Tuesday, December 29, 2009

More News (Waitress Stories & Redbox Codes)

This article from the Cleveland paper describes how some restaurants try to force the waitress to pay the bill when the customer dines and dashes. This is certainly not fair, and from the story, it seems to be dangerous also.

And since I know I have many readers who work hard for their money, here's a way to save a little. This article contains a link to a site that shares Redbox coupon codes.

People Are Lazy

It snowed several inches Sunday night and throughout the day on Monday. So of course today we were super-busy on deliveries. A little snow, a little cold weather, and people suddenly want their food brought to their doorstep!

In my 6 nights working since I started back, I took a total of 26 deliveries, or an average of 4.3 per night. My most in a night was 7. Tonight I took 15 deliveries.

I was driving from 5:40 to 10:40, then I stayed around another 1.5 hours to do dishes. There were 2 other closing drivers and they were both on the road until almost 12.

None of the deliveries were really remarkable. I did start the night with a 4-bagger where the 4th delivery was to a drive-through (beverage store). I also delivered to a Convenient Food Mart right behind our shop.

The majority of my deliveries were not in neighborhoods where you would expect big tips, so I ended up so-so on the per-run average but with 15 deliveries I did make decent money. I delivered to 3 apartments (Abbe, Chestnut Ridge & Oberlin-Elyria), West, Middle (x2), Wood, Gateway, Grafton Rd (x2), Arrowhead, Illinois, and Caroline.

I drove 62 miles and made $31 in tips. Bummer was that Monday was my wedding anniversary and I was hoping to get home earlier, but with 7 kids, Christmas puts a serious dent in our budget and the $ will certainly help!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Secrets From The Waiter / Waitress

I found this article on Yahoo!, it's pretty interesting. Check it out! The title is 20 Secrets Your Waiter Will Never Tell You. And the very first one is from a pizza waitress!

College Football

Which business is in better shape, the car industry or the pizza industry?

Apparently it's the pizza shops. At least they are still spending money on advertising! According to this article, GM & Chrysler dropped sponsorship of the former "Motor City Bowl" and it is now called the Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


This one is way too close to home. I'm surprised nobody mentioned it on Monday when I worked. Be careful out there my friends.

Santa Hat

I did remember to wear my Santa hat today, and also a green long-sleeve t-shirt under my black uniform shirt. I almost never wear a coat when driving, I'm in and out of the car so fast ... my car stays warm from running (and also from the pizza) and putting a bulky coat on and off is just not worth it.

Anyhow, I drove 4.5 hours tonight (stayed until almost 10:30) and took just 6 deliveries (including a double right before 10). I drove 22 miles and made $14 in tips. Of the 6 deliveries, 3 were cash (for $7 in tips) and 3 were credit (also $7 in tips).

Best tip was on a $30.42 cash delivery, the customer counted out $35 and said, "Merry Christmas!"

Jeannie had delivered a gift from the managers, a Christmas mug and some chocolate. Today I also got a card, a pen, and several homemade cookies and treats from waitress Catherine!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Only One Delivering Night Left Before Christmas

... and I forgot to wear my Santa hat! I better remember it next week!

Tonight was a pretty boring night. I got stiffed by the same guy as last week, who was talkative about driving around and smelling pizza. Tonight he didn't have much to say.

On the night I worked 4 hours, took 7 deliveries, drove 21 miles, and made $13 in tips.

Unique was the fact that everybody paid cash, nobody paid by credit card!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Weather & Traffic

I'm glad I didn't have to work tonight, it's freezing cold out! I did take the kids to (indoor) soccer practice. I gassed up the car on my way home and then took my wife's van out and filled her tank also.

Meanwhile, my city is changing some lanes and traffic lights, it's in the news! I can't imagine it will affect me much.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Eight Million Stories

Ok I exaggerate. How about 6? I only worked 3 1/2 hours and it was a Monday!

Delivery #1 - $28.77 on credit card - the customer (a young couple) was very proud to have ordered pizza over the internet for their first time ever! Tip = $3

Delivery #2a - $13.99 cash order to an apartment less than a mile from the store. Older man with a cane answers the door (slowly). Tipped $4.01 which was very generous for a small order so close to the store. It was my best tip of the night.

Delivery #2b - This was a double, delivered to a house I had been to 2 weeks ago. Remarked to the customer that this was getting to be a regular thing. Order was $16.99 and the customer added $2.01, paying by credit card.

Delivery #3 - $13.42 pasta order. Customer paid by credit card, tipped $3 cash, and was wearing a Hungry Howies shirt. He obviously works for a competitor of our shop! But they don't make pasta.

Delivery #4 - $16.99 cash order, and a stiff. Young guy was friendly, remarked how good it smelled and "I don't know how you guys drive around with pizza in your cars, I'd be munching on it if it was me." My first stiff after 11 consecutive tips in my first 4 nights back driving.

Delivery #5 - $23.91 on a credit card order, customer tipped $3.09. The unique thing was the credit card was a ULoad card in the name of Valued Customer. I never saw one of those before!

Nightly totals are 3.5 hours worked, 20 miles driven, 6 deliveries, and $15 in tips. The first hour was the best with 3 deliveries and $9.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Short People, Big Tips

or ... Midgets Like Pizza Too!

I worked 3+ hours tonight but only took 2 deliveries. One was to the same house I got a $5 tip at last Monday ... this week it was only 1 pizza so it was just a $3 tip.

The second delivery was my first ever to a legitimate midget! The tip wasn't that big, it was pretty average at $2.50, but I didn't think that would make much of a headline.

I feel like I'm working pretty much minimum wage as a dishwasher ... if things don't improve in the next several weeks, my pizza delivery career may come to an end.

Total miles driven = 18 miles.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Naked Pizza (Worlds Healthiest)

Here is an article from Michael Masterson's Early To Rise newsletter on pizza as a business opportunity:

In 2006, Jeff Leach and Randy Crochet decided to open a business selling healthy pizzas.

Jeff, an archeologist, was an amateur expert in natural health. He knew how bad processed foods are and convinced Randy, a mortgage broker, that they could make a nice living selling a healthy pizza pie.

They spent 18 months and $750,000 researching and testing their product. Then, last year, they opened their first store in New Orleans. Their pizza had a crust made of 12 whole grains, low-fat mozzarella, and a tomato sauce with no additives.

Why they needed to spend $750,000 to come up with that recipe, I can't say. Had they been reading Dr. Al Sears or Total Health Breakthroughs, they could have saved themselves a lot of money.

