delivery person

Pizza delivery

Pizza delivery is a service in which a pizzeria delivers a pizza, usually ordered by telephone or Internet, to a customer. Delivery charges are commonly applied to such purchases.


In the United States, modern pizza delivery began after World War II, when many pizzerias were opened by former soldiers who had encountered the dish while serving in Italy. Many pizzerias were opened in the 1950s and 1960s by Italian immigrants in northern European countries, like Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands. Today, in many European countries, take-out döner kebab or shawarma restaurants sell pizzas as well.

The process


Ordering pizza for delivery usually involves contacting a local pizza restaurant or chain by telephone or online. Online ordering has gained popularity in countries with high Internet usage such as the United States and Canada, where most pizza chains now offer online menus and instant ordering.

Time guarantees

Pizzerias, such as Ontario's Pizza Pizza chain, will incorporate a time guarantee or a promise delivery within a predetermined period of time, perhaps specifying that late deliveries will be free of charge. For example, Domino's Pizza had a commercial campaign in the 1980s and early 1990s promising, "30 minutes or it's free." This practice was discontinued in 1993 due to a number of lawsuits arising from accidents caused by hurried delivery drivers. Now, pizzerias will commonly state to the customer an approximate time frame for a delivery, without making any guarantees as to the actual delivery time. In early 2008, Domino's introduced the "You Got 30 Minutes," which is not a promise or guarantee, but a goal that Domino's strives for.


Bags used to keep pizza hot while being transported are commonly referred to as hotbags or hot bags. Hotbags are thermal bags, typically made of vinyl, nylon, or Cordura, that passively retain heat. Material choice affects cost, durability, and condensation. Heated bags supply added heat through insertion of externally-heated disks, electrical heating elements, or pellets heated by induction from electrically generated magnetic waves.

Pizza boxes

The most common pizza box is a square cardboard box in which a pizza is packaged for take-out or pizza delivery. Pizza boxes are often emblazoned with the logo of the pizza company from which they come. However, some smaller restaurants will use boxes with a generic image. Pizza boxes are not accepted by most municipal recycling programs because food is often stuck to the box itself. Boxes are thus commonly thrown away with household garbage; a more environmentally friendly disposal option that has been proposed is a form of backyard composting for pizza boxes, but it has been found that even newspapers if left in sections can take 20 years to decompose.

Delivery charges

For decades, "free delivery" was a popular slogan for almost all pizza stores.

In Australia the delivery of food to a home or place of work began to take hold in the regional cities around 1993-1994. The price of delivery has always been included in the overall price of the order, usually in the cost of a main course meal or pizza, not in the condiments or drinks. The habit of a gratuity depends solely on the temperament of the customer, but wages paid for a driver exceed the wages in other countries; even with the restaurant industry being a very cut-throat business. A portion of the delivery charge is given to the driver as the store is required to re-emburse the driver for the use of a personal vehicle. Donatos for instance charges $2.10 of which $1.15 goes to the driver. Domino's Pizza is credited with popularizing free pizza delivery in the United States. Pizza Hut began experimenting in 1999 with a 50-cent delivery charge in ten stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. By the summer of 2001 it was implemented in 95% of its 1,749 company-owned restaurants in the U.S., and in a smaller number of its 5,250 franchisee-owned restaurants. By 2002, a small percentage of stores owned or franchised by U.S. pizza companies Domino's and Papa John's were also charging delivery fees of 50 cents to $1.50, and some of Little Caesar's franchisees charged delivery fees. In 2005, Papa John's implemented delivery charges in the majority of its company-owned stores to enhance pricing flexibility. Domino's credits delivery charges as a way to adjust for variable ingredient, energy, and labor costs without adjusting menu prices.


In some countries, it's common to tip the pizza deliverer with an optional gratuity upon paying for the order.

In the United States, tipping for pizza delivery is customary. Opinions on appropriate amounts vary widely, with news articles typically suggesting around 15% of the bill or at least $3. Slightly more is suggested for deliveries in inclement weather or relatively distant deliveries. The Original Tipping Page website , cited by a few dozen news sources, suggests $1-2 for short distances, $2-3 for longer distances, and $5 or more for large orders. U.S. deliverers may be employees or independent contractors. Employees are legally obligated to report tips to their employer for income tax purposes, while independent contractors, who may charge a per-delivery fee to a restaurant, are legally obligated to report tips to the Internal Revenue Service.

In Australia, tipping for pizza delivery is rare and not customary, and hourly wages for deliverers are considered relatively high. Prices for delivery orders are typically higher than for carryout orders, and "free delivery" cannot be advertised if carryout pricing is lower.


