Below is a suggested list of what you need to be successful as a pizza delivery driver.

First, the things that are absolutely required.
  • Vehicle - Obviously you need something to transport you and the pizzas around in. Preferrably something that is safe and well maintained, as well as good on gas. I suggest a car that gets at least 30 miles per gallon if you really want to make money.
  • Flashlight - If you deliver at night you will need a flashlight to see the house numbers. I use a rechargable spotlight that costs about $10 at my local auto parts store.
  • Pen - Most pizzerias accept credit cards for delivery. You will have to have a pen so that the customer can sign the credit slip (and add the tip!)
  • Street Map - Getting lost or forgetting where you're going can be costly. Get a map of your delivery area and keep it in your car at all times.

Now the rest of these items may not be necessary, but I think they will help you to be the best driver you can be, and to make the fat cash in tips!

  • Cell Phone - When you get to the address and nobody answers the door, it's handy to have a cell phone to call the customer. Also, your shop may need to call you if someone discovers you've been sent out with the wrong food.
  • Clipboard - I use a small clipboard for credit slips. Many customers appreciate this, not having to write against the door frame. You'll appreciate them not writing on the hood of your car.
  • Car Maintenance Kit - You should have jumper cables, a spare tire, and whatever else you may need to keep your car on the road. Also, I bring my AAA card for situations requireing a tow truck.
  • Delivery Log Book - I write down my mileage, the price of each delivery, the amount of each tip, and whether it was cash or credit. This can be useful if questions arise at checkout time each night, and is necessary if you choose to itemize your taxes.
  • Hotel & Apartment Maps - I carry a map showing the layout of the rooms at each hotel in our delivery area. Driving right up to the customers room will save you time and get you back for the next delivery faster.

There are some other things that I personally don't use but I know others do. Try them and decide for yourself.

  • Satelite Radio - For your enjoyment during those long hours on the road.
  • Energy Drinks & Snacks - I personally just eat whatever crew pie I can find in the store.
  • Extra Sodas (in cooler) - If you find yourself forgetting to bring the Pepsi that the customer ordered, it might pay to keep one in your car just in case.
  • Parmesan Cheese & Red Pepper Packs - Again in case the customer wants them and they didn't get packed with the order, it pays to keep your own stash.
  • Hot Bag - I can't imagine that your shop doesn't supply you with hot-bags, but if they don't, check ebay and get one or two of your own.

Well, that is about all I can think of. If you are a driver, feel free to comment below

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Book Reivew - How To Make Up To $38 Per Hour Delivering Pizza - Dave Shelson

I'm ashamed to say I've had this book since March and am just now getting around to writing the review. It is a fantastic book for pizza delivery drivers. I actually read it three times before deciding how little or how much of the information I could post here.

This is a great book on getting started in pizza delivery. It explains the basics of the job as well as outlining the many benefits of pizza delivery jobs, including a flexible schedule.

The book describes the one thing that a driver can do to best affects their tips - have a positive attitude!

Mr. Shelson writes a great chapter on how to choose the right restaurant for you, examining things such as how many drivers they hire and the average number of deliveries per shift.

Also included are chapters on Pizza Catering and Mobile Pizza Retaling.

Not every driver in every location will make $38 per hour, but if you read this book and follow the advice, you can probably increase your income at the shop you're at. And it's definitely possible to approach the $38 per hour rate on good shifts in the right location.

The book used to be sold through a website called http://www.doublecrust.com but it seems to be down. You can buy it from Amazon.

"The Money's On The Coffee Table"

That was the quote that started a very humorous exchange tonight on my 3rd delivery of the night.

I was at the door and the man of the house was flipping through his wallet for the cash to pay for his pizza. "The money's on the coffee table," a woman called out from the back of the apartment.

"What?" the man replied.

"The money's on the coffee table."

"What coffee table? We don't have a coffee table."

"Yes we do," she said.

"Which one is it?" he questioned her.

"If she says you have a coffee table, you have a coffee table," I suggested to the man. We both chuckled.

"Are you making fun of me?" the woman asked.

"Yeah because we don't have a coffee table," the man replied. "We don't even drink coffee."

"It's a good thing one of you 2 is leaving," the woman chirped back. Then she pointed out, "This one is the coffee table."

"I guess I have a coffee table," the man told me with a smile.

"Congratulations!" I told him after we had completed the exchange.

I had a much better night tonight, driving 6 hours, taking 15 deliveries, driving 47 miles, and making $38 in tips.

Today's Chevy Prism report: 107.9 miles on 3.099 gallons of gas is 34.8 miles per gallon.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Another Low-Tip-Average Night

I had a rare 4-9 shift today. We were rather busy, partly due to the Browns game starting at 4 PM. Also, due to the end of daylight savings, our rush came about an hour early. I also was able to leave early, shortly after 8:30 PM.

I took 13 deliveries. Of my first 9 deliveries, 5 of them did not tip (or tipped less than $1, which I don't consider a tip.

