Tipping for pizza delivery considering other factors.

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Calculate amount of tip for pizza delivery considering other factors.

No one likes cold pizza or slow delivery, but consider the fact that every pizza must first be ordered and cooked, and then delivered, there are real world physical limitations to the time it takes to get one to your table.

Some pizza places publish tip guidelines stating that $3 is the minimum standard tip on any delivery order less than $20. Three bucks is about 15% of $20 and sounds fair for most situations. A $10 order is just as much delivery work as a $20 order, and a $3 tip is not unreasonable.

If you have a huge order, special requests or additions (like a case of soda) included in your delivery, you might want to up your tip percentage to 20-25%. If you plan on doing repeat business with the same store “special” customers will be treated as “problem” customers if they don’t tip fairly. It is better to earn a reputation as a “good” repeat customer; it can earn you better service all the way around in the future.

If you do live at the end of a 20 mile dirt road, don’t expect great delivery service, ever. Or at least not until your second order and after the you have shown your willingness to compensate the driver for giving up 20 other potential tips to deliver your one pizza.

Extremely bad weather is another situation that calls for higher tips. If your pizza was delivered in the middle of a blinding ice storm, it might be worthwhile to slip the driver a few extra bucks for risking life and limb to deliver your hot pizza.

If you plan on ordering from the same store again in the future, it would be worthwhile to tip generously and in that light, repeatability is probably the key to the mystery of how much to tip for pizza delivery service.

Repeatability is the key because if you have a good pizza delivery experience and wish to repeat it, a low tip or no tip will drastically reduce your chances of enjoying a good repeat dining experience.

You might consider pizza delivery service to be a relationship as much as it is a convenience, and your at-home pizza experience is entirely dependent on the relationship you build with your local pizzeria and the delivery drivers who serve your route.

Nothing is free really, not even free delivery, and most often, you have to pay for what you get. If you want both great pizza and great delivery service, tipping your driver generously is always a good idea.

While talking with a pizza delivery driver I was informed that certain dogs can also be a hazard when delivering pizza so consider this also when tipping the driver.

( Pizza drivers expect a tip and should get a decent one for their effort I believe.)

(There is always the exceptions such as: The driver who was delivering pizza and parked his car blocking the route to the emergency room entrance a local hospital. This driver was just an idiot. He needed a fine and not a tip.)

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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.

Calculate gratuity using tip calculator to leave cash for hardworking waitstaff or servers.

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