They called it the World's Healthiest Pizza. And printed on the pizza box cover was a mini "dissertation" (written by Jeff) about how food is processed in the lower intestines. A local marketing guy, Robbie Vitrano, saw their product and convinced them to change the name to Naked Pizza, rewrite their box copy, and advertise on the Net.

Their pizza was tasty -- really tasty, according to some local Internet ratings. And the new marketing pitch seemed to click. Their sales were growing and their reputation was spreading.

Then they took another step. They applied for funding from the Mark Cuban Stimulus Plan, and got the financial help they needed to franchise Naked Pizza nationwide.

Leach hopes to see 1,000 locations or more across the country. It could happen.

These guys wasted a lot of money "researching" their recipe. Still, even with the low-fat mozzarella, it isn't all that healthy.

But what they did really well was find a new way to sell an extremely popular product. And they did so without raising the price or sacrificing quality. In fact, they improved it.

Everybody eats pizza. If you can give people what they want anyway -- cheaply and with a significant advantage (in this case, less guilt) -- you have a product that can catch on.

If you wish you had thought of the healthy pizza idea yourself, don't sweat it.

If you think about it, you can probably come up with your own "spin-off" idea that should work just as well as pizza.

Just keep these points in mind:

  • Retail is a very difficult business.
  • But fast-food restaurants often beat the odds.
  • Healthful foods are becoming more popular.
  • Cheap is always better than expensive, especially today.
  • A single-item restaurant is the easiest to manage.

This article appears courtesy of Early To Rise, a free newsletter dedicated to making money, improving health and secrets to success. For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.earlytorise.com.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Turkey Night - Sent Home Early

As I've said many times, the night before Thanksgiving is a busy night - moms busy cooking for Thursday that don't want to cook dinner, plus college kids home and getting together.

And we were busy, but we had 7 drivers in the shop. I was scheduled to work from 6 to 10 but got sent home at 7:30. Apparently I've lost all my seniority.

I took 3 deliveries (2 runs), all 3 were credit card payments. Made $3, $7, and $2 for a total of $12 in tips and drove 14 miles. No complaints!

Happy Thanksgiving all!

Monday, November 23, 2009

First (slow) Night Back

Tonight I mostly did dishes, frustrating as our hot water heater is out an we have a "temporary replacement" smaller one. Every few loads I had to wait and let the water get hot again.

We had 3 drivers working so I only took 2 deliveries. One far away to a house, a credit card delivery that tipped $5, and one to an apartment almost right across the street, a cash delivery that tipped $1.

No dangerous deliveries so I'm happy.

Totals 2 hours, 2 deliveries, 11 miles, an $6 in tips.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Another Robbery

This is the 2nd publicized robbery in my town in less than a week. Not surprising, since the newspaper published a large amount that was stolen the 1st time.

This time there was a gang, they used a gun and took the guy's car (or at least his keys).

I have to admit I'm having 2nd thoughts about going back to work even 1 night / week.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Chinese Food Driver Robbed

I'm on the schedule to work again 1 week from tonight. Unfortunately, this morning I read in the newspaper that a Chinese food deliveryman was robbed in our city.

Doubly unfortunate is that the newspaper chose to publish the amount stolen, and it was ridiculously high. I would not carry even 10% of that amount into that neighborhood if we did deliver there, which we do not!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Reality Websites?

I called our GM today to get back on the schedule now that our soccer season is done. I'm hoping to get back to driving one night a week.

In the meantime, which reality website do you like better?




Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Vending Machine Snacks

I haven't delivered pizzas in almost 2 months due to soccer season and family changes. I expect to start working 1-2 days / week in the next few weeks. In the meantime, here is an article I found about vending machine snacks. Is there such a thing as the best vending machine snack?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Book Review: Pizza - A Global History

I recently read the book, Pizza - A Global History, by Carol Helstosky. This is a great book for anyone in the pizza business, or even a big pizza fan.

It describes the origins of pizza in Naples, Italy, including why it was popular, what it was made with, and who likely ate it. It then explains the growth of pizza in the US and worldwide, including chains like Pizza Hut and Dominos.

It also spends some time discussing pizza references in pop culture, including a scene that I left out of my top 10 pizza movies list, in Saturday Night Fever when John Travolta eats a slice.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Pizza Manager Robbed

There was a pizza-related robbery in my area last night. Seems like a set-up. After closing, the pizzeria manager found his car tires flat and was attacked while trying to change his tire. They stole the day's deposit.

You can read more about it here.

In unrelated news, I stopped by our shop last night. Tomorrow was my one night to work in the next month and I'm not on the schedule. Not that I mind.

93 Chevy Lumina Mileage

Earlier this summer we bought a 1993 Chevy Lumina as a 3rd car, mainly for our daughter to drive to school. Well my Prizm was in the shop this week so I drove the Lumina. This was my first chance to check the mileage.

Most of my driving was to and from work, and to and from soccer games. I drove 345 miles and filled the tank tonight with 13.41 gallons. My calculations show that I'm getting 25.7 miles per gallon. Not bad!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Last Monday (For A While)

I won't be delivering pizza much in the next couple months as it is soccer season, and I can make as much refereeing in 2-3 hours as I make in a 5-6 hour shift delivering. My first game to referee is next Monday so tonight was my last night. I do have a couple Saturdays between now and October but that is really about it.

And I'm glad, tonight was slow, slow, slow!

I drove 5 hours and took just 4 deliveries. One $5 tip, one stiff, and two $3 tips for a total of $11 and I put 19 miles on the Chevy Prizm. And that was with Nate, the other closing driver, leaving about 1.5 hours early.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sorry, Wrong Number!

I worked for an hour and 15 minutes tonight. I did several loads of dishes, I answerred the phone 3 times, and I took 1 delivery. Of the 3 phone calls I took, 1 was for the delivery I took, and the other 2 were both wrong numbers!

The other driver had things under control and Manager Mike was doing inventory but available to assist as a driver if necessary, so I got sent home early.

Total miles = 7
Total tips = $3.02

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Restaurant News

Here is a Cleveland Plain Dealer article about how the economic troubles are affecting restaurant business.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

What Do You Say?

Driver Thomas again provided me with tonight's story, even though this happened to him a few weeks ago.

He was making a delivery and a young boy around age 9 or so came to the door with the money. During the transaction the boy's dad came up behind him and reminded him of his manners, "What do you say when someone brings you something?"

Much to Thomas' surprise, the child responded, saying, "What took you so long, asshole?"

My night was so-so. Started slow, kind of busy between 8-10, then slow again at the end, which allowed us to finish up and get out on time. In 7 hours driving I took 14 deliveries, drove 47 miles, and made $24 in tips.

