Friday, December 24, 2010

Virtual Friday

Tonight was like a Friday, since many offices and businesses are closed (or at least close early) for Christmas Eve.  (Not retail businesses of course!)

I have several anecdotes which I could tell but it is late already and I need to be up and in Hudson in about 5 hours for a run so I'll go straight to the nightly stats.

In 7.66 hours on the clock, I drove 75 miles, took 24 deliveries, and made $54 in tips.

My family Christmas party is Monday so I will not drive again until New Years' Eve!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bad Night

I got called in to work tonight just before 10 pm.  I knew something strange was up when I got the call.  I was just finishing up some shopping at Toys 'R' Us.

I arrived to find out one of our veteran drivers got robbed, at gunpoint.  It seems random. The delivery was legitimate, paid (tipped even), then confronted by 2 youths on his way back to his car. This was a veteran driver, neither young nor small.

So I worked 1.79 hours, took 4 deliveries, made $7, and drove 10 miles.  I delivered to 2 houses and made $7.  I delivered to 2 businesses and made $0.

That's right, a nurse on the 10th floor chose not to tip on a $30 order, even though I brought the pizza all the way into the hospital and up to their floor.

Then a girl working at a bar, that's right, a girl that works for tips, paid $13 for a $12.99 order.  I wished I had a penny to give back to her.  I was totally dumbstruck and unprepared, I don't think I've ever been stiffed at a bar before!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Perfect 10

Not Bo Derek.

Tonight's first delivery was my biggest single tip in a long time, $10!  The most surprising thing is that it was on a single pizza order ($12.99).  Thank you and Merry Christmas!

We were pretty slow tonight, I was scheduled from 6-10 but right after I arrived, I said to Matt that the "over/under" on me getting sent home was 8:30.  I got sent home at 8:15!

I worked 2.39 hours, took 5 deliveries, drove 17 miles, and made $22 in tips!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Friday Night Stories

Another great Friday night!  Especially with a dedicated dishwasher so that all I have to do is drive.  (And take out the trash at the end of the night).

First delivery of the night was unremarkable except that they tipped $8!

Second delivery was to the "dancer" from a few weeks ago.  He asked if $3 was a proper tip.  (For a $15 one-pizza order).  I said yes, unless the weather was really bad.

Fourth delivery yelled through the door, "You gotta tell me your name, I can't just open the door."  I replied, "Pizza guy, you called me!"  This is really one of my pet peeves.  If you order pizza, be ready!

Eleventh delivery was a rerun of a salad (that Joel forgot).  We also gave them a free order of breadsticks.

Seventeenth delivery made me wait, commented that it was cold, and didn't tip.

Twentieth delivery, the mom told "John John" (age 10) to "Give him back two dollars."  She also had about 10 bottles of booze sitting on the corner of the porch.

Twenty-second delivery, an older girl said, "Oh I like your Santa hat."  Mom in the background said, "Then give him a $5 tip."  This is proof that you can (rarely) increase your tip with some personality at the door.

All in all, I worked 6.03 hours, took 26 deliveries, drove 71 miles, made $73 in tips.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Survivor Video Application

I'm a big fan of the TV show Survivor!  I've watched the show for years and I read several blogs:

Reality TV Center, Sean's Random Thoughts, and Rob Cesternino's Immunity Blog.

Anyways, I've been talking about applying to be on the show since at least 1996 or 1997.  I have finally done it, I made a video for the Sears Casting Call contest.  The top 10 videos (as voted by some CBS judges) will be posted online for public judging, and the winner goes to LA for an audition.

So when I make the top 10, I will definitely be askinf for your votes!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Strange But True Tales from Public Transportation

You never know what will happen when you ride public transportation.  I ride the Rapid Transit here in Cleveland to and from my "other" job every day.  A few weeks ago I had an interesting interaction with a beggar.

Well last night I got asked if I had change for a $20.  Of course I did.  I made change for the older gentleman and told him he was lucky he found the pizza guy on the train, the pizza guy will always have change!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow Day

Most of the area schools were off today.  It was bitter cold (wind chill below zero) and I expected we would be busy, but we weren't too busy at all.  In fact I got sent home early!

I had 5 deliveries, 2 were interesting.  One was 2 pizzas, wings, and a 2-liter to a low-rent "weekly" style motel, the Journey Inn.  I had to chuckle when the guy said, "Thanks, now my lunch is taken care of for the week."  He did tip almost $3.

Other one was to the "Fraternal Order of Orioles", a private bar I had never even seen!  Bartender tipped me $5 on a $9.99 order.

Total 2 hours, 5 deliveries, 14 miles, $11 in tips.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Revenge On The Stiffer

I had a stiffer tonight that upset me.
  • the weather was cold & snowy
  • he lived kind of far away
  • he had a huge wad of cash that he peeled through to give me exact change
I got back to my car and a banana peel "accidentally" landed on his front step.  Maybe the neighborhood car or some other varmint will drag it away before he even notices, but I did feel better momentarily.

Harmless, this is about the worst thing I could imagine ever doing to get back at a stiffer.  Shaking up a 2-liter of pop or bringing their pizza last in a multi-delivery trip are others.

Totals for the night were 4.96 hours, 13 deliveries, $25 in tips, and 44 miles.  Pretty average overall.

Manager Mike is tracking hours, deliveries, tips, and total (wages plus tips per hour) for all drivers and servers.  I'm not sure why.

Monday, December 6, 2010

First Snow

Today was the first snow of the year.  Also the first day I wore my Santa hat, which usually puts customers in a cheerful mood and might get me an extra buck now and then..

If this is any sign as to what winter will be like, I can't wait for spring.

First off there was a horrible back-up on my way home from my other job.  It took me about 45 minutes to get the final 6 miles to my house to change.  I finally got to the pizzeria about 15 minutes late.

In the next 3.45 hours, I took 9 deliveries (not bad).  My tips are listed below:

$0 - twice
$1 - twice
$2 - three times
$3 - once
$4 - once

The $3 and $4 were on my last 2 deliveries.  For my first 7 runs I had only made $8.  On the night I only made $15 in tips, while driving 31 miles.

