Pizza delivery: Difference between revisions

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[[Image:Pizza delivery moped HongKong.jpg|thumb|200px|[[Scooter (motorcycle)|Scooter]] used for pizza delivery in [[Hong Kong]]]]
[[Image:Pizza delivery moped HongKong.jpg|thumb|200px|[[Scooter (motorcycle)|Scooter]] used for pizza delivery in [[Hong Kong]]]]
'''Pizza delivery''' is the service of [[Delivery (commerce)|delivering]] a [[pizza]] to a [[customer]].
'''Pizza delivery''' is the service of [[Delivery (commerce)|delivering]] a [[pizza]] to a [[customer]].

Revision as of 17:42, 27 February 2008

Scooter used for pizza delivery in Hong Kong

Pizza delivery is the service of delivering a pizza to a customer. buck


In the United States, modern pizza delivery began after World War II, when many pizzerias were opened by former soldiers who had encountered the dish while serving in Italy.[citation needed] In northern European countries, like Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands, many pizzerias were opened in the 1950s and 1960s by Italian immigrants.[citation needed] Today, in many European countries, take-out döner kebab or shawarma restaurants sell pizzas as well.[citation needed]

Domino's Pizza, founded in Ypsilanti, Michigan in 1960, is credited with popularizing free pizza delivery in the United States.[1]

The process

An Oldsmobile Alero being used to deliver a pizza. Note the sign on the car's roof.

Time guarantees

Pizzerias, such as Canada's Pizza Pizza chain, will incorporate a time guarantee or a promise delivery within a predetermined period of time, perhaps specifying that late deliveries will be free of charge.[2] For example, Domino's Pizza had a commercial campaign in the 1980s and early 1990s promising, "30 minutes or it's free." This practice was discontinued in 1993 due to a number of lawsuits arising from accidents caused by hurried delivery drivers.[3] Now, pizzerias will commonly state to the customer an approximate time frame for a delivery, without making any guarantees as to the actual delivery time. In early 2008, Domino's re-introduced a thirty-minute promise in a new ad campaign, but the advertisements contain disclaimers saying thirty minutes is "not a promise."


A typical heated pizza bag, with a plug at the bottom.

Bags used to keep pizza hot while being transported are commonly referred to as hotbags[4] or hot bags.[5] Hotbags are thermal bags, typically made of vinyl, nylon, or Cordura, that passively retain heat.[4] Material choice affects cost, durability, and condensation.[4] Heated bags supply added heat through insertion of externally-heated disks, electrical heating elements, or pellets heated by induction from electrically generated magnetic waves.[4]

Pizza boxes

In Australia from sometime around November 1972 until December 2007 a pizza box was round with a lip on the sides. There were two sections; a top and a bottom. The bottom was a plain piece and the top, which matched it for size, had a hole in the centre to allow steam to escape. It was guaranteed to deliver the pizza hot with a conventional pizza delivery bag (unheated) and therefore economical. The box was made of recycled white paper and appeared as off-white in colour and thick like cardboard. Its benefit was its financial and space-saving insofar that it was stored flat and no folding by expensive staff was required; a stack of fifty took only one-third of the space of the modern-day box. Calculating space by the usual 3 sizes it was a huge difference to the serving area and its appearance to the public.

Due to the multi-nationals having delivery drivers which are not paid by the hour, these employees are used to fold boxes when the deliveries have gone quiet; therefore more flat-packs were sold than these up-market boxes and the manufacturers changed to suit finances. The cost of the individual box was 34-37 cents per piece, compared to 27-31 cents for the flat-packed boxes on sale world-wide today, but with a shop's logo it matches or passes the price of these unprinted boxes. These boxes were accepted in recycling because it was rare for foods to stick. The inks used to logo boxes is not biodegradable

