Thursday, February 28, 2008

February 2008 Monthly Totals

Shifts: 11
Hours: 60.5
Deliveries: 131
Tips: $292
Miles: 505

Average miles per delivery: 3.9
Average deliveries per hour: 2.2
Average tips per delivery: $2.23
Average tips per hour: $4.83
Average cash per hour: $7.21 (tips plus mileage)
Total earnings per hour: $14.21 (includes wage of $7.00)

No Hot-Bag Required

I had a first tonight in almost 4 years of delivering "pizza."

A customer ordered an italian salad, 3 2-liters of pop, and a 20 ounce pop. No pizza, no wings, no sandwiches, no breadsticks, nothing hot at all. I commented to the customer on the uniqueness of the situation and he said "I just didn't feel like going out."

Well since we had about a foot of snow and temperatures in the teens, I guess I can't blame him!

I drove 5 hours tonight, took 12 deliveries, drove 44 miles, and made $32 in tips. For the first 2-3 hours, it was one of those nights when everything aligned just right. Every time I got back to the store there was a double (or triple) waiting for me, everybody was tipping at least $2 if not more, and all the traffic lights were green!

Then from 9 pm on things slowed down significantly, but I had already made a good amount of cash so I didn't complain.

My final delivery was for $19.59. There were 3 young males and a female, all in their early 20's. One of the males gave me a $20 saying, "Keep the change."

"Thanks for the 41 cents and you have a great night," I said with cheer as I turned and walked away.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Music & Bands

I forgot to post this last night but driver Ted's metal band, Lick The Blade, played a concert last week that will be broadcast on Yebotv this Saturday, March 1st, all day starting at 7 AM. Check it out.

While I'm on the subject of music, let me give a shout out to Mush, another local band that has several current / former members that I worked with at the pizzeria. They have undergone some change but they are still alive and rocking. They even used to have a CD in our jukebox!

Finally, Nick has been asking me to go with him to Rock On The Range, a big concert in Columbus. It's a 2-day concert, May 17 & 18, with an incredible line-up that includes Kid Rock, 3 Doors Down, Papa Roach, Seether, STP, Disturbed, Staind, Killswitch Engage, Finger Eleven, Filter, and more. If it were in the summer I would consider going but since it is during soccer season, I really can't make it.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Quiet Monday

Tonight was a quiet night. I worked 4 1/2 hours, took 8 deliveries, drove 23 miles, and made $20 in tips.

Lately every employee has been assigned a cleaning job. Tonight my job was to sweep and mop the back walk-in cooler.

Nick was also planning to stay late and sand down the hood above the oven.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mandatory Meeting

We had a mandatory meeting this morning from 9-10. Ady reviewed several existing and new rules, including no cell phones in the store, and encouraged everyone to pitch in and help each other, and also to clean up after themselves.

Tonight's deliveries were pretty uneventful. I drove 6 hours, took 15 deliveries, drove 52 miles, and made $36 in tips.

My first 9 runs I made just $16. Then in the next 4 I had 3 nice tips ($6, $5, $4) that turned it from a crummy night to a pretty decent night. Still I had 2 stiffs and 4 more tips between $1 and $1.67.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thanks Nick!

First of all, thanks to fellow driver Nick for giving me a ride tonight. After my shift, I drove my Chevy Prizm over to an auto repair shop to get the clutch worked on. Nick followed me over there and gave me a ride back to my house. So for the next couple days, my wife and I are down 1 vehicle.

I drove 5 hours, took 10 deliveries, drove ? miles, and made $20 in tips. It was a pretty uneventful night.

The only semi-interesting delivery was where the dad wanted to tip, the mom had no money, and the elementary aged kid said he had money. The dad sent him for $3, saying, "I'll pay you back." I wasn't sure who to thank, other than not the mom (who could have written a tip on the credit card slip).

Finally, let me add this story from England I came across today. It's a great example how not to increase your tip. Evidently there was some dispute between the waiter and the customer, and the waiter added a vulgar note to the customer's bill.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Economic Stimulus - Tax Rebate

As long as I'm on the subject of taxes, here is a tax rebate calculator based on the legislation passed by Congress and proposed by President Bush.

At $600 per adult and $300 per kid, I'll be getting a cool $2700. (My ex-wife claims 2 of the kids). According to CNN, checks should be in the mail in early May!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Claiming Pizza Delivery Mileage On Your 2007 Taxes

This is a new and improved version of last year's tax post. The images below are photocopies (with my personal info removed) of my actual 2007 tax forms as printed by TurboTax.

First, the disclaimer. I am not an accountant nor am I a professional tax adviser. I have, however, made understanding taxes a hobby of mine for years and I feel that I know them pretty well.