Manager Krystle sent me home a little early, there was still quite a stack of dishes to wash, but I didn't question her.

Domino's Turkey Game

Domino’s has launched a festive fun turkey game to get pizza lovers in a flap before Christmas. Play the Great Turkey Escape and be in with the chance of gobbling a stack of piping hot pizza.
To play, log on to Simply select your turkey from the likes of Freddie Flapper and Tommy Tails, catapult them into the air and then flap your wings like mad to fly as far as you can. Pick up a pizza slice for an added boost, but avoid the dynamite or your goose will be cooked!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Serve Elyria, Vote for Gardens from Pepsi!

Well, I serve the city of Elyria their dinner one night a week.  Soon to be 2 nights, I'm picking up every other Thursday & alternating Friday on the schedule, but that's another story.

This Serve Elyria is a project through our church to give some really cool portable gardens to 1000 low income families.  Talk about "teaching someone to fish" ... well this is the same idea!

You can help by voting, we are trying to get a $25k grant from Pepsi!

Click this link for more info on how to vote.  Thanks in advance for your consideration!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Who Would Guess?

We were pretty busy for a Monday.  In 4.67 hours, I took 15 deliveries, drove 42 miles, and made $39 in tips.

The most shocking thing of the night was that I had 2 stiffs, both from a neighborhood that is usually decent (Cambridge & Oxford), and my best 3 tips came from areas that are usually not so good ($4.89 on 7th street, $5 on Glendale (off Furnace), and $6 on Warden (between Lake & Adams) from a girl named Ebony no less!)

Of the 15 deliveries, 7 paid by credit-card and all 7 included at least $1 tip on credit card.  All in all I had $21 in card tips and $18 in cash tips.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I Wasn't Even Supposed To Be Here Tonight ...

This is a line from the great movie, Clerks.  It also could be used to describe my night.  Since I was off my day job and already had picked up my kids for the weekend, it was a rare Friday when it would have been easy for me to work.  And Friday's are historicaly the best money-making nights.  So I volunteered to work.

Unfortunately our GM scheduled 3 other drivers.  I think 3 is kind of light for a Friday, but this is not my call.  One of them had called off by Wednesday, so I volunteered to take his spot.  "No, we'll be ok with 2."

Really?  OK, I offered to at least call in, or stop by.  So tonight I got my uniform on and dropped in around 5:15.  Manager Mike met me up front saying we'd be ok with 2 drivers tonight.  I didn't clock in and went to the back to say hi to GM Ady.  Just then 1 of the 2 drivers said he was sick.  Ady said he should go home and I could work for him.  And then it started.

By the end of the night, I had taken 35 deliveries (2nd most ever, I think), driven 67 miles, made $82 in tips, all in just 7.42 hours on the clock.  Twice in a row I went out the door with 8 deliveries!  I'm not sure I've ever taken more than 5 or 6 at once before.

The funniest thing that happened all night was when I was walking across someone's yard, I stepped on a squeaky dog toy.  I was afraid I'd stepped on a cat or some other animal, it was so loud and big and squishy!

Another unique thing was coming to a customer's door and seeing the man and woman slow-dancing together in the living room, right in front of the door!  I apologized for interrupting and the man said it was ok, they were expecting me!

Out of 33 deliveries: (2 didn't count towards the tip tally)
3 stiffs (no tip)
4 $1 tips
13 $2 tips
7 $3 tips
2 $4 tips
3 $5 tips (all in the first 6 deliveries of the night)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

'Twas The Night Before Thanksgiving ...

... and Mama didn't want to cook anymore. So she ordered a pizza!

I usually don't work on Wednesdays but I chose to work tonight because it it one of our busiest nights. I think we had 5 drivers at one point. It wasn't super-busy but it was certainly a good night.

In 5.03 hours, I took 11 deliveries, made $29 in tips, and drove 61 miles. We even had a guy assigned to wash dishes tonight. I was on the road alot, but when I wasn't, mostly I helped answer phones.

The beginning of the night was really good, as I made $20 on my first 5 runs. Tips fell off after that.

Tonight's incidents (3) all involved the order-takers:

My 6th delivery, was for $15.98. The customer was certain they were quoted $14.99. The paid the $16 but didn't tip. I'm positive they weren't going to tip anyways.

The 9th delivery was to 9xxx Brewser. I had never heard of that street, so I checked the map. Not there. Manager Mike was sure it was in the Pioneer Ridge development. I went to the car and checked my GPS. Not there either. I called the customer for directions. She seemed a little put out but gave me directions. To 9xxx Berkshire.  Doh!

The 11th delivery was a new order so I was to call and confirm.  But the phone # didn't print on the ticket.  Mike looked it up in the computer and it was entered as 440-10-025.  Doh again!  It was a safe neighborhood so I drove there and knocked on the door, but clearly the house was dark and nobody was home.  Waste of my time and gas.

I did get $1.05 for the run but it's a 9-mile round trip ... Even if my car got 30 mpg (which it doesn't) this would be 1/3 of a gallon at $2.85.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Police Disguised As Pizza Guy Arrest 3 Punks In My Town

I wish this was how it always worked! This is actually in my town! Well done by the Marco's crew for recognizing the situation and the police for believing them and playing along!
Chronicle Article

WKYC Article

Monday, November 22, 2010

Off The Cliff

I'm not referring to my driving ... although I ran into former driver Jim in WalMart and he had some nasty road rash on his face from a bike mishap.

But for the 2nd week in a row, we were super-busy from about 6-7:30, then business dropped off to zero.  I took 7 deliveries during the first hour and a half (triple-triple-single), then I washed dishes for a couple hours and got sent home.  Matt only took 1 delivery during that time also, so the inisde work was pretty much caught up.

I worked 3.61 hours, drove 19 miles for 7 deliveries (including 3 stiffs), and made $12 in tips.  Unfortunately I forgot the 2-liter on one of the deliveries, so I had to buy one at a nearby store.  I did get to take on of our pop's home (the one I should have taken to the customer), but I didn't make enough money that I wanted to blow $2 on a Pepsi.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

True Tales Of Pizza Delivery

Tonight was a pretty crazy night.

