Suspended For No Car-Topper

Our store hasn’t had enough car toppers for years. Usually I like to wear one.

We just got a new set, they light up and are rechargable. They are very nice.

But we have also had at least 3 armed robberies against our chain in the past month, plus the robbery attempt against me.

So I have decided I will not wear a topper until after Christmas, when (hopefully) the crime season will have died down.

I didn’t wear a topper on Monday and our shift manager was aware of it. When I came in tonight he told me I had to wear one or I would be suspended.

So I am suspended. I don’t mind so much as this is a 2nd job for me, and I’ll live for a couple weeks without the money.

But I wish management would realize the recent crime increase is holiday-related and suspend the car-topper requirement until after Christmas.

I don’t buy into the idea that lit carsigns cause robberies. I would say that in my area I do as many if not more deliveries than any other place, but have less driver robberies(knock on wood) than the rest. This despite using lit carsigns more than any other plkace here. My feeling is that tthe lit signs attract attention from everyone, not just the possible robbers. Because they attract so much attention, the robbers looking for an anonomous crime of oportunity will likely think twice about robbing the guy with the lit sign that has turned heads throughout the neighborhood or complex. They will more likely rob the guy with no sign just walking with the pizza bag.

In my store, lit signs are not an option. This is made clear from the time someone is interviewed. If they don’t like it? There’s plenty of slow delivery places that don’t require them. Chances are they’ll earn less and stand a better chance of getting robbed though. I let potential employees who say they won’t use a car sign find those statistics out on their own.

Well Paul, you can think what you like, and I don’t have any surveys, but the story below describes a pizza driver in Cleveland (my city) who was shot last weekend after making a delivery. So it wasn’t a set-up, they either saw the driver or saw his car. Obviously signs are intended to make pizza delivery cars more visible.

The target audience is hungry customers, not criminals, but if the sign makes me more visible to potential customers it will also make me more visible to the bad guys, unfortunately.

You should ask Sam from HR how appropriate is it that your manager or GM discounts food for discounts on electronics?

Don’t get me wrong - it is terrible that a driver is shot - how anyone can hold up a driver for typically $20 is beyond belief, but I’ve got to say these guys are gonna get you if they want to - car topper or not. There’s no mention of the car toppers in this article (unless you know more about it).

Again - no belittling this - Typically this kind of incident happens when basic’s are not followed - new customer call back, address verification etc but as I said before if they plan on robbing you then car topper or not they are going to wait by the house and hold you up. Thats the sad fact of life at the moment in some areas.

Uf you wish to make an issue of this - I would ask your GM to show you where the in your employment contract or company policy the use of Car Toppers is mandatory. If its not then you may be able to claim unfair treatment if you wish. I don’t insist on car toppers but I pay more if you have one on.

Kevin, I definitely feel the pain. We had a driver accosted for the first time ever just this summer. (strangely she did not have a lighted sign due to car malfunction).

When all the details are sifted down, it seems that it all comes down to the manager establishing job requirements and expectations, then the employee deciding whether to comply or move on to another job. It sounds heartless, and sometimes it is. I believe that we as management/ownership need to establish policies to protect and develop our business while at the same time minimizing risk and exposure to our most valuable asset . . . our people. There are certainly steps to take to minimize driver exposure to risk. The cold numbers suggest that the percentage of deliveries that result in actual crime incident is really, really low. No doubt Cleveland, OH is a higher risk market than mine.

We should take steps to protect, and also really look at the incidence of crimes before tossing an entire element of our marketing plan and branding identity. Especially during holiday traffic times.

If one of my drivers was robbed, and didn’t want to use a car topper it would not be an issue. I do think IN SOME AREAS they attract criminals. But my drivers peace of mind is worth more than a car topper. I would go down the road and find a different delivery position somewhere else.

This time a year people are looking for all kinds of reasons to save labor.


If a car topper incites criminals to rob you for $20 or less, you work in a really bad neighborhood. Either that or the delivery drivers have a reputation for carrying too much money on them.

We don’t have that problem here but then again, we will not deliver to a few apartment complexes thought would normally be within our delivery area because of their general criminal activity.

We are also consider checks and credit cards only for deliveries. No cash. I hesitate becaise I don’t want to slit our financial throats. We may try it anyway as the accounting would be simpler and we could have a notice on the cars that our drivers carry no cash.

Local PaPa John’s has the following rules for delivery drivers:

  1. Delivery with a lighted car topper $1.50
  2. Delivery with a flag $1
  3. Delivery with no advertisement $0.75

This outline seems fair to me.

Whether the drivers are supposed to carry less cash on them or not, the robbers do not know that. They are assuming the drivers have money on them.

If a robber knew the driver only had 20 or less on them, I would almost guarantee it wouldn’t be worth their time. But I also highly doubt that the robbers would read the cars before attempting to rob someone.