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Nov 10, 2006 12:50 PM

delivery charge

A Hungry Howies pizza place opend up nearby. Upon receiving our delivery we noticed a $2.00 delivery charge on the receipt. The driver said they get no part of that money. This is new to me, is it a common practice?

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  1. It's not uncommon. It's to pay for the overhead involved in delivery. I would still tip a couple of bucks (10%, roughly, rounding up).

    9 Replies
    1. re: Karl S

      We always tip (even more so due to the gas prices) but have never had a delivery charge. What overhead? The comtainers?

      1. re: SweetPea

        Containers, gas, car insurance, bonding, et cet. Most of our delivery people don't pay for their gas; they are driving the establishment's vehicle.

        1. re: Karl S

          Oh, thanks. I wasn't aware of that.

          1. re: Karl S

            I don't know what are of the country you live in or company you work for, but here in NC, that is definitely NOT the case. Around here, pizza delivery people drive their own cars, buy their own gas, and pay their own insurance.

            1. re: mclaugh


              on the surface, delivery charges often don't look too bad, but when you apply a little logic, the rational for them usually falls apart.

              you could argue that the charge is to cover packaging; yet if i picked up, i'd get the same packaging, probably more of it, at no extra charge.

              if the restaurant owns the vehicle, then i can understand the charge, but as mclaugh notes above, many drivers are using their own vehicles & shouldering the accompanying expenses.

              assuming it's a place w/ sit-down dining as well, their overhead is lower for delivery. you have the same kitchen staff dealing with the order, a receptionist/host/waitstaff who takes the order, and a driver. if you eat in, you can drop the driver, but toss in a server and busser, plus there's more work for the back of house as you've dirtied their dishes.

              delivery charges can be justified at times, but i think they are generally just an attempt to eke out a few more bucks. if one is tacked on, it should cover whatever additional expenses are accrued, plus the tip. i should not have to parse out from the various additional charges on my bill (tax, charges, etc.) if compenastion to the driver has been included. if there's a service charge, then i don't tip.

              like nosh below, delivery charges leave a bad taste in my mouth, and i avoid patronizing places that use them.

              1. re: mark

                I still have the bad taste in my mouth too. I sent a note to the corporate office and the owner of the franchise e-mailed and called me. It was a prompt and thorough response; she basically said it was for liability insurance, gas, wear and tear on "their" vehicles, etc. I believe that's called the cost of doing business. On their big banner stating 'WE DELIVER!" they should add "but you have to pay for it". Bah humbug.

                1. re: SweetPea

                  The other way to cover those costs is to increase the prices of all items incrementally. That way, people who are not getting delivery will subsidize those that do get delivery. Which is more fair? The costs need to be covered; businesses are not charities.

                  1. re: Karl S

                    I considered that Karl, but have not price compared. They do have inside dining. So I still agree with Mark. Why should I pay a delivery charge when I'm not using the "inside" cost of doing business? Am I not subsidizing the diners and those related expenses?

                    1. re: Karl S

                      fair would depend upon the circumstances.

                      a neighborhood place that does only take-out and delivery. fair to charge for delivery so those who pick-up don't subsidize the delivery.

                      a place that doesn't really deliver, but makes exceptions for special customers or those who are less mobile. probably justified.

                      a place, like a good-size pizza chain, that makes a lot of its profit off of delivery. it's part of their overhead, and should be factored in.

                      how palatable the charge is will depend. if i feel like it's an attempt to make a little pure profit, then i won't accept it, nor will i do business with the company that charges it. if i feel like it's justifed, then i'll suck it up.

                      and just what is fair. i agree that it's irksome to subsidize the delivery for other customers. but, if they don't have to subsidize me, then shouldn't i get a price break for delivery and take-out? while the restaurant accrues a cost to deliver, they also have fewer emplolyees interacting with me, i haven't dirtied their dishes, and they have had an opportunity to make money off the table i am not occupying, while still making money off of me. i'm being facetitious here, but i'm trying to make the point that fair cuts many ways, which is why i don't like add-on charges that single out one user/group, especially when the perceived costs are not as onerous as some for which no additional charges are levied.

        2. Here in L.A., the major pizza chains such as Domino's and Papa John's instituted a delivery fee starting a couple of years ago. It ranges from a buck or two, and does NOT go to the driver/delivery person. It has almost completely eliminated my frequenting these places, and I order from local, independent places that do not charge. I live in an apartment complex with a gate code where the delivery guy has to get in, negotiate the individually-numbered apartments, and climb three flights of stairs, so I usually tip about $3 on an order that usually totals about $13 before tip.

          1. No harm in asking when you order if tip, delivery charges are added to bill BEFORE the delivery person arrives at your door.

            Our local chinese restaurant added a gas charge of 1.00 to every delivery when gas prices skyrocketed and did not remove it when prices came down (recently), so I asked who is getting the 1.00...was told it was split btwn driver (using own vehicles) and establishment (covering gas costs).

            But, charges def. vary place to place.

            1. I know here in Albany, very few places use the 'delivery charge'. They're mainly Pizza Hut or some other chain pizza place. I know that pizza hut splits the charge with their drives, but it's not a whole lot - I think they only get $.75 or something small like that.
              I also tend not to order from places that do have it or just go and pick it up to avoid the whole thing all together. :p
              Although a really wierd thing I've noticed is places that charge you a fee (usually under a dollar) for even ordering take out! I know that those containers cost something, but they don't charge you if you want to wrap up your food at the end of the meal at the same places. Now I think that's pretty money grubbing.

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