It started before I even got there.  I made a right-turn on red.  There was a car coming but he was a ways away.  Well once I turned I realized he was coming WAY faster than I thought.  He shifted lanes and honked as he  flew past me.  Of course, I thought, "If you weren't going so fast, I wouldn't be in your way."  Less than a minute later a police cruiser coasted past me.  The limit was 50.  Pretty soon the lights came on and the guy who honked as he passed me got pulled over.  Serves him right!

First trip was a double.  First house tipped $1.01 on a $15.99 check.  Next house, an older man handed me several folded bills for his $17.98 check.  I began to walk away, hearing a younger man ask, "Was that enough?"  I had just started counting and was surprised to find 3 x $5 and 2 x $1.  It was only $17!  I walked back and let them know, and the younger man gave me a $20.  I gave him the $17 back and he said we were all set.  Total 2 runs = $3.03

Next trip was another double.  First house was out of the area, tipped $1.58 on a $18.42 order, and said she was sorry she didn't have more of a tip.  I really don't care for sorry's.  Either tip me or don't, but don't try to explain it.  Next house was in a trailer park.  High school son came to the door with $25 for the $23.47 check and said, "I'm gonna need the change back."  I gave him a buck and offered to check the car for more coin change.  He declined.  Total 2 runs = $2.11.

Side note, this house called back to complain that the toppings had all slid to one side.  I never tilt my bags and I never have gotten this complaint before.  It may have been the kid who tilted the pizzas.

Next delivery was a single, a 12 mile round trip, out of our delivery area.  It was a large order, lots of wings, and they tipped $5.77 on the $56.23 order.  But how much money did I really make.  Between the time I could have been taking another delivery, and the extra gas ... I'd much rather stay within our area.

Next was a triple.  First house was a credit card, and I had to remind them to not leave the total blank.  After the reminder she  added a $2 tip to the $16.99 order.

Next house, the woman was waiting at the door, and told me now she remembered why she usually doesn't order from us.  It takes 3 times as long as the other guys.  I told her my car goes just as fast as theirs, there isn't much I can do.  She did top $4.01 on her $9.99 order.  I checked and it had only been 45 minutes since she called.  Longer than I like to take but certainly not unreasonable.  And not 3 times as long as anybody.

Final house in the delivery was actually 80 minutes after their order.  It would have been faster if I hadn't had to take the out-of-area order.  She handed me $23 for the $22.98 check.  She said they told her $22 on the phone, so she intended to tip me $1, but made no move to get any more money.  Total 3 runs, $6.03 in tips.

At this time I'm pretty frustrated, I've got about $17 in tips for 8 deliveries.

My next trip was another double, and another reminder to write the credit card total.  "I'm not the only person that handles these" is a new line I like to use.  After the reminder she added a $5 tip.  Next customer was waiting in his driveway.  Handed me $20 for his $13.99 order and said, "Keep the change".  To which I replied (as always), "You keep the pizza!"

Next trip was yet another double.  Tips were $2.01 at the first apartment and $0 at the last house.  A little kid did make me chuckle, telling me he had "Glove bones."  He was wearing gloves with skeleton bones printed on the back.

Totals for the night, 5.45 hours worked, 12 deliveries, $30 in tips, 55 miles.

Disappointing thing is, I was back from my last delivery before 10.  I spent the next 90 minutes washing dishes, which is fine.  But we got 2 more deliveries, separately, and the other driver got assigned to take them both.  I don't mind staying past my shift to help clean, but if I'm still working, then I should still be in the delivery queue also!

Moneywise it was a decent night, but it should have been even a little better.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Recognition - Culinary Blog

Woo hoo!  We are listed at #6 in the Top 24 Pizza Blogs on the Culinary Arts College blog!  This was posted a few weeks ago and we definitely saw a spike in traffic.  I've been too busy to check it out until today.

That is a great blog!  So many links to other blogs about food.  There's Mexican cooking, baking, food & travel, and even a list of restaurant recipes to make at home!  I'm sure we will try the recipe for Wendy's frostee, and the cheddar bay biscuits from Red Lobster!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Paying With Change and the Backdoor Rule

I had a customer tonight that met me at the door with the words, "You'll have to take dimes tonight.  I thought I had more cash but I didn't.  But at least you'll get a good tip."  She then handed me a $20 and 2 rolls of dimes ($5 each) to pay her $23.50 order.  Giving me a $6.50 tip.

Now that is the way to pay with change:
  • roll the change, don't just pass it over loose or in a plastic bag
  • tip the driver well
If you follow those 2 rules, the driver won't feel like he has to stand on your porch and count the coins before handing over the pizza.

Now to the other rule, the "Backdoor Rule".  Our pizza shop has a side door (main entrance) and a back door.  Customers come through the side door.  The back door has a keypad lock and is for employees only.

Someone has decided that the back of the store is unsafe and we need to not use the back door after dark.  This is kind of a pain, because now I have to carry my hot-bags through the kitchen, past the oven, and past the front counter to get out the side door.  But at least I can park my car by the side door.  I don't like this rule but I do follow it.

The rule that doesn't make sense is that we also have to take the garbage out the side door.  The dumpster is in the back!  So we have to go outside, around the store, right past the "unsafe" back door, and to the dumpster.

I counted the steps today.  It is 21 steps out the back door to the dumpster, compared to 73 steps out the side door to the dumpster.  It is over 3 times as far!

So I usually go out the back door with the garbage.  Of course the door is locked and I can't come back in, but at least the trip when I'm carrying the heavy trash bags or bulky empty boxes is shorter.

Well, tonight, manager Krystle saw me.  Instead of saying anything, she told T-White, the high-school aged cook, to make a sign to put on the back door.  "Do not use back door after dark."  So I took the next load of trash out the side door.  Ridiculous!