It was not a stellar night for tips, witih 5 stiffs, 3 tips of $1 and change, and 4 tips of $2 and change. Only 2 customers saw fit to give me $3 or more.

One of the stiffs was "paid in the store", in other words the parents came to the store, ordered and paid for food to be delivered to their kids.

Another stiff I had to revisit, as there was a mix-up and the wrong pasta was sent. I had 2 other deliveries with me the 2nd time and made sure to take care of them first. They got their remade food the last, which was the level of service that they paid for (zero!).

I had 2 trips to the Super 8 tonight, the customer on the 2nd run saw me when I made my first delivery.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Used Cars

Hey if you are in the market for a used car and are on the west side of Cleveland, check out these great deals. We have bought 2 cars from this business and they are now giving special pricing for craigslist customers.

Rude Or Not? You Decideext

I drove 5 hours tonight, travelled 41 miles, delivered 11 orders, and made $26 in tips.

My first order was to a woman actually named Queen. It was on her credit card and everything. It was only a $2 tip on a $50 order, but it was literally less than a block from the store so I guess it's ok.

Next was a surprise $5 tip. It was in a neighborhood where you don't expect much, but the woman said her son works for Marco's so she understands the importance of tips.

Not too much interesting until my final order, it was a circuitious triple (meaning I drove a long way) and anyhow at the final house, the customers asked my manager's name and said she was rude. I just said, well she's leaving soon anyhow (Good luck Amy at KFC!) so don't worry too much. When I got back to the shop I asked what happened on the phone. Here is the story.

We had 3 delivery orders in the system and I took them all. (It was about 45 minutes before close). No more orders were called in. Then one of the customers called and asked if their delivery was on it's way. Amy said yes it was.

The customer said, how do you know, you didn't even ask my name.

Amy replied that since all of the deliveries were on their way, she knew theirs was without asking.

Now I can see why the customer may feel slighted at first and want to be listened to, but Amy actually was telling the truth so I sure can't blame her for giving incorrect info.

Post in the comments whether you think this was rude, or not.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Late Start

One of the hazards of delivering pizza as a 2nd job is that your schedule sometimes depends on your day job, and occasionally you miss the best hours. This happened to me today, shortly before I was ready to leave my IT job, my boss gave me a task to do. It was simple enough but it took a chunk of time.

I called the pizza shop, found the first guy to leave, and asked him to stay for me until 8. I would have been getting in around 6.

Well even with my short 3 hour shift, I took 6 runs and made $14 in tips. I can't recall my mileage at the moment but let's say 20 miles.

First run was supposed to be Jimmy's but a while back Jimmy "threw the guy through a window, and it would have been awkward." The guy tipped me just $1, I see why Jimmy gave him a beating.

Last run was a credit card but the customer didn't have the card, his sister had bought him the food. He said I could call her and confirm. How silly! If it's a scam or a stolen card, how hard would it be to get someone to answer a phone and say "Yes he has permission to sign for my card" ?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

"Taste The Crap"

My shift tonight was very uneventful. I worked 6 hours, took 12 runs, drove 48 miles, and made $28 in tips. I took 6 singles and 3 doubles, my tips ranged from $1 to $4.

If I worked alone, that would be the end of the story.

But it's not, Thomas had a story to tell tonight. He had a rerun where he had to take a pasta dish out to a customer. The manager had told the customer that they had to return their original pasta, whatever the problem was I'm not sure.

But Thomas said, to the man of the house, no, he didn't need the old pasta. But the man's wife insisted he take it, saying "Give it back to him, I want him to eat it, I want him to taste the crap!"

Talisa also provided some humor tonight. She became frustrated at a group of foreign customers that she couldn't understand and was having trouble taking their order. I'm sure it's not as funny for me to just type it, but trust me that Manager Mike and I both were enjoying her reactions to this situation.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I'll Take The Credit

I had a little credit-card streak tonight, 4 ordere in a row and 5 out of 6. And they all tipped on the card, which was pretty cool.

The not cool thing tonight was all the trouble I had with addresses & phone numbers.

1) I went to 822 East Whatever Street, only to find no house. I called the customer and found out that they live at 822 West Whatever Street.

This customer then came to her window, not her door. That was kind of strange.

2) Another customer didn't answer their door nor their phone when I tried to call, multiple times. I finally gave up and came back to the store. She eventually called back, saying she thought her boyfriend was outside and would get the pizza. Surprisingly she tipped me $2.

3) My last order of the night, fellow driver Jimmy said their apartment had no buzzer so I would have to call. Well their number was 452-xxxx but it was typed 492-xxxx on the receipt. So calling did me no good.

Then I had to wait while they looked for the "lost" money that the guy swore he "just had.

Meanwhile they had their Wii Bowling game paused. I commented that the guy's arm must be getting sore and they had better find the money soon. One guy on the couch laughed.

Eventually they did find the money, and even enough extra to leave me a $1.50 tip. Thanks guys!

Totals for the night were 5 hours, 12 deliveries, $27 in tips, and 35 miles driven. That's a very low mileage for that many runs. My 2nd delivery was very far away but after that they were almost all close to the store!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I'm Not Rob

... even though my last customer thought I was. We do drive the same color car and are both tall and thin, but I'm 20 years his senior.

Tonight was a wierd night as I had 7 deliveries from 9:30 PM to 11. This of course caused us all to stay until past 12 doing dishes and cleaning.

No stiffs and no big tips, everything between $1 and $3.

Total 5 hours driving, 11 runs, $24 tips, 35 miles.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Night Before Night Before July 4

Worked tonight, expecting the Thursday to be more like a Friday as many people are off tomorrow for the Independence Day holiday (since July 4th is a Saturday). We weren't too busy early but then at night we got busy and stayed busy. Then 9PM driver was kept over until 11, and I took a triple after 11 PM.

Got stiffed 3 times tonight which was frustrating, along with 5 other $1 tips. Big tip of the night was $7 in an area where I sure didn't expect it.

Totals for the night were 5.5 hours of driving, 14 runs, 58 miles, and $29 in tips.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Landscaping and the One that Got Away

Out of my first 4 customers tonight, 3 of them were outside working and doing landscaping in their yard. Not surprisingly, I made $16 on my first 5 deliveries. People with pride in their home's appearance and who believe in sweat equity seem to be decent tippers.

Then I just missed a delivery to the site of my biggest tip ever ($35). Vince got it instead and got a $20 tip. That was the turning point in my night as I only made $6 on my next 6 runs.

