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Mar 6, 2013 01:00 PM

Pizza delivery charge

I've been wanting to discuss this for a while, and really hope some current or former pizza shop owners, workers and drivers can respond.

An increasing number of delivery pizza places seem to be charging a modest "delivery fee." I really don't understand this fee. The drivers (i've known a few for different companies) are using their own cars and pay for their own gas, at least at the couple of places I know of. They're not company cars or something so we do we have to subsidize them as customers?

I admit when it started, I was sorely tempted to stop tipping or tip lower, but I quickly ascertained that the driver doesn't get the fee and just began complaining to the owners of the fee. But most of these are chain places and they don't decide whether or not there is a fee, they've said they have no control over it.

I've pretty much quit getting delivery because of the fee. I don't understand levvying it and it makes me irritated to pay it, so I just pick it up now.

Can someone explain why this fee exists if it's not going to the drivers?

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  1. that should read, "so WHY do we have to subsidize them?"

    1. It does not sound fair to me.
      Then again, the drivers are getting some kind of salary. The store is responsible for them (insurance). There are other overhead costs outside of gas and auto.

      21 Replies
      1. re: Motosport

        I dunno. IS the store really responsible for them? I imagine most people are just required to have insurance on their own vehicles themselves, I really doubt the pizza shop is paying for it.

        1. re: rockandroller1

          Yes, the store shares responsibility. In a case where the delivery person causes great harm to a person a smart attorney will sue the driver, store, parent company and anyone remotely involved in the process of bringing the pizza from the store to the buyer.

          1. re: Motosport

            that would be why Domino's doesn't have a 30-minute guarantee...too much expense on lawsuits caused by drivers zooming around to make the time limit.

          2. re: Motosport

            My son delivers sub sandwiches for a large chain and his employer does NOT provide any sort of vehicle insurance.

            I think this "delivery fee" is annoying as well. Its simply a way for the company to raise their prices without actually doing so.

            1. re: carolinadawg

              I was not referring to "Vehicle insurance". The actual business has liability insurance to cover it's employees, contractors, product, facility etc..

              1. re: Motosport

                But only auto (liability mostly) insurance would apply in the event of an accident occuring during delivery (while operating the vehicle).

                1. re: Dax

                  Yes, liability is the issue and it's a BIG issue. When the driver hits a teenager on a bicycle and they never walk again the cost will run into the millions.
                  Hopefully the pizza shop owner (and parent company if it's a franchise) have adequate insurance to cover this claim.

                  1. re: Motosport

                    wonder if such a horrible accident occurred and the delivery person was horribly injured.
                    would s/he be covered by workers comp?

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      I.M.H.O. as an insurance guru, yes!

                      1. re: westsidegal

                        Yes. Drivers injured or robbed on the clock receive workmanship comp.

                        1. re: westsidegal

                          As a former professional driver I can undoubtedly answer "yes". The driver is covered by worker's comp and any victims in an accident involving the company driver is covered by company liability insurance, UNLESS the driver is considered "an independent contractor".

                          1. re: PotatoHouse

                            The driver can not be considered an independent contractor based on the legal definition. The driver works for one pizza place only, That place controls the drivers schedule and pay. He is an employee.

                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                There is no such thing as an 1099 employee. Employees get W-2s. Contractors get 1099s. If the restaurant sets hours and takes orders and assigns the deliveries to the will take this order to that address at such a time....the driver is Not an independent contractor.

                                Only a driver who tells the restaurant what hours he is willing to work and accepts or declines deliveries st will might meet the test to be an independent contractor.

                                Those classes in laborious and taxes in law school were not a waste of time.

                                1. re: bagelman01

                                  Actually ... it kind of depends. I had a very steady job and was told when and where to work (at the office every day, 9-5:30) and yet was considered self-employed by the people who employed me and the government. Kind of depends on how the place is set up.

                              2. re: mucho gordo

                                the problem is when it comes to pizza. we use our own car. our own auto insurance. our own gas money. and we do our own maintenance. and despite the fact that they should not all smaller pizza shops have insurance on the company past basic workers comp

                                1. re: hibana

                                  If you got into an accident delivering Pizza you would have a heck of a time explaining to your insurance co how you were using your privately insured car for commercial purposes. I should have read the posts directly below me.