Many pizza drivers wonder if they can claim their mileage on their taxes. This post is directed towards them.

The answer to the question is, yes, you can. It goes on Form 2106, Employee Business Expenses, which then becomes an itemized deduction on your 1040 Schedule A Itemized Deductions.

If you want to read what the IRS says, start by reviewing Topic 510, Business Use Of A Car.

What you need to know:

  1. There are 2 methods: Actual expenses or mileage. Unless you are driving a newer car that you are still making high payments on, it is usually better (and almost always simpler) to use the mileage method.
  2. If you claim expenses, you must also claim your reimbursements.
  3. To claim your expenses, you must itemize your deductions on Schedule A. Unless you have a mortgage and pay a bunch of interest, or make large charitable donations, you are better off claiming the standard deduction.
  4. Even if you itemize, your unreimbursed expenses must be at least 2% of your total income.

I personally did claim my mileage this year. I always claim 100% of my tips also, so fear of being audited is not an issue for me.

You fill all this information out on IRS Form 2106.

For example, here is my info for 2007:

Start on form 2106, page 2

Line 11: Date vehicle placed in service: 1/1/2007
Line 12: Total miles: 18,514
Line 13: Business miles: 7629
Line 14: Pct business use: 41.19%
Lines 15-16: I put 40 miles (for my other job) and a total of 9280
Line 17: 1608 (18,514 - 7629 - 9280)
Line 18-21: Yes
Line 22: $3699

Since I use the mileage method, not the actual expenses method, I can leave lines 23-38 blank.

Now move to Form 2106, page 1
Line 1: Vehicle expense from 22: $3699
Line 2: Parking fees, etc: 0
Line 3: Travel expenses: 0
Line 4: Business expenses: 0 (if you are claiming a cell phone, flashlights, maps, etc this is the spot).
Line 5: Meals and entertainment: 0
Line 6: Total Expenses: $3699

Line 7: Reimbursements: $1792 (this is your nightly per-run money)
Line 8: 3699 - 1792 = $1907
Line 9: $1907
Line 10: $1907

Now this total $1907 goes to line 20 on Schedule A, Job Expenses.

So since I itemize anyways, this extra deduction of $1907 for me saved me a few hundred dollars in taxes. I keep a delivery log anyways and I just write down my starting & ending mileage each night.

Again, since I use the mileage method, I do not have to track my car repairs, gasoline costs, etc.

Note once again that I am NOT an accountant, but I am confident that this information is accurate. However, I am not giving any advice here, just letting you know what I did. Study this and compare it to your own situation, and review the IRS publications, and decide for yourself.

Slow Monday

Tonight was another slow night. If it wasn't for a triple that I took around 7 PM (that pulled in a grand total of $2.25) and 2 doubles in the last hour after Ted went home, it would have been totally miserable.

As it was, I drove 40 miles in 5 hours, took 11 deliveries, and made $18 in tips. I was stiffed 4 times and 3 other times I got $1 and the coins. My best tip of all was $3.19 on a $36.81 order.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Not So Happy Valentine's Day

I worked tonight. I always like to work on Valentine's Night as we are usually pretty busy and tips are usually pretty good. Well, tonight was an exception.

The night started off ok, I walked in the door and there were 2 deliveries boxed up and waiting for me on top of the oven. I made a quick $2.92 on the first and then a disappointing $1.00 on the 2nd. Shortly after I got back, I had another delivery and made another $2.92. So I was close to $7 in just over 1/2 hour.

For the next 5 hours I took only 6 deliveries and made just $12 in tips, with most of that ($8.50) coming from just 2 orders.

Then at 5 minutes before 11, the phone rang. Twice. I made another $6 on my last 2 deliveries.

The 2nd one I earned it for sure. Standing on the porch in the cold, I knocked. Several large loud dogs heard me but apparently no people did. I phoned the customer to let her know that was me that her dogs were barking at. She said she was upstairs and hadn't heard me but would be right down.

For the next about 5 minutes, I heard her in the house yelling a girls name.

Finally the girl came down and paid for the pizza, with a decent $3.43 tip.

All in all, I drove for 6 hours, took 11 runs, made $25, and drove 44 miles. Decent for a weeknight but disappointing for Valentine's. It was definitely a far cry from last year's $57.

Oh and I have to give a shout out to pizza driver Zach and his new blog, Entry Level Life. Same topic, different stories, sure to be interesting!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

What Can You Do?

Tonight was just one of those nights. Not only were we slow, but every time I was up, it was another delivery to the wrong side of town. Meaning to a neighborhood that customarily doesn't tip.

