13+ Things Your Pizza Guy Won’t Tell You

Love pizza? Get smarter about service with our list of things pizza delivery people wish you knew before dialing in your order.

By Maureen Mackey
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    1. It's a pizza, not a lifetime commitment.

    My other line is ringing, so choose the toppings before you call.

    2. We know when kids are prank-calling us.

    They can’t mask their voices very well. The smart ones block the phone number. The dumb ones don’t.

    3. Accidents happen.

    If I drop your pizza on the way, sometimes I’ll shake the box to get the cheese to slide back on right.

    4. Patience, please!

    It takes about 20 minutes to go from raw dough to fully baked pizza. And then I have to drive to your house.

    5. Why won't we deliver to some neighborhoods?

    In some neighborhoods, a kid getting out of a car with a pizza in his hands is like screaming, “Rob me! I have cash!”

    6. I'm a human being.

    When you see me drenched and shivering in the rain, it’s not nice to close the door in my face while you search for some quarters in the sofa cushions.

    7. Use your manners.

    When you open the door, please hang up your cell phone or put it down. It’s basic etiquette.

    8. Before you open the door,

    I’d prefer that you have a shirt on (and definitely some pants).

    9. Tips should be 10 to 15 percent of your order.

    If you order a lot of pizza—say, hundreds of dollars’ worth, for a party or something—but give me a $1 tip, well, I’m going to have a problem with that.

    10. The more gated the community, the more guarded the wallet.

    The best tips actually come from middle- and lower-class people who know what we go through.

    11. I remember every customer who doesn't tip.

    I won’t do anything to jeopardize my job, but shaking the soda on the next delivery would not be out of the question.

    12. I can't wait forever.

    I’ll knock on your door three times and call you on the phone twice. If you don’t answer, don’t call later to complain that you didn’t get your food.

    13. Some people want more than just pizza.

    A guy once ordered pizza from me just so he’d have some help moving his sofa up a flight of stairs. I agreed to help him. He gave me a few extra bucks. I took it.

    14. Telling me your address is just the first step.

    Making sure the number is on your house or mailbox is kind of important too.

    15. I can't afford to be choosy.

    We have some fantastic customers and some who are just terrible. But I’ll deliver to them all—this is what I do.

    16. I'm just a kid.

    Many delivery drivers are teenage boys, and most parents don’t like their teenage boys driving around at night in downpours or blizzards. Yet these same people have no qualms about having other teenage kids deliver their pizza in these conditions.

    17. There are always special customers.

    Like the little old lady who wants to pay her bill with a $5 check. I’ll take it because none of us want to be mean to a grandmother. But if she hasn’t ordered from us before, I won’t take it.

    18. Keep it short and sweet.

    We act like we really want to have a conversation with you at your door, but we don’t, unless we know you. Basically, we just want to get the delivery over with. I will try to be as nice to you as possible, but if you complain that I’m late, or if you have a problem with your order, I won’t be so nice.

    19.The majority of our employees work 12-14 hours a day.

    At the end of the day, we just want to go home. So please don’t call for a delivery at closing time and then complain that we can’t accommodate you.

    20. At our shop, we use our own cars to deliver pizza.

    Last week one of our guys smashed his car into a pole on an icy road. Now he’s using a rental car.

    21. I'm one of the easiest people to get along with.

    But if you’re rude to me, I have no problem going toe-to-toe with you.

    22. I can't wait much longer than a few minutes.

    Don’t jump in the shower right after you order pizza and then not the answer the door.

    23. If you live across the street, please don’t call for a delivery.

    Get off your rear end and pick up the pizza yourself.

    24. I'm over pizza.

    After I leave this job, I’m sure I won’t be able to eat pizza for at least a year.

    25. Time is money.

    The majority of customers who stand there chatting about the weather are just trying to make up for not giving us tips.

    26. You ordered the pizza.

    You know how much it costs. Please have your money (and tip) ready when you answer the door.

    27. I don't have the authority to give you a discount.

    Really, I don't. I'm just the delivery guy. 


    Sources: Anonymous pizza delivery people in New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

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    Your Comments

    • Boris Roberts

      One of my friends was a deliver driver for years. A certain race, in his experience, DOES NOT TIP. Guess which one?

      I’ll bet you get it wrong.

    • jeltez42

      It is really time to move into the 21st century and end tipping. This is nothing more than owners taking advantage of workers. I do not patronize restaurants that do not pay at least regular minimum wage. So no, I don’t eat out hardly at all. I also find it offensive that I need to bribe you to do the job you are getting paid to do.

      So yes, I get that you are paid a crappy wage, you signed up for the job. I get that you think everyone else is flush with cash to pay you a 25% tip. But unless you have delivered to me in a blizzard by sled dog, you doing you are paid to do and have not earned a bonus. Anything else is a bribe.

    • GA Guest

      I like the whole tipping aspect because it makes ther server pay more attention to the i know in some places they have banned tipping but they add they tip into your bill. I will not go to a resaurant that tells me how much to tip the server. If I have great service i usually pay 15-20%but if service is terrible i will pay 1% (if at all). I have only gave a 1% tip once and that was for terribler service I recieved at Barnacles here in GA.

    • Guest

      I like the whole tipping aspect because it makes ther server pay more attention to the i know in some places they have banned tipping but they add they tip into your bill. I will not go to a resaurant that tells me how much to tip the server. If I have great service i usually pay 15-20%but if service is terrible i will pay 1% (if at all). I have only gave a 1% tip once and that was for terribler service I recieved at Barnacles here in GA.

    • John

      #28: I am not a bank. What little change I have on me is for customers who pay with cash, and I often have multiple orders to deliver before I can return to the store to get more. So if you paid by card, please do not ask me to break your $20 because you either want to get your drink from the vending machine or you’d rather not have your tip come out of your card as well. Also, if you only have a $50 or $100 to pay your order with, please tell the person taking the order at the time you’re placing it, because once again I do not carry that much on me normally.

      • driver

        Someone asking you to break a $20 is almost definitely doing that so they can tip you in cash (and in my experience, the tip in these cases is very good). If you like tips, then learn to do the most basic things to please the customer and make it easy for them to tip. Duh!

        • guest

          In order for the driver to make it easy for customers to tip, they have to have more than $20 in $1 bills. If they get robbed, the robber will have all that money.

          • guest

            And then the driver won’t be able to give other customers their change back.

    • Mee Too

      The driver does not get the charge,for the delivery

    • Mee Too

      I use to deliver for a pizza place and one of our pizza with tax came to
      $9.90, you just don’t know how often they would give me a $10.00 bill
      and then tell me to keep the change. REALLY

    • Semper Fido

      In the mid 80′s I was the lead driver for a small chain in central California. I decided what neighborhoods to deliver to, and when it was too foggy to deliver. But I was a driver too. I always told my drivers to remember the customer. NEVER do anything to their food. But if they have a history of stiffing on the tip, not answering the door, or being hostile, I didn’t mind if they stopped off at the house to kiss the kids before bedtime on the way. On the other side, if a regular customer tips $20 every time, it’s okay to stop and get him a case of beer on the way if the driver is over 21. That ensures a $50 tip. Oh, and as far as answering the door nude, that only applies to men. Women, we didn’t mind (and yes, it happened a lot). But we NEVER entered the house… ever.