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!