Totals for the night were 5 hours, 31 miles, 11 runs, $22 in tips, and an extra hour doing dishes at the end of the night.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Surprise? Geeks Like Pizza!

One of my late night (11pm-ish) deliveries tonight was to a house full of mid-20's aged guys playing video games. Guys, video games, pizza, what a stereotypical geeky Saturday night! They did tip well ($5 on a $17 order).

I drove 6 hours, took 13 runs, covered 61 miles, and made $36 in tips. This was the first weekend night I have worked in a while and it is nice to bring in some cash!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Close To Zero

I almost came home with 4 cents tonight. Manager Mike had told me he would likely be sending me home early. For most of my first hour, I had no deliveries, then when I finally got to take one, they gave me $15.50 on a $15.46 order.

Luckily in the next half hour, business picked up and I ended up taking 9 runs in 4 hours. I made $18 in tips while driving 33 miles.

Nothing amusing happened all night.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Nick Out and a Good Book

Nick announced today that he's being (temporarily) transferred to another store. I'll miss working with him for sure, and hope he's back soon.

In the meantime I'm reading a great book, Pizza Tiger, by Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino's pizza. It's quite interesting, describing the early days and the growth of the franchise.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Not A Dream Delivery

Ask any pizza guy about his ideal delivery, and here is what he will NOT say:
  • Delivery to a motel on the other side of town
  • Check is only $12.72
  • Middle aged man answers the door in his pajamas
  • Guy pays with exact change

But yes, that was my 6th delivery tonight. Luckily I had made $20 in my first 3 hours on just 5 deliveries so I was able to laugh it off.

And the next guy tried to stiff me but he miscounted his wadded up money and gave me an extra buck!

Final delivery was (a sandwich) to a Hungry Howies driver who used to work with Manager Desiree.

Totals were 8 deliveries, $25, 43 miles, and 5 1/2 hours. The mileage was kind of high due to all singles and 5 of the 8 being quite far away.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Five Years

Tonight was my 5 year anniversary of starting my job delivering pizzas! I drove 5 hours, took 11 deliveries, made $28, and drove 39 miles.

The highlight (or lowlight) of my night was a delivery I didn't get to make. Supposed to be at the hospital, maternity ward room 129. Well the maternity ward is on the 3rd floor. They don't have a room 129.

The nurses walked their halls and checked each room but nobody ordered pizzas. I called back to the shop and told them I was on my way back.

Manager decided it was probably a prank.

First, he didn't get the customer's phone # so that we could call, he entered our own store phone number. Why, I'll never know. Next, he returned me before I got back, so he was short $44 in his drawer. He voided several other orders to make up the difference so no big deal, but it frustrates me to no end the silly games people play to pretend their on-times look better than they are.

Of the 10 runs I did get to deliver, 4 tipped between $1 and $2, 5 tipped between $3 and $3.75, and one tipped $5.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Wrong Driveway

Well in contrast to last Monday (no stiffs) I had 5 out of 11 stiffs tonight. Luckily for me the other 6 customers each tipped $3 to $5.50 so I ended up with $24 in 5 hours work (driving 40 miles). Our reimbursement went up to $1.05 per run ($1 last week and .95 for a long time before that) so I got $11.55 towards gas.

On my next to last delivery, I was looking for house number 329. I saw 319 and 2 houses down there was a house with a porch light on, so I pulled in. Their house number was small and on the mailbox by the door, I was out of my car before I saw it was 327. Instead of restarting and moving my car, I just walked (on the sidewalk) to the house next door.

I saw a woman come to the door (of 327, the wrong house) in a bathrobe, look out, and shut off her porch light.

After I made the delivery, the woman came back to the door and called out to me to not hit her cars that were parked in the street. Thanks for the good advice but I wasn't planning on it anyways!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

No Stiffs!

Tonight was a pretty good night. I drove 5 hours (6-11) and worked another 1.5 hours doing dishes and clean-up afterwards. This is because we had just 2 drivers all night long.

I took 14 runs, made $39 in tips, and drove 59 miles.

First was a double that included Colonial Oaks, a large trailer park. Made $5.50.

Next a single run of $38, made $2.

Next a triple, again ending up in Colonial Oaks. First delivery on my way tipped just $1 (smallest tip of the night) and he was a regular customer who usually tips $2-3. Made $5.50 on the triple.

Next another triple with Colonial Oaks in the middle and ending up in Grafton, the next town over about 7 miles away. Made $10 on the triple, including $4 from my little old lady / sports fan in the trailer park, and $4 in Grafton. It was a street that was far from the main drag and I commented that in 5 years I had never been there. The guy said that most people can live in Grafton for 20 years and not know the street is there.

Next were 2 singles where I made about $2 each, one to a house with a "DAY SLEEPER" sign where the woman apologized for me driving that far for just 30 wings.

Finally another triple for $10.75.

The amazing thing was that even with 3 triples I still averaged over 4 miles per run!

I didn't eat any pizza (even though Talisa made a delicious looking one) but I did eat some boneless wings. They are protein but probably not as lean as I should be having.

Monday, May 25, 2009

On Call Memorial Day

The schedule has me "on call" tonight which is just fine with me. I stopped by around 4:30 and we had only had 29 tickets all day. This is horribly slow. Memorial day is a day for cooking out (here in Ohio at least) and definitely not a day to order pizza.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

If You Order Pizza, Be There When The Pizza Arrives!

I took a delivery tonight, got to the apartment and nobody was home. Dogs were barking, tv was on, but no people. Called back to the shop and Nick said the guy was "leaving the bar" 15 minutes ago.

I waited over 15 minutes for the guy to finally arrive. He went in his apartment and left his truck running. He couldn't read his own coupon to figure out which one to give me. He tipped $4 and acted like it was a fantastic tip. Well buddy I could have delivered 2 orders while I was waiting, so it was actually a little under average, considering the time wasted.

In fact, Todd worked an hour longer than me and took 10 more deliveries, so you know he was lapping me all night long. I drove 38 miles in 5 hours, made $21 on 11 deliveries.

Next Monday is Memorial Day and I'm "on call" so perhaps I won't work.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


If you follow my other blog, you know I'm doing P90X, an extreme home fitness program. The nutrition guidelines limit me to 1 serving of carbs per day. It was agony to see and smell delicious pizza & pasta all night long.

I drove 41 miles, worked 4 1/2 hours, took 12 deliveries, and made $30.