Pizza delivery, by its nature, can pose risks for those engaged in it, as they are required to go to the homes of strangers, in unfamiliar neighborhoods. In the U.S., pizza delivery persons have been subjected to assault, robbery, and sometimes raped or killed on the job. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, which categorizes pizza delivery drivers and taxicab drivers as "drivers-sales workers," ranked it the fifth most dangerous job category.

In 2004, Pizza Hut fired a delivery person who shot and killed a robber while on the job, citing its company policy against employees carrying weapons. Other national chains such as Domino's also prohibit carrying weapons, though many independent pizzarias allow delivery persons to carry weapons in a legal manner. Employer restrictions on carrying weapons is a controversial issue in the U.S., where most states in the U.S. allow most citizens to carry concealed weapons in many circumstances.

Labor unions

In recent history, two labor unions have been formed specifically for pizza delivery drivers - the now-defunct Association of Pizza Delivery Drivers (APDD) and the American Union of Pizza Delivery Drivers (AUPDD).

Association of Pizza Delivery Drivers

APDD was formed in 2002. Its initial claim to fame was as an Internet-based union, eschewing traditional methods of organizing, and making contributions and the sale of goods the center of its fundraising activities, instead of dues. People could join APDD using a form at their website, or chat with its officers in an IRC-compatible Java chat every Tuesday evening. At its peak, it claimed approximately 1,000 members in 46 US states. APDD held several certification votes in the US, but was never successful in organizing a local. In March 2006 APDD lost a lawsuit against a Domino's franchise in Mansfield, Ohio. This combined with massive debt left the union with little choice but to shut down.

American Union of Pizza Delivery Drivers

AUPDD was founded in early 2006 by Jim Pohle, a driver for a Domino's Pizza store in Pensacola, Florida. It was certified as the representative union for his store in April 2006. Pohle cites the sub-minimum wage paid by his store as the instigating factor in forming a union.

While formed in the more traditional method of organizing at one's own workplace, AUPDD uses certain Internet-based techniques originated by APDD, such as its mass communications with the press and its fundraising activities (although more traditional dues are collected from the eleven members of the fledgling local). It also uses the Internet as its primary outreach to those wishing to start locals across the US.

In popular culture

Pizza delivery has been featured as a major element in several mediums in popular culture. There are several works of fiction where the main character delivers pizzas, including Tom Wolfe's novel I Am Charlotte Simmons (2004), and Neal Stephenson's postcyberpunk novel Snow Crash (1992). Several feature films also use pizza delivery prominently, including the 1984 comedy Delivery Boys and the Spike Lee 1989 film Do the Right Thing. In the case of other films, use of pizza delivery has been regarded by critics as "overly integrated product placement". Heather Boerner criticized The Haunting Hour Volume One: Don't Think About It (2007) for its over the top use of Papa John's Pizza. She wrote, "Not only is the pizza delivery guy included in more than half of the DVD, but the logo is present and the kids are shown munching ecstatically on the pizza at the end of the movie. They even say things like, 'What great pizza!' and something along the lines of 'That delivery guy sure was nice!' It's enough to make a commercial-conscious parent gag.

Since the 1970s, pizza delivery has been a recurring plot vehicle in pornographic films, where it is used to introduce men (or women) for random sexual encounters. Titles in this genre include Pizza Girls, We Deliver (1978); The Pizza Boy: He Delivers (1986); California Pizza Girls (1992); Hawaiian Pizza Punani (1993), Pizza Sluts (1995); Big Sausage Pizza (2003); Big Sausage Pizza 2 (2004); Fresh Hot Pizza Boy (2004); DD Pizza Girls (2004), and Pepperoni Tits (2006).

Pizza delivery has also been the subject of non-pornographic films, even to the point of being the subject of such feature length films as Drivers Wanted and Fat Pizza: The Movie, as well as Pizza: The Movie. Pizza delivery has served as major plot element of such films as Loverboy.

In television, the Australian comedy series Pizza (TV series) centers on Pauly and his co-workers who deliver pizzas for a Sydney-based pizzeria called Fat Pizza. On the show Futurama, the character Philip J. Fry, was a pizza delivery boy in the 20th century before he was cryogenically frozen and woke up in the 30th century. A SpongeBob SquarePants episode ("Pizza Delivery") features the title character having to overcome obstacles in order to deliver a pizza to a customer, who then refuses to take it because he didn't get his drink.

At a historic Minuteman Missile Site in South Dakota, the entrance to the underground Launch Control Center is sealed by a blast-proof door emblazoned with a painted spoof of Domino's Pizza's red, white, and blue pizza delivery box. The box is labeled "Minuteman II," and hand-lettered text on the door reads "World-wide delivery in 30 minutes or less, or your next one is free," spoofing a former Domino's Pizza slogan.

See also


External links

News articles

Further reading on appearances in popular culture

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