As a restaurant owner, there aren't many things more challenging than keeping a steady stream of customers coming in through the front door. Unfortunately, these kinds of challenges can eventually arrest the cash flow of your business, which can cause all kinds of problems in the long run. About three months ago, I decided that it would be a good idea to start focusing more on my own restaurant so that I could improve things. I started small, by changing the way that our team handled a few things, and then eventually worked towards reworking the entire menu. This blog is all about making your restaurant more profitable.
Is there any convenience food more convenient than pizza delivered right to your door? Not only do you not have to cook, you don't even have to venture out of the house. The delivery drivers that bring your pizza make dinnertime so much easier, and it's just good manners to reward them with a tip. But how much should you tip them? A suggested tip for a delivery person is 10% of the order, and up to 15 or 20% if the order is difficult. But if you're considering skipping the tip, or can't decide how much to give, consider these factors first.
Delivery Fees Are Not Tips
It's incredibly common to make the mistake of thinking that the delivery fee charged by your pizza place goes to the driver, and that your job is done if you've paid the fee. But delivery fees rarely go to the driver.
Often, they go to the business itself, to defray costs associated with delivery, like liability insurance, uniforms, and heated delivery bags. In some cases, the delivery fee might be used to reimburse drivers for fuel and wear and tear on their car, but that still doesn't count as a tip. You may not like being charged a delivery fee and paying a tip, but you shouldn't take it out on the driver by skipping the tip.
Delivery Drivers Often Only Get the Tip Minimum Wage
It's easy to think that tipping a pizza delivery driver is unnecessary, because after all, they're already getting paid for doing their job – why should you pay them extra? But the truth is that many delivery drivers make only the tip minimum wage, which can be considerably less than the ordinary minimum wage.
For example, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, but employers can pay as little as $2.13 an hour to employees who derive part of their wage from tips. This often includes delivery drivers. Some states set their minimum wages and minimum tip wages higher than the federal minimum, but few states require employers to pay tipped employees a full minimum wage. That means that the driver that brought you your pizza isn't getting paid extra if you tip – chances are good that they're only making a few dollars an hour and your tip is helping them reach the minimum wage.
Pizza Delivery Is a Dangerous Job
One more thing to consider when calculating your tip is that pizza delivery is a surprisingly dangerous job. Pizza delivery drivers are easy targets for criminals – they're carrying cash and food, and they usually aren't carrying much of anything to defend themselves with. In 2014, at least 20 pizza delivery drivers were shot in the US. Maybe that's one reason why the Bureau of Labor Statistics lists pizza delivery among the country's most dangerous jobs.
Another reason may be the risk of traffic accidents. People often order pizza delivery at night, when traffic is bad, or when the weather conditions are bad, because that's when they don't want to drive. Pizza delivery drivers navigate all those conditions, and they're often pressured to rush to ensure that delivery is fast and the pizza stays hot. The result is that their risk of traffic accidents is very high. Delivery drivers often have to pay additional insurance premiums or switch from a personal policy to a more expensive commercial policy for this reason.
Ultimately, the decision to tip and how much to tip is entirely in your hands – you're never obligated to tip. But pizza delivery drivers do a potentially dangerous job for little money, and if anyone deserves a tip, it's them. Keep these things in mind next time you order delivery from a place like Chuck's Pizza.Share
20 January 2017