Want to start delivery next year and need advise.

I’ve owned my dine-in, carry out pizza place for a year now and want to do delivery next April once the weather gets better. I’m a little different than a lot of pizza places so I wanted to get some advice on ideas I had.

In our entire first year of business we have never run a coupon. We have been profitable every month. A large 14" specialty pizza runs $18. Because we don’t coupon I was thinking of instead of charging $2.50 or offering free delivery I would pay $1 to anyone we deliver too. So we actually pay you to have our food delivered. Most places couldn’t get away with this with all the coupons out there but since all customers pay full price every day for food maybe this would be something “different” to get attention for delivery.

I’m also really struggling with whether to have a couple of my own delivery vehicles or do the whole mileage, hourly, employee use their own car thing. I don’t think I would ever have more than two delivery drivers driving at a time (at least for the first 6 months). Would you guys buy your own car or pay employees to use their car.

Finally, what are people paying exactly for delivery drivers. Does $5.15 an hour seem right? Plus the $1.50 a trip for mileage?

Any help appreciated. I tried to read as much as I could on this forum but a lot of the posts quickly get nasty with people arguing. I’m just looking for honest advice.



Congrats on your success! I refuse to do any coupons whatsoever as well and had immediate success too. Let the chains coupon their cheaply made “pizzas”. I prefer to sell high quality stuff at a good price, rather than low-price low-medium quality stuff myself.

Adding delivery is a huge add on. One thing you may want to do that others on here helped me with is dealing with “the steam factor”. Your food is in boxes for longer periods of time than for carryouts. The steam builds up and your product will be altered a bit. We do a lot more delivery out of my location than I anticipated and I had to deal with this. We get Perfect Crust Liners for our pizza boxes and it helps keep the bottoms of pizzas crisp by allowing space between the crust and the box. Using the vent holes is helpful as well. Proper phone etiquette and training employees on phones to get all the delivery info like apt numbers, direct phone line, special entrance instructions, and full knowledge of the menu to answer any questions, etc. Routing deliveries is key and not sending drivers out with too many orders at one time as the food just sits and steams itself to death.

Adding delivery can be huge for your business, but it has its burdens and added stress as well. Hope this helps a bit. I use the min wage/drivers have their own car format. In SF, we have tons of drivers for Uber and Lyft already and they actually make more money working for me for the busy hours and then after we close they go back to Uber or Lyft for a few hours. Fort Collins is a great area and I wish you the best of luck my man!

I am of the opinion that any service that is provided cost money and that cost needs to be addressed in the pricing of the product/service. I am in a unique situation as I use a delivery service and charge the customers what the service charges.

we do minimum wage plus delivery fee and tips drivers use their own cars and earn 1.50-3/delivery depending on the distance. we charge 2.50/3.50/5 for delivery depending on the distance as well. routing deliveries is very important get to know your area you dont want to be sending your drivers on opposite ends of town (very bad) we also try and time delivery orders so that they dont sit for very long on top of the oven when drivers are out. drivers are very good at communicating with the kitchen on how long they will be out for so the kitchen knows if they should throw in the order or work on a carry out instead (we dont do dine in)

I would say if you want to start delivery, make sure your delivery area is adjusted for having one or two drivers. You do not want two deliveries coming in 5 minutes apart but opposite sides of your delivery area. Making the first delivery 20 to 30 minutes, but the second delivery now being an hour because the driver has to go to one side of your delivery area then come back and then head back out to the opposite side.

Most places pay whatever your min wage is for tipped employee’s or the full min wage (depends on your job market). As for mileage, Flat rate or % of the order works well, just crunch some numbers and see which works best for you/the driver.

I would start off by having your drivers use their own vehicles, and just buy one or two car toppers and have them put them on while on the clock (and make sure they are lit at night). You can also use the extra topper on your car while your not working to advertise and just drive around for a bit.

I have 2 delivery vehicles and charge $1.50-$3.00 depending on the area. (This is a service, and if the customer wants it, they should pay for it). The delivery fees over the years have covered the insurance, payments, wear and tear & gasoline . I don’t make any money on the fees.

There are so many expenses involved with it so be careful.
Insurance is ridiculous , minimum wage laws & tip reporting.

If you can get away without delivering , I would stay away.

I couldn’t tell you how many delivery drivers take forever to complete tasks, forget sodas, call in sick , etc.

One better note with delivery is we are real busy when it rains and snows bc no one wants to come out.

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Yes, but we seem to have better luck with drivers being motivated than kitchen help. Drivers are making tips while on the road, and get more hours than my kitchen help. It’s hard to find motivated kitchen workers. I have 13 drivers on staff vs 4 kitchen. All of my drivers can do all my kitchen can do PLUS deliver orders. Over the last 2 months delivery averages 65%+ of our sales. Average delivery at door in under 30 minutes during that time period. When it comes down to it, I am ALWAYS going to send kitchen staff home before a driver.

Why shall you wait tomorrow what about today?