Charles' PJ Delivery Experience

Gregster is absolutely correct in what he posted. But I stand by my assertion that he does not add to this forum if all he intends to do is push his agenda regarding driver compensation.

However, in fairness to him, I want to make this post and will add to it over the next week or so.

For lack of something else to do while our business plans languish, I took a job with PJs as a delivery driver. The following is my compensation experience.

Hourly wage: 6 hours @ $5.85 an hour.
Delivery compensation: 11 @ $1.05
Tips: $24.90
Total earned: $46.65
Miles driven: 75.5

Average Per Delivery
Tip: $2.26
Miles: 6.86

So let’s break it down according to gregster’s documentation:

Average hourly wage with tips: $10.00
Average hourly wage with tips and delivery fees: $11.93

Now, let’s look at it from the vehicle reimbursement viewpoint:
75.5 miles times 55 cents: $41.53
Actual compensation for deliveries: $11.55
Difference: $29.98

Gregster has put forth his researched opinion that tips may not be used to offset automobile expenses. But let’s be generous to PJ. Let’s say that the tips can be used towards vehicle reimbursement.

Total compensation of wages, tips, and delivery fees: $46.65
Less standard mileage deduction: $41.53
Net compensation: $5.12
Wage per hour: 85 cents

What kills it is that PJ here has a gawdawful delivery range. 6.86 miles is the average miles per delivery and at least half of my deliveries were doubles. It may have been an unusual night. We will see in the coming days.

I think PJs is sticking it to their drivers. The only reason this matters to me is because they will be one of my competitors (someday I hope). It makes for an unlevel playing field and creates the perception in the customer’s mind that delivery is cheap. I think they get lousy drivers with this policy and that it will one day bite them on the buttocks. But in the meantime, it allows them to operate at a lower cost than is legally fair.

I still think operating our own vehicles, having a limited delivery area, and charging a realistic delivery fee is our only real option. But I worry whether or not we will be able to attract quality drivers with the pool so mudded by the big three.

Anyway, those are some of my observations. I am frickin tired so I am not sure how much sense this makes.

Again, gregster has made valid points… he has just made them waaaaaay too many times here.

Just in case anyone missed it: Wage per hour: 85 cents

Thanks for your honesty and for validating my point. How many other people on this board would be so forthcoming with the actual mileage and tips their drives get and their net pay after expenses? I hope Charles’ post give you all a glimpse of the financial realities that pizza drivers live with everyday and why I am so eager to make the laws that cover situations like this known.

Thank you for your honest post.

Gregster needs to talk for himself as a pizzadriver…He is by far the voice of ALL pizzadrivers, by far…Maybe the voice of the BIG 3 drivers, then again the quality of driver they attract, I’m sure most of them just don’t care about gregster’s plight, since they won’t be there long anyways…

Sure he makes lousy money at PJ’s…As I’m inclined to believe its like that at Pizza Hut & Dominos too…Well guess what?..They’re (PJs,PH,DP) the fast food of pizza & get what they pay for…Fast food workers, & that includes their delivery drivers…

While we’re at it, why don’t we reform the whole pay scale for all fast food workers then & not just the drivers?..Like I said, when it comes to making money in this pizza delivery business?..PJs, DP & PH are the bottom of the scale…Their delivery drivers possibly make more than their insiders…What does that tell you about them?..They pay lousy, this isn’t anything new…

So far, I haven’t noticed any changes in their sub wages pay scale…How is gregster consistantly posting his plight here gonna help his whole agenda?..Since he isn’t a lawyer, shouldn’t his lawyers be at work for him?..If so, why is all his posting about this plight here even needed?..

Gregster, it is impolite to alter someone’s post when you quote it. I know you did it to make a point, but please do not add bold or anything else to my posts.

  1. I am not sure how typical our local store is. It would probably be decent pay if the average delivery distance was less.
  2. The 55 cent SMD is way too high considering the average vehicle age used by drivers. I have yet ot find out what portion is depreciation, but it has to be significant. Also, the insurance is probably based on full coverage which few drivers in Texas seem to carry.
  3. If I don’t like it, and I don’t, I can and will quit. I am just doing this to make a few bucks, have fun, and keep my hand in the business while I figure out what to do about our startup.

I think there will be a reckoning for the big three when it comes to compensation. Someday… but I do not see any movement there now. However, their compensation also attracts the absolute pits in employees. The drivers are slovenly, unkempt dullards who are only out for themselves. The inside folks move at a snail’s pace and don’t even practice the most basic of hygiene – proper handwashing. This is good news for me as I like that in a competitor.

gregster, please don’t think of this as an endorsement of your constant haranguing of the TT membership. I think that your posts are smart and thorough, but you really have overdone it here. I especially do not like you dragging these threads back over to your home forum. It shows that you are more about tweaking us than contributing.


