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


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! 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 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:

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.


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


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.


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."


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.