Adding Drivers

I currently have 1 driver on Sunday-Thursday and 2 on Fridays and Saturdays. I am considering expanding my delivery area and adding more drivers. The problem I have is my drivers are use to each making about $100 each on a busy night, and when I add drivers they are going to be mad. When I went from 1 to 2 on Fri and Sat’s they would fight over deliveries. Currently drivers only drive, they will occasionally do dishes and fill the Pepsi cooler.

What can I do to add more drivers without making my current drivers upset and what should they do if it is slow and we don’t need 3 drivers?

Employees are different from different parts of the country with different expectations. If you are in a very competitive area like our, its just tough. Seems to me that if you have two drivers making $100 a night in tips you should have hired more drivers a while ago. Unless you have unusually high tippers!

One thing you can do is pay people at two rates. One while they are driving and another while they are working the store. At least they will feel compensated for when there are not enough deliveries (at least in their minds).

Another thing to do is hire someone for production help in the store who has the ability to take deliveries when necessary. The new help will then not have the expectation of a full time driver and the existing drivers will not feel they are having anything taken from them. Although like I said before, from size of those tips, it seems there should have been other drivers mixed in there before anyway.

If your drivers cannot see the need for you to service your customers better and your effort to keep them happy, they just are not in your future. We recently purchased a pizza store where they worked the production to make it work with fewer drivers. When we took over, we involved more drivers to improve our delivery times and consequently increased deliveries. All the existing drivers, save one, eventually left.

As your business grows, systems and procedures change to handle the increased business. Some people can adapt and grow with you and others cannot or will not.

If you don’t think they will adapt, “plan” accordingly.

First of all don’t ever let your employees RUN You! Its your business, you sign the checks, if they are not happy, show them the door.

A Driver in one of my stores learns to do everything, from standard prep, product production, order-taking, dish-washing, Dining room pick-up, window cleaning, and restroom maintenance. Drivers are important, but they are also a dime a dozen usually, especially if they are making $100 a night.

The best way to increase your business, is buy putting out consistent product, and servicing your customers very well, that means delivering complete orders(not forgetting elements of the delivery), and delivering them the order faster than the other guys.

Sometime in the future, you might do a little experiment, on your night off order pizza to your home from all your competition, order at about the same time, middle of rush, and make sure you time the orders, and listen closely to how your competition treats you on the phone, take notes, do they offer you any specials, do they thank you! do they give you an accurate estimation of time to delivery. What is your perception of the Phone person are they well trained, are they very knowledgeable, or do they sound like they don’t have a clue. When the driver shows up, is he/she courteous, check appearance (is there uniform clean, and neat, or are they all slobbed out), does the driver, have correct change or does he play the “no spare change game.” Does the driver have his stereo blaring, or does he smell like smoke, does he smile, or try to build a repoir. Perception is huge! And so very important.

Product, Service, and Image. P.S.I! when I worked at Domino’s Pizza this was constantly drilled into our heads.

Strive to be better than the competition, don’t worry about your drivers. The best way to get a driver to do what you ask is to put a help wanted “Delivery Driver” sign in the window, and Boxtop Help Wanted too. This usually lights a fire under them, as they realize that you might be considering replacing them.

Hire that new driver, or two and make sure you identify what you expect from them in the beginning before you hire them.

I would say to them beyond your delivery driving responsibilities you will be responsible for this:

  1. Dishes.
  2. Garbages.
  3. Sweeping, and Mopping.
  4. Windows, Blinds, and Window Sills.
  5. Maintaining the Pop Machine Stock, rotation, and Cleanliness
  6. Order Taking.
  7. Order Making.
  8. Prep
  9. Bussing Dishes from the Dining Room.
  10. Delivering products to customers in the dining room.
  11. etc. etc. etc. “and anything else I ask you to do!!!”