New Experience: Delivering Pizzas!

This year has been a bit slow for me having lost my biggest client last year. I definitely feel like I’m in a transition point in life, but won’t really know for sure where the transition will take me until it’s complete. In the meantime, I’m exploring new experiences and opportunities.

Our neighbor owns a Domino’s Pizza and manages 5 stores. During spring break, I’ve been given the opportunity to be a driver for one of his stores and exchange for monetary compensation! I can’t say this is a road I would have taken if he didn’t make getting on board super quick and easy, but I’m glad I did. I’ve always been curious about the task of delivering pizzas and it definitely gives me new perspective on many things.

  1. Tip your delivery driver. I can’t stress this enough. They aren’t making much money and it’s not as simple as you think. Plus, they’re bringing your lazy butt food so you don’t have to stop whatever it is you were doing to go get it yourself, so the least you can do is compensate them.
  2. Apartment complexes suck! They’re all different, they number their buildings in different ways, and sometimes the building numbers are impossible to find or read in the dark! Google maps will sometimes take you to the right building, but most of the time once you’re in the complex, you’re on your own. Do the delivery driver a favor and provide some kind of brief direction on how to get to your apartment.
  3. Tell us your gate code. Adding to the annoyance of delivering to an apartment complex (and some fancier neighborhoods), if there is a gate at the entrance, please don’t forget to include that on your order.
  4. Provide a working phone number and ANSWER YOUR PHONE! If a driver is trying to get your food to you as fast and hot as possible, be available in case they need to call you to get directions. If possible, also provide a mobile number that can text. Drivers┬ámay send a text if they feel you aren’t answering my call because you don’t recognize their number.

This is all coming from only 1 night of delivering, so I may encounter new things the next time I get the opportunity to go, but here are some of my favorite happenings from last night.

  1. I was tipped $0.06 for my longest trip. Part of this is my fault because I failed to match up my GPS address with the location on the display in the store. I wouldn’t have traveled 10 minutes out of the way had I done that, but once I got the correct location on my GPS, I was headed in the right direction. See #4 above! I tried calling to confirm the address but no answer. I also texted with no response. When I finally got there (only about 5 minutes later than expected delivery time, but actually the food needed to be cooked longer than expected, so I don’t feel like that was my fault), I had to literally bang on the door 3 times before someone actually opened it. So after all the running around, I’m still doubting whether I’m at the correct apartment because nobody is answering. When this kid finally opens the door, he hands me nearly exact change and says “Just keep it.” Keep it. I wanted to respond with “Keep what?” I remained professional but wanted to throw his food from the balcony of his apartment. Do you have any idea what I’ve been through to get you this?? All I’m saying, is I’m going to remember your address like the Rick Astley YouTube URL.
  2. I accidentally left the credit card receipt in my car and had to run all the way back (another apartment complex), leaving the order with the customer. The dude was super cool about it and still gave me a decent tip.
  3. I went through 3 pens that would never work when they needed to. I blame the receipt paper. Which by the way turns black when it gets too hot. Sounds like a great idea when dealing with HOT FOOD!
  4. I hate apartment complexes. Have I mentioned that yet?
  5. The best tippers came from the most unexpected customers! My last delivery was to a shady motel (which by the way was almost as bad as delivering to apartment complexes with their poorly visible room numbers). The customer was a very sweet lady that paid cash and even after having paid me enough for the food + a decent tip, she told me to wait just a minute and pulled together a few more dollars. That lady was awesome! Thank you!

Ok, finally some stats. I filled up my car with gas ($28), ended the night only having used 1/4 of a tank, and had to buy some socks ($9). I averaged about $5 tip per delivery, plus I got paid a small amount per delivery, and I also got a little bit for the mileage, so ended up walking away with $62. I worked from 4p-12a (8 hours) but there was a good bit of standing around since it was a bit slower night. So minus the gas & socks, my rate ended up being around $6.50/hr. Not terrible for delivering pizzas, but also not great. The perks are that I walked away with cash that night so there is immediate results for your labor, and you have the freedom to listen to whatever you want when driving (podcasts, music, comedy, whatever). Not a terrible way to spend the evening. I’ve got some weekend nights coming up where I’ll get to do it at least once more. I can track those numbers and see how they compare.

Overall, pretty exciting experience. I feel like the more I do it the better I will get however I don’t see improving helping my ability to earn more money a whole lot. Sure there were a few address mixups, but we’re only talking about a few minutes here and there. The key is going to be volume and charm. ­čÖé

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