I worked 3.12 hours (I was a little late due to the RTA Train running late).  I took 7 deliveries, drove just 15 miles (2 triples), and made $17 in tips.  We were super-busy for about an hour and a half, then suddenly things slowed down drastically and we had time to catch up with the dishes and cleaning.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Night I Delivered Pizza In A Ferrari

Ever since my post a few weeks ago about the Domino’s store in Europe that used a Ferrari 360 Spider as part of their pizza delivery service during their grand opening, I’ve been wondering what it would be like to deliver pizzas in one of these for a night!

Now, just to be able to drive this machine would be an incredible experience, I’m sure, but what if I actually had to use it to do my job?

First off, the Ferrari 360 is a 2-seater. So that would limit the number of orders I could take at one time. I can usually stack 3 hot-bags beside me on the passenger seat. On my Monday shifts, I rarely take even that many orders at a time, but on a busy Friday night, being limited to 3 orders per trip might hold me back.

Also, where in the car would I keep all my stuff? I have a clipboard, pens, maps, flashlight, and credit-card machine that I use regularly while I am delivering. Also I wonder if there is a plug for my phone charger? I’m sure there is.

What if I got hungry? Would I eat in a car this nice? For fear of getting pizza sauce on the seat and toppings all over the floor, I probably would not eat while driving.  Not to mention, my wife doesn't even like the smell of my car after it's been hauling pizzas for 6-8 hours.

The actual driving would be a dream. Especially in the summer with the Spider’s top down.

The Ferrari 360 Spider accelerates from 0 to 60 in 4.3 seconds so I would never get left at a stoplight. The V8 engine provides a top speed is 186 mph, but I would never be able to get anywhere near even half of that. My average round trip delivery is 4 miles and almost all of my driving is on city streets.

How would people react? The other drivers would be jealous for sure! All the in-store co-workers would want me to take them for rides. Of course they would have to hold the pizza in their lap since there is no back seat and I wouldn’t want to be driving around empty when I could be making tips.

Speaking of tips, that is one of my biggest curiosities. How would customers tip the pizza guy who pulls in driving a sportscar like a Ferrari? Would they tip less, thinking if I can afford that car, I don’t need their money? Probably. A few car enthusiasts might give a higher tip, especially if I let them peek under the hood!

Would I be safe? I wonder how this car would handle in the ice and snow of Ohio winters. Would I be super-cautious when parking in apartment or hotel lots, parking far away from other cars to make sure I don’t get any door dings?

If I was in a hurry and pushed a few miles over the limit, or cruised through a stoplight as it changed from yellow to red, I’m pretty certain the police would notice.

And at the end of the night, when I pull in to Speedway to refuel, what would it cost? I like to drive a car that gets over 30 MPG. The Ferrari 360 is rated at 11 MPG in the city and 16 MPG on the highway.

The more I think about it, the more likely I would just stick to my current vehicle for deliveries. I would save the Ferrari for a nice Sunday drive!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Wrong Neighborhood

Tonight was a long night.  I was sore from running a double-marathon yesterday (yes, 52.4 miles).  We were kind of busy, as well as behind on dishes and frozen dough prep.

I took 10 deliveries, drove 28 miles, and made $15.50 in tips, all in 4.8 hours.

However, my deliveries can be broken into 2 sets.  Five to the "Number Streets" between East and West, and five to other places.  I made just $5.50 in the "Number Streets" area, and $10 on the other 5 (which included one tip of $0 because it was a rerun).

One Run

On Saturday evening, I was picking up Chinese food for my family right across from the pizzeria where I work.  I saw our general manager out back so I stopped in to say hi.  I don't usually see her since I only work Mondays and she doesn't.

The store was celebrating Halloween.  Manager Mike was dressed as a Papa John's manager.  Our restaurant is part of another franchise!  Very funny!

Anyhow I visited for a few minutes and saw the deliveries stacking up on top of the oven.  That always makes me a little antsy, as each order is a chance to get tipped!

After chatting for several minutes and seeing no drivers return, I sprung into action.  I checked the tickets and found an order that was going to the apartments right in front of my house.  I offered to take this delivery, that way the drivers would have less to do.  This neighborhood is a fair trip but is several miles away with a minimum of 4 stoplights round-trip.

I only made $2 (and I'm not sure when I'll get it, as it was a credit card tip so the manager would pay me after the delivery, and I didn't go back).  But still it was kind of fun!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pizza For Parkinson's Fundraiser

My dad had Parkinson's disease so I have a special interest in it.  Actor Michael J. Fox has become a spokesman and his organization, Team Fox, does alot of fundraising for Parkinson's research.

Well, the week of November 2-5 (Tuesday - Friday), the California Pizza Kitchen restaurant in New York City will donate 20% of the check to the Fox Foundation if you bring the flyier at this link.  I'm not sure how many of my readers are in the NYC area, but if you are, stop in and help out a worthy cause!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Different Styles

We had a different manager tonight as the normal Monday night manager is on vacation.  I've worked with this manager for years and like him, but I realized tonight that the Monday night manager is very efficient!

She usually has most of the frozen prep done and alot of dishes done for the night before I arrive.  This was not the case tonight, and it wasn't because we were busy.  We were only on ticket #58 for the day, when I got there at 6.

So I ended up working past 11 with another driver.  I've gotten used to being sent home between 9 & 10.

Totals for the night:  5.12 hours, 6 deliveries, 18 miles, $18.50 in tips.  Mileage was super low tonight, and almost half of it came on 1 delivery.  The other 5 were all super close.

No remarkable customer interactions, all tips between $2 and $4.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hotel Delivery Etiquette

I went to Kalahari this week with my family.  This is an indoor waterpark and hotel in Sandusky, Ohio.  On Thursday night we ordered pizza from Chet & Matt's.  We got 2 large pizzas, breadsticks, and cheese sticks, for $33, which I thought was a pretty good deal.

Now anyone who orders delivery to a hotel should tip a minimum of $5.  Increasing for big orders, bad weather, or delivery all the way to your room.

The order-taker told me they would bring the pizza to the front desk, and I would have to meet them there.  I was planning to tip about $8.

Well I messed up.  My wallet was in the room, and though I called my daughter to bring it to the lobby, we had a miscommunication and the pizza guy had to wait about 5 minutes before she found us.