The most common pizza box is a square cardboard box in which a pizza is packaged for take-out or pizza delivery. Pizza boxes are often emblazoned with the logo of the pizza company from which they come. However, some smaller restaurants will use boxes with a generic image. Pizza boxes are not accepted by most municipal recycling programs because food is often stuck to the box itself. Boxes are thus commonly thrown away with household garbage; a more environmentally friendly disposal option that has been proposed is a form of backyard composting for pizza boxes, but it has been found that even newspapers if left in sections can take 20 years to decompose. [6]

Delivery charges

For decades, "free delivery" was a popular slogan for almost all pizza stores.[7]

In Australia the delivery of food to a home or place of work began to take hold in the regional cities around 1993-1994. The price of delivery has always been included in the overall price of the order, usually in the cost of a main course meal or pizza, not in the condiments or drinks. The habit of a gratuity depends solely on the temperament of the customer, but wages paid for a driver exceed the wages in other countries; even with the restaurant industry being a very cut-throat business. The major portion of a delivery charge is passed on to the driver it amounts to about a 70/30 cut, so a charge of $1:50 would amount to a wage of $1.10 for the driver. The potential for harm to a driver is rare, even with a customer that is irate because they believe they waited too long; a well-managed business can usually give a timing for delivery on the day/night. Between 1972 and 2007 no delivery driver has been assaulted in the city of Ballarat.

In the United States, Pizza Hut began experimenting in 1999 with a 50-cent delivery charge in ten stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.[8] By the summer of 2001 it was implemented in 95% of its 1,749 company-owned restaurants in the U.S., and in a smaller number of its 5,250 franchisee-owned restaurants.[9] By 2002, a small percentage of stores owned or franchised by U.S. pizza companies Domino's and Papa John's were also charging delivery fees of 50 cents to $1.50, and some of Little Caesar's franchisees charged delivery fees.[9] In 2005, Papa John's implemented delivery charges in the majority of its company-owned stores to enhance pricing flexibility.[10] Domino's credits delivery charges as a way to adjust for variable ingredient, energy, and labor costs without adjusting menu prices.[clarification needed]


In some countries, it's common to tip the pizza deliverer with an optional gratuity upon paying for the order.

In the United States, tipping for pizza delivery is customary. Opinions on appropriate amounts vary widely, with news articles typically suggesting around 15% of the bill or at least $2.[11][12][13] Slightly more is suggested for deliveries in inclement weather or relatively distant deliveries.[14] The Original Tipping Page website [1], cited by a few dozen news sources, suggests $1-2 for short distances, $2-3 for longer distances, and $5 or more for large orders.[15][16][17] U.S. deliverers may be employees or independent contractors.[18] Employees are legally obligated to report tips to their employer for income tax purposes, while independent contractors, who may charge a per-delivery fee to a restaurant, are legally obligated to report tips to the Internal Revenue Service.[19]

In Australia, tipping for pizza delivery is rare and not customary, and hourly wages for deliverers are considered relatively high.[20] Prices for delivery orders are typically higher than for carryout orders, and "free delivery" cannot be advertised if carryout pricing is lower.[20]


Pizza delivery, by its nature, can pose risks for those engaged in it, as they are required to go to the homes of strangers, in unfamiliar neighborhoods. In the U.S., pizza delivery persons have been subjected to assault, robbery, and sometimes raped or killed on the job.[21][22] The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, which categorizes pizza delivery drivers and taxicab drivers as "drivers-sales workers," ranked it the fifth most dangerous job category.[23]

In 2004, Pizza Hut fired a delivery person who shot and killed a robber while on the job, citing its company policy against employees carrying weapons.[24] Other national chains such as Domino's also prohibit carrying weapons, though many independent pizzarias allow delivery persons to carry weapons in a legal manner.[21][25] Employer restrictions on carrying weapons is a controversial issue in the U.S., where most states in the U.S. allow most citizens to carry concealed weapons in many circumstances.[26]

Labor unions

In recent history, two labor unions have been formed specifically for pizza delivery drivers - the now-defunct Association of Pizza Delivery Drivers[27] (APDD) and the American Union of Pizza Delivery Drivers[28] (AUPDD).

