So You Want to Be a Pizza Dude (Dudette)?

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I have been with Domino's Pizza since 1986. Yes, it is a long time. I have been a full or part time driver since 1992. Here are some things to do to choose being a delivery driver.

Things to know up front

You will put miles on your car. Between 30 and 100 miles per shift. It takes it's toll on your car. Brakes, tires, oil changes, are all going to increase. Your clutch will take a beating. I knew a driver who estimated he made more than 400 shifts a night. It is city driving. Look in your owner's manual near the back. There is a maintence table for your car being used as a taxi. That is your new maintaince schedule.

What kind of mileage do you get? Keep track. I spend $300 or so a month on gasoline.

This is dangerous work. Even if you deliver in a very, very, "people leave their doors unlocked." neighborhood, you are at risk of a car wreck. DWIs happen everywhere. Knuckleheads, texters, checking out the hot chick running, are all dangers to you on the road.

Bad things happen in good neighborhoods. You don't need to be in "the 'hood" to have someone point a gun at you. At least in the 'hood, the police will be there in a hurry. Always be careful.

Things to Consider

There are several factors to consider. There is the working enviorment, the delivery area and the social life in the store. The pay scale. The company you work for. The work rules.

Are you an employee or a contractor? Very Important. There is a difference between being an employee and an independent contractor. Employees are paid an hourly wage, mileage reimbursment, and tips. Taxes on wages and tips are taken out of the wages. Employees usally need to wear uniforms and have schedules set by the management. Most importantly, employees are covered by unemployment and workmens' comp. If the unthinkable happens and you are injured, workmen's comp will fix you up.

Independent Contractors gennerally make more per hour. A part of the higher pay is that no taxes are taken from your check. This does not mean you are not responsible for them, only that they are not deducted check to check. Assume you will need to withhold about 30% for taxes, whether the company does that for you or not. They do not need to keep a schedule, necessarily. Independent contractors generally are paid on a per run basis plus tips. They are responsible for there own taxes. As an independent contractor, you would also be responsible for self employement tax and making quarterly tax payments. It is debateable how much non delviery work an independent contractor is required to do.

The Delivery Area

Take a look at the delivery area of any store you are thinking about. How safe is it? Are there apartment complexes? Colleges? Malls? Mostly businesses or houses? Do you want to deliver to your neighbors?

Apartment complexes can mean plenty of deliveries, They also mean lower tips. If there are apartments, who lives there? College age yuppies? Low lifes? The elderly? Old people do not eat a lot of pizza. Drunk college kids don't tip. Take a look for your self at any apartment buildings for yourself. Hotels can be a mixed bag. Hotels can be explosive. Nothing like having 200 hungry people showing up all at once. Ask a driver about the area.

Who to Work For

Pizza delivery breaks down into three groups, the big three, local chains, and independents. With the big three you have national advertizing and standards. You are less likley to be the victim of illegal practices. You are going to be an hourly employee and not an independent contractor. But, you are probably working for a franchisee. The franchisee may or may not follow national standards. You may still end up working for the bosses idiot son at the same time you are working for a national company.

 A "mom and pop" or more accuratley, a single store operator can be more personal. It is also more likley you will get the crappy shifts because the owner's son wants off. It is hard to report the boss to the owner when the boss is the owner. You can have a great relationship and make very good money at a mom and pop. You can also spend a lot of time wondering if this is legal.

A local multi store operator is a hybrid of the two. You are working for a larger company. They may have set policies and a real office to deal with things. You may still need to work a crappy shift because the owner's son wants off. The home office may have a long list of set policies, or they may just offer a sign and little else. Ever wonder why the 2nd street "LocalPie" tastes totally different from the Mountain Road "LocalPie"? Poor franchisee control leading to different suppliers and recipies.

Work

You should be able to find a schedule that fits with your life. But, this is a nights/weekends/holidays job. If you need Friday and Saturday night off, go away now. It is possible you can find a store that is looking for dayshift only, but you will still end up working until 7:00pm or so on Fridays. You will and want to work at least one weekend night. I like working later, some people prefer dinner rush only. Dinner rush drivers are usally off work by 9:00pm. They can also slide on having to do dishes. The closing driver(s) clean the store after close. They also drive all the way to close. Depending on the nieghborhood, you could be out the door 15 minutes or two hours after close.

Store Policies

Welcome to working. There will be work rules. You may not like them. You may think covering your tattoo is an outrage. Suck it up buttercup. Welcome to the work world. Everywhere you go there will be work rules. There will be polices on coming in late. On what you wear. How to call in sick. Get used to it now.