He said he didn't mind, we actually struck up a conversation about P90X, which I used to drop 30 lbs last summer, and he is just getting started, hoping to add some muscle.  But I felt awful, making him wait, so I gave him a $10 tip.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Manager Speak

Manager:  "I need to see that ticket"

Waitress:  "Which one?"

Manager:  "The one with that pizza ..."

I overheard this conversation tonight and it cracked me up.  We are a major PIZZA chain.  All of our guest checks have pizzas on them!

I worked 4.66 hours, drove 35 miles, took 7 deliveries, and made $20 in tips.

First delivery was a $5 tip ... I arrived at the house about 10 minutes before the customer.  I knocked a few times, then called, he was still on his way home from work.  I wonder why he didn't just pick it up himself?

Anyhow, I spent the time chatting with the next door neighbor (who shares a driveway) who was sitting out on her side step.  She commented, "At least you get a break."  To which I replied, "I don't get paid as much when I'm on a break."  She asked a few more questions and I got to educate her:
  • Drivers get minimum wage.
  • Drivers don't get the delivery charge
  • Drivers get about $1 per delivery towards car expenses but have to buy their own gas
  • I make about half my money on tips
  • Most people these days seem to be tipping around $3
And indeed, 5 of my next 6 deliveries tipped $3 exactly.  (To go along with 1 stiff).

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ferrari 360 Spyder

Tips would have to be pretty special to be able to afford driving something like this on a delivery!

Seriously, though, here is a press release about the grand opening of a Domino's store in the UK, that included a soccer star, and "special" deliveries using the Ferrari 360 Spyder you see on your right.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Well I wasn't exactly lost, but neither could I find the address, and I ended up coming back to the store with the food.

The delivery was to a manufacturing business on an industrial parkway.  Unfortunately there is a new section that I was not aware of that doesn't connect to the other sections.  I tried calling but the work number they listed just went to voicemail.  (They should have used their cell #).

When I got back to the store, the manager was on the phone with the customer, I got the correct directions quick and headed back out.  The pizza was still hot (hot bags are awesome!) and best of all the customer still tipped $5.

Unfortunately this didn't make up for my next run, a triple stiff!  One delivery to an apartment where there was some confusion whether or not the order was paid by credit card.  I think this one was late because we were out of banana peppers and (again) couldn't contact the customer using the phone # they had listed.

Next was 2 orders to a house, with a note that said "call 5 minutes before you get there."  I knew the neighborhood and knew what was going on.  They live in the "South Park" apartments, now known as Midview Crossings, where we do not deliver for safety reasons.  So they gave an address of a house across the street and they will go and meet me in front of the house.

I wasn't happy about this and knew there would be no tip, but we took the orders so I didn't have many options.  It wasn't that I was afraid, I don't get out of my car if the situation isn't right, and I spoke with both customers on the phone as I was on my way.  It's just frustrating being lied to and then being stiffed.

Along with these 4 orders, I had 3 more that were unremarkable, that tipped $3, $0, and $4.  Oh well the $3 one was remarkable, the woman proudly told me she put the dogs out back before I arrived.  Unfortunately the smell didn't go outside with them.  WHOA!

I'm so out of practice I forgot to put my totals!  4.1 hours, 7 deliveries, 31 miles, $12 in tips.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Pizza Vending Machine

For real?  In Italy none the less!

Interesting that I had a similar post about a year ago!

Pizza Movie on the Web - Larry and Burt's Gut Rot!

I was made aware today of a web series called Larry & Burt's Gut Rot.  This is based on the true stories of a pizza delivery driver and his brother.

I watched the first episode tonight and I have to say, they nailed it!  The smell that lingers in the car, the customer's payment issue (so typical), and the written notes afte the delivery, these are certainly all things I have experienced over and over during the past few years.

Any restaurant worker will love these movies.

One word of caution, the language makes these "adult" movies, it is not appropriate for the family hour.  But then again, neither is the job of pizza delivery.  So there.

I can't wait to watch the other episodes (6 in all, so far).

Monday, September 27, 2010

On The Road Again

Coach Knoll used to sing that Willie Nelson song to wake us up in the morning for Cross Country Camp.  Today it means I'm back delivering pizzas, after a 6 month absence that encompassed 2 seasons of coaching soccer, and a personal tragedy.

But anyways, I'm back.  Probably just one night a week, for now at least.

I was scheduled from 6 to 10, but got sent home at 8:45 after 5 deliveries:
  • First was a delivery to the Waterbury neighborhood.  Husband held the well-behaved bulldog they were "training", while the wife added a $3 tip to the credit card slip.
  • Second, had to navigate some road construction but earned a $3 tip on a $12 order.
  • Third, got stiffed just down the street from the new high school.  Credit card order, she didn't understand when I asked her to "write the total on that line", not just her signature.
  • Fourth, got a $4 tip on a $20 order near the police station.
  • Fifth and last, got $1.50 on a $23.50 order.  So many vines on the chain-link fence that I couldn't figure out where the gate was to get into the yard!
Totals 2.75 hours, 5 deliveries, $11.50 in tips, 23 miles.  Mileage reimbursement was $5.25 ($1.05 per run).

Shocking news of the night was that Mona retired!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Coming Soon . . .

. . . me!  Delivering a pizza to your neighborhood!

After a long time off due to soccer season, a family tragedy, and another soccer season, I'm starting back to work next Monday!

I stopped by the shop and dropped off a copy of my drivers license and insurance so they can confirm that I'm legal to drive again.  I was off so long I guess I'm no longer even on the payroll!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Best 24-Hour Pizza Joint

According to this article, the best pizza place open 24 hours is right here in Ohio!  It's Hound Dog's 3 Degree Pizza in Columbus!

I used to like the Flying Tomato in Columbus, but next time I get a chance I will be checking out Hound Dog's!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Online Pizza Ordering Evaluation

STELLAService Awards Domino’s the Best Online Customer Experience of the Big Three Pizza Chains

STELLAService claims to have measured over 200 metrics of the online ordering process for Pizza Hut, Papa Johns, & Dominos.  Dominos Tracker seems to have been the feature that pushed Dominos to the top!