Only my last 2 runs, a double where I got a combined $5.87, and a single where I got $5.96, turned it into a halfway decent night.

I drove 44 miles and made a total of $22 in tips.

Gas mileage was a little lower tonight, as the driving came mostly from my pizza shift. I drove 59.5 miles and put 2.364 gallons in the gas tank. So my miles per gallon was just 25.2 tonight.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Pizza Dress Code Violation

We had a surprise (to me at least) audit tonight. We did pretty well but I cost us a point by wearing jeans.

When I started 3 1/2 years ago, the GM told me that I had to wear black or tan pants or shorts, and that as a driver, jeans were allowed. So I have always worn jeans. A couple times when I didn't have a clean pair I've worn black docker-type pants. I have several reasons that I prefer the jeans.
  • Jeans are more sturdy, holding up better with the daily washing that is required. The dishroom can be pretty messy and every night my clothes need laundered.
  • Jeans are much warmer. Sometimes in the winter I have to traipse through unshoveled snow, and then I stand at the door for minutes, often in a biting wind.
  • Most of all, the pockets are tighter and I have never had money fall out. Sometimes when I have worn other pants, getting in and out of my car over and over, my fold of bills will shift its way out of my pockets.
I'm pretty sure most of the other pizza shops allow their employees to wear jeans.

I worked 5 hours tonight, and it was a horrible night. I took 13 deliveries, and 6 of them did not tip. My total tips were just $21. I drove 41 miles, a low total for that many deliveries.

I filled the gas tank in the new Chevy Prism again, driving 158.0 miles on 4.941 gallons, or a total of 32.0 miles per gallon.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Employee Discount On Beer?

We're a dine-in restaurant and we do serve beer. Also, employees get 50% off their purchases, up to $20 (maximum $10 discount). But I didn't think those 2 things could be combined.

Well tonight I saw a guest check for a single draft beer, with the ** Employee 50% Off ** line at the bottom. I had noticed our new waitress sitting chatting with a young man who was having a beer, I'm guessing she bought it for him at half-off.

I'm assuming it was a mix-up which will be corrected before the night was over, as I'm pretty sure the employee discount doesn't apply to beer. (Or 2-liters, or even chicken wings, which have a pretty high food cost).

I had a short (for me) shift tonight, 5:30 - 10 PM. I took 11 deliveries, drove 41 miles, and made $30 in tips. I usually like to close but I got scheduled for non-closing shifts for the next 3 nights, and I think I'll just work them as assigned and not try to trade. The per-hour money is definitely better when I just work the busy hours.

I had a pretty good night, with 8 of my 11 deliveries yielding tips of $2.42 to $4.44. The highlight was a double, with one of the runs being to a guy I remembered from his $5 tip on Monday. Of course I took his pizza first, and was rewarded with a $3.42 tip on a $11.58 order. The other order was a nice tip also and now I will remember their address as well.

Good tips are definitely remembered by the drivers, and are rewarded with extra-quick service whenever possible.

I filled my gas tank again, driving 230.1 miles on 6.936 gallons, or 33.2 MPG. Very nice!

Pizza Recall

About 5 million Jeno's and Totino's frozen pizzas were recalled on Thursday.

Toss them out. Save the barcode and mail it in for a replacement coupon:

Totino's/Jeno's
P.O. Box 200 -- Pizza
Minneapolis, MN 55440-0200


In the meantime, order delivery tonight and tip the driver!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

November 2007 Carnival Of Pizza

Welcome to the November 1, 2007 edition of carnival of pizza. We're back on schedule this month, with some very nice posts.

Recipes


Starting off this week is a combination of Italian and Chinese. Chef Tom presents Pizza Egg Rolls posted at Chef Tom Cooks - Recipe Blog.

College


Ted Reimers writes about the famous Freshman 15 posted at CampusGrotto, saying, "Pizza is a main cause to the "Freshman 15"."

I was a varsity athlete in college, running 70 miles each week, but I certainly observed this phenomenon in many of my classmates.

Government


With elections coming up next week, what better time for the first carnival entry that combines pizza and politics?

Check out Why Your Pizza is Topped with Political Controversy posted at Limited Edition Foods for a very educational post. The author Margie adds, "Two pizzas from the same source and they are governed by two different federal agencies ... pizza provides the best example of how the federal government's approach to food regulation needs to be streamlined."

Contests



This one has nothing to do with pizza but in case we have any aspiring authors reading the site, I decided to include it nonetheless. Michael@TSM presents Fall TSM Travel Writing Contest: Win $125! posted at Traveling Stories Magazine.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of pizza using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

2000 Chevy Prism - Gas Mileage

On my first partial tank of gas, I drove 151 miles. I refilled the tank with 4.74 gallons. So the mileage on the new delivery vehicle is 32 MPG.