Association of Pizza Delivery Drivers

APDD was formed in 2002. Its initial claim to fame was as an Internet-based union, eschewing traditional methods of organizing, and making contributions and the sale of goods the center of its fundraising activities, instead of dues.[citation needed] People could join APDD using a form at their website, or chat with its officers in an IRC-compatible Java chat every Tuesday evening. At its peak, it claimed approximately 1,000 members in 46 US states.[citation needed] APDD held several certification votes in the US, but was never successful in organizing a local. In March 2006 APDD lost a lawsuit against a Domino's franchise in Mansfield, Ohio. This combined with massive debt left the union with little choice but to shut down.[citation needed]

American Union of Pizza Delivery Drivers

AUPDD was founded in early 2006 by Jim Pohle, a driver for a Domino's Pizza store in Pensacola, Florida.[28] It was certified as the representative union for his store in April 2006.[29] Pohle cites the sub-minimum wage paid by his store as the instigating factor in forming a union.[28]

While formed in the more traditional method of organizing at one's own workplace, AUPDD uses certain Internet-based techniques originated by APDD, such as its mass communications with the press and its fundraising activities (although more traditional dues are collected from the eleven members of the fledgling local).[citation needed] It also uses the Internet as its primary outreach to those wishing to start locals across the US.[citation needed]

In popular culture

The basic concept of a stranger being called upon to bring food to a customer's home has become part of popular culture to the extent that it is an occasional subject of pranks or parodies. For example, in a prank featured prominently in the first episode of the animated series Futurama, a delivery person, Philip J. Fry, is sent to deliver a pizza to "I. C. Wiener" at a cryonics lab.

One famous pizza delivery boy is Spider-Man, who in comics and films has delivered pizzas to supplement his income.

In literature

The focus of an extended passage in Douglas Adams' 1988 novel The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul was the lack of pizza delivery services in England at the time.

In Tom Wolfe's novel I Am Charlotte Simmons (2004), one of the characters works as a pizza delivery boy, and has a bad experience while delivering pizzas to the college basketball team.

Neal Stephenson's postcyberpunk novel Snow Crash (1992) gives a futuristic spin on pizza delivery: pizza drivers (including the novel's protagonist) work for the Mafia, and drivers have state-of-the-art training and technology, ensuring that everyone gets pizza delivered in thirty minutes or less... or else.

In film

Since the 1970s, pizza delivery has been a recurring plot vehicle in pornographic films, where it is used to introduce men (or women) for random sexual encounters. Titles in this genre include Pizza Girls, We Deliver (1978); The Pizza Boy: He Delivers (1986); California Pizza Girls (1992); Hawaiian Pizza Punani (1993), Pizza Sluts (1995); Big Sausage Pizza (2003); Big Sausage Pizza 2 (2004); Fresh Hot Pizza Boy (2004); DD Pizza Girls (2004), and Pepperoni Tits (2006).

In the 1982 film Fast Times at Ridgemont High, the protagonist Jeff Spicoli (played by Sean Penn) is delivered a pizza during class.

In the 1989 Spike Lee film Do the Right Thing, Lee's character delivers pizza for Sal's Famous Pizzeria which, along with its owners and customers, is a prominent part of the movie.

In the 1990 film Home Alone, Macaulay Culkin's character utilizes voices from a movie playing on a VCR to welcome (and scare off) a pizza delivery driver, so as to avoid personally interacting with him and thus exposing the fact that he is home alone.

In the 1990 film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Michelangelo has a Domino's Pizza driver deliver his pizza through a sewer grate. Michelangelo refuses to pay an additional $3 due to its lateness. In its sequel, a young pizza delivery boy and martial artist befriends the titular characters after repeatedly delivering them pizzas and being saved by them from muggers.

In the film Taxi, there are innumerable "two-wheelers" aiding Samy Naceri in his adventures.

In the 2004 film Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker works as a pizza delivery man until he gets fired for failing to deliver pizzas on time.

