Find out how much the driver tip should be on your pizza delivery order


Pizza Tip Calculator

Find out how much the tip should be on your order. The minimum is three dollars.
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Please tip the driver

Some people are not aware of this. I didn't know for a long time. You're supposed to tip the pizza delivery driver like you tip the waiter. They rely on tips and use their own car.

Your tips are greatly appreciated. It's what keeps drivers moving.

Do they earn the tip?

Absolutely. Drivers perform a service by bringing dinner to your door. They take on financial costs and difficulties, more than most people realize. Pizza delivery is considered a hazardous job by the US government. They are third most likely to be murdered on the job, right after police officer and taxi driver.

What about the delivery charge?

The delivery charge is a separate fee that stays with the store and is not associated with the driver. Stores use it as a hidden cover charge to disguise lower advertised prices. The national chains keep the fee for themselves. They compensated their drivers for gas prior to enacting the fee. Local independent stores might give the fee to the driver for gas or hourly wages, but that is not part of the tip. The tip is unaffected. Tips are based on the bill amount after delivery charge.

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Do you still tip when there is a $2 delivery charge?


Please do not confuse this fee with the tip. You should tip the same as you normally would. The fee is a surcharge on your bill for the store and not given to the driver.

In national chains like Pizza Hut, Domino's, and Papa John's, the delivery charge does not go to the driver's tip. It is a disguised price increase for the store. With inflation, we're sorry to say it costs the store $2 more to produce your order. It's too bad they didn't tell you in the menu price. Pizza companies like to retain the appeal of low prices. They deceitfully snuck in a surcharge and hoped you didn't notice.

Drivers are tipped employees and receive minimum wage, just like in the years before 2001 when there was no delivery fee. Hourly pay for drivers did not go up when stores began the delivery charge. In fact, there has been a recent trend since 2008 by national chains to reduce drivers to sub-minimum wage while increasing the delivery charge. Delivery charges were in the $1-$2 range by 2007, but by 2008 they grew into the $2-$3 range. A company will pay the driver $4 an hour, have a $2.50 delivery charge, not give the fee to the driver, and expect tips to make up the difference. The fee is not called a "driver charge" but we know the phrase "delivery charge" is very misleading.

The surcharge covers the rising cost of ingredients, hourly wages for employees other than the drivers, the store's automobile insurance for non-owned vehicles and all other business expenses. When Domino's began their delivery fee in 2002, spokesperson Holly Ryan said, "The cost of food in general, combined with the cost of gas, utilities, labor and insurance, called for a price increase by Domino's. Ryan said the company had a choice about how to make up for its expenses: charge a delivery fee, raise pizza prices across the board, skimp on ingredients or fire employees. Domino's and other national chains operate under the same conditions and chose the fee.

In addition, the delivery charge pays to subsidize discounts for pick-up orders. The fee is not charged to customers who pick-up their orders at the store. Those orders still require ingredients, hourly wages, and other behind the scenes business expenses.

It does not matter how large the fee might become in the future. If the price increase reflected in the delivery charge could expand to absorb 75% of the order's cost, the fee will not go to the driver's tip. Then it will be a question of what fraction of the bill to represent with a surcharge. Customers will pay the same amount to the store no matter how much of the price they can disguise as a delivery charge. Enjoy your $9.99 large pizza. Oh, and there's a $10 delivery charge. The store will make the same profit with $17.99 and a $2 fee.

In an independent store or small franchise, the delivery charge usually pays for the driver's hourly wage. They might start the driver at nothing per hour or $2 an hour and then pad it with the fee. A small store might divert it to cover the driver's mileage reimbursement. How they use the fee varies from store to store. Even a small shop might keep some of the fee for itself. It costs more for the store to have delivery service. They have to cover non-owned auto insurance. Adding a delivery charge is one way to compensate. This is a business fee. Most of the time, the driver doesn't see it.

The national chains might use a small portion of the delivery charge to pay for the driver's mileage reimbursement. That is not the tip. This compensates the driver for their vehicular expenses to bring them back up to their hourly rate of minimum or sub-minimum wage. In the years before the delivery charge started, the national chains had a mileage rate of 50 to 75 cents per delivery. Gas was less than $1.50 a gallon. Today the mileage rate is about $1.00 per delivery, and this is with a $2-$3 delivery charge. The difference in mileage rates is only about 25 cents. This means a store with a $2 delivery charge keeps $1.75 for itself. Not all mileage reimbursement comes from the delivery charge. Only a small fraction does.

I'm shocked the store tells you there's a delivery fee. This is an internal cost of business adjustment that customers don't need to know about. It seems the company goes out of their way to mess up the driver's tip and confuse customers. They make people think it's a gratuity. It was completely unnecessary for the order taker to mention the delivery charge. Our advice is to look past it. It's just another line on the bill. You should tip the same. For etiquette purposes, the tip is calculated after the delivery charge.



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Many pizza delivery drivers are paid what is called a “split wage” Drivers get a tip credit wage of say, $5.00 per hour, plus whatever tips they get from the customers. However, many drivers spend a considerable amount of time at the restaurant getting their orders ready for delivery or even waiting for the pizza to cook.

This time spent inside the restaurant usually amounts to almost 1/2 of the 8 hour shift. In this case, its unfair for the driver to be paid the $5.00 per hour tip credit wage, so the law requires that the driver is paid at least the minimum wage for all of this time spent inside the restaurant.

The restaurant is required to keep track of all of the hours the drivers spend inside and outside the restaurant, so that the driver receives at least a minimum wage for all hours worked.

What happens in reality is that the restaurants often will not track this time and pay the driver only the tip credit wage for all or most of the hours, regardless of the fact that the driver may be spending a large percentage on their time inside the restaurant performing non-delivery tasks. This practice is prevalent in the pizza delivery industry throughout the nation, and it runs afoul of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Under federal law, restaurants are required to pay delivery drivers $2.13 per hour if they utilize the tip credit, though gratuities must push each driver over the $7.25 federal minimum wage. In the event that the $7.25 hourly rate is not met on a workweek basis, an employer must make up the difference.



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The Crust

A great pizza crust should be like a great football defense. It should bend but never break. The superior pizza crust is neither cracker-thin nor thick as bread. It should have a veneer of crispness and be softer and more tender on the inside. A great pizza crust should have browned and blackened char spots. They lend a needed bit of smoky flavor. I love a pizza crust with a few of those raised blisters. They lighten the overall effect of eating pizza. The interior of the crust should have the hole structure of well-made and well-baked bread.

The Mozzarella

It's easy to tell if a pizzeria uses fresh mozzarella: It's white. Aged mozzarella, used by the great majority of pizza makers in this country, is "pizza yellow." Because it's aged, it has a certain tanginess.

Most good by-the-slice places use a commercial aged mozzarella made by Grande, a large cheese purveyor in Wisconsin.

The Sauce

The best pizza sauces are made with uncooked canned tomatoes, from either California or Italy, that have been strained and seasoned with salt and maybe some oregano. Pizza sauce should not be slow-cooked. It should not taste like pasta sauce or marinara sauce.

Some people doctor their sauce with sugar, giving it an excessive sweetness. If the tomatoes used are good enough, they will be plenty sweet on their own.



Pizza.comes from the latin root word Picea which means the blackening of crust by fire.


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