Saturday, January 29, 2011

Five-Dollar Tip? You Can Bet The Ranch On It!

I was supposed to work 6-11 or so tonight.  If I would have, I would have been bummed!

My night started off pretty depressing.  On my first 13 deliveries, I made a total of $18 in tips.  It was a continuation of Thursday night when I seemed to be getting $1 or $2 and nothing more.  My first 13 tips were as follows:  $0 - 3 times; $1 - 3 times; $2 - 5 times; $3 - 2 times.

Then something happened, I have no idea what, but my luck shifted.  I wasn't friendlier, and I sure wasn't getting the food there any faster.  But I got a $5 tip on a street where I didn't expect it (on what seemed to be a high-maintenance order with several special requests).

That started a trend and 9 of my next 16 deliveries tipped $5 or more!  I'm not sure I ever had such a streak of good luck!

My final delivery of the night was notable in that the customer ordered a side of ranch (for $0.75).  I packed the order and as I was 2/3 of the way there I realized I forgot the ranch.  I went over the options in my head:
  • Ignore it and hope the customer doesn't realize it's missing - not my style
  • Stop at Burger King and get a couple ranch packets - too many cars in the drive through
  • Go back to the store for a ranch sauce - not this late at night
  • Tell the customer and deduct $0.75 from their check - leads to a disappointed customer
I decided to stop at the 24-hour convenient and buy a bottle of ranch dressing.  It cost me $2.59.

When I arrived, I told the customer that on the way there, the guy who packed the order let me know the ranch was missing.  (Which is true.)  I then showed them the bottle and let them know I stopped to get it since I knew they were a good customer.

They paid their $32.74 order with $40 and said, "Just keep it."  A seven-dollar tip, earned in part by picking up a $2.59 bottle of salad dressing.

Oh what a night!

I worked 8.1 hours, drove 92 miles, delivered 30 orders, and made $89 in tips.  This is one of my most profitable nights ever!