Monday, May 4, 2009

How Buying Pizza Is Like Buying A House

I've mentioned here a few times how we are required to swipe an imprint of the credit card, as well as getting the customer's signature on a separate slip of paper, for all credit card transactions. This usually ends up with me holding the customer's card and his copy of the receipt, while he is holding my (signed and hopefully tip added) copy of the receipt, and also my pen.

Usually the next step is a little game of "This is yours, that is mine" which usually ends with me saying, "And now for the real reason we're here". Well tonight, I came up with a new line, it just kind of popped out. I said to this guy, "And after all that paperwork, here's the key to your new house!"

I thought it was funny, let me know if you would chuckle or not.

Totals for the slow night: 5 hours, 7 deliveries, 25 miles, $14 in tips.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dogs and Sierra Mist

But not together.

First delivery, a girl had 2 tiny dogs. One ran out the door and wouldn't come in. After I completed the sale, it tried to follow me to the car. I tried to lead it back in and another ran out. The girl and her brother came out to gather the dogs, so I left.

Next delivery the woman wanted change for a $50. I didn't have it and nobody told me. Luckily she was able to find 2 $20's. (Her check was $23.72).

Third was a family just moving in from Illinois (guessing by their license plates). They tipped $5! I will remember!

Fourth was a guy who opened the door right before I knocked and was very amused with himself. Perhaps he was celebrating the 420 holiday?

Fifth was my only stiff of the night and my only 2-liter of Sierra Mist. Coincidence? I think not.

Sixth, the girl answerred the door holding back a reddish doberman. She held the dog and held the door open for a couple minutes while the man of the house brought the money.

Seventh was unremarkable, but another $5 tip.

I ate and drank nothing.

Total for 5 hours driving was 7 deliveries, 39 miles, and $21 in tips.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Don't Eat The Messed Up Pizzas!

There are handwritten signs all around the shop tonight, warning that employees are not to eat any food that we do not pay for. We are not to drink drinks. (I didn't ask if this included water, I just got myself a glass). We are not to eat mistake pizzas. Our food costs are "out of control" and if they are not corrected "we will not have jobs."

Talk about a morale booster!

I arrived at my first run tonight and the person who ordered (and planned to pay for) the food was not home. They had been quoted 50 minutes, and I arrived with the food in less than 30. I have no idea why they were quoted that long, but it cost me a tip as the person who paid had to call in for a credit-card payment and the normal method of signing and adding a tip was not apparent.

Next was a double, I got my best tip of the night ($6) on a nearby order then took 2 separate orders (one paid by credit and one added on later and paid by cash) to the 3M plant outside our delivery area.

Next should have been another double, but the first guy tried to pay by check which we do not accept. He had added on a $3.75 tip. The other house tipped $2 on their $17.99 order.

Then came a series of 4 consecutive apartment deliveries that tipped $9 all together. Then my final order of the night was to the local Holiday Inn. A little small-talk led me to learn that the room was occupied by theater actors who had been in a show and were travelling next to Maryland. I'm not sure what show though.

Totals for the night were 10 deliveries, 5 hours, $24 in tips, and 39 miles.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Called Off

I was scheduled to work 6-close tonight. Manager Mike already told me last night that he would probably send me home early, around 10 PM, tonight.

Well Nick called around 5, saying not to come in until 7, as they currently had 5 drivers and only 1 delivery. I talked with Nick and we decided I would call him later. Well when I called, a little after 7, there were 6 drivers and 2 deliveries.

So I got the night off.

Good Friday - Not Quite Grant

I drove tonight from 6-close, 7 hours on the road. This is the longest shift I've worked in a few months! It started off pretty slow, of my first 8 deliveries I only had 1 tip of $3 or more.

But then overe the final 9 deliveries, I had 5 tips of $4 or more! And it was raining more during the first half of the night!

My only stiff of the night was on a delivery to the McDonald's restaurant right across the street!

All together I took 17 deliveries, drove just 51 miles (most of the time listening to the Indians rain delay), and made $48 in tips. I was really hoping to get to $50 (Ulysses S Grant) but I didn't quite make it.

Maybe tomorrow. (Yes, I close again on Saturday night).

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Pizza In The News

I found a few pizza articles in the news lately and have a few minutes to write about them.

First, a post on Yahoo!'s Slice America blog about the Best Delivery Pizza. This post compares the "Big 3" of Pizza Hut, Papa Johns, & Dominos. I'll let you read it for yourself, but the knock on Pizza Hut is "slow delivery". Hello? They obviously did not have had me as a driver!

Next, on the same blog, The Commandments of Perfect Pizza. This describes what goes into the "perfect pizza", including the various ingredients and cooking styles.

Third, a news article about Dominos giving away 11,000 free pizzas. Apparently they were preparing for an internet deal based on the word "bailout". Their computer programmers set up the deal in the system, and activated it. Somebody figured it out and then it spread by word-of-mouth for a few days until they figured it out.

Now speaking of the perfect pizza, when you have a family the size of mine, there is 1 word to describe the perfect pizza. FREE! Even these days when I'm only working 1-2 nights each week, I look forward to the mess-ups and crew pies that I munch on throughout the night while I am working.

Well, in May I'm planning to start the P90X Nutrition Plan. As well as the workouts. And I don't think I'll find pizza in the recommended dietary options. In fact, I'm sure of it. During the first phase I will be allowed 1 serving of carbs per day. During phase 2 and phase 3, I will be allowed 3 and 4 carb servings, but that still doesn't leave much room for pizza crust or breadsticks.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Situations Where A Customer Might Tip Extra

Customers should consider tipping a little more than usual when the weather is bad, when they live far away, or when they place a large order.

My first customer tonight was a $54 order, 5 items in 2 hot-bags. They live 6 miles away, almost to the next town. My average trip is 2 miles each way. And it was cold and snowing (in April!)

The woman answerred the door and remarked, "It's pretty nasty outside isn't it?" She gave me 3 $20's, thought a minute, and asked me for $4 back in change. Leaving me with a $2 tip.

I had 2 customers take advantage of a $10 sale on our extra-large sheet pizza. The first one stiffed me. The second one was on the 4th floor of a hotel just outside our delivery area. He tipped $1.50. Both were pretty discouraging.

All in all I drove 4 hours, took 8 deliveries, drove 35 miles, and made $14 in tips.

Pizza For My Sister-In-Law

My sister-in-law Dawn won the NCAA contest, basically by just picking all the favorites. I had a chance to win until Villanova lost to NC on Saturday night. I've known that Dawn won for about a day and a half but couldn't bring myself to admit it.