                    2. re: carolinadawg

                      Hi carolinadawg, I know this is late and perhaps your son no longer uses his vehicle to make deliveries, but if he does, he should check with his insurance agent. Personal insurance policies often do not provide coverage if you are using your vehicle to make deliveries for pay . . . it's considered an excluded business use (“livery” - carrying goods or people for a fee). I'm sure that a quick phone call to his insurance agent would clarify that he does (or does not) have coverage when delivering sandwiches.

                      1. re: MrsPatmore

                        I've been an insurance agent for ages and I know that using a "personal" auto for any type of delivery service is specifically excluded.
                        In reality a minor incident may be covered but when the $$$$$ start stacking up the insurance company gets out the microscope and will deny the claim and say the insured perpetrated a fraud. The attorneys for the injured party will also try to collect from the franchise and will probably succeed.

                  2. I delivered pizzas as a side job for a summer a few years ago. My sister managed the restaurant (just a small local pizza and sub shop, not part of a chain). If I wasn't trying to help her out, I'd have quit after a week or two. The delivery fee didnt go to me and people were incredibly cheap. They may have assumed the delivery fee went to me. The other problem was that parents would give their kids cash to order dinner and they'd get as much as they could and wouldn't think to save a few bucks for a tip. Sheesh. I worked solely for tips.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Hobbert

                      I mean, one would assume DELIVERY fee goes to the DELIVERY person. It's a logical assumption. But it's not going to them, which I think is ridic, so why are we paying it?

                      1. re: rockandroller1

                        Oh I agree. I didn't ask her before I started so I shouldn't have assumed but it was still annoying.

                        1. re: rockandroller1

                          i see no logical reason to assume that the delivery fee goes to the delivery person.

                          on the other hand, i would assume that the TIP would go to the delivery person.

                          1. re: rockandroller1

                            REad my post. Delivery is considerably more expensive than carry out.

                        2. I'd say it was to cover the cost of the boxes and napkins and whatnot, BUT of course there's no such thing as a "take-out" fee so that's out the window.

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: Violatp

                            Yes, but you get those when you pick it up, too, but no charge.

                            1. re: rockandroller1

                              Exactly. I'm as confounded by it as anyone.

                            2. re: Violatp

                              Where I live most places actually do charge a "to go" fee to cover those. Usually between 50cents and $1 per item.

                              1. re: RichardBreadcrumb

                                Interesting. I don't think I've seen that in any city where I've lived.

                                1. re: Violatp

                                  Waffle House has a standard To-Go fee.

                                  1. re: PotatoHouse

                                    I detest the delivery fee and do take-out to avoid it, for the same reason. No one can tell me what it goes to.

                                    These delivery fees and take-out fees are telling me that these businesses want me to dine in, otherwise they don't value my business. I'm inclined to find other options, whenever possible.

                                    1. re: 16crab

                                      The To-go fee is a rip off and is cheaper for a pizza place. Regular restaurant it could be an issue because they are not designed with the staff for it and have to pay that person full wage to give it.

                                2. re: RichardBreadcrumb

                                  Huh. Where I live, many places charge less for delivery items than takeout. The best example is Chinese spots. They normally charge $0.50 - $1.00 less per item on pickup. It makes sense to me, as if I do not eat in they do not have to pay for anyone to clean up after me, or pay for a dining room.

                                  1. re: CanadaGirl

                                    I've also seen 10% off pick up orders. Makes it worth it.

                                3. re: Violatp

                                  supposedly the fee is to cover having the driver on the clock at all. since that is their primary job and at most places they dont do much else. at my job i still have to do all the prep work so you can even have your food and still deliver. but that's not all places

                                4. Most places pay mileage reimbursement.

                                  That is, the delivery person does pay up front for their car's needs but the reimbursement comes as a per mile rate on their paycheck.

                                  Average rate is about 29-41cents per mile.