October 2007 Monthly Totals

Shifts: 12
Hours: 60
Deliveries: 114
Tips: $278
Miles: 467

Average miles per delivery: 4.1
Average deliveries per hour: 1.9
Average tips per delivery: $2.44
Average tips per hour: $4.63
Average cash per hour: $6.72
(tips plus mileage)
Total earnings per hour: $13.57
(includes wage of $6.85)

Monday, October 29, 2007

2 Big Tips, 4 Small Tips

I worked from 6 - 10:30 tonight. We were pretty slow and I took just 6 deliveries. Two of them were credit card orders that pre-tipped my $5.00 each. My total for the night was $14 so you can figure out the average tip from the other 4 orders.

I drove 30 miles in our new car, a 2000 Chevy Prism with 81,000 miles. Victoria researched and bought it last week. I plan to write more about it later.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Pizza In The News

Last week there was a girl stabbed to death in Cleveland, allegedly over some dispute about making the cheerleading squad. Four family members were arrested in this case, including one who was also arrested but not charged in this case. The man was a cook at a Pizza Hut in Texas when a manager and a delivery driver were shot dead.

Sticking with the crime theme, this story describes how a man claiming to be Jesus pursued a pregnant Dominos employee into the pizzeria, offered her drugs, and fondled her.

On a lighter note, this Cleveland Plain Dealer article notes several factual errors in John Grisham's latest best-seller, Playing For Pizza. The book is about a disgraced Cleveland Browns quarterback who goes to Italy to play football.

Yum! Thank You Jacoby Ellsbury!

America owes a debt of gratitude to Jacoby Ellsbury for swiping 2nd base in the bottom of the 4th inning of last night's World Series game between Boston and Colorado. Now we can all go to Taco Bell on Tuesday October 30th, between 2 and 5 PM, and get our free taco!

Taco Bell is owned by Yum Brands, which also owns KFC and Pizza Hut.

I hope all the Taco Bell's are prepared for the extra business!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Free Taco For America

If you watched the World Series tonight you heard the announcers discussing the Taco Bell promotion of giving away a free taco if someone steals a base. The tacos will be given away on a Tuesday between 2 and 5 PM. Either October 30 (if the base is stolen by then) or November 6 (if it's later in the series).

Get more information at the MLB website.

Note that this is not a new idea for Taco Bell, but it is the most likely to pay off.

In the 2004 World Series between Boston and St. Louis, Taco Bell offered a free taco if a player hit a 12' x 12' home run target in game 3.

In 2001, the company had a different but larger target. They floated a 40' x 40' banner in the South Pacific, offering a free taco if the plummeting space station Mir fell to the ocean in their spot.

Update: Thank you Jacoby Ellsbury!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Do The Right Thing

My next to last delivery was a stuffed crust pizza and an italian salad to room 210 at the Super-8. Actually it was part of a triple, because I was the last driver. Well I was a little frustrated at having to get the salads put together since the salad bar was already put away.

When I was well on my way, I realized I didn't grab any plastic forks. I thought maybe I could get some at the front desk of the motel, but I really didn't want the hassle. I decided that if I got a good tip I would get them some silverware, and if they didn't, I'd just ignore the issue.

Well the check was $22.95 and they paid with $23.

I handed them the food and went back to my car, feeling guilty. I decided to look in the glove box, and sure enough, I found a single spork, in plastic. I took it back up to room 210. They were so happy that they then decided to give me a $3 tip.

The moral of the story is, do the right thing, whether you get tipped or not.

Totals for the night were 5 1/2 hours, 9 deliveries, $18 in tips, 29 miles.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Night The Indians Lose

The Indians lost tonight, I listened to most of the game on the radio while delivering. I did get home to watch the last inning but the game was pretty much decided by then.

I worked 5 1/2 hours, took 12 deliveries, drove 52 miles, and made $34 in tips.

My first customer didn't know his address. There was no 204 4th Street. I called him and asked about it, he said it was closer to Middle than East, I drove a ways and found the brick apartment building that he described, 240 4th Street. I fixed the address in the system once I got back. Of course he didn't tip.

Another delivery was to an older man in a low-income housing building. Nick had told me "this guy sounds crazy but he said he would tip the driver $4 or $5."

Well I got there and he handed me a $20, some $1's, and a handful of quarters. Then he said "it's worth $5, isn't it?"

"With the price of gas, I sure do appreciate it," was my reply.

He went back in and brought back a few more quarters. I ended up collecting $31.25 for a $23.70 order.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Short Shift

I was supposed to work tonight from 6-9 but we were so slow I got sent home around 8:30. I took 3 deliveries, drove 12 miles, and made $8 in tips.

Not much else to say.

Roy Williams Delivers Pizza

Roy Williams, a wide reciever for the NFL's Detroit Lions, came through on his promise and spent a few hours on Tuesday afternoon delivering pizzas.

According to this story in the Detroit Free Press, he spent some time "being trained". He then took some pizzas to the NFL Youth Education Team Boys and Girls Club and spoke to the kids there.

And then he delivered at least one order to an actual customer. With the media along to take pictures, of course.

I applaud Roy for giving back to the community and also for taking the time to get a little insight into how the common man earns a living.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Madhouse!