I'm curious what else they measured.

Readers, let me know if you agree.  Do you order online?  From where?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Pizza Driver Safety Advice

What was he thinking?
On Sunday we drove past this house where the robbery took place last week.  It's hard for me to believe that even in the dark, the driver got out of his car at this house.

Here is some safety advice for pizza drivers.

  • Carry a cell phone.

  • Call the phone number for new addresses to verify the order.

  • Never get out of your car at a dark house.

  • If there is any question about the safety of a location, don't even pull into the driveway so that someone could park behind you and block you in.  Pull up on the street and leave your flashers flashing.

  • Don't approach a house with numerous people loitering near the door or on the porch.
Oh and a quick shout out to my friend Ward, a former pizza manager.  He was attacked with a golf club the other day while doing repo work for Rent-A-Center.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Still Not Driving

Just as I was considering going back to driving after soccer season ended, we had a family tragedy and I still have not started back to my 2nd job.  However, my wife just lost 2 of her day-care kids (their mom lost her job) so I may pick up a night or 2 in the near future.

Meanwhile, here are a few pizza-related links I have found lately.  First, a video from CNN about a pizza guy (and EMT) who arrived just in time to give CPR and save a life!  What a great story!

The other link is not so great.  It is an article about a local pizza guy getting set up and robbed.  Come on guys, make your call-backs and never go towards an unlit house!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Weird Story

Here is a weird story, sent to me by a reader, about a mix-up in the order, and a strange way the pizza shop chose to resolve the order.

As a driver, I highly doubt any shop would "reuse" (re-sell or even eat) the returned food in any way. More likely they just didn't want the customer getting something for nothing.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April Madness

Tonight was the NCAA basketball championship game, but I didn't really expect much extra business. Getting a gang together to watch the big game and having pizza delivered seems to have gone out of fashion, I did deliver to 1 party of guys getting ready for the game though.

Two of my first 4 deliveries were free re-takes of things that were not delivered properly the first time. Breadsticks & cheesesticks. No tip either time, which is the rule. But the original driver should have had to take the remakes, not me!

After 6 deliveries I was up to just $7. That was around 8 P.M. and it was just 2 drivers, Thomas & I. Then business picked up. I don't think it was the game though. Of my last 9 deliveries, 2 were to nurses at work (hospital & nursing home) and 3 were to women with small children.

Twice I returned to the store to find that Thomas had skipped the oldest run. Now, being creative and routing yourself with doubles & triples is expected late at night when we are down to just a couple drivers. But you must take the oldest run! If you skip it to take a better order, I can skip it too, and it just gets later and later.

The first "skipped run" that I took was over an hour old. The girl actually put her finger in the pasta to see if it was still warm. It was! She also actually put $1 back in her pocket that she had clearly intended to tip me.

I'll be off for the next several weeks, probably until late May, due to coaching and refereeing youth soccer. In the meantime, I highly recommend Diary Of A Pizza Girl! I may post a news article or some other curiosity now and then.

Totals for the night: 5 hours driving, 15 runs, $34 in tips, 48 miles.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Tonight was a wierd night. Just 2 drivers, Joel and I until around 8 when Joel left and Thomas arrived.

I started off with a triple, including a single pizza to a 3M factory where I watched them packaging sponges, before getting stiffed. Total for the triple was 2 stiffs and 1 $2 tip.

Next was a double with 2 credit card orders. Each one added $1 as a tip. So after 5 deliveries I had made $4 in tips.

Next came another triple. Finally some tips, made $9 combined, including $5 on a $20 order.

Next were 2 single runs where I made $2 each.

After that I took a double to south Elyria and Grafton. Stiffed on 11th St. (after waiting for about 5 minutes while the customer scrounged up the last dollar. "Mom can I borrow 90 cents?", and made $5 in Grafton.

Came back and found another double to almost the same 2 neighborhoods. Made $2 in Colonial Oaks trailer park and $3 in Grafton. This was actually a triple as I had to re-run some garlic sauces.

Totals for the night were 15 deliveries, $27 in tips, 5 hours working, and 71 miles. That's the wierd number, almost 5 miles per delivery. I usually average a little under 4 miles.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Good Night!

Tonight was a pretty good night! I worked 5 hours, took 13 deliveries, drove 57 miles, and made $37 in tips.

Started off with a $5 tip on a $18.97 order (at a trailer park). Next was a free order (due to a mess-up on Friday) to the same trailer park. Usually a remake doesn't come with a tip, but these customers realize it wasn't my fault (I wasn't even working Friday!) and gave me $2.

My only stiff was to a public housing unit, and I got 2 more $5 tips. Also a $3.03 tip where the guy had to go back and get more money (Thanks!)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Take Charge

And it's a good thing we do (take charge cards that is). Of my 8 deliveries tonight, 6 of them were credit cards. First tip was the best ($6.61 on a $36.39 order) but everybody tipped decent tonight.

Except the employee at the Life Care Nursing Home.

She signed the credit card slip but just carried the subtotal down to the total, ignoring the tip line. I handed over the pizza, turned, and left. Then her coworkers were trying to joke with me, "I'll trade jobs for tonight" and then I heard them saying "I don't think he heard you."

I heard them just fine, but my time is valuable and if you aren't going to tip me, you aren't getting any extra time.

Compare that to the guy, usually a $1 tipper, I asked how he was doing and he replied, "Every day above ground is a good day." I said, "I've heard that one before but you know, it's always true." He gave me $3, definitely the most I've ever gotten at that house!

Totals for the night were 3.5 hours driving, 8 deliveries, 29 miles, and $23 in tips. Pretty decent!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Learning To Tip

I meant to write about this last night, but by the time I came home, showered, and sat down to blog, I must have forgotten.

It was my 2nd delivery. I had my bank of $15, and my $1 tip from my first delivery, a total of $16. The check was $21.99.

