Delivery to rural subdivisions

I have a numer of rural subdivisions that are within 5 to 10 minutes of my store. I have not delivered to them because here it gets dark in the winter at 4:00 and there is no good way to tell which house your driver is to go to from the road (no assigned addresses). I often get the “we are the third drive on the right on RR1 south of the main road, it’s the green house with the blue truck”. I have seen other stores send drivers out and end up with the guy getting lost for an hour because the first drive has not been snowplowed and is missed and when it is dark (no streetlights in the rurals) who is to tell what color the house or the truck is…

Any suggestions on how to pull in this market?


I just responded to a question similar.


your toes have got to be ice cubes by now, huh?

What toes? I froze them off 36 years ago when I moved here from Colorado.

I had a chat with the county fire prevention officer and came up with a reasonable idea. I have talked to a sign maker and for $20 they will make a sign that is 12" high X 6" wide with my logo on the top and Lot XX on the bottom. The sign will be reflective so when the headlights hit it you will see it. I plan on selling them to the customer and giving the customer the value of the sign in coupons that can be redeemed one per delivery. When the customer buys the sign I will go to the customers lot and place the sign myself. I plan on adding exact directions on the customer record in Point Of Success drivers instructions and maybe even a gps location.

Any feedback?

Sorry forgot to sign in. that last post was mine.

I’m looking at doing something similar in our town. I’ll put their house number and our shop info on the little thing. The house numbering is sporatic, irregular and hard to see in daytime, let alone in night (the mayor had a heart attack a few years back, and the ambulance couldn’t find his house. He still hasn’t numbered his house!). I’m checking with our zoning ordinance to see what we can do, and we will put out little weather resistant sandblasted signs.

We have to check into the costs again, but the signs we are looking at go for $75 per square foot, so an 8"x8" sign would be about $35. If we can get the city and/or county on board, we can make it a civic project and have consistent designs and sizes for the houses. Pretty expensive, but we’d plan to have costs split with customer and other sorts of contributors we can find.

How in the heck can people not have numbered houses? it seems very illogical. Drivers have enough trouble with rural houses with numbers because people aren’t bright enough to at least turn a porch light or use numbers where people can see them.

Sorry. The houses have numbers assigned to them. And usually they are marked on the houses . . . and usually those numbers match the number they are supposed to have. One street has had three sets of numbers in 15 years, and some houses are marked with part of each set.

It really is a surreal world we are cleaning up in our town. It really is. Part of my job on the City Council is to help figure out a solution for all of this just for community health and safety reasons . . . pizza delivery is secondary . . . really.

Then there is the newest subdivision that is numbered thusly 18-20-22-24-28-26-30-32

You just have to laugh.

I talked to the county admin staff and they said it took them 3 years to mark all of the rural roads with sign posts. Now they are looking into how to assign addresses in the rural areas. They expect it to take 2 years to complete the study and budgeting before they start assigning addresses.

Daddio I feel your pain! We have the same problem here. I remember when I moved to Alberta 7 (almost 8!) years ago. I couldnt belive people didnt have addreses out of town. I didnt have a pos when we started but we did have a book that we wrote down directions in in was divided into north south east and west and it worked pretty good but when we fot the POS we put everything in there. I also ask the customers to make sure the lights are on and if they have any landmark in front of the house (big rock, reflection post, mailbox etc) Most of the time we find them right aways but if the driver isnt sure I have them use the company cell phone to phone the customere and ask them to flick the outside lights on and off 6-7 times while they are on the phone with them so the customer can help them find the house. I like the ideas about the signs I also wonder if some bright reflective stickers with your logo and a number on them not as permanent as a sign but maybe a beter cost?

Pizzaguy I will send you a gif of what I am thinking of doing.

I talked with the fire and poice people and they asked if they could get a copy of my driving instructions when I start the process.

The advantage of a sign I will install it myself. I will put it at the best spot for my drivers to see it rather than at the house a 1/4 mile up the driveway

The sign looks great. Thats a good idea about placeing the sign yourself you never know where they would put it otherwise. Keep us informed on how it all goes.

We have a lot of problems with this too - roads change names after a couple of miles, numbers are skipped and all the mailboxes are on the same side of the road so you can’t tell which side the house is really on.

We also have a real problem with road signs being stolen. At least 40% of our rural delivery area we use hard-mileage odometer readings and landmarks (red brick church, “biggest tree you ever saw in your life” - yeah, that’s really one of them!)

We had one street we told them we wouldn’t deliver anymore until they made a landmark after 3 different drivers ended up in the next county. We told them to spray paint one of the poles at the corner purple.

Another advantage of placing the sign yourself is you can do a detailed, accurate set of driving instructions to put on the POS.