As a blanket rule while running Dominos stores for ten years, I always drew the line based on the “ice” on the road. Snow (even in large quantities) really shouldn’t be a big deal, and cold, well…put on another layer! I think in ten years and 15 stores, I only completely stopped delivery on one night and that was the reason.
Another suggestion would be to limit the size of your delivery area if you feel that delivering to your full delivery area puts your drivers in an unreasonable danger or if you have more business than you could ever handle. Anyone who does delivery would probably be well served to define a reduced delivery area. Depending on some other factors such as the size of your initial area, rural versus urban, how big a part of your business model is delivery, you may even want a couple levels. These restricted delivery areas could also be used in the event of a power outage or any other event that might over whelm your delivery service.
Finally, customers are typically very understanding in the crazy weather if you accurately quote delivery times, so it is important to communicate this clearly to your customers and get their buy in at order time…Due to the weather it is taking our drivers longer to get around than usual, it will probably take at least 1 hour for us to get to you, is this acceptable to you? Or something to that extent.
If delivery is a core part of your business model, it would probably go a long way with your staff to see you making preparations for such days. At Dominos we of course had employees use their own vehicle, but at my new business (an independent, not a Dominos store) I plan to use company vehicles, some of which will be four wheel drive trucks for just such events. We won’t use expensive, brand new vehicles, but I can pay for a high mileage truck in a couple weeks with the right weather conditions.
Whatever your policies are it is a heck of a lot easier to define and communicate these policies to your employees long before the inclement weather hits…starting with the interview and onboarding process, by saying something like… “hey look, we are in a delivery business and the worse the weather is, the busier we get. We love it when the snow falls, and this is the time we make our most money and our policy is take advantage of that market and make hay when the sun shines, however we do have a few policies in place to keep you safe, here is what they are…are you good with these policies?”. Once you have the employees buy in, compliance is a condition of employment. I would tolerate an employee pulling me aside and saying “I have concerns about the weather conditions, here is what we are experiencing” but it would not sit well with me to have someone telling me what they will or won’t do.
It is crazy here in Detroit…we received about 6-12 inches the last 48 hours with another 6-12 predicted for Saturday & Sunday. It is the most severe weather I have seen since the late seventies.