The 2005 film Drivers Wanted is based on pizza delivery. The plot is centered around the drivers for a small town pizza shop.

On television

A SpongeBob SquarePants episode ("Pizza Delivery") features the title character having to overcome obstacles in order to deliver a pizza to a customer, who then refuses to take it because he didn't get his drink.[30]

In Trigger Happy TV, pizzas were delivered to a Wendy house in a busy London street, and had to be posted through the letter box slice by slice.

In "The Pizza Patrol", a short on Garfield and Friends, Garfield takes advantage of a pizza place which guarantees that its pizza is free if not delivered in less than thirty minutes. Eventually, a truce is made which allows Garfield to get free pizza for a year.

The main character in Futurama, Philip J. Fry, was a pizza delivery boy in the 20th century before he was cryogenically frozen and woke up in the 30th century.

In Drawn Together, the major plot of one episode ("Dirty Pranking No. 2") involves an extended and somewhat off-color pizza prank.

On Degrassi, Jimmy and Spinner call a pizza restaurant to place an order under their teacher's (Ms. Kwan) name, to get revenge on her for giving them detention.

In the pilot episode of the Doctor Who spinoff, Torchwood, Gwen Cooper attempts to infiltrate Torchwood Three by delivering a pizza to it, to the amusement of the agents working in the base.

In Pizza (TV series), an Australian comedy series, the show centers on the activities of Pauly and his fellow co-workers as they deliver pizzas for the Sydney-based small business of Fat Pizza, whose motto is "they're big and they're cheesy". In the suburbs of Sydney, the men have dealt with aliens, killer kangaroos, bikies, drug dealers and other evil forces. Despite all this, no one seems quite surprised at any of this happening, and they persist in the dead end job which pays AU $3.00 an hour.

In computer and video games

Radikal Bikers is the satirical quintessence of the dangers posed by deliveries, where the only goal of the player is to avoid traffic, and deliver the pizza by bike as fast as possible, doing so sooner than the computer- or player controlled other contestant.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City has a "Pizza Delivery" mission in which the player rides around the city on a "pizza bike" delivering pizzas to pedestrians.

In February 2005, it was possible to order pizza while playing Everquest II. Players could enter a special command in the game to have pizza delivered to their door. This feature generated a lot of publicity, but the service has since ended.

In The Sims, characters may order pizza delivery. In The Sims 2, characters may order pizza delivery. If the character doesn't have enough money to pay for the pizza, one of their possessions is taken.

In the WarioWare series, the character Mona is a delivery girl for a pizza shop named "Mona Pizza."

In Spiderman 2 the game, players can go on a series of pizza delivery missions for Peter Parker's job.


At a historic Minuteman Missile Site in South Dakota, the entrance to the underground Launch Control Center is sealed by a blast-proof door emblazoned with a painted spoof of Domino's Pizza's red, white, and blue pizza delivery box.[31] The box is labeled "Minuteman II," and hand-lettered text on the door reads "World-wide delivery in 30 minutes or less, or your next one is free,"[31] spoofing a former Domino's Pizza slogan.

