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

    • Rigbly

      sorry your majesty but could I bother you to bring me a pizza like the glorified dog you are and don’t take it upon yourself to speak for an entire demographic thanks.

    • Justerer fan

      Another advice for low tippers:

      Most tipped employees’ wages are set lower than federal/state low wage. Nowadays, it’s common to see pizza drivers being paid $7.75-ish when in store (answering phones, folding boxes, washing dishes) and $4.50-ish an hour when on the road. Most places do reimburse for mileage. You won’t believe what kind of wear and tear it puts on you car, driving home-work twice a day vs. driving in unfamiliar places in the dark, bad weather on short trips. Body, engine, suspension suffer badly. Gas mileage is terrible. Tires wear unevenly. Interior suffers. Mileage money is not something that driver pockets.

      Let’s say average delivery destination of 3 miles is about 20 minutes (1/3 hour) round trip, and that the driver spends 70-80% of their time on the road. If everyone tipped $2, his/her hourly wage would be $9.95. Would you (maybe not yourself, but a family member who isn’t as educated and connected/supported as you are) work for that? Don’t forget, pizza driving is considered a high stress, high risk job with unstable income and no benefits. If everyone tipped $3, his/her hourly wage would be $12.35. Better, but hardly lucrative.

      What I am trying to say here is that if you low tip is bringing a young man’s wage close to federal minimum, he’ll get pissed off rather quickly. You know what can happen then. If you don’t, it’s right below (my previous post)

    • Justerer fan

      #11 (I remember every customer who doesn’t tip) needs to be explained further. Getting stiffed is such an unpleasant experience that people remember the address for a long, long time. Some (including yours truly) even used to keep blacklists. Nowadays it’s easy with apps such as Delivery Droid that keeps record of every customer. You enter an address, and it tells you how many times, on what dates you delivered to this particular address, and what tip you got on what total amount, and the average tip for this address.

      You low tip a driver more than a few times, and your address becomes famous at the store. Revenge is not obvious to you, but it’s there. Some are ineffective, from shaking the soda to stereotypical spitting/coughing on food. Others may include warm sodas and cold pizzas (roll down the windows, open the boxes and air them). There are many other things drivers do:

      - stepping on fragile items in front of the house (flowers, solar lights, sprinklers)
      - making a u-turn well into your front lawn (works specially well in a rain)
      - loudly pretending to talk on your cell phone if the neighbors are present and saying that you just got stiffed.
      - unpleasant and rude treatment. If you ask for parm cheese, peppers or napkins and receive a cold, abrupt “no”, then your tip might have been low. Ask the driver. They won’t tell you if your tip was high or low, but they will tell you what their average tip is.
      - if it’s a cash order, getting all your change in pennies
      - if it’s a credit card order, making you show the card, then your ID, then demanding that only the person on the card (not the husband) can sign for it, and asking why the back of the card hasn’t been signed, and carefully inspecting your document and looking unsure if the ID picture matches your face…

      I’ve heard of even nastier ones, but let’s not give people ideas. Bottom line is, don’t mess with people who handle your food. If you can’t afford or don’t wanna tip, just go and pick it up yourself. Problem solved.

      • Win8-TrackBlows

        Wow. Rock on, Tyler Durden!

    • Justerer fan

      And what idiot came up with #9 (Tips should be 10 to 15 percent of your order)? Driver tip should not be based on the amount. It’s not a restaurant where a waiter can serve several tables at the same time and spends 30 seconds walking to the customer. So if I got a $9.17 order that is 5.5 miles away (round trip 35 minutes), I get anywhere between $0.92 and $1.38 as the tip? Meaning I’d make $1.58-$2.37 in tips an hour? Tipping less than $2.50-$3 is just not nice. Those who live by “a couple dollars tip for the driver” rule are living by the 70s-80s rule. How would you like to be paid like in the 80s yourself?

      On the other end of the scale, delivering 15-20 pies (4-5 bags) to a large building is a lot of work. Thankfully most business customers know that and diligently tip 10%. I recently delivered 5 bags to a community college. It starts with figuring out where the right entrance is, then walk through a huge square/courtyard, struggle with the doors, then walk through a huge lobby, then a long hall. Then you ask who is paying for the pizza, and it takes another 5 minutes to find the right person. Then you have to go back to your car to get the rest of the bags because carrying more than 10 pizzas is impossible. Not only it becomes heavy, tall, and cumbersome, but also if you stack too many of them, the bottom ones start to get crushed. So you have to repeat the long walk and struggle with the doors. That’s why $10-20 tip on a $100-200 order is deserved, but $1.2 on a $11.33 is too small.

    • Justerer fan

      Some are poorly worded and explained. #23 (If you live across the street, please don’t call for a delivery) should be worded: “just because you live across the street, doesn’t mean the pizza guy deserves a pathetic $1 tip”. I have plenty of customers who live less than half a mile away but tip $5-6. I love them. I would be completely fine if they tipped me $3.

    • Justerer fan

      Some are wrong, others are plain stupid. #18 (Keeping it short and sweet) I don’t agree with because there is nothing wrong with exchanging a few sentences. It’s elementary human communication standard. But what I don’t get is what idiot in NY, NC, or PA suggested that “The majority of customers who stand there chatting about the weather are just trying to make up for not giving us tips”. Huh?

    • Justerer fan

      Some of these are petty, minor annoyances. If you deliver pizzas for a living, learn to deal with minor stuff like customer not being ready to choose their toppings or have cash ready, or closing the door in their face etc etc. Don’t be a drama queen!

    • David

      “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.”

      Actually, it takes about 30-40 seconds to slap the dough, sauce, cheese, top, and about 6-8 minutes to bake. Where is the information in this article coming from?

      • Richard Kirsch

        We actually had a lady refuse an order when it got to her house because it got there in less than twenty minutes. She claimed that we had already had her pizza made and we just slapped her ticket on it. The driver (who happened to be the ASM) told her it was fresh, but the lady refused saying it takes twenty minutes to cook a pizza. ASM explained about the gas jet ovens, but the lady didn’t want to hear it and said she was gonna order form our competitor. So. ASM calls the competitor (who’s GM used to work at our store…), gives them the heads up, and sure enough, they get out there in less than twenty minutes and the lady refused them too!

    • David

      “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.”

      If you do that, you’ll get fired. Who wrote this dumb article?

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