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3 Things I Learned Delivering Pizza | Entreprelife

3 Things I Learned Delivering Pizza

Pizza Truck

After 4 months deliv­ering pizza, I’ve stepped down from the job that helped put food on my table. Yesterday was my last day.

It was a good gig (after a slow start) but it took a lot of time away from Entre­pre­Life and my rela­tion­ship my family and friends.

Leaving wasn’t an easy decision, but after a bit of looking I found a part-time job that leaves me more time to work on the projects that will define my career – instead of being exhausted all the time.

Like any part-time job, there were ups and downs. Obviously, the best part of pizza delivery is the tips. Thanks to social pressures in America, I get anywhere from 2 – 10 dollars a pizza! Way more lucrative than most minimum wage positions.

Beyond the joys of tips, there are a few other things I noticed.

1) Free Pizza Means No Tip

The chain I worked for has special offers that sometimes include free pizzas. I only got one tip off of a free pizza. Even when pizzas are $1 dollar, I usually get a tip, but on free pizzas no one seems to tip the delivery driver.

What I’ve learned is there’s a huge gap between $0 and $0.01. When we get something for free, we assume every­thing asso­ci­ated with it should be free. This is true online, in a store, or even when helping a friend.

How can this help you? In two ways:

  1. Under­stand, free is never free. With pizza delivery, the deliverer is expecting a tip – even on a free pizza. That’s a cost that goes above and beyond “free” pizza. These costs show up in every free service. A free phone costs a two-year contract, free Google search costs your personal infor­ma­tion, a free e-book costs an email address. Free is never truly free and while it may not cost money, there are other costs that need to be considered.
  2. Free costs more long term. The pizza company gives you a free pizza hoping you’ll like them more than the other guys. If it works, you’ll end up spending thousands of dollars at that company instead of one of the others. It’s a manip­u­la­tion trick that works so often that everyone is doing it. Free now, pay later. When getting something for free, consider other options. Don’t choose a product only because it’s free.

2) Some Groups Don’t Tip

One of the hardest parts of the job was dealing with a truth I’d heard about but never really believed.

It turns out, certain minori­ties in certain income levels don’t tip.

Maybe once in a blue moon, but over­whelm­ingly they won’t tip. I’m not going to say what minori­ties or income levels, but safe to say the rumors are true.

What can you learn from this? People are different, but not that different. There are certain traits either through our upbringing or the expec­ta­tions of society that shape the way we do things. When dealing with money, consider why you’re acting a certain way. Is it because it’s the right thing to do, or because you’re suppose to do it that way?

3) People Will Surprise You

A woman doubled her tip when she found out I wasn’t making minimum wage.

A man gave me an extra $5 dollars because he could tell I was having a rough night.

In a poor, rundown apartment complex a guy gave me my biggest tip I ever received.

Just when I thought I had things figured out, people surprised me.

While it’s good to be cautious and take history and wisdom into consid­er­a­tion, I’ve learned that I also need to give everyone a chance. Some people are mean and stingy, but others are kind and poor.

Some just want a person to talk to – even if it’s just the few seconds you trade money for a pizza.

If you give people a chance, they’ll come through when it really counts.

Final Thoughts

I’m still young, and have lots more to learn. There are adven­tures to go on, problems to overcome, and pains to experience.

But at 25, I’m confident with this advice:

Tip your delivery driver…especially if it’s me!

How much do you tip?

[Image credit]

16 Responses to “3 Things I Learned Delivering Pizza”

  1. Grace February 6, 2012 at 1:23 PM #

    Great post! I enjoyed reading it.

    • Alex February 7, 2012 at 8:29 AM #

      Thanks, Grace!

