Helpful Tips for Being a Good Pizza Delivery Driver
Delivering Pizza Ain't Easy...
Some of you out there may be thinking about becoming a delivery driver for one of your local pizza parlors. Delivering pizza can earn you some extra cash from tips that may float you between pay checks. Some of you out there may have already delivered pizza in the past or are currently doing so. Those of whom that have found themselves in this line of work can tell you that delivering pizza isn't easy. You may be thinking how hard can the job be but there is more to delivering a pizza then dropping off the product and picking up the cash for the store. Tip money is a blessing in this line of work so you will want to do your job well and earn a good reputation just to earn that little bit extra. Below you will find some helpful tips on not only finding the right place to deliver for but how to make the extra money that other food service jobs don't readily offer.
About Your Car...
The first thing you will need before you begin your new career is a working vehicle. This is the most important aspect of the job. You wont find yourself delivering pizzas without an efficient mode of transportation. Depending on where you live, even a bicycle may be the most efficient mode of travel in a crowded densely populated area. In high-traffic, dense areas you may even be required to use a bicycle rather than a car. Otherwise in most rural areas a decent car is definitely your best bet and you are likely to not get the job without one.
Make sure what you are driving can hold up in all conditions of weather and can handle the mileage you will most certainly put on that vehicle. A vehicle that leaks fluids is probably not such a good idea to start delivering pizza in. You will not want to waste all of your tip money just replacing oil or antifreeze in your car. Cars in this condition are also most likely to fail soon without immediate attention. Another thing you will want to keep in mind is that gas guzzling vehicles are not wise in this line of work. Many pizza establishments don't offer a whole lot in the way of how much the store pays per delivery so with today's gas prices you may want to think about driving a 4 cylinder car instead of that big 8 cylinder full size pickup.
A couple of extra pointers for you future drivers; check your fluids regularly and make sure your tires are well inflated with good tread left on them with no wires sticking out. It looks pretty bad when you can't finish your shift or the delivery you may be on because you had a tire blow out on one of those back country roads. Also just as a reminder do not under any circumstances get drunk or use drugs before or during your shift.
About Your Method of Communication
The next thing you are going to need is a working cell phone through a good carrier. This is essential as a delivery driver because you never know when or what you may need that phone for. Often times out on a delivery you may need to call the customer or the store if you don't receive a response at the door or even if you need to be let into an apartment building. It's also handy if for some reason you need to call the store or 911 in case of emergency.
A lot of this may not apply to most of you because you likely already have a cell phone or even a smart phone for that matter. With today's age of technology a smart phone is especially helpful because in general they come with built in gps and mapping apps. If you do not already have a smart phone I would recommend upgrading to one as this will assist you greatly. Be sure however if you want your new phone to work for you be sure to select a good carrier in your area that also has 4G capability otherwise that expensive new phone probably wont be worth anything without the proper service to support it. I know that this can get pretty costly and if that is a concern there are some cheaper carriers that run on the same towers as your major service providers and may even offer you the same service contract free.
Remember calling and texting while on the road is illegal in most places and is dangerous so I strongly recommend refraining from these activities while driving.
Don't Sell Yourself Short...
Keep your options open when searching for your new job. Many pizza places vary in pay and driver incentives when you get hired on so pick one that meets your needs and wants accordingly. A few things you will want to look for is location, money you earn per run, and in store wages. It also wouldn't hurt to ask your potential employer how their business is doing and the volume of deliveries they get on average. The reasoning for this is because even if they offer decent wages it doesn't do any good if you barely take deliveries.
Location is a key factor here. This job can get very uncomfortable if you deliver mostly to rough neighborhoods. People in these areas are notorious for not tipping very well and with the probability of a higher crime rate you may find yourself getting mugged if you're not careful. You will also already be doing a lot of driving so you may want to try to find a store close to home as not to spend extra money on gas and vehicle expenses just going back and forth to work.
Pay and incentives as I mentioned earlier vary from business to business so pay close attention to this when interviewing for jobs. Typically stores will pay the standard minimum wage then offer a portion (if you're lucky half) of the delivery fee they charge the customer to you per delivery. Other stores may pay you by mileage which may be helpful if you find yourself constantly taking long deliveries. Another thing to keep in mind is that sometimes if a store offers more money per delivery you may very well take a hit on your regular wages. Legally a company is allowed to do this as long as your reported tips plus your regular wages are equal to or are greater than minimum wage. Evaluate your needs and wants closely then pick the store you are most comfortable working for.
Once you have found the business you are most comfortable working for, hopefully you will have gotten hired! As for when you start you will find that you will not constantly be out on deliveries. During this time you will be required to help out around the store. This can be anything from actually helping to make the products offered by the store, to folding boxes, or just general clean up. You will most definitely even be required to answer the phones and ring in customer orders so it might be a good idea to work on your people skills. This will assist you greatly in creating a good reputation for yourself amongst the customers and your bosses.
Be prepared is the next bullet point here. This job can be a little tricky if not properly prepared. Firstly always bring a pen with you everywhere and keep one or two in your car for backup. You will need this pen frequently for a variety of different reasons, one of which is for the customers to sign their credit card slips. Most of the time your customers won't have a pen readily on hand so it looks good on you to have one prepared for them. Use caution when trying to find addresses as these can get very difficult to see in the dark. Lastly double check the receipt to make sure you have everything before you leave, nothing is more embarrassing then when you forget something as simple as a pop and have to drive more to bring it to the customer.
Out on delivery, be sure to follow the rules of the road carefully and know your area well. It does not look good for you or the business if you find yourself getting pulled over for driving recklessly. People will also notice and may not want to order from your company if they see you driving like nothing matters. With that said still do your best to hustle to and from deliveries. Many places have more than one driver on the clock at one time so all of your future deliveries will be in a queue with the other drivers. The faster you can make your runs and get back the more likely you are to receive more runs which leads to taking more of the good runs which of course leads to more cash in your pocket. Also if you are a smoker it is wise not to smoke on your way out to the customer with food in the car. A non smoker may very well smell the smoke on you and will instantly turn them off even so far as to give them idea to call the store and complain. It is most of the time okay to smoke on the way back to the store just be sure not to let the customer see you light up in their driveway.
It should be no surprise that customer satisfaction is of the utmost importance. Be sure to always keep the pizza flat and level. Most pizza will be delivered in a heat bag of some kind so do your best to grab the bag by the bottom as this will assist you in handing the pizza to the customer while keeping the pizza level during the exchange. Keep your personal life separate from your work life. You want to appear chipper for your customers because they may even call just hoping that you will deliver their pizza and may tip you better. This also includes being a quick judge of character so you can respond appropriately and professionally. This too will also nudge the customer into hopefully ordering from your store again.
I hope those of you who have taken interest in this article found it helpful and informative. If there is anything you feel I could add to this or a something else that could be addressed feel free to leave a comment and I will try to respond to it as soon as I can. Thanks for reading.