Anyhow, congratulations and we will work out the details.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Black Market Pizza - Diary of a pizza start-up

I just read the blog for Black Market Pizza. If you don't remember, I mentioned this place a few weeks back when it was on CNN. Well they have been open for a month now and 1 of the owners is posting a weekly (so far) blog, detailing the trials and tribulations of opening a new pizza shop.

I recommend the blog, and I wish them luck!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Claiming Pizza Delivery Mileage On Your 2008 Taxes

Each year I post about how to claim your pizza delivery mileage on your taxes. Last year's post is very detailed and even includes a scanned image of the 1040.

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.
Well this year I did not claim my mileage. Due to my hernia surgery in June, my suspension in December for not using a car-topper, and generally working fewer shifts, I drove fewer miles.

My total delivery miles for the year were 3774 (compared to 7629 in 2007). This got me $976 in "unreimbursed employee expenses" on Schedule A, Line 24. However, this is less than 2% of my Adjusted Gross Income, so I did not get to claim this deduction for 2008.

I expect this is a common situation for most pizza delivery drivers, either the mileage was not over 2% of the AGI or, even more commonly, the pizza driver will not itemize deductions on Schedule A and instead will use the Standard Deduction.

Monday, March 30, 2009

On Time Pizza Surprise

On my first delivery tonight, the woman answered the door saying, "This is the first time ever the pizza has been on time."

To which I replied, "It must be the first time you've had me deliver it."

She paid and tipped $1. Then she said, "Seriously, it's been late like 4 times in a row." And I replied, "Well I'm glad we got it right this time."

But seriously, lady, $1? If I get the chance to take somebody else their food before hers next time, I won't hesitate.

My night started out pretty awful, at 5 deliveries I had only collected about $3.50 in tips. We have a new policy that drivers are supposed to declare $1.50 in tips per hour. Well the law says that I have to report all of my tips (if I collect at least $20 in tips in a month).

I have always reported all of my tips, which is generally way over $1.50 per hour. But every so often I have a crummy night and we are really slow. Like tonight, at the 3 hour mark I only had the $3.50. And I refuse to lie and inflate my tips above what they actually are.

Luckily for me, my last 2 deliveries of the night each tipped $5 and put me well over the $1.50 per hour rate.

My totals for the night were 5 hours of driving, 9 deliveries, 37 miles, and $18 in tips.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

NCAA MSU-Louisville Update

It was bound to happen, I got a cocky and now I have to be a Michigan State fan. Louisville looked awful today, the zone defense wasn't working and they stayed in it until the last 2 minutes when they were already down by 17.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

NCAA Elite Eight (halfway) Update


I got 7 of 8 correct in the round of 16, and I'm 2-2 so far in the Elite Eight. If North Carolina and Louisville, both #1 seeds, win on Sunday I will have all 4 final 4 teams correct.

My sister-in-law Dawn, who picked the better seed in every game, is in 2nd place.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Wrong Side Of Town (Ain't So Bad)

I worked 5 hours driving (plus another cleaning up) and took 10 deliveries tonight (including 3 doubles). Nine of the 10 deliveries were in historically "low-tipping" areas. For those that know the neighborhoods, 6 were in the Lake / Furnace area and 3 were in the East/Middle/West area.

Thanks mainly to a $5 tip on Lake and several $3 tips (including one Codi told her friend on Foster that he had to give) I ended up with $22, not a bad Wednesday shift. I drove 39 miles (thanks to the doubles).

Cleanup took a while as Chris was gone from about 10:15 - 11 on just one delivery, to a customer who unfortunately still doesn't know their own address, and thus is still hungry.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Short Monday

I worked tonight, but not for long. The most interesting thing was getting sent home at 8 PM. I drove 13 miles, worked 2 hours, took 4 deliveries, and made $5 in tips.

I'm glad all nights aren't like this.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

NCAA Day 4 Update

What a great job the seeding committee did this year! Of the 16 1-4 seeds in each bracket, 14 of them have made the Sweet Sixteen! Only #4 Wake Forest (beaten by #13 Cleveland State who then lost to #12 Arizona) and #4 Washington (beaten by #5 Purdue) are eliminated. All the 1's, 2's, and 3's advanced.

This is great news for my sister-in-law Dawn, who picked the favored seed in every game of the tournament! She currently sits in 3rd place!

The top 10 are all really close, separated by just 3 points from 1 to 10. And bottom-dwellers George and Dave aren't out of it, as they each were the only team to choose Kansas and Duke (respectively) to win it all.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

NCAA Day 2 Update

Yesterday we had 6 teams with only 2 wrong. Today there were many more upsets and there are now just 2 teams tied for first in the standings, at 25 out of 32 correct. Almost everybody is still alive, 13 of us have 21 or more correct.

My father-in-law is trailing with just 17 but he does have his whole final 4 still alive including Gonzaga.

My son Luke is tied for 1st with JW, but JW has lost pretty much his entire Midwest bracket, as he had Wake Forest and West Virginia in the elite eight and both are out.

It was a frustrating night for me. I did get to watch the late games but our Cleveland TV station showed Ohio State vs Sienna. Now this was a great game, down to the wire, but I'd have rather watched Cleveland State knock off Wake Forset.

Friday, March 20, 2009

NCAA Day 1 Update

Today was a day for the chalk, as 6 of our 16 entrants got 14 of 16 correct. I say 16 entrants but there are really just 14 1/4 brackets filled out. Yes, 14 1/4. My nephew Zorlod only picked games in the Midwest Region.

I was at a soccer coaching meeting tonight and then when I got home I watched the Cavs win in OT so I didn't really get to watch any basketball tonight. I did watch Illinois almost catch Western Kentucky.

I've got plans to go out to Red Robin tomorrow night so I won't watch much then either, I will set the DVR to record the Cleveland State timeslot at least.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I got called off on Monday because business has been very slow this week. I was kind of hoping to get called off again tonight but I did not, so in to work I went.

The night started off not so good, with just 4.50 in tips in my first 4 deliveries, but then things picked up and I ended up with 9 deliveries and $17 in tips. Not what I would hope for in 5 hours of driving but I guess it could be worse.

I can't think of a single funny thing that happened tonight, except that Nick noticed I'm putting on weight.

Monday, March 16, 2009

NCAA Basketball Tournament Pick'em Contest

It's March and that means college basketball. And what goes better with college basketball than pizza? Free pizza!

My blog is once again sponsoring a contest, run on the Yahoo! website, where you can win a $15 gift certificate to the pizza parlor of your choice.

Just follow this link and enter group 138770 and password pepper. I picked a green topping this year to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, and also to honor my hometown Cleveland State Vikings, making their first appearance since 1986!

