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

    • PointOfView123

      #23 “don’t order if you live across the street” is a load of crap “piece of advice”. From my pizza delivery days, as long as you tipped like anyone else for the privilege of sitting in your PJ’s instead of coming across the street, I loved delivering to you. I took your delivery and was back in the store a whole lot quicker than driving to the address a 10-15 minute drive one way – meaning I was back in line for the next delivery and tip – or I could get two deliveries/tips on one run as I’d drop your pizza off while on the way to the other delivery 10-15 minutes away. Either way, more money in my pocket.

    • Kenny

      As a current driver for Papa Johns, I can tell you that the delivery fee is NOT a tip. We do not see a cent of it.

    • jiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

      You don’t like getting a $5 tip for delivering a pizza just up the road? You don’t like getting $5 for a 3 minute drive? You’d rather deliver to some shady unfamiliar neighborhood on the other side of town than a high visibility business district that’s right up the road?

      You’ve got problems, man.

    • JT

      If a pretty woman is answering the door it is no problem if she doesn’t have a shirt or pants on. Seen that a few times in my 12 years at Domino’s Pizza. Never a problem!!!!

    • Tyler

      Who thought pizza drivers could be so narcissistic.

    • John P. Aubele

      When I was a teen in the 1970′s, a private Pizza joint bought old Postal vehicles for the deliveries. This conversation makes me wonder if a business could be opened to rent fleet vehicles cheaply to vendors that deliver…

    • jay

      The proper amount

      The common courtesy is 15% for normal service.

      On small orders of less than $20, the proper amount is the $3 minimum standard. It should be a $3 minimum to have someone come out to your house.

      20% or more if the service is excellent.

      10% or less for poor service. Nothing for very bad service.

      If the order is large, like $100 or more, at least 10%.
      It’s considerate to tip slightly more during bad weather.

      In rain, snow, extreme cold, or extreme heat, at least $1 more. It’s thoughtful. The service is greater.
      It’s also considerate to tip slightly more for long distance.

      If your location is more than three miles from the store, it’s considerate to tip $1 more.

      If more than five miles, increase by another $1.

      Remember that a five-mile drive through a residential area can take 30 minutes for the ten-mile round-trip.

      Tips are appreciated. Thank you for tipping the pizza guy.

      Last updated: June 13, 2013

    • Whatevs

      This is a terrible list! How about “If we know you don’t tip, your pizza is the last one delivered in our stack – we want to keep the good tippers happy” or “it sits under the heat lamp until someone finally HAS to take it.” The little known “be a total a-hole all the time to the store employees (phone or in person) and, even if you are a regular, your pizza ‘might’ fall on the floor once or twice (sometimes with the manager “looking the other way”).”
      Also – Delivery Charge isn’t a tip given to the driver. The store keeps that money.

    • Justin Sayn

      Amen to all of these. I never did the deliveries, but I know what the drivers went through. I’d add, don’t call on a Friday or Saturday evening and expect your pizza RIGHT NOW. You know when the busiest times for restaurants are. Expect it or order at a better time. Those of us, like me, who were making the pizzas have more than just your order to make. You called at a particular time. Those who ordered before you get theirs made before yours. Deal with it.

    • tsunami1112

      I used to deliver pizzas so enjoyed reading this but the only thing I disagree with is, “If you live right across the street from a pizza place, don’t order it (or rather get off your lazy butt)” . . . sometimes I will order pizza if I don’t feel well or am simply too tired so as long as the person tips you for the service, what should you care. I say if you are not planning on tipping your driver, then DON’T order pizza. Always include the tip as a part of the cost; the tip is your cost for the convenience of not having to leave your home!