The Benefits of Pizza Delivery Jobs
By Steve Gillman
I have had pizza delivery jobs in Michigan and Montana. This
can be good work for a young person, especially if it's approached
properly. By that I mean if is used as the tool that it is. For
most people low-skill jobs like this should be one of three things:
A temporary way to pay the bills, a way into better employment
positions, or training for a future business.
Typically as a pizza delivery driver you will use your own
car, although one of the places I worked provided cars for the
drivers. You will also work in the kitchen, because at all but
the largest operations there will be time between deliveries
that needs to be filled. So you'll likely be making pizzas, taking
orders, cleaning, and preparing dough. On the busiest nights
you'll spend most of your time delivering, and at the end of
the night you'll have to turn the cash due according to the receipts.
The rest is your tip money.
To address the three purposes for low-skill low-pay jobs,
I'll start by saying that I was offered a management position
at every restaurant I worked at when younger, including the pizzerias.
If you do a good job and don't have trouble with other employees
it will be noticed in a small restaurant, so promotion is likely.
The problem with promotion from delivery positions is that you
normally make less money initially, because tips can be good
when you deliver. But if your goal is to get management experience
on your resume, you'll just have to take that pay cut and those
added responsibilities (although I negotiated a partial-promotion
once, in order to keep delivery tips coming in).
As for a temporary way to pay the bills, pizza delivery jobs
are not that bad. You get a regular paycheck and also get cash
every day you work--your tips. See the suggestions below for
more on how to do better with this.
Finally, this is a classic way into a small business. You
deliver, you work in the kitchen, you get promoted--all of this
can happen in the first few months if you're a good worker. At
that point you know the basics of the business and can start
planning your own venture. If you promise to build your pizzeria
in another town you might even get your current boss to help
How Much Can You Make?
Although as a tipped position you could be paid lower than
the standard minimum wage, this is rare. There are too many other
parts of the job for employers to claim you only deliver, and
I don't know of any case where the pay is below the minimum wage
for non-tipped jobs. The tips themselves will vary according
to the nature of the town, and the business and your service
and smile. Good delivery drivers can make $100 in tips on a busy
weekend night, but expect to average a few dollars per hour in
most places. With the base rate that puts this a solid step above
Bureau of Labor Statistics don't separate out pizza delivery
jobs from other delivery positions, but my guess is that as of
2011, a delivery driver should do $10 per hour or better in most
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
Remember that you are essentially getting minimum wage whenever
you're not on the road, so to raise your pay, get the busiest
shifts you can. A Wednesday afternoon might make you $8 per hour
while on a Friday night you make $15 per hour between wage and
tips. It also helps to get hired by one of the busier places
To boost your tips further, deliver as quickly as you (safely)
can, smile, and make change quickly. Be sure the customer always
gets some small bills back, so he is able to tip you. Bring an
extra supply of one-dollar bills to work if your employer doesn't
give you enough.
Most employers have a system for fairly dividing up the deliveries,
but if not, look out for your own interests and grab the ones
which you know are for customers who tip well.
Most pizzerias compensate you for the use of your vehicle.
An old car that gets good mileage is ideal for keeping your actual
cost down so you can make some extra income from your reimbursement.
For example, at my first job I was paid a percentage of the sales
of pizza I delivered for the car expenses, and it was more than
the real cost of filling the tank and maintaining the car (I
tracked every expense for a year), so it added about fifty-cents
per hour to may total pay.
If you intent is to open you own place someday, ask a lot
of questions, volunteer for every task and take notes.
If your interest is in getting into management, look for a
place that has more than one manager. A corporate-owned pizzeria
also has the potential for regional manager positions and more.
Qualifications / Requirements
Naturally you need a driver's license. Some states require
that delivery drivers have a chauffeurs license, but many don't
enforce the law. If necessary, this usually just involves a written
test and less than $20.
You will also need to know how to make change properly, since
you will be doing so from a wad of cash in your pocket.
Don't wait for jobs to be advertised. There is a high turnover
rate in this industry, so get out there and ask every pizzeria
if they are hiring.
- Postings of pizza delivery jobs.