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

    • Titlebreaker

      I deliver pizzas, and:
      #3: They’ll take one look at the pizza and they’ll know, and they’ll call, and I’ll be delivering the replacement pizza. The situation sucks, but being honest at least makes it slightly less dramatic.
      #4: Time varies greatly depending on delivery distance and pizza type. What you’re committing to is the time estimate that was given to the customer over the phone.
      #6: I’d just be thinking “Hey, at least he’s giving me more tip money!”
      #7: I don’t give a crap about etiquette, the tip amount is the only thing that actually affects my opinion of you.
      #8: See #7.
      #9: It would be better to base the tip off of how distant you are from the restaurant, as the size of an order barely matters compared with how far I have to go to get it to you.
      #10: Not quite. Lower-class people give lower-class tips. It’s sad, but true. It’s also true that higher-class customers are no more likely to tip well than middle-class customers.
      #11: Shaking the soda leads to an angry phone call, and the delivery of a replacement soda. If I’m going to do anything about a chronic low tipper, it’s shunting them to the last stop on a run with multiple deliveries.
      #14: If your address number is hard to spot at night (most are), give me specific details as to what your house looks like and where it will be on the street. Otherwise, I’m shining a flashlight at every house I pass.
      #16: If terrible conditions don’t affect whether or not you order a pizza, they should at least affect your tip.
      #18: For a given delivery, I spend maybe 10 minutes on the road for every 30 seconds at the door. If you want to double-my time at the door to make pleasant conversation, that only increases my delivery time by 5%. A nice conversation or improved customer service is well worth that measly time increase.
      #19: Amen. A last minute order can mean the difference between everyone getting out at 10:30pm vs 11:15pm. It really matters.
      #20: Crappy tips hit us dearly. We’re taking a big financial risk using our own cars, so a run of low-tip nights combined with any accident can mean the difference between keeping the job and signing up for food stamps.
      #21: See #7.
      #23: Hey I’ll take a close run gladly! A tip’s a tip.
      #24: Bull. Pizza never stops being pizza. This job only makes me love it more.
      #25: See #7.
      #26: This is the one transaction where checks are tremendously convenient – I love them.

      • jeltez42

        I am sorry that you chose low paying jobs and that your employer did not have the decency to cover the insurance while you were working. But here’s the deal, I am paying for a pizza to be delivered. I expect excellent service. I am paying enough for that pizza to cover your $15 per hour wage, your gas, and insurance (My area a 16in, cheese pizza is $21). Get a tip from the owner because he has the money I would have paid to you.
        As for the poor not tipping well, I would hope they would save their money and not buy from your store. I would hate for you to be insulted because they could only afford to pay you $2 on a 10.99 order.

    • moco25

      With all the whining on here, it’s just easier to get your own pizza from the grocery store or a take n’ bake place…..it’s cheaper and often better anyway….I love Papa Murphy’s.

    • Nico Yamabushi

      Yeah tip doesnt go to the driver ive been with dominos for 6 years now. At our stores in the area basically part goes to the store for insurance and part is for uniforms.we get paid 4.50 while on the road and 7.50 while working inside the store. Even if youre only tipping a dollar or even 3 dollars in change its better than giving me nothing. I pay 20 dollars in the tank everyday. The way i look at it if you cant tip stay and home and cook it yourself or come pick the pizza. If you think it took too long well most of the time your not the only delivery we have on us and others may have ordered before you. Not only that you have to keep in mind traffic and wrecks seems to happen alot here. Like others have said yes we remember who tips and who dont so sometimes you might get skipped for the customer who tips everytime. If you stiff me everytime and have a rotten attitude torwards me everytime well then i guess you enjoy having cold pizza.

    • Patrick

      I delivered for 8 years and really agreed with nearly all of these. I wish they would have mentioned something about putting their pets away. You know somebody is coming over with food, put your pets in the back yard, a room, etc. Every delivery driver will pretend they like your dog, but shouldn’t have to deal with getting barked at, jumped on or occasionally bitten. It’s also the perfect chance for your dog or cat to run out the door because it is open wide enough for a pizza and both your hands are full. I also had many scratches on my car because a dog would come running up to your car and jump on the side.

    • barrypink

      Regarding # 9. You’re in the wrong business when you’re doing the job you’re getting paid for and then expect a tip. A gratuity (or tip) is: A favor or gift, usually in the form of money, given in return for service. It is not nor has ever been something that was required. It is something a customer chooses to pay because he/she feels they have received exemplary service. Except for the wear and tear on your car and the gas you use, you work no harder than the people behind the counter at McDonalds, or Burger King or any other fast food restaurant. And from what ‘ve been told by people who have been pizza delivery persons, at most chains the driver get a % of the deliver fee to cover your vehicle expenses. A good driver (when possible) will take deliveries that are close in proximity so as to save on gas. You people whining and b!tching about not getting tipped or not getting tipped enough (by your standards) are one reason why I don’t have pizza delivered. As for companies that keep most of the delivery fee (Papa Johns) Shame on you!

      • hayley

        The issue is that people who work in service get taxed extra for being in a tipping industry, so if you don’t them you are actually taking money away from them.

      • Kevin

        I agree the tip isn’t required and is a gift. I was definitely raised with the belief that its polite and you give a tip as long as you got good service. As long as you could afford it of course. If pizza shows up on time with the stuff it’s supposed to have and the employee is kind its good service. The longer the distance also always factored into our tips for delivery drivers as well. A 20 min drive means the employee is dedicating much more time to you.