Tonight my son's soccer team (that I do not coach) had their end-of-season party at the pizza shop where I work. They had about a dozen kids plus families.

We only had 1 waitress on duty so I pitched in, refilling some pitchers of Pepsi. Meanwhile, the phone was ringing and I started answering it. After about 4 consecutive phone orders, Steve asked me if I could take over cut and pack for a few minutes.

I ended up clocking in and working for about an hour.

Between the big dine-in party, the Indians game, and the rainy weather, it just meant a very busy night for us.

When it was time for us to go home, my kids had a great time busing the tables.

Roy Williams Update

Detroit Lion wideout Roy Williams, who recently was converted from a non-tipper to a tipper, is taking the next step. He is actually going to work as a pizza delivery driver today at a Pizza Hut in Detroit.

Obviously a PR stunt for both Williams and Pizza Hut, but he's also making a donation to the World Food Program. This is interesting because Detroit is the home of both Dominos and Hungry Howies, but not Pizza Hut, which has it's corporate headquarters in Dallas.

Read about it here in the Detroit Free Press.

Monday, October 15, 2007

It's All Pan Pizza

We have a newer driver and tonight he was doing some prep. I walked back to find that he had placed the hand-tossed disks in oiled pan-pizza pans. Now if you don't know how prep is done at our franchise, this won't be funny to you, but for those of us in the shop, it was hilarious!

Tips were good for me tonight, except for the 1 delivery I should have let Nick take as a double anyways.

I drove for 5 hours, took 8 deliveries, drove 29 miles, and made $22 in tips.

NFL's Roy Williams On Tipping

Apparently Roy Williams, Wide Receiver for the Detroit Lions, made the news a few weeks ago in a radio interview, stating that he had a no tipping policy. You can read about it in the Detroit Free Press. After his interview, he says, he was stopped at a red light and got into a conversation with the pizza driver, who told Roy how much he should be tipping.

This story in the same paper the next week describes how Roy then actulally did order pizza and paid a $20 for his $13+ order, leaving a generous $6+ tip.

I'm not sure I believe it, especially the part about the red-light conversation, but it does make some interesting reading.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Slow Saturday

I worked 6 hours tonight and took just 9 deliveries. I drove 44 miles and made $23 in tips.

Tips were decent with 5 of 9 tips of $3 or more. Also 4 of the 9 were credit card payments. Other than that, not much to say.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Pizza Delivery To The Office (TV Show)

My wife is a huge fan of the tv sitcom, The Office. She watched it last night and told me about a scene involving pizza delivery that she found especially funny.

Apparently they ordered pizza to celebrate the launch of their company's new website. Then when they couldn't use a 50% off coupon for 8 pizzas, they locked the pizza delivery guy in a room. Then realized they were in effect kidnapping him.

Then when they let him go, they gave him a "generous tip" of $2.

Now I didn't watch the show, but I certainly don't find much funny about a $2 tip being called generous.

You can read a synopsis of the entire eposode at TV Squad, or watch it on YouTube.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Amazing, Expanding Shift

Tonight I was on the schedule from 6-9 PM. So why didn't I walk out until after 12 midnight?

I have found that, in most cases, other drivers are anxious to leave early. Now the closing driver may not want to leave at 9, but if I first switch with Desiree, so that she leaves at 9 and I leave at 10, then maybe the closing driver will be more apt to switch with me and leave at 10. Tonight actually, both closing drivers, Kristi and Chris, wanted to leave early but Chris ended up having to stay with me and close.

I had a really good night tonight for a Wednesday, with 6 of my 9 tips being over $3! My only bad delivery was to an address that did not exist. I guess I have to train some of our newer people to do callbacks on new addresses after dark.

I had 2 orders that tipped $1.42, but both of them the total check was under $15 so it's really not that bad of a tip.

My final delivery was to a nursing home. It was actually just a partial order, Kristi had taken half of the order earlier in the day and collected a $24 tip. She was supposed to take the rest at 11 PM but I offered to take it for 1/3 of her tip, or $8, and she eventually agreed.

When I got there I asked the nurse that escorted me in what the special occasion was. She said that the family of one of their patients (residents?) had bought pizza for the nurses. That was a very nice gesture, appreciated by both the nurses and also the pizza drivers!

Totals for the night were 5 hours driving, 10 deliveries, 47 miles, and $31 in tips.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Monday Extra Driver

I wasn't on the schedule (again) tonight but I went in around 5:30. I was hoping that the Indians game would bring some extra business. We did have a little rush around 6:30 or so but it didn't last so after my 4th delivery, around 7:30, I got sent home.

I could have stayed and closed but after closing the last 3 nights in a row, and with my new schedule of leaving home at 6:45 AM for my day job, I declined.

I worked 2 hours, took 4 deliveries, drove 19 miles, and made $11 in tips.

The big tip of the night was $5.43 on my very first delivery. We usually start with a $15 bank but because of the amount ($21.57) of the check, I asked for an temporary extra $10. I was glad I did because the customer wanted to pay with a $50 bill.