      • Big Gurl October 21, 2012 at 8:00 PM #

        If you forget the receipt, the napkins, the pizza sauce r u still expecting a tip? Cause I’m not trying 2 give one if you can’t even remember the receipt! If your order is $15 some people r like you have 2 give $5 for tip at least I’m like NOO! 10% if I feeel like it and 15% if the they were nice and included recepit napkins etc

        • Delivery Expert Extraordinare February 6, 2013 at 3:52 AM #

          Im sorry Big Gurl,

          If you order delivery, $5 tip MINIMUM PERIOD. Don’t like it there’s another option you may have heard of, many stores offer this service, its called CARRYOUT. Where else is somebody going to drive THEIR vehicle carrying YOUR FOOD to YOUR HOUSE so that your lazy ass can sit on the couch and watch t.v. ? GET YOUR OWN PIZZA!! Delivery is a CONVENIENCE, its not for everyone. If my store doesn’t carry cheese, hey, not my fault they’re cheap­skates too! 10–15% is for servers who WALK from one side of the restau­rant to the other, take your order, come back at the end of your meal to get paid, while all along leaving the bitch work to the runners. I’m sorry, you’re a CHEAP ASS. $5 MINIMUM to DRIVE MY ASS ACROSS TOWN for your CONVENIENCE! I risk getting Mugged, getting in a wreck, I drive through rain sleet and snow so that YOU DON’T HAVE TO!! At your WHIM nonethe­less, only motive: because you’re LAZY!! Don’t even get me started about routine main­te­nance and have you seen gas prices lately?!? That’s worth at LEAST $5 in my book. If it isn’t to you, that’s okay, really it is, just come to the store to pick it up yourself. I’ll GLADLY hand it over with a big smile. Best of all NO TIP NECESSARY!! Just don’t waste my time with your $2 BULLSHIT. Save the money, KEEP IT! If $2 hurt you, then you need ‘em more than I do.

          –Your local Pizza Guy.

        • Tim April 27, 2013 at 12:34 AM #

          I own an inde­pen­dent pizza shop. I deliver along with a few part time drivers. The lousy tippers seem to be the biggest complainers and want something for nothing. Delivery costs the shop more. It takes more employees. Big Gurl should pick up her own pizza. I have alot of good customers. The lousy ones seem to think they are the most important. I’ve actually told some to go somewhere else.

  2. Mike Luna February 6, 2012 at 10:45 PM #

    Some good obser­va­tions. I’m impressed with your ability to look at a situation or expe­ri­ence and take an important lesson away from it.

    • Alex February 7, 2012 at 8:30 AM #

      Thank you, Mike :D I appre­ciate it!

  3. ixnayonthetimmay February 7, 2012 at 2:41 AM #

    Most people (I’d assume; myself included) will base their tips on the total upfront cost of the service. Perhaps it’s based on the social norm of tipping 15–20% in restau­rants, therefore that mental calculus weighs in on their figuring of other gratu­ities. I person­ally do gauge the percentage of a tip on the quality of service received in a restau­rant, but just throw a round figure extra for the Pizza Delivery Chap.

    One thing that drives me from tipping extra is when a tip charge is added to the listed price and shows up already printed on the receipt. I don’t really like that practice since it’s less a voluntary gratuity than a “screw you, we’re taking more money.” Therefore, I try to avoid busi­nesses like that.

    • Alex February 7, 2012 at 8:32 AM #

      Yeah, I don’t like that either. On pizza delivery receipts (for all chains) there is a “delivery fee” that doesn’t go to the driver (part of it goes for gas, but not all of it). And yet, most people assume that’s a tip. I’ve seen it really mess over delivery drivers.

      Even so, I totally agree with you on the “we’re adding at tip whether you like it or not” thing.

  4. Brent Pittman February 7, 2012 at 12:01 PM #

    I worked in the service industry too and now try to give good tips! You’ll be a tipper for life!

    • Alex February 7, 2012 at 12:51 PM #

      Haha, sure will!

  5. Joe Plemon February 8, 2012 at 10:00 AM #

    I am ashamed to say that most of my life I have not been a generous tipper. However, after my son delivered pizzas for a while, I started seeing things differ­ently (from the deliverer’s viewpoint) and started becoming more generous.

    • Alex February 9, 2012 at 2:02 PM #

      My parents had a similar expe­ri­ence after my sister started working as a waitress. Completely changed their tipping habits!


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