Good luck to everyone!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Slow Monday

I worked tonight from 6-11:30 (including 1/2 hour of cleaning after we closed. In 5 hours on the road I took just 7 deliveries. This is a very low number.

Luckily I got $5 and $3.75 on my first 2 tips and ended up with $18. I drove 33 miles.

I got stiffed by a little kid for the 2nd night in a row. It's a shame that people send their kids to do what they are ashamed to do themselves.

I had a delivery to a bar. While I was inside, a guy came in from outside and said "Hey my friends just stole your car." Was that supposed to be funny or what?

There's a new Little Ceasars about to open a few blocks from our shop. I wonder if it will affect business.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Penny Foy My Thoughts?

How about a penny for 3 hours work?

I was scheduled to work 6-close but I went in at 10PM tonight because of a family situation ... I figured I would get a few deliveries and help close up.

Well I did dishes for most of the time, and I ended up only taking 1 delivery. The ticket was for $16.99. The customer sent their pre-teen boy to the door so they didn't have to be embarassed by stiffing me.

I worked 3 hours, took 1 delivery, drove 5 miles, and made 1 cent.

Monday, March 2, 2009


After over a month off due to my broken arm and then my car repairs (clutch), I finally returned to work tonight.

The first thing that happened was that since I was gone so long, the computer made me change my password.

After doing a few loads of dishes, I was on the road with a delivery for $19.99. The cost would have been $18.49 but the customer had added 2 garlic sauces at $0.75 each. I was afraid that this was intended to bring the price right up to $20 even, and indeed, my profit on that run was one Lincoln coin. I drove back feeling slightly depressed.

I shouldn't have, as my night improved tremendously. My next trip, a double, earned me $10.54 in tips, followed by $4.04 from a customer who had remarked on the phone that the price was too high.

Next after that was $2.82 ($2 in cash and $0.82 added on the credit card total). After that came another double, $1.54 and $4.03.

Finally one more double ($2.54 and $5.10) to a historically low-tipping area. In fact, 7 of my 9 runs on the night were to areas where I'd usually feel lucky just to get $2!

I worked 4 hours (4:45 pm - 8:45 pm), drove 42 miles (I think), took 9 deliveries, and made $29 in tips.

My arm felt a twinge of weakness once when I was reaching out to set some clean plates on the drying shelves, but it wasn't because they were heavy. Other than that I felt no effects of my broken arm.

I was scheduled to drive again Friday night but I've got calling hours to attend so I'm gonna miss the best part of the night, and just show up from 10-1, but at least I'm back in the swing. And good timing too, as the worst of the winter weather should be passed.

Friday, February 20, 2009


The clutch on my Chevy Prizm has been going for several weeks. We made an appointment to get it fixed next Wednesday. Unfortunately it didn't last that long. It died on my way home from work tonight.

I made it to my freeway exit but as I downshifted to exit, the gears made a grinding sound and now the car will not move in any gear.

I called AAA and they sent a truck to tow it to the garage where it will be fixed.

All this on the night I was hoping to make my return to work. BUMMER!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Portion Of The Bailout

I found a link to this Bailout Calculator. Dividing the total $ spent on bailouts by the number of americans, and then multiplying by the number of people in my family (9), our portion of the bailout is $248,391!

I hope it's not true!

I started driving pizza almost 5 years ago and we thought it would be a short-term part-time job. At this point I'll have to drive forever.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Broken Arm Wave

I was driving home tonight and I saw a tan Ford minivan with a car topper and I knew it could be none other than Big Steve. I rolled down my window and stuck my arm out and waved.

Only after I had passed did I realize it was my broken arm that I waved with.

I guess I'm ready to try to drive again. I'll be there Friday from about 6-9.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Laid Off Workers Open Black Market Pizza

As seen on CNN. Not a bad idea in today's economy.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

January 2009 Monthly Totals

These numbers do not include driving expenses.

Shifts: 3 (2 Fridays and a Monday)
Hours: 14
Deliveries: 34
Tips: $87
Miles: 91

Average miles per delivery: 2.7
Average deliveries per hour: 2.4
Average tips per delivery: $2.56
Average tips per hour: $6.21
Average cash per hour: $8.89 (tips plus mileage)
Total earnings per hour: $16.19 (includes wage of $7.30)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Out Of Commission (Again)

I won't be working for a while. If you don't read my other blogs, you may not know but I broke my arm playing basketball last week.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Deliver pizzas, wife tells laid-off hubby

That is the title of this CNN story. It's an interesting story, but the husband should realize himself that he needs to bring in some income. The wife should also try finding a way for herself to bring in some income. (edit - shame on me, the article says she does, killing bugs!)

But there's no shame in pizza delivery. It says the guy was depressed, but at $10/hour, if he worked full time he would bring in about $40k / year, not really that far off from his $55k previous job. (edit - shame on me again, $10/hr is more like $20k/yr)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Three Deliveries for Twenty-One Cents!

I could write about the good deliveries, for example the $5 tip that I got for the delivery to the far edge of our delivery area. Or the guy just down the street who tipped $2 and didn't get upset when I brough the wrong pop (Diet Pepsi instead of Pepsi).

But I seem to dwell more on the bad. I had a triple and made 21 cents combined. The first delivery was to the hospital maternity ward. The couple with the new baby ordered a pizza and a pop for $15.21. They paid $15.25.

Next was a lady that doesn't know her address. She said she lived on middle avenue but she actually lives on 5th street in an upstairs apartment. She got a pizza, a pop, some wings, and a 2 salads for $32.33. She paid $32.50.

Third was a credit card order of pasta and breadsticks for $15.78. We're supposed to get a physical "swipe" of the credit card but "her sister left with the card." I had to call the manager who approved the delivery but of course I got no tip.

In all I took 11 deliveries in 5 hours, drove 21 miles, and made $21 in tips.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Friday Night Freeze

Tonight was probably the coldest night I've delivered in. When I drove past the hopistal the sign said -2. Weather.com now says it is -10. I wore running tights under my pants to make sure I stayed warm, and I traded my regular uniform cap for a Browns stocking cap every time I went outside.

I got several good ($3 or more) tips but amazingly even in the cold weather I still got stiffed 4 times on 17 runs. One guy even joked, "It's a nice night for pizza delivery, as long as you're the one getting delivered too."

We were pretty busy up until 10 PM, in fact both of my first 2 trips were 4-baggers. (Well, 4 deliveries, we were actually short on bags and I had to double up.) I ended up driving 7 hours, taking 17 runs, travelling 51 miles, and making $40 in tips.