Unless I’m really missing the point here… you can’t add up.

Total compensation of wages{$35.10}, tips{$24.90}, and delivery fees{$11.55}= $71.55 (not 46.65)
Less standard mileage deduction: $41.53
Net compensation: $30.02
Wage per hour: $5.00

Whilst it still may be under minimum wage its a little bit more realistic than 85c.

{Grester, with your eye for detail, I can’t believe you missed that one!}

In addition lets not forget the whole point of the .55 IRS reduction i.e. tax can be reclaimed on the $41.53 so lets assume a 15% tax rate = $6.23 a further $1.03 per hour - and we’re back in the realms of +mw.

Its an interesting note that on Tipthepizzaguy there appears to be a general acceptance that the .55 mileage rate is usually ‘better’ i.e. more generous than actual rate.

All along in this arguement I’ve expressed my view that compensating drivers fairly is the right thing to do. Underpayment is not fair and lets not forget that is not just restricted to the ‘Big 3’.

Please pardon the “editing”, there really isn’t an efficient way to respond to multiple points within a single post without it.

I think you’re seeing it, or at least the vanguard. As an indie, you should be concerned too, both because a class action ruling could impact your business practices, and because the way that the Big three pays their drivers functions as an unfair advantage to them when it comes to pricing. Also, as I pointed out in one of the other threads on this topic, when it comes to the public you may end up getting tarred with the same brush if/when the labor practices of the pizza industry come to light, and being able to claim the pizza equivalent of “free trade coffee” (fair labor pizza?) might actually be a lucrative marketing technique in some areas.

Hmm, employees only caring about themselves? What do you suppose might have made them that way? I’ve worked delivery at a number of places over the years, and it’s been my observation that the quality of the drivers is very contingent upon the quality of the ownership/management at the particular store. I can also say from personal experience that if my employer is a nickel and dimer, that doesn’t respect his employees or the customer, I’m far less likely to go out of my way to make money for him, why should I? Having contempt for one’s employees is one of the fastest ways to sink a business that I’ve yet encountered, and by contempt I mean such things as treating them all like thieves and lowlifes, dismissing their input, calling them unkempt and dullards, etc. I refer to the old canard as the best guide, “treat your employees like you want them to treat your customers”, and that goes double for drivers, who are often your only point of contact with said customers.

I’ve known (in the online sense) gregster for a while, and “tweaking” is not what he’s about here. We’ve discussed this subject endlessly over at TTPG, and gregster has seemingly decided to put his money where his mouth is and go proactive about fighting for fair compensation for delivery drivers. TTPG is a great site, but it’s by and for drivers, who typically don’t have a whole lot of influence on the business, where as this site is particularly for owners, the very people that we need to reach to accomplish any changes. Given that the issues being raised by gregster are very much a possible legal issue for people in the restaurant business that aren’t widely known, I think that his presence here is both appropriate and timely, and trying to suppress him and his message only makes it look like someone has something to hide.

By our very nature drivers are a disorganized bunch, it can’t be helped, and that has made us vulnerable to exploitation over the years, as best demonstrated by the business practices of the Big 3. Another old saying that applies here is “them that has the gold makes the rules”, and in the past, it’s been the restaurant industry that’s had all the gold, as far as political influence goes. As I’ve said elsewhere though, it’s a different political and economic climate now, and those rules might start to change, since we may still not have the “gold”, but what we do have is votes and the sympathy of other voters if our situation goes public in a big way. We don’t want to hurt the pizza business, but we do want to reform it, and reform best starts from within, hence gregster’s presence here, and now mine.

I’m actually pretty much in agreement with you here, I’ve never wanted to “make money” on my reimbursement, but I do want to actually have it cover my costs. What infuriated me was when the gas prices skyrocketed, my employer raised his delivery charge 3 times, always telling the customer that it was because of the higher gas prices, while leaving the driver reimbursement unchanged. Not only did a reimbursement that was sufficient at <$2 a gallon not cover my costs at $4.00 plus a gallon, the delivery charge hikes created the impression that drivers were receiving the delivery charge, further reducing tips that had already taken a hit from fewer orders and people having less disposable income to tip with. This was in essence “stealth stealing” my tips by tacking on a misleading charge that people thought went to me, when in reality it was just a hidden price increase that came out of my pocket.

For the record, I would not have a problem with delivery charges if they were clearly identified as being a store charge and not related to driver compensation, since so many customers seem to think they are and deduct them from tip amounts. If anything they often help weed out the less desirable delivery customers that pitch a fit over an extra couple of bucks and wouldn’t tip anyway, it’s the deceptive aspect of them that irks me, and I think you’d find that most experienced driver would agree with me.