The customer had several $20 bills. He gave me one and asked the other guy in the house if he had a dollar. The other guy said he did not. They both dug in their pockets for a while. One asked if I took coins, and I replied, "Money is money."

The first guy handed me a 2nd $20 bill and asked if I could make change. I said that I had $16, which would leave me with a $2 tip. The guy looked confused.

I took both $20's and handed him back the $16. He asked again how much I owed him. I said, "I owe you $18. I gave you $16 so that leaves me with $2. Are we cool?"

The other guy came back from the other room with no more money. The first guy reached out and shook my hand. I guessed we were cool. I thanked him and went on my way. Probably the first time he ever tipped the pizza guy, but I hope it won't be his last!

Does Tipping Get You Better Service?

Absolutely. I had an order tonight, that tipped $5. When I got back to the store, the phone was ringing, I answered, and it was my customer, they had gotten the wrong kind of wings. I got the manager on the phone, and told her that the person was a good tipper.

We do get occasional scammers trying to get free food, but they don't tip. This customer got their remake of wings in about 15 minutes, and I didn't collect the wrong order either.

Totals for the 5 hour shift were 8 deliveries (7 plus the rerun), 42 miles, and $23 in tips.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mama Eun's Korean BBQ

I got a strange email the other day, suggesting I watch this video advertisement for Mama Eun's Korean BBQ - home delivery! Now usually I ignore this type of stuff but this one was unique enough, and it is delivery-related, I thought I would go ahead and post it.

I looked it up, Galbi is rib meat, usually beef or sometimes pork. If you decide to order some, be sure to let them know you heard about it here!

Hello Again, Gerry

Ex-driver Gerry is a new driver (again). He was telling some wierd story tonight about how he was in an accident and he thinks the guy who hit him was stalking him on one of his deliveries tonight. Strange!

Two other new employees tonight, driver Justin (Joel's brother & Kim's son) and cook Diedre.

I was scheduled 6-10 but didn't leave until after Midnight for the 2nd week in a row. Not good! Drove for 5 hours, took 14 runs, drove 43 miles and made $28.

First delivery the guy came to the door and said, "Wait, I forgot where I put the money." Why not your pockets?

Next person gave me a $20 for a $11.99 order and said, "Just give me 7 back." Thanks for the buck?

Next guy (apartment) was excited, his order was $12.49, and he said, "I got 13 here for ya." I guess I should have been happy with the buck at the previous house.

Next house had a really nice candle burning. I wish I had asked what the scent was!

Next house had a big white dog! It reminded me of a polar bear!

Next house, wasn't my turn but Kim said to skip her while she worked on dough-prep. Customer paid $21.05 for a $21.03 order. I guess I should have been happy with the 51 cents! Thanks alot Kim!

Next order, we were out of 2-liters of Mountain Dew. I called to see if I could bring a Pepsi or Sierra Mist, he said, "Just skip the pop, I have some beer here." Second best tipper of the night at $4.52.

Two more stops (had taken a triple), got 2 cents and $4.15, total $8.68 on the 3 runs.

Next took a double, first house was on an unplowed road. Treacherous! Next house (apartment), again had to call and swap a Pepsi for a Mountain Dew. Total $6.60 on the 2 runs, including $4.78 on the apartment.

Next, Kim had me skip her again, and I took a double. Got a total of 66 cents on the 2 runs. I think Kim can detect the stiffs!

Final delivery, got $2 from a girl who just got done working at Arthur Treacher's. You can't eat fish every day!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Breaking Records!

... not me but the store. There's a note on the bulletin board that says Super Bowl week was our best week ever. There's another note after that saying that the following week, we did $1000 more than Super Bowl week! Things are looking up!

I had 12 deliveries tonight in 5 hours driving. Stayed another hour in the dishroom. It was a pretty average night. I drove 54 miles and made $26 in tips. 2 stiffs, 1 x $1, 5 x $2, 2 x $3, 1 x $4, 1 x $5. The only surprise was that I did that well. The neighborhoods I delivered to, with the exception of 2 houses, were ALL places I wouldn't even be sure if I could expect a tip at all!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Pizza For Your Valentine

Well tonight was Valentine's Day and as expected we were busy. I worked 6 hours, drove 61 miles, and took 21 deliveries, 6 more than Super Bowl Sunday when I worked the same shift!

Although my night started great with a $7 tip on a $43 order to the staff at a retirement home, it was only a so-so night. I had another $7 tip (on a $14 order) and a $5 tip on a $12 order to a bar, but I also had 6 stiffs and 4 $1 "tips". All in all I ended up with $43 in tips.

Definitely worth going to work for, but definitely not what I would expect for 21 deliveries.

Special thanks to co-workers Tyler (a girl!) and Alison for passing out some valentine candy!

Bad news of the night is that there is a "mandatory" meeting next Sunday morning at 9 AM. I plan to be in church. We'll see how "mandatory" it really is.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Cat Wrestling?

I drove for 4 hours tonight, from 6-10. Again we were pretty busy and I ended up taking 14 deliveries. I drove 41 miles and made $29 in tips.

Can you believe that I was pleasantly surprised by a tip less than 10%? Well I was. First off it was 8 pizzas to the Police Station. In my experience, the police never tip. The total was $81.99. I found out on the way that it was already paid for. That made a tip even less likely. But to my surprise, it was a group meeting in the police "Community Room" and the guy who met me handed me $7. Not great but not bad either.

A while later, I delivered to an apartment. The mom told her son to grab the 2-liter from me, and the son replied, "I can't, Mom, I've got the cat in a full-nelson!" Now there's a statement you don't hear every day!

My night could have ended there, I had taken 8 deliveries and had collected $24 in tips. Yes, my last 6 runs netted me a grand total of $5. The highlight was a delivery to government-assisted housing where the guy's total was $14.98. He handed me $15 and proudly said, "Keep the change!"

My next night of working is Valentine's Day!

Super Bowl Sunday 2010

Lately I haven't been working on Sundays but of course I made sure I was available to drive tonight. I worked from 5-11 and we started off slow, I think I only took 1 delivery in the first hour. Things started picking up around 7 and from 7 until 9 we were slammed! From 9 on I was pretty much the only driver, so I stayed busy, taking 15 deliveries in all.

