Help! I need delivery must do's and don'ts!

Hi Think Tankers, I have not been on here much recently because of FINALLY opening my store after a very long four years!!! I am really looking forward to hanging out here a bit more now. I need some help from all of you delivery pros out there right now though. I have never done delivery before and I need to start it to bump up my sales a bit so there is a bit more of a comfort zone for making my mortgage payment! I have gotten my insurance set up for it which really surprised me to only be about an extra $200 a month, I guess because of my already high bill for Liquor liability and some coverage for the entertainment devices in my arcade? Are there any Ten Commandments to doing delivery right? I am assuming a few things…

Drivers probably should be 18 and over
Must have insurance
Must have a clean driving record
Must have a running vehicle! LOL!

 What sort of pay are they getting?  Would it be wise to just pay them at least min. wage, and then have them perform cook duties when in the store as well?  What sort of delivery time do you shoot for in order to best serve your customer, of course the quicker the better, but what are good goals? Do you run driver banks, or do they pay after each run?  Thank you all very much, I am just a pizza delivery noobie in need!

My website is[/url] or [url=] if you would like to check that out!

Car toppers from the very first delivery. is the company I would recommend. Have them from day one otherwise you’ll fight your drivers to get them to use them.

We shoot for 30-40 minute deliveries in general. If we are dead we can sometimes get the delivery to the customer in 20 minutes but even when we are slow we tell the customer 30-35 minutes. If we are steady we tell them 35-40 minutes. Busy 45 minutes to an hour. Really freaking busy we tell them at least an hour. We do about a ten minute delivery radius.

For gas money, I think $1 per delivery is fair for anywhere in the U.S. I also agree with paying the drivers min. wage. And although we don’t do this, I like the idea of telling the drivers they have to use the delivery sign and that if they don’t they don’t get gas money for that night. We give the drivers a fifteen dollar bank and they use that for all of the deliveries for the entire night. Cash them out at the end of their shift.

The important thing for you to do is make sure you know the areas you are delivering and where all the streets are in relationship to one another so you can send deliveries out together that are going the same direction. This is a must for when you get 15 delivery orders all within 10 minutes.

Driver safety is paramount. Here is a list of measures we took as copied from a memo to all employees after a driver was robbed.

1.Our phone service has been changed. When the change goes into effect it will block all calls that have caller ID blocked. This way we will have the actual phone number of everyone that calls. This kid called from his own house and had caller ID blocked. Do not answer a phone before the second ring. If a customer has caller ID blocked they can dial *82 and then call us.

2.When taking delivery order, inform the customer that our drivers may be making a call prior to delivering the order.

3.Prior to making deliveries drivers will call the customer at the number provided unless it is a regular we are comfortable with. If you can not make contact, do not deliver.

4.Drivers will be making cash drops so they are not seen with large sums of cash. We used to do this when we first started up and it is a good idea. Drivers should never have more than around $40.00 on their person. Drop boxes are available in the shop. You can either leave them in the store or your vehicle as you see fit.

5.We will cash out drivers at a table in the back of the kitchen, again so they are not perceived to be carrying large amounts of cash.

6.When taking order for delivery at night, tell customer to turn on outside lights. Drivers will not deliver to dark house.

7.If delivering to a house and there are no lights on, do not stop. Drive past house, go to safe location and call customer.

8.We no longer meet customers in parking lots or at intersections.

I’m sure others can add more. We have had two drivers robbed in 7 years. Both times it was young kids, wanna-be gang bangers armed with hand guns and stupidity. Fortunately for us they were too stupid to get away with it so their freinds might think twice before trying. Nothing we do in our store is worth someone getting hurt or killed over. Come up with safety policies for your employees and live by them.


You may want to check your driver policy again…what are the limits. You want at least a million. If your driver kills someone that will no longer seem like a big enough policy. You also want to check with your driver insurance company and what they require for prospective drivers. We just switched companies and requirements were extremely different. One went by drivers on the road at a time and one goes by sales. One reports annually list of drivers the other requires reporting and approval upon hiring. So really double check your insurance policy. 200 seems awfully cheap.


Other stuff…plenty of delivery bags. Plenty of drivers from the start. Quality packaging. Magnets and menus that say WE DELIVER Extra phone line.

Ohhh yeah…a pen so you can write extra payments on your mortgage. :smiley: Congrats on getting things going and good to hear from ya.

don’t think that is a good idea at all. NO GAS money? just for not having a car topper - think you’ll run into a miriad of problems there.