I just wanted to throw in a little food for thought. First of all itis my belief that the .55 pr mile that keeps getting play here, is the highest allowable deduction for tax purposes, not to be confused with minimum legal compensation.
Second, in my opinion, .55 per mile, just because it is a stated value, doesn’t make it right. What i mean by that is,
if you were compensated .55 per mile, you would have enough money left over after paying for gas, to buy a brand new chevy cobalt every 25,000 miles. ( at $ 1.75 pr gal, at $ 4.00, you would only get the new car every 31,000 miles).
That doesn’t take into account insurance because let’s face it, you have to have that wether you deliver or not and most drivers don’t tell there agents to add to their insurance because they are delivering. New tires? Don’t worry, they come with the new car. That’s why .55pr mile is not something that i consider reallistic compensation, it is way more than necessary and could not be paid and remain profitable to many if not most shops.

Now, I own a small shop where i may be the owner but i also am one of the delivery guys, and if you want to talk about not fair, if you divide out my actual income by the hours iI work…Let’s just say i can’'t wait til the day i can make even close to minimum wage. So on an hourly basis i make far less than my employees. I am not trying to screw anyone and iI don’t think most others are either. There will always be people in any business that take advantage of their employees, but I don’t think that’s the case of the helpful owners here in the tt.

All of us, owners and drivers, should be thankful we have a place to go to work, and drivers need to remember, if there is no profit, there won’t be a shop, and no driver job. This is how capitalism works, if you as a driver can do better elsewhere, then move on, it does no one any good to be disruptive.

My. Does that really happen? I doubt this will make the quoted material in the special interest website. My weekend driver for last weekend, slower Friday/Saturday nights (we are small and use only one driver on weekends):

Hourly wage: 9 hours @ $5.00 an hour.
Delivery compensation: 24 @ $1.00 (that’s PER ORDER, and not per trip . . . double is $2)
Tips: $110
Total earned: $179
Miles driven: 75

Average Per Delivery
Tip: $4.58
Miles: 3.125

So let’s break it down according to gregster’s documentation:

Average hourly wage with tips: $17.22
Average hourly wage with tips and delivery fees: $19.89

Now, let’s look at it from the vehicle reimbursement viewpoint:
75.5 miles times 55 cents: $41.25
Actual compensation for deliveries: $24.00
Difference: $17.25
Difference per hour: $0.72 we will consider giving her a raise tomorrow of 75 cents.

I have an interpretation that is somewhat different in that it can be used.

Total compensation of wages, tips, and delivery fees: $179.00
Less standard mileage deduction: $41.25
Net compensation: $137.75
Wage per hour: $15.30 . . . . MORE THAN DOUBLE FEDERAL MINIMUM

We had a meeting with our drivers and asked them if they would prefer we increase the delivery fee; they asked us not to, as it would affect their tips and overall net total pay. As you can see, our drivers fare well on weekends. Over the week total, the average hourly sits at about $12 when looking at total compensation and miles and all for a 2-week period for all drivers. It is pretty stable, running from $9.75 to $14. They all drive older sedans . . . and are EXCEEDINGLY well compensated.

Just curious as to why there are only 7 members here?..

If we’re in a different (worse for everyone not only drivers) economic environment now, I’d think there’d be alot more than 7 people in this driver movement…No?.. :? …

As for gregster not “tweaking”…Then why does he feel the need to invoke negative responses by relaying his info here to TTPG?..

What if the opposite were happening, with a member here, relaying info back & forth?..I can guarantee, since TTPG seems to be for only 1 mindset of drivers these days, god forbid an owner…They’d probably ban you sooner rather than later…

This is the primary reason I don’t want these “disgruntle drivers” coming no where near my backyard, so to speak…

Where I work there is no delivery charge & because of that & a fairly (10.79) high wage I’m able to pull down well over 4 bucks a run average on tips…Sometimes grossing well over 25 bucks (closer to 30 an hour) an hour driving 70,80 miles on a 11 hour shift…I was given the option of receiving mileage compensation with a delivery charge tacked on to my runs to offset the cost…I declinded it, since it also came with expectations of insider duties…Not to mention I don’t need to risk a delivery charge interfering with my tip average…

When you make a deduction from your income, the only thing you save is the tax on that portion of your income…I have no idea of your tax rates are but I think the only amount used in the calculation is the amount of taxes saved…

PS…I am going to do a stint as a pizza delivery driver…A friend’s daughter is taking a month off and her employer is very short of staff so I said I would help out for a bit…

Hey, it is good fun. Lots less stressful than managing.

I was pretty sleepy. Still am. I am sure I made a mistake.

bit of a mistake mate! agreeing with Gregster when in fact to me you look like you were paid over min wage!