I plan to be working usually 1-2 days each week for a while now. The cash really comes in handy for allowances, school lunches, and things like that. When I'm driving regularly I almost never have to make ATM withdrawals, but in the past month I've been making a withdrawal almost every week.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Blogging Again Tonight, Working Again Friday

I finally got around to posting a couple interesting pizza and restaurant related articles tonight, I hope you take the time to read them.

I haven't blogged for a while because I haven't worked for a while. While I was suspended for not using the car-topper, I got out of the habit of updating my availability so I ended up missing an extra week. I went in on Wednesday night and put in my schedule requests for the next 3 months so hopefully I will be driving a couple nights per week.

There was a note on the current schedule saying that some hours had been cut due to low sales (bad economy).

Even worse on Wednesday, the phones were out of order. At 7PM there had only been 9 deliveries all day long, all internet-orders. I'm glad I wasn't working THAT night!

Can You Eat Pizza on a Fat-Loss Program?

By Craig Ballantyne

This article appears courtesy of Early To Rise, a free newsletter dedicated to making money, improving health and secrets to success. For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.earlytorise.com.

One of the questions I frequently get is, "Can I eat pizza (or burgers, or fries, etc.) on a fat-loss program?"

Well... you can eat anything you want. As long as you are willing to accept the consequences and take full responsibility for your actions (or lack of action). So, yes, you can eat pizza while on a fat-loss program, provided you know that it could slow down, stop, or reverse your results.

Can you skip workouts and watch TV instead?

Sure. But if you choose to sit on the couch after a hard day's work, you need to realize that you will not be getting closer to your goals. And if you choose to eat 1,500 calories worth of pizza and drink 600 calories worth of soda while you sit on the couch, you WILL gain weight.

Weight loss isn't rocket science. It's 90 percent common sense. We all know what we should and shouldn't eat. Even a fifth grader can tell you that too much pizza and soda will make you overweight.

As inspirational writer Og Mandino says, "I shall shape my future. Whether I fail or succeed shall be no man's doing but my own. I am the force; I can clear any obstacle before me. Or I can be lost in the maze. My choice. My responsibility. Win or lose, only I hold the key to my destiny."

How Restaurants (and Diners) Are Reacting to the Struggling Economy

By Charlie Byrne

This article appears courtesy of Early To Rise, a free newsletter dedicated to making money, improving health and secrets to success. For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.earlytorise.com.

"If you really want to be sure of that 7:30 p.m. table, ask for it with a French, Spanish, or Italian accent. It will brand you as a potentially bigger spender, the kind helping restaurants outlast a weak dollar and a wobbly Dow."

This advice comes from Frank Bruni of The New York Times, reporting on how restaurants are reacting to the recession.

One noticeable trend: Americans are spending less (tap water instead of bottled water, dining at bars and counters vs. formal settings, no high-end steak and lobster), while splurging foreigners rush to take advantage of favorable exchange rates.

Result? All things being equal, restaurateurs would rather seat a table of Europeans than locals. "I mean, they're just spending. It's Monopoly money to them," said one NYC general manager.

Other notable changes:

  • Dinner rush used to occur around 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. But outside the U.S., it's is a later-evening event, so now the peak is moving to 8:30 or 9:00 p.m.
  • Less expensive ingredients lower the cost of food. For instance, using regular crabmeat instead of jumbo lump. Shiitake instead of morel mushrooms. More starches to fill out the plate.
  • Menus are featuring more single-digit appetizers and "small plates."

And restaurateurs are offering more mid-range than high-end wines. "All of our wine directors are starting to play this game more aggressively," said Paul Bolles-Beaven of the Danny Meyer group. "People are spending less on wine right now, and they're not spending to impress."

Unless, that is, they're European, adds Bruni.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Driver Safety Article and Comment from Driver

Today I found this interesting article from a few years ago about what some corporations and franchises do for driver safety.

Also, check out this post for a comment from Juan, a pizza driver from Florida. Juan's English isn't perfect, but he seems to be frustrated by being paid a "tipped employe" sub-minimum wage for part of his working time, and discusses forming a union.

December 2008 Monthly Totals

These numbers do not include driving expenses.

Shifts: 5
Hours: 22.5
Deliveries: 60
Tips: $152
Miles: 216

Average miles per delivery: 3.6
Average deliveries per hour: 2.7
Average tips per delivery: $2.53
Average tips per hour: $6.76
Average cash per hour: $9.69 (tips plus mileage)
Total earnings per hour: $16.69 (includes wage of $7.00)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Another Short Friday

I worked a quick 2 hour+ shift tonight from 5:30 - 7:45, and everything lined up just right. I took a double, a single, and a triple (6 runs in all), drove 19 miles, and made $26 in tips, including $10 on the single.

I was home in time to spend some time with my family before they went to bed, which is always nice.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Minimum Wage Increase

I forgot to write that as of midnight last night I got a raise. The Ohio Minimum Wage was increased to $7.30 per hour. At my current rate of working about 10 hours each week, this should get me an extra $12 per month. Hardly noticable, but better than nothing.

I'm really not a fan of the minimum wage. I mean, why not set it to $30 and we'll all be rich?

New Years Eve 2008

I thought it was a pretty good night but it was actually 2 deliveries and $1 short of last year.

I drove for 6 hours (5:30 - 11:30) and then stayed another 1 1/2 hours to close, mainly washing dishes, sweeping, mopping, and taking out the trasy. I took 21 deliveries, made $57 in tips, and amazingly drove only 49 miles.

My first trip was a double and my first tip was $5.73 so I hoped that was a sign of good things to come. Next was another double, the first order was free and they did not tip. This was one of 7 stiffs I would get tonight.

After that another double, both tipping between $2-4. My 4th trip was, guess what, another double. The first one was a credit card order and the card owner was not present so I got no tip there either.

After that I took yet another double ... got a $5 tip at the first house but at the 2nd house nobody came to the door or answered the phone. I got back to the store and Nick had got ahold of them but, as was the story all night long, there was another order to go with it.

After that I took my first single of the night but it was a $54 order to a party and they tipped $9, my best tip of the night.

Next came a series of 4 orders (2 singles and a double) where I only got $1 tip and 3 stiffs. I almost wished I had gone home after the $9 tip. We were down to 2 drivers by this time. But my next trip (a double) included another $5 tip. Another double (my last doulbe of the night) yielded 2 $2 tips.

My final order of the night was to my 2nd party, I delivered the pizza minutes before midnight, I got a $4 tip and was offered a beer, which I declined of course.