Domino's Pizza 1510 is closing after April 14, 2013. I have been working here as a driver since 1992. In many ways, it is a driver's paradise. Most stores have bad areas. These may be unsafe or mearly unprofitable. 1510 does not have areas that would be called bad. There are no places that are anywhere near as unsafe as some places I have driven a pizza. What a 1510 driver calls a bad run, is a long run to a rundown house where the tip is only $2 or $3. The customer still has a job, still answers the door and your car will be unmolested while you are at the door. Getting stiffed is a very rare occurrence. It would be meaningless to track how many stiffs I get in a night. Most nights would be zero. Most weeks would be zero. About three runs a month are non tips. It is very easy money. There are non-tipping regulars. We were overjoyed when "One buck Chuck" became "No Order Chuck" when we instituted a delivery minimum. It is a single house. There are a handful of other known bad tippers, but that is what is known as a bad address here. Knowing you are only going to get a dollar is a world away from delivering to a crack dealer.
On the other side of the spectrum are all of the other houses. An average house in our delivery area is over $400,000. A nice house, right around a million, a big ass house, a few million. Names you see on bill boards, the sports page, and the St. Louis Business Journal, I see on mailboxes. No, I will not name names. We had a reqular customer who moved not that long ago. It was a seven million dollar house. The real estate listing went on for pages. The new owners don't order as often, pity. The builder of this super house was in real estate. It is possible that if you have an office in Clayton, he is your landlord. The new owner is a retired sports star. It would be hard to have a shift that did not include being on the porch of a million dollar house. It is funny how many brand new (less than five years old), million dollar houses I go where the door bell has broken. Sad.
I also deliver in one of the richest cities in the US, Huntleigh, Missouri. Start with being very small (750 acres), with about 100 homes and mix in at one time being a one time private hunting club for the Busch family and you have a very interesting city.
It is still home to several members of the Busch family. When your mailbox is a beer keg, chances are people will know where the money comes from. Some of the animals from Grant's Farm can be found in the pastures of some houses. It was in Huntleigh that one day I was training a new driver. We pulled into the driveway of a house. She asked what apartment we wanted. She did not believe me when I told her it was a private house, not an apartment building. That wasn't even the biggest house on the block.
Things Are Different
In some ways, 1510 operated differently than almost every other store. In some stores where I have worked, a raining night is a 20% increase in sales. At 1510, people put on their coat, get into their SUV and do what they were going to do. A rainy night might be a 5% increase in sales.
Until I started at 1510 I probably had set foot in less than ten customer's houses. Those where all special cases, like putting diner on the table for someone in a wheelchair. At 1510, taking an order to the kitchen is pretty common.
Most stores, "come to the back door" is the same as saying "I would like to pick that up." The store does not ever go to the back door or a house. It is a security risk. At 1510, it is normal. How can you deliver to the pool, if you don't go around back? I delivered to a poolside party one night. They had thier child's class over for a start the school year party. No, not "Mrs. Smith's class." The ninth grade, about 250 people. It was a lot of pizza.
Change for a hundred? Probably. Stop and get some beer? Nope! That is still a no-no.
So April 15 (really April 19) I start at a new store. I will still be in west St. Louis county. Almost all of my customers will be well employed. There will be more Hondas and fewer Mercedes. No more beer heirs. Probably no more hockey or baseball players.
Sell more pizzas. Have more fun.