The Benefits of Pizza Delivery Jobs


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 you out.

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 fast-food pay.

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 places.

Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities | Tips

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 in town.

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.

First Steps

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.

Resources - Postings of pizza delivery jobs.

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Every Way to Make Money | The Benefits of Pizza Delivery Jobs