My advice, have a car topper rate and an non-car topper rate. I currently do 1.00 for a car topper and .80 for no car topper.

What ever you do, make sure you set these policies before and make sure drivers are well aware of them all.

I don’t like that idea either. At my store, it’s a lit cartopper for full rate, or filling out job applications elsewhere while earning no money. That’s made clear to each driver in the interview process.

Do you actually have drivers that hate car toppers so much that they would rather not use them and make less money?

IMO, car toppers have to be used at all times, so maybe like Paul said it is either they use it or they look for another job.

I really don’t understand drivers that refuse to use the car toppers. The pros far out weigh the cons.


  1. ensure safe driving
  2. advertise business
  3. police less likely to hassle and ticket driver
  4. if driver is lost customer can look for delivery sign and help driver find the house.

Fair warning, this thread my waken the sleeping keepers of threads and topics wihtin those thrads that will not end . . . ever . . . even if you beg . . . even if you ignore them. Just be prepared.

That said, be sure to check with your state department of labor regarding regulations in your state governing compensation. Comply with the rules and laws. Know them so you cannot be manipulated by “rules lawyers” who may misrepresent laws in their own favor . . . always unintentionally, of course.

Having them work in the store when not driving is almost imperative to justify the labor expense. Good teamworkers will pony right up. Selfish louts will be a constant irritation and cist you money. Train them in a couple areas so that they can be wildcard solutions for immediate need issues that arise.

Set up banks and enforce drop limits. Keep a VERY tight reign on the cash they are toting around outside the security of the store. It will protect them from harm and you from cash loss liability. Get WRITTEN policies on as much as you can as soon as you know you need it. If it is a rule, write a policy. Have the driver(s) sign the lolicies and any amendments.

Show appreciation to the people you hire to to tote your groceries out to customers. They are the embassadors of your business to the marketplace and the final link in the product distribution chain. They are running the anchor leg of the relay race of pizza delivery. If they are good, then you will succeed. If they are BAD, you will be a long time recovering. Make sure they know they are important and carry an important role . . . and that they are not an indispensible savior of the business. Make thgem part of the team and a big value.

Uniform policy of some wort will be youtr friend. Get them shirts or lay out what they may acceptably wear. This is about your business and not coddling them and making them “feel good”. Figure out what image you want to present and then write out how you want them to get there.

In many of the places I owned and/or worked drivers did not go in the kitchen…I think the reason for this was that drivers wore street clothes on the “outside” and it was not safe to wear those same clothes in a “food preparation” area…Has anyone ever had a health inspector bring this up?..At 1 of the local place I have seen drivers come back from a delivery and go right to boxing pizzas without a stop at the sink to wash their hands or putting on an apron…

yep, I have car drivers who just aren’t interested in having a cap topper on and yes they don’t earn as much. I also have car drivers who can’t have a car topper on (every tried to get one on a soft top convertible?)

I also have areas that I do not allow drivers to wear car toppers. And occasionally I have more drivers than car toppers.
Also in my area I am not allowed to have a lit car topper

My opening position was the same as you however when I couldn’t get enough car toppers quickly enough and then I had a soft top convertible, rather than loose a very good driver I decided on my current approach.

However, my previous comment was more around advising that NOT paying any mileage is likely to be a legal problem rather than a way to enforce car toppers. If car toppers were compulsory then I wouldn’t let someone do deliveries all night without one then short change them on mileage and I guess you wouldn’t either! In that situation no car topper= go home.

Yeah, I used to deliver in a Jeep Wrangler for some time, was never able to use a sign obviously. And as of right now we only have three car toppers so on nights when we have more than three drivers I don’t hassle the one or two drivers that don’t have a sign.

But if they can use one they should is my point.

A window wing will work on a Jeep Wrangler, with the suction cups on the door and the plastic piece that normally gets rolled up in the window going under the window in the Jeep. I keep three window wings on hand for the Jeeps, Scion TC’s, 90’s firebirds and Camaros and convertables. Actually my Smart Car has a fiber roof, so a window wing is needed for that as well.

Our drivers wear the same uniform as everyone else, and they do Everything! especially our dayshift driver, he does prep, he washes dishes, he answers phones…he does not make pizzas…but he would if we asked him too! we pay a very high minimum wage, and if they think there only going to drive at our shop they need to find a different job! But even our night time drivers answer phones, and take food to the tables if needed…I just call them extra hands if they don’t have anything to do.

Thank you everyone for your responses! I just about have everything in place except for my car toppers, so I will start when I get them! I will let you know how it goes! Thanks again!