Another delivery was to a house with some beautifully carved pumpkins. One that looked like Winnie the Pooh and one that was (I think) Ariel from the Little Mermaid. Since it's about 3 weeks until Halloween, I suggested that they soak the pumpkins in water overnight to keep them from drying out.

October 2007 Carnival Of Pizza

Welcome to the October 8, 2007 edition of carnival of pizza. We're a few days late (again) this month. Between soccer and delivering pizza, I totally forgot about the carnival.

We do have some great submissions this month though, so without further ado, here they are!

Recipes


Annette Berlin presents Flat Bread Pizza posted at Frugal Journey. Annette describer her post like this: "Flat Bread Pizza is based on a recipe I saw in an old copy of Martha Stewart Living. The original recipe required a homemade dough, which I replaced with the flat bread." Who can argue with Martha Stewart?

Dani presents Barbecue Chicken Pizza posted at Catch the Spoon. I love barbecue chicken pizza.

Reviews


Jeremy Hobbs presents Freschetta Brick Oven posted at Jeremy's Consumer's Corner. Jeremy has a well written review of this frozen pizza.

Alcohol


I don't usually have a entire section devoted to booze, but since it's October, we'll just blame this one on the Germans and call it Octoberfest. At least the 2nd entry there mentions pizza in the poem.

The Free Geek presents Broke? Alcoholic? How to Drink on a Dime: 10 Surefire Tips posted at Free Geekery.

200motels presents O BEER-O MIO! A Love Poem to Beer posted at 200motels.net.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of pizza using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Why Does It Look So Small?

Every once in a while we run out of something. Sometimes it is 2-liter bottles of Pepsi, sometimes it is mushrooms.

Today it was medium boxes. So whenever I had to deliver a medium pizza it was in a large box. I hate this situation because I feel embarrassed explaining to the customer that the pizza is the right size, it just looks small because the box is too big.

I wasn't even scheduled to work today, but I went in around 6:30 PM after we got home from our soccer game (the boys' team won 6-4). In just 4 1/2 hours on the road I took 12 deliveries, drove 40 miles, and made $31 in tips.

Naked Pizza Customer

I had my first ever naked person come to the door tonight. It was a little boy about 2 years old, who sneaked up while his mom was paying for the pizza. It was really hot today and you can hardly blame him!

I took a phone order today, and after getting the phone number, if they are a new customer I have to get their last name. The girl said "Do I have to give you my last name?" I replied that she could give whatever name she wanted, and she said to put it under "Jamie."

I reminder her that she had called us and I had no intentions of stalking her, and then she explained that her last name was just very long and difficult to spell.

My last delivery of the night was a $5 tip to a group of people sitting around a fire and drinking in their back yard. Two young men were wrestling on the ground, while the rest of the group sat around and chuckled.

I worked 6 hours tonight and took 13 deliveries, drove 45 miles and made $28 in tips. If I hadn't gotten that last $5 tip, it would have been a crummy night but it ended up decent.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Busy Friday

We only had 5 drivers at our peak tonight and we were extremely busy. Not only was it a fall Friday but the Indians had a playoff game, beating the Yankees 2-1 in 11 innings! Mike is probably just finishing up dishes now as I type, and we've been closed for 1 1/2 hours.

I drove for 8 hours, took 20 deliveries, drove 82 miles, and made $45 in tips. Only 3 stiffs, one $5 tip, and alot of $2's.

No exciting stories tonight, but I work again Saturday so maybe something will happen then.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

September 2007 Totals

I only worked 5 shifts in the whole month of September. This was due to soccer coaching, a weekend away, and just time with my family in general. Money-wise, it was a much better month than August but still nothing to write home about.

Shifts: 5
Hours: 24.25
Deliveries: 46
Tips: $120
Miles: 197

Average miles per delivery: 4.3
Average deliveries per hour: 1.9
Average tips per delivery: $2.62
Average tips per hour: $4.98
Average cash per hour: $6.87
(tips plus mileage)
Total earnings per hour: $13.72
(includes wage of $6.85)

Monday, October 1, 2007

I'm Baaaaack!

I wasn't on the schedule tonight, even though I hadn't requested off. I had told Kristie last night that I would come in and close for her. So when I got home from my day job around 5:30 I called to see what was up.

Manager Rosa let me know that driver Chris did not show up for work today and they needed me as soon as I could get in. I feel like, after several weeks of not working much, I'm back in the swing of things.

The night started off well. The weather was rainy and we were busy. I took 4 deliveries in the first 1 1/2 hours and had collected $11 in tips before it got dark. Then business slowed down and tips got even worse.

I ended the 5 1/2 hour night with 8 deliveries, 38 miles, and $13 in tips.

We had a new guy, Todd, who also has a day job as a substitute teacher, and a new waitress, Tiffany.

Then after we closed, while I was getting gas at Speedway, 2 interesting things happened. Waitress Jeanette was there, with her boyfriend. She's been on medical leave and I haven't seen her in about a month. Then while we were saying hi, a guy came up to ask for money.