I took 8 deliveries, got stiffed twice, and made a buck and the change 3 times. I did get a $5 tip on my very last run of the night which salvaged my night from pitiful to just disappointing.

I worked 5 1/2 hours, took 8 runs, drove 39 miles, and made $15 in tips.

I did get a new hat, I need to write my name in it now. And Ady brought in an ice cream cake for Valentine's Day. And Mike brought in his Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Worst Pizza?

In the fitness center where I work out, there recently was a display on the bulletin board about the 20 worst foods in America. I told my wife about it, I didn't remember them all but I did remember that the Aussie Cheese Fries from Outback were the #1 worst.

Obviously this list is health-wise not taste-wise because those fries are delicious!

Anyways, my wife then found the list online. It was done by Mens Health magazine. She suggested I post about it, as it lists Pizzeria Uno Deep Dish Pizza as the worst pizza (and #5 worst food overall).

Monday, February 11, 2008

Pro Bowl Sunday?

I made way better money this week than last week. But it had nothing to do with football.

I drove 6 hours, took 18 runs, drove 76 miles, and made $49 in tips.

The weather was bitterly cold, around 5 degrees with a wind chill of -13 F. Believe it or not I still got stiffed twice, including my last delivery to a hotel.

But I had 3 very nice tips. The most remarkable was $8.91 on a $16.09 order. The guy is a pretty regular customer but is usually an average ($2) tipper. Tonight he gave an extra generous tip due to the weather. I also got $6 on a late run and $5 to an older lady who always tips $4-5.

I was wearing a stocking cap so I left my company hat in the store and another employee walked out with it! Manager Nick found out who and called him up and I'll be getting my hat back on Wednesday. I may just ask for a new one.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

January 2008 Monthly Totals

Shifts: 12
Hours: 58.5
Deliveries: 144
Tips: $316
Miles: 520

Average miles per delivery: 3.6
Average deliveries per hour: 2.5
Average tips per delivery: $2.19
Average tips per hour: $5.40
Average cash per hour: $8.11 (tips plus mileage)
Total earnings per hour: $15.11 (includes wage of $7.00)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday isn't really that busy of a day for us. It's not even as busy as an average Friday night. I drove 6.5 hours, took 13 deliveries, made $32 in tips, and drove ? miles.

Tips were decent, with only 1 stiff, and 2 others of $1 and the change. I did deliver to 2 of my most regular customers, both single old ladies. One lives in a trailer park, loves to talk sports, usually orders a meat lover and a 20 ounce pepsi, pays by credit card, and tips $4 or $5 every time.

The other lives in an apartment, orders pasta, wings, or a personal pizza, prefers Sierra Mist, and pays cash (exact change) and then adds $2 more saying "And here's your tip."

We were so overstaffed that dishes stayed caught up all night long and we did more prep (oiling pans) than necessary. We would have been out about 15 minutes after closing time, but we had some extra pre-made pizzas to toss at the end of the night, and some extra dishes to wash due to this.

I did get into a heated discussion with manager Nick about how he runs the dispatch computer, which (along with not making much money) spoiled my mood for most of the night. Then to top off the night, after we closed, I drove over a curb and blew a tire.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


I was tired tonight so I switched with Al and went home around 9:30. I drove for 4 1/2 hours, took 12 deliveries, drove 35 miles, and made $22 in tips. It was a pretty mediocre night as my lowest "tip" was 79 cents and my largest was $3.

Tomorrow is the Super Bowl so we will surely be busy. I'm hoping to run in the morning and decided I was too tired to close all 3 nights this weekend.


Five of my first seven deliveries were for $13.58, including 4 in a row. $13.58 means a pizza for $11.99 plus the $1.59 delivery charge. One of them tipped $2.42, 2 tipped $1.42, and 2 left me with just the $0.42 jingle change.

The number reminded me of the Sugar Ray album 14:59, so named because their 15 minutes of fame was almost up.

My best tip of the night was $4.92 from a guy who had been waiting well over an hour for his pizza. Unfortunately there was a mix-up as he had called a different store in our chain.

Surprise tip of the night was $1.80 on a $18.20 order to the low-income government housing apartment.

Interesting tip of the night was to a different young adult brother at the home of a regular customer. The check was $19.58 and the first guy came to me with $10, saying "Here's 10." The next guy said "You're gonna hate us" and handed me a huge handful of coins. I said "You guys are regulars so I'm not even gonna count it."

I went back to the store and turned it in and there was $13.30 in quarters, nickels, and dimes, leaving me with a tip of $3.72. Not bad at all.

I drove for 6 1/2 hours, took just 13 deliveries, drove 60 miles, and made $23 in tips. Not very good at all for a Friday, although we were busy.