What Is It Like To Be A Pizza Delivery Driver?
First off, to answer the most over-encompassing question:
yes, I did in fact enjoy the job. But...
I spent around 9 months working for one of the more popular American fast-food pizza companies (for the sake of my review, I'll leave out their identity), and in that time, I decided that as fun as it was it wasn't something I wanted to do for an extended period of time. Now let's get to why.
The absolute best money I made on the job was delivering during rush hours/days. Come Friday and Saturday nights, most everyone and their mothers wants to order a pizza rather preparing something elaborate. It's the end of the work week after all.
That means the drivers who are working are constantly on the go. Grabbing pizza's, zipping them to the costumers at sometimes breakneck speeds, and trying to remember to get change when you get back to the store is what defines the 4-5 hour shift you'll be given that day. And each trip you make can garner you a much coveted 'tip'. That's right. The golden word for a pizza guy. Tip. You will learn to love this word.
Sometimes it's only a dollar or two, and sometimes the old lady who takes 5 minutes to answer the door and demands napkins will throw you a curve-ball with a crisp new $5 or $10 bill. Really, it depends where you live. But this can often result in the doubling of your wages (not even kidding). I made just under $8 per hour as my base wage, but averaged $15 on busy evenings. And that's with gas too.
One caveat, however. It isn't always like this. Again, these are just the rates during the busy hours. If you're opening the store or just working through the midday hours, the chances of you having more than just a small handful of deliveries is fairly slim. Those shifts averaged me around $9/$10.
If you're in it for the money, you can probably find something better elsewhere. That being said, lets get to the details of the job!
Here's the rundown. You'll walk in at your scheduled time, clock in, and then look at what needs to be done. Usually, my order of priority was as follows:
- Are there any pizza's ready for me to deliver?
- Nope? Guess I'll take care of getting food out of the ovens and package them up!
- Someone else has that? I'll answer the phones and take orders!
- Oh...they've got that too. Ummm, I'll go fold boxes or sweep something.
- Uhhh, too many people, not enough work. Can I go home, yo?
And that's the basic framework. Yes, you won't be able to drive around, cruising to you favorite music all the time. Honestly, probably not even most of the time. My experience was probably 33% driving. Again, it depends on when and where you work.
Other than that, it's comparable to most any other job. You're required to show up on time, have a reasonable attitude appropriate for the job and look the part as well; albeit the uniform for a pizza guy is never all that impressive.
Additionally, most pizza delivery guys are not required to know how to prepare pizza or other foods. Although it's obviously very possible, I've never seen a situation where someone had to be a do-it-all individual. Therefore, you can learn the job very quickly, I was off the learning curve after about 2-3 weeks. And the hardest part for me was taking orders on the phone.
This job isn't necessarily stressful in any way. Yes, you can be very busy, but that's more of a positive stress. If anything, taking phone calls can be the worst part of the job because you can find yourself taking orders from indecisive incomprehensible 8-year-olds who can barely speak above a decibel. That and grumpy customers can get to you a little bit. But it's always worthwhile to remind yourself that at the end of the day, it's just pizza. Mistakes are forgivable.
The Beautiful and the Ugly
Alright, this is for my best and worst moments on the job. Ultimately, I'd say there weren't any real terrible events in particular, and never was there a moment where I was exclaiming how awesome it was while I danced around the store. But hey, can't have it all now can we?
- BAD I probably would have been a bit happier if I could count on my schedule as being more concrete. By that, I mean when the schedule says I work till ten, I can expect to actually be leaving the store around ten o'clock-- not midnight. I missed plenty of cool events and put thorns in my friends' plans on too many occasions. But I guess if the world is demanding pizza, then someone has to do it.
- GOOD Thank god for the good people in this world and their tendency to accumulate at pizza joints. I swear, I may have only met like 7 people by getting this job, by if I had to live in a world with them and only them, I wouldn't complain too much. They were just fantastic and I hope the best for each and every single one of them!
Bottom Line Time
So I ended up quitting the job.
I needed more time to myself and quite frankly, I felt like I had better things to be doing. Whether or not I actually did is beyond me, but I no longer was satisfied with my 'high school/ on-the-side' job. I knew it wouldn't take me I wanted to go, and I had a few other opportunities knocking. I don't regret my decision.
So for you, if you find that you have the time and are looking for a fairly basic job that can be fun and manageable at the cost of maybe not having the highest wage, I fully encourage you to at least try it!
I originally envisaged glorious drives around town, listening to some exquisite jams and making new friends here and there. And it's exactly what I got. Not to bad, really.
Have a different experience? Let me and the world know by leaving a comment below!