His story was that he and his mom were from Toledo and ran out of gas. Well, I know that asking for money at the gas station is one of the biggest scams going, and I told him to get lost.

Paris Hilton Dating Pizza Delivery Driver

I never thought I'd be writing about Paris Hilton in my blog, but here it is, as reported by the Cleveland Leader. Paris is dating a 20-year-old from Sweden, an aspiring model currently working in LA as a "pizza boy".

Sunday, September 30, 2007

2 Hours, 2 Deliveries

And I made $3.86 in tips.

I was really desperate for cash at the end of this weekend so I called in to see if any of the other drivers were willing to go home early. Luckily for me, Kristie said she would leave at 9. So I worked from 9 to 11, took 2 runs, drove 11 miles, and made almost $4.

I did get to see driver / Rent-A-Center manager Steve. Steve is on his 3rd stint with us as a part time driver and is a great guy. He's a hard worker and he's alot of fun to work with.

Welcome back Steve.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

For my first 3-4 deliveries tonight there was a light rain falling. At my 2nd house, I knocked, and a man opened the door (not the storm door) and growled back into the house "somebody order pizza?"

I stood there (in the rain) for 2 or 3 minutes before a woman finally came and signed (it was a credit card order) for the pizza. Of course the credit slip was pretty wet. They seemed oblivious to me standing out in it.

Totals for the night were 5 hours, just 7 deliveries, 32 miles, and $18 in tips.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

On The Road Again

My first night driving in 2 weeks started out with a bang, as I got a $10 tip on my first delivery (to a house that always tips generously). It could only go downhill from there, and of course it did, I actually got successively smaller tips on my next 5 deliveries, with my 6th overall delivery netting me just 41 cents.

I did get some decent tips after that but we were not nearly as busy as I would have liked.

I worked 6.5 hours, took 12 deliveries, drove 57 miles, and made $38 in tips.

Friday, September 21, 2007

One Delivery

Well after I got the kids to bed tonight I called in to see if I was needed and they told me I wasn't. Still, I had to deposit a check and gas up the van, and also to deliver a fundraiser to Nick and to write in my October schedule, so I stopped by the old pizza shop.

While I was there I noticed 2 deliveries on the oven, waiting to go out. I checked the dispatch computer and was surprised to find that at 10:30 PM there was just 1 driver. I volunteered to take the farthest out delivery, which was almost on my way home anyhow.

For the 1 delivery of $17.33 I earned $4.67 in tip and another $1.10 for mileage. I never even clocked in, and I paid for the run out of my own pocket before I left so I didn't have to go back either.

Not a bad night.

Checking In

I stopped in last night to drop off some stuff to Desiree, who supported my kids soccer team fundraiser.

While there I checked the schedule and saw that I am on the schedule for tonight (Friday) instead of tomorrow (Saturday). This is the opposite of how I wrote it in the "request off" book.

I told last night's managar Rosalian about it, she's the closing manager tonight so she's the one who will be short a person.

I haven't delivered in almost 2 weeks, I guess I'm lucky to still have a job there at all! But with my family and soccer schedules, this is just a bad time of year. Things will improve in the next few weeks.

Monday, September 17, 2007

How Can My Pizzeria Help Increase My Tips?

I had a comment posted a couple posts back by chrikaren with this very question.

Unfortunately I don't think there is much that can increase the average tip per delivery. Most people always tip, but a few never tip. And most people that do tip, always tip the same amount.

The one thing that I think affects my tips the most is how we answer the phones. I try to answer as many phone calls as I can when I am in the store between deliveries. I sincerely believe that most people have decided how much they will tip by the time they get off the phone, right after hearing their total price.

So if I can be super courteous and helpful on the phone, and sound excited to take their order, I think it helps. Sometimes I can even joke around ... if the customer keeps asking people in the background what they want, I'll laugh and say "You're really stuck in the middle here, huh!" And usually they laugh too.

Another thing is quality. Sometimes customers may tip less (or order from somewhere else) if we mess up their order. If they ask for no green peppers on their deluxe pizza, make sure that's how it is made. If they want their wings well done, be sure to put them through the oven a little extra.

Finally, as a driver, I have some effect on my tips. I'm clean and neat and cheerful at the door. I'm as prompt as I can be, and I will sometimes pick up a newspaper laying on the step. I'll say hi to the kids, smile at the dog, help them hold the door, all of those things help a little.

One thing I can't change is my looks. We had a driver named Amy, an attractive young girl, and she was the one person I worked with that almost always made more tips than me. She's over at Marco's now, and I'm sure she still gets tipped well.

Monday, September 10, 2007

September Carnival Of Pizza

Welcome to the September 7, 2007 edition of carnival of pizza. Yes I realize that today is September 10. I'd rather be late with the carnival than late with your dinner!

This month is another carnival with just a handful of posts. That should make it easier for my devoted readers to check them all out! Thanks to the bloggers who submitted their posts, and please don't be shy.

Neither of these posts are 100% about pizza, but (as usual) the writers were able to justify it enough that I decided to include them.