See also


  1. ^ Miller, Hannah. (April/May 2006.) "American Pie." American Heritage Magazine, Vol. 57, Issue 2, via Retrieved on 2007-09-18.
  2. ^ "Pizza Pizza's Guarantee." (Commercial website). Retrieved on 2007-12-07.
  3. ^ "Jury award spurs Domino's to drop deadily policy." (Website). Georgia Trial Lawyers Association. Retrieved on 2007-09-18.
  4. ^ a b c d (Winter 2002.) "Hotbags: Turning Up the Heat on Deliveries." PMQ (Pizza Magazine Quarterly) via Retrieved on 2007-09-18
  5. ^ "Pizza Delivery Hot Bags." (Commercial website.) Retrieved on 2007-09-18.
  6. ^ "Pizza Boxes Banned From Barrington Recycle Bins." (Organization website.) Retrieved on 2007-12-07.
  7. ^ (2007-05-13.) "How Pizzas got Delivered for free?" (website.) Retrieved on 2007-12-07.
  8. ^ (1999-09-18.) "Pizza Hut tries out 50-cent delivery fee." Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, via (commercial website, payment required for full article).
  9. ^ a b Horovitz, Bruce. (2002-09-03.) "Pizza chains deliver ... fees." USA Today via Retrieved on 2007-09-18.
  10. ^ (2005-11-01.) "Papa John's Reports Third Quarter Earnings; October Comparable Sales Results Announced." (Press release.) Papa John's International Inc. Retrieved on 2007-09-18.
  11. ^ (2004-11-15.) "Naughty or nice? TIPs complete guide to passing the bucks." (News website). MSNBC. Retrieved on 2007-09-25.
  12. ^ (2001-03-30.) "Tipping etiquette." (News website.) ExtraTV. Retrieved on 2007-09-25.
  13. ^ Myers, Stephanie. (2002-02-02.) "Pizza drivers say tips make or break." The Tower Light, via Retrieved on 2007-09-24.
  14. ^ Karp, Gregory. (November 19, 2006). "Spending Smart: Taking the tangle out of tipping." Chicago Tribune Web Edition. Retrieved on 2007-09-17.
  15. ^ (2001-04-05.) [ "A handy tip." The GW Hatchet, via Retrieved on 2007-09-25.
  16. ^ Cote, Kaleena. (2003-11-16.) "Tips on tipping." Keene Equinox, via Retrieved on 2007-09-25.
  17. ^ "U.S. deliveries." (Website.) The Original Tipping Page. Retrieved on 2007-09-25.
  18. ^ Coomes, Steve. (2003-12-10.) "Can your pizza business survive an audit?." Pizza Marketplace, via Retrieved on 2007-09-25.
  19. ^ Coomes, Steve. (2007-03-17.) "Truth or Consequences." Pizza Marketplace, via Retrieved on 2007-09-25.
  20. ^ a b Coomes, Steve. (2004-08-09.) "Pizza Delivery 'Down Under.'" Pizza Marketplace website. Retrieved on 2007-09-18.
  21. ^ a b Chan, Sewell. (1996-07-10.) "Pizza Redlining: Green Says 'Go,' Red Says Tough Neighborhood." The Wall Street Journal Online. Retrieved on 2007-09-18.
  22. ^ Associated Press. (2004-01-05.) "Police: Teens Rape, Rob Tallahassee Pizza Delivery Woman." Retrieved on 2007-09-18.
  23. ^ Moon, Melissa. (2005-04-06.) "Dangerous Work for Pizza Delivery Drivers." (News website.) WREG-TV Memphis at Retrieved on 2007-09-18.
  24. ^ (2004-05-18.) "Deliveryman: I Shot Man In Self-Defense." The Indy Chanel (television news website.) Retrieved on 2007-09-18.
  25. ^ (July 16, 2004.) "Arming delivery drivers a tossup for pizzerias" Indianapolis Star via (commercial website, paywalled article). Retrieved on 2007-09-18.
  26. ^ Armour, Stephanie. (2004-12-09.) "Companies that ban guns put on defensive." USA Today via Retrieved on 2007-09-18.
  27. ^ Associated Press. (2004-11-18.) "Pizza drivers seek national union." Retrieved on 2007-09-18.
  28. ^ a b c Associated Press. (2006-09-22.) "Pizza delivery drivers form first union." USA Today via Retrieved on 2007-09-18.
  29. ^ "American Union of Pizza Delivery Drivers: Photo Album" (Organization website.) American Union of Pizza Delivery Drivers. Retrieved on 2007-09-18.
  30. ^ SpongeBob SquarePants: Pizza Delivery / Home Sweet Pineapple -
  31. ^ a b "History of Minuteman Missile Sites" (Website). United States National Park Service. Retrieved on 2007-09-18.

External links

News articles