I drove 57 miles and made $35 in tips. More than I made in 2008 and the same as 2007 (when I started an hour earlier). I didn't work last year as I had a broken arm.

Most surprising tip was from a woman who ordered a Personal Panormous and thought she had ordered a Panormous. These are nowhere near the same size but still she tipped almost $6. Other than that I had 1 $5 tip, 5 $3 tips, 4 $2 tips, 1 $1 tip, and 3 stiffs.

I started saying to people, "Enjoy the game," and several said "Thanks, you too" before realizing that was a pretty stupid thing to say.

Final delivery of the night was a wierd one, it was one order but was paid separately, one person paid $14.98 by credit card (and tipped $1.02) and the other person paid $18.42 cash (and tipped $2.58).

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Money Making Monday

We were super-busy tonight. I think it's the $10 pizzas. Of my 16 deliveries, 4 were a single $10 pizza and 2 were 2 pizzas for $20. Most of the other 10 included a $10 pizza but with wings, breadsticks, pasta, Pepsi, I really can't say which ones.

I worked 5 hours and took 16 deliveries, drove 53 miles, and made $44 in tips. My first 6 deliveries each tipped $3. My next trip was a double that tipped $5 on the first house and $1 on the 2nd house.

Adventure of the night was a delivery to xx07 West ave. I get there and there's xx05 and xx09. I call the customer 3 times before they answer and admit they are on xx07 Middle ave. (Luckily just a block away). I'm on the phone as I'm pulling in their driveway and still they let me wait on the porch at least a couple minutes before opening the door. Want to guess if they tipped? (No).

My only other stiff was my last run of the night. He was so excited to get his pizza so fast, he had been quoted an hour on the phone. He questioned whether his pizza was fresh. (It was, we don't premake anything, ever). He said he wanted me to always deliver his pizza. I'd be happier with never.

At one point tonight we had 6 drivers in the store. Joel, Joel's mom, 3 new guys (Matt, Jonathan, and Paul?) and me. But 2 of the new guys may have just been doing prep and dishes, I never saw them on the road. Any other Monday it would have been WAY too many drivers but tonight we needed them all!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

DiGiorno Delivery

Check out this hilarious video for "DiGiorno Delivery". Much thanks to Cale for suggesting it.

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Hotbags!

We got new Hotbags in the store. They don't even have our name on them, just the "Red Roof" logo. I realize that's not really interesting enough to blog about, but neither was anything else tonight.

I worked 4 hours and took 6 deliveries. I drove 13 miles and made $15. My first 4 deliveries were to South Logan, Purdue, and a double to Warren & Clark so those 4 deliveries only took 4 miles driving to accomplish!

The delivery on Clark was to an older couple celebrating the man's birthday in a small bar. They were the only people in the bar!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Howdy Neighbor!

I had an interesting delivery tonight, houses 122 & 123 on the same street, about 10 minutes apart. Of course I waited around and took them as a double. Total tips from that run was $5.83.

Ironically I just read a blog post about a similar situation, where a fake customer placed 2 orders and while the driver was trying to deliver the first order (at a hotel), the customer stole the 2nd order out of his car! Read the blog to find out how the driver caught them the next time. It's a great story!

I asked and got let go early tonight, I worked just 2 hours, drove 13 miles, took 4 deliveries, and made $10 in tips.

Monday, January 11, 2010

How's The Weather?


Four of 5 customers specifically mentioned the roads or the weather tonight. The one that did not, the husband said, "CHILLY" as the wife held the door open a little too long.

Two of 5 customers still didn't tip!

Worked 2.5 hours, drove 18 miles, took 5 deliveries, made $10 in tips.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Bad Weather Driving Tips

The weather has been nasty this week. I'm sure the money was good but I'm actually glad I didn't have to be out in it as much.

Here are some winter driving tips from our local newspaper.

The biggest thing I can add as a pizza driver is, be prepared. Keep your car running well and gassed up. Have an ice scraper and maybe even toss a shovel in the back seat.

And take doubles & triples when it makes sense. If 2 orders are 6 minutes apart to the same part of town, in the summer they might go out as singles but in the winter they are definitely doubles. Customers will be more understanding about on-times in bad weather, and we really need to work together as drivers to minimize our miles (and time) on the road.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Tale Of Two Tippers

It was the best of tippers, it was the worst of tippers.

I worked 5 hours tonight (4 on the road and 1 doing dishes), drove 42 miles, took 13 deliveries, and made $28 in tips.

I had 3 different tip amounts tonight. At 5 houses, the customer showed their realization of the bitter cold weather and nasty roads, and tipped $4-5. These were the best of tippers.

At 3 houses, I got the standard $2 tip. One was on a free delivery (the customer had a credit, we had messed up so their order was free). This type of customer usually doesn't tip so the $2 there was actually a nice surprise.

At 5 houses, I got zero, zip, nada. Two stand out as especially bad.

One was out of our delivery area. The order taker said to me, "It was in the computer, we went there before, we have to go back." No, we don't. Just because we made a mistake in the past, doesn't mean we have to keep repeating it.

The other was to an apartment complex that is blacklisted due to it being a dangerous place. Lately we have been taking deliveries to the front security office to meet the customer. Well this kid didn't bring the credit card. I had already waited 5 minutes, and didn't feel like waiting while he walked back to the apartment then back up front, so I went ahead and gave him a ride back to the apartment. Still no tip.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Years Eve 2009 - Summary

It is late and I have plans in the morning, so I will make this brief. I may add a blow-by-blow recap later on.

I was scheduled from 5 to ? tonight. I ended up making deliveries until 11:30 (we closed - stopped taking calls - at 11).

I drove 82 miles, took 25 deliveries, and made $67 in tips. I made another $20 when one of the closing drivers paid me to stay until closing (which I was hoping to do anyways).

Highlight of the night was my 2nd-to-last delivery, 4 large pepperoni pizzas and 4 double-orders of cheesesticks to the apartments near my house. Total was $66 and I got a $14 tip!