        I wouldn’t consider delivery drivers the same as behind the counter people at other fast food restaurants. Being on the road for 5 hours every day adds a considerable risk of accident or traffic violations which will affect you financially for a significant amount of time. You don’t see them as often as a waiter at a nice restaurant, but its a possibility that they were the ones who sliced the vegetables, grated the cheese, mixed the dough, slapped out the dough, made the pizza, cut the pizza, and delivered the pizza. At least in the places I’ve worked the delivery drivers do everything behind the scenes when not on delivery as the phone/register people deal with the in store customers mainly.

        Pizza guys delivery system works like this. You get about half of the delivery charge which varies between mid 2 to 3 dollars depending on distance. And you can take up to 3-4 if they are all in the same location or direction. But most things don’t line up at least not at the correct times. So you are limited to 2 most of the time. That pays for your gas at the end of the night it is their way of reimbursing you, but since that isn’t an exact measurement of gas used if you take a bunch of short deliveries or groups you can make a profit. The downside is the across town deliveries, opposite directions, or just plain bad luck in getting 1 delivery at a time all night can mean you lose money. Our longest deliveries are guaranteed to not cover our gas cost because they are expected to go with additional deliveries. Most of the time it ends up working out correctly and you come out even. The delivery charge is basically just paying pizza guys to rent an employee to delivery. But sometimes it can just end up adding a few dollars extra at the end of the night.

      • Wilson

        Karma will catch up with your cheap a$s soon enough. Tipping on a delivery is NEVER optional. It is a luxury service and should be treated as such.

      • Hank

        YOU ARE WRONG People do have the right to not tip, however, in the industry, tipping is expected. That is why these people do this work are being paid less than minimum wage. It should be common knowledge, that if you desire this type of service where someone brings your food, you are expected to tip. A reasonably healthy person is not required to give a seat to a “very” pregnant woman, but if one doesn’t, one is a PIG. I worked a a taxi driver for many years and always went above and beyond duty to provide good service for customers. Those that could afford to tip were often reticent to provide reasonable compensation for such service. Those who could least afford it would on often tip something. There are a lot of sweet, caring and generous people out there. There are also very many out there, who are selfish, mean, insecure, uncaring, distracted, thoughtless, greedy or just plain dumb!

        The opposite of wild is cultured. We are not the latter. We have a wilderness. Whoa unto us!

    • Amos Ailanjian

      It really depends on the store manager, most store managers, will pocket 90% of their drivers fees. Tip: Drivers need to unite, make it perfectly clear to the store managers, you want your fair share of the delivery charge. Managers will act like its store policy, when, in fact, its up to each store manager.

    • Un_Real

      10 to 15%…? Really…? $30 bill is only $4.50.

      I NEVER give less than $7.00 for my regular $28.00 order.
      Bad weather…. Snow, rain, ice… You saved ME a trip out in that weather. I usually tip $12 to $15.00 My payment is by credit card, my tip is always cash.

      I have to be doing something wrong.

    • Jayson

      Delivered pizza for almost two years, rarely got tipped even though I rushed to get the pizzas to you on time and hot. Dope smokers were the worst customers

    • compudude86

      It’s all correct. You may think we don’t remember, but if you tip very low or don’t tip at all, we remember you, just as we remember who does tip us well. Do you not tip? Does your pizza arrive exactly within the one hour window with a minute to spare? They used to say where I worked, “TIPS” stands for To Insure Prompt Service (Yes I know it should be ensure). When you don’t tip, or give us a dollar tip, or something under a dollar, we remember that. When we have two orders in our car, and that good tipper is one of them, we will most likely deliver to them first before we deliver to you. Tips are the majority of a delivery drivers income. Contrary to some popular belief, A DELIVERY CHARGE IS NOT A TIP! Yes, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, and the big name places, probably give their drivers a flat rate or an hourly rate. But, truth is, your local pizza joint most likely pays your driver just that $2 charge for a delivery. Let’s say they are like the one place I worked, they have 4 other drivers on shift on a Monday night. By the end of the night, if we are lucky, we have had 5 deliveries. That is $10 for the night from the restaurant alone, plus tips. Now, is your driver humming around in a brand new Prius? Probably not, it’s probably an old car on it’s way out, and getting 10-12 mpg. We don’t get any money for gas, that comes out of our pay. I have left a few delivery jobs because the losses exceeded the gains in the end, because the shop only charges $2 for delivery, overstaffs their drivers, charges way too much for their food, and has huge boundaries. When gas is $4 a gallon, that pay at the end of the night is quickly eaten up by gas and other maintenance costs. Remember, that driver is doing you a favor delivering to you when there is a blizzard, a crazy storm, whatever is going on. They are trying to make a living just like you do. Respect them, tip them respectfully, and it may be you who gets your food before the other guy who tips poorly.

    • BahBahBoowie

      Allow me to retort.

      #1. How about you answer the phone promptly & make a vague attempt to be courteous.
      #2. Definitely MENSA material here.
      #3. Yet you expect a tip?
      #4. Flat out Lie – Pizza places can have your pizza made inside the oven within 2 minutes and ready for delivery within 12
      #5 I wish I could pick & choose my customers
      #6 Yet endangering the neighborhood children as you barrel down the street, should be deemed acceptable?
      #7 Last time I looked etiquette was a 2 way street.
      #8 This is your customer, he just got done working a double shift at the factory to afford to splurge for a pizza for his kids.
      #9 Sorry bud, your company’s policy of mandatory “service and/or delivery fee” is really eating into your tip.
      #10 The louder your stereo is blaring the more my pizza will reek of Marlboro’s
      #11 Typical Neanderthal thought process here. Will that customer order from your company again? Not real soon
      #12 And yet the entire party will wait on you when you are 30 minutes late
      #13 You helped somebody and then asked for payment, a real humanitarian.
      #14 Please make an effort to know your neighborhood