Fall in the midwest means football. Friday nights may be a little slower between 7-10 as many people are at the high school games, but when people settle down on Saturday and Sunday to watch their favorite college and NFL teams, phones will be ringing at pizzerias everywhere.

Of course, football is just a small part of college life. Studying is always important, and Sagar Satapathy presents 20 Foods that will Increase your Studying Effectiveness posted at Online University Lowdown.

Next, Michael Chu presents 50% Discount on Pizza posted at Make Money Online with Knighty Night's Talk, saying, "If you like pizza you get them 50% off at Pizza Hut, Dominos, Papa Johns, etc. You also get to make some extra money to if you want."

I've browsed Michael's site for a bit and I think he's referring people to sign up for an online coupon service. And since some of the coupons might be for pizza, he thinks I should include him in my carnival. And guess what, I did!

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of pizza using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Carnival Delayed

This month's Carnival Of Pizza will be published on Sunday night. I apologize for the delay.

I drove tonight, I worked 6 hours and took 16 deliveries, drove 64 miles and made $38 in tips.

Manager Ady is now our General Manager. It seems like every time we get a new GM, they like to move things (mostly shelves) around in the store. Ady's main change was giving us a 'break room', a small table in the back corner of the back hallway. Everybody is supposed to keep their drinks back there, and there's a tray of candy (tootsie rolls and sweet tarts).

My only stiff of the night was a delivery to the local hospital. It was very frustrating, as I had to park, walk across the street, through the hospital, to the elevators, and up to the 10th floor. That's alot of work for 57 cents!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

How Not To Treat A Customer

On Sunday, while vacationing with my family near Port Clinton, we decided to get pizza for lunch. I knew there was a franchise of the pizzeria where I work there, so my wife called my home-franchise and got their number.

My wife then called to place an order. This was around 11:30 AM. Our first surprise was that this franchise has different specials than ours, but that was no big deal. I get an employee discount of 50%, up to $10 maximum discount, so we just ordered 3 pizzas and some garlic bread with cheese.

The order was for pick-up as we were driving to my in-laws.

My wife indicated when placing the order that I was an employee and should get the discount. They asked if I had a pay-stub and she said no I do not, but that they could call my home-store and they would definitely vouch for me. I'm not sure what was said next but apparently they didn't want to make the long-distance call because my wife then offered to let them use our cell phone to call.

About 15 minutes later I walked in the door. This is definitely a nicer restaurant, built for more dine-in business. There was a hostess stand.

I walked up and asked if I was in the right place for a pick-up order.

"Yes, but we don't have any orders."

"Well, I just called about 15 minutes ago, maybe it's not ready yet."

"No, we don't have any orders at all."

I opened my phone to show the last number dialed. "Is this your number?"

"Yes"

"This call was for 3 minutes and 51 seconds, just 15 minutes ago."

"But we don't have any orders. Our only order of the day so far was a delivery."

"But I'm showing you the phone record that I called."

"Maybe you called our Oak Harbor store," she suggested.

"But this is your number on my phone. Not Oak Harbor."

"Right but we don't have any orders."

By this time my wife had came into the store also, I told her that they didn't have an order for us.

"I just called," she said.

The management of this restaurant made no effort at all to try to resolve the situation. They had no dine-in customers that I could see, and they admitted they had only had 1 delivery so far.

They didn't offer to take my order, they just tried to convince me that I hadn't called.

I said to my wife, "It's fine, we'll go to McDonalds"

She said "Is there someone we can call?"

"We can call Shelly," I said. Shelly is our district manager. I thought she was the district manager there too, and I know she spent many days there opening that store.

"Shelly's not our district manager, Ken is," the woman called out as we were walking out.

...

Fast forward to today, I called my home store to get Shelly's number. Our new GM Ady answered, and told me she knew what it was about.

Apparently someone from the Port Clinton store had called her. They told her that they didn't make my order. They told her that they did a $7000 day and were too busy to call and see if I was an actual employee.

Why did they do this to try to cover their tracks, when they told me that they didn't have an order for me?

Monday, September 3, 2007

Labor Day

I had a hunch I should have gone home after my first delivery tonight, and I was probably right.

My first customer was a $41.55 credit card order. He met me on the porch and exclaimed that he was glad we were open. He then expressed his gratitude with a $5.00 tip.

After that, from 6-10 PM, I took 7 deliveries and made $13 in tips.

Total for the night was 8 deliveries, 29 miles, $18 in tips, and 4.5 hours.

Friday, August 31, 2007

August 2007 Totals

August was a horrible month. This is for 9 shifts, which included 2 Fridays, 2 Saturdays, 3 Mondays, and 2 Wednesdays. Tips per hour were down more than $2 from July.

