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

    • Pavel Adamek

      I admit, we all have to eat and we all have to work to eat (unless you have won a lottery, cf. another “list” on this site), but the delivery-based tipping is ridiculous. One of the items on the list admits “I have other customers to take care of, no time to chat”. So if the interaction takes less than two minutes, maybe much less, why should I care about the person’s fixed salary and be obliged to increase it via my tip? A pizza delivery business should increase the fixed prices of its products and then advise customers that tips are included. That way, customers will avoid the awkward 15% rule and the employer will give its pizza boys the corresponding bonus.

    • Beau

      #11 is so true. Want to be the last order delivered? Don’t tip.

    • C.S. Bailey

      #23 If me living across the street is a problem for you, don’t charge me the delivery fee.

    • Valerie

      I once had a friend robbed at gunpoint while delivering pizza. The guy said “drop the pizza, pizza man” and so he dropped the pizza bag (which was a dominos bag with duck tape across the domino words) for this company. The person who took the order didn’t know they didn’t deliver to that neighborhood. Anyway, the thief used a fake address but a real phone number and they traced it and he was arrested for armed robbery of a pizza. Oh my friend also had several hundred dollars on him at the time in his cash bag, but the robber didn’t get any of that since he only asked for the pizza.