Just a real quick estimate…

I maybe mistaken however I believe gregster saying he averages 3 runs per hour, each run has an average of 4 miles round trip…He gets about 1 buck per run in mileage & because of the “tip credit” he gets 4 bucks an hour in driving wages…He also stated he averages approx 2 bucks per run in tips…

Adding it all up he gets about 13 bucks an hour, mind you this is NOT counting the min wage he is suppose to get while inside the shop…So he probably ends up making more than 13 an hour, lets just say 14 as a conservative measure…

Ok he makes 14 an hour, now lets times .55 cents per mile off the 12 miles he drives per hour… .55 X 12 =6.60…

Now minus 6.60 from the 14 an hour he makes an hour…14.00 - 6.60= 7.40…

Whats the min wage in the part of Virginia where gregster’s at?..I believe it is lower than 7.40, no?..Last I checked, in Virginia the min wage was 6 something…

Now watch gregster pull up the same DOL link saying tips can’t be used to off set a min wage violation…

If thats the case, then what the hell is a “tip credit” rule anyways?..Is the employer suppose to use some magical money to offset any min wage violation?..Also, why does the IRS recognize those tips as income?..If thats the case, along with the “tip credit” rules in effect…I can’t see where the violations are…

I guess I am grumpy today and tired of all this whining about driver wages. I took the time to dig into it.

Over the last week, (a little slower than average but not far off) our drivers averaged 17 deliveries per shift. The average shift was a little over 4 hours. The average tip reported was better than $4 per order. Wage is $6 per hour.

17 X 4 = 68 tips
4 X 6 = 24 wages

They dirve my cars and burn my gas so vehicle expenses are not an issue. Last week the drivers averaged $23 per hour. (The cooks love this)

If they had been driving their own cars they would have also gotten about $32 in “mileage” (5.5% of net delivered value with an average ticket of $34) while driving 40-50 miles (based on the mileage logs from our company cars) which, compared to the federal mileage rate would actually raise the wages since the amount paid would have been higher than the allowable mileage rate (but since they drove my cars it does not matter).

So enough already with the cr#p about no shops meeting the wage requirements. I am sure these scofflaws are out there, but they are far from being the rule.

If the nationals are not paying minimum wage I STONGLY encourage all the drivers to turn them in. I would like nothing better than to have them have to raise prices!!!

Go Gregster!! get the b#stards!! But enough already with the posting around here. We get it already.

But even in the scenario Dewar posted showing how poor the pay is - the job clearly pays over MW! Clearly Gregsters arguement is flawed in this example.

Its funny how Gregster can post many many (many) times everyday telling people to post something which demonstrates he is wrong and he’s so quick to jump on the bandwagon when Dewar got his calculation wrong - where is he now when the example shows that the job does pay over MW??? Funnily enough - no posting - too busy on TTPG about the guys on TTPG are ‘teaching us jackasses a lesson’. And the other TTPG guys on here showing teaching asd a lesson? They choose to ignore these examples as well.

So - you’ve had an example of PJ’s which shows they do meet MW - what have you got to say?

"Hourly wage: 9 hours @ $5.00 an hour. "

In this example, are you claiming a 'tip credit"? That’s not even minimum wage. Since you do not even seem to be paying minimum wage, it seems to me that your drivers having any under-reimbursement of mileage would be a minimum wage violation under the FLSA. The fact that they also get tips has no bearing on the matter. Even if you do claim a tip credit, having drivers pay out of pocket for under-reimbursed expenses seems to be a violation in this example my informed opinion.

One of the biggest misconceptions I am trying to correct is the idea that tipped employees are exempt from minimum wage laws. It is only permissible to pay less that minimum wage (where allowed) if BEFORE hand you tell employees that you will be claiming a tip wage credit against their tips. It ANY instance where less than minimum wage is paid (Both with or without tip credit being claimed) paying a driver less than a FULL reimbursement for expenses is a violation of the minimum wage as stated in the FLSA in my opinion. The DOL clearly states that ‘actual costs’ may be paid as long as the employer takes on the burden of documenting those expenses. If you don’t want to document the expenses, the only other method allowed is to use the ‘standard rate’ (currently 55 cents per mile) published by the IRS.

Do you feel the numbers given in your example are in compliance with federal minimum wage laws? In my opinion they are not.

Do you feel your business is exempt from the FLSA? That may in fact be the case. If you do believe that is the case, please explain why. If a business is in fact exempt from the FLSA, then of course the laws listed therein would not apply. One would have to fall back on state and local laws for further guidance.

So Gregster are you going to answer the previous/numerous points I’ve raised about Dewars example? You so sure PJ’s is in violation why no answer when somone provides a clear example???