Shifts: 9
Hours: 51.5
Deliveries: 105
Tips: $217
Miles: 421

Average miles per delivery: 4.0
Average deliveries per hour: 2.0
Average tips per delivery: $2.07
Average tips per hour: $4.21
Average cash per hour: $6.28
(tips plus mileage)
Total earnings per hour: $13.10
(includes wage of $6.85)

Former Pizzeria Flattened Like A Pizza


First off, I want to admit that I copied both the headline and also the picture from this Elyria Chronicle-Telegram article.

The wierd thing is I have taken deliveries to this building. While the Piccolo Uno pizza shop was still open!

The delivery usually went to a bunch of skater-type kids in the back of the building. Once one of their friends remarked, "Dude, why are you ordering pizza? You live in a pizza shop."

You can read the story for all the details, but the shop has been closed for over a year and the whole block is being demolished to make room for a new high school building.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tooth Fairy

At one of my deliveries tonight, I got a $20 bill with a note written on it in red. "Sorry I missed you, Love, The Tooth Fairy." I used to get a quarter. I think I grew up in the wrong house!

We had a weird thing happen tonight, a customer came in for a pick-up and their food wasn't on the warming rack. A little investigation showed that Desiree was at their home delivering it. A little further investigation showed that the customer had no order history. That means this was the first time they called.

If they wanted pick-up, why did they give us their address???

Totals for the night were 4.5 hours driving, 7 deliveries, 22 miles, and $13 in tips.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Short Night

I had a short night today, we weren't very busy at all. In fact, manager Alison met me at the door and told me to go home. Both drivers were out and I asked if I could take the delivery that was up and see if one of them wanted to go home.

Luckily for me one of them did. In my first hour I took 3 deliveries and made $11. In the next 2.5 hours I took just 3 more deliveries, made $6 more, and finished up the dough prep and most of the dishes.


Total 3.5 hours, 6 deliveries, $17 in tips, 25 miles driven.

The coolest part of the night, besides a $5 tip, was hearing the Indians turn a triple-play on the radio!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Too Much Pizza?

This really doesn't have anything to do with pizza but it was brought to my attention today, as reported by St. Louis Today.

Last month, a tram-cable broke inside the Gateway Arch. There is a story here, under the headline "Investigation Zeroes In On Why Arch Tram Cable Broke."

The article is accompanied by this photo:

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Driver? Nick!

We're overstaffed on managers and short on drivers, so my good friend and long-time coworker Nick has started taking some driving shifts. Tonight was the first time we've worked together as drivers for an entire shift.

My night was pretty unremarkable, except for a $6.93 tip on a $23.07 order less than 1 mile from the shop. I had 5 credit card deliveries tonight (out of 13) and they all tipped at least $2 each.

Also, on my last delivery (a credit card), the woman insisted that I keep her pen, as "she has plenty because she gets them from work. Cheap advertising." Well, ma'am, I bet you didn't know your advertising would reach the world wide web.

The pen is from Woodforest National Bank. I wasn't sure where there was one so I looked it up and it's in the new WalMart right behind my house!

Nick had a few stories tonight. One was a woman who paid with a bunch of change and tried to short him $1.40. Nick pounded on the door until she came back with the rest of the money.

Also, he got screwed by an ex-girlfriend, one last time, and not in a good way. He took a delivery and when she recognized him, she took back the tip that she had ready. How rude!

My nightly totals were 5.5 hours, 13 deliveries, 46 miles, and $26 in tips. Not bad for a Wednesday.

Crash!

No, luckily, it wasn't me. I wasn't even there. But this crash happened around 11:30 last night at the Speedway gas station where I fill up each night after my shift.

I'm glad I wasn't there at the time.

I wonder what that woman was thinking???

Monday, August 20, 2007

"Yahbah"

I worked 5 1/2 hours tonight, took 9 deliveries, and made $19 in tips. We were super slow up until the time when Josue went home. I actually took 4 deliveries in the last hour. Big thanks to manager Nick for doing pretty much all of the dishes while I was out on the road.

The story of the night was one of my final-hour deliveries. The house was very much lit up (inside and on the porch) so I was a little surprised that no one answered my knock. I waited several seconds and then rang the bell. (I try not to ring the bell late at night as I never know who might have young kids sleeping in the house.)

Eventually a juvenile who looked to be of Indian descent came and opened the door. He then ran up the stairs, calling out to someone. Then back down and to a back room of the house, saying something that sounded like "Yahbah." What followed was a several minute conversation between the boy and an adult male, with the boy repeating "Yahbah" interspersed with "C'mon, don't be like that" and "I don't know where he is."

Meanwhile the adult was saying "I didn't order it", "Cancel it", and "I'll throw it in the garbage."

Eventually the youth came to the door with the money. He took all of the cash change, leaving me with just 42 cents, hardly a tip.

It's very frustrating to have people waste my time like that!

I told Nick when I returned that I thought "Yahbah" probably meant "The pizza man is on the porch, now, give me the money."

But when I looked it up in WordAnywhere, a Hindi-English translator, the closest word it could find was yaab which means a pony or a small horse!

Other than that house and also my last delivery which put a 69-cent tip on a $11.31 credit card order, the other 7 deliveries all tipped at least $2 each.