Pizza drivers say tips make or break

Stephanie Myers
Staff Reporter

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What do you like on your pizza?

For pizza delivery drivers, one of the key ingredients is tipping.

Tipping isn’t only for waiters. Pizza delivery drivers risk their cars and lives in traffic, driving around in the rain looking for house numbers, using a tank of gas in a night, all to bring you your pizza — and to make some money.

“The general rule is to tip the same amount you would in a restaurant — 15 percent or more. But if the tip is going to be less than $2, always give at least $2,” tipthepizzaguy.com recommends.

It seems that many U of M students aren’t familiar with this rule, though.

“Tips from U of M students vary, because some students know that you need to tip and some don’t know or don’t care,” said Mike Layton, a local delivery driver. “But generally tips from The U of M only average out to 50 cents or one dollar.”

This kind of tipping is unacceptable, according to tipthepizzaguy.com. A dollar or leftover change is not considered a tip; many drivers consider this an insult, reports the Web site.

“The worst is when you drive ten miles out of your way to deliver a pizza, and then you only get spare change or worse — nothing,” said Evan Leake, a driver for five years.

“It’s just rude,” said John Stacy, another five-year veteran driver. “It seems like some people make a joke out of bad tipping. They’ll give you money and say keep the change, but the change will only be three cents.”

There are certain situations in which a larger tip is expected.

Far distance and bad weather require a bigger tip, according to Peggy Quinn, a faculty member of the consumer science and education department.

“When tipping, take into account the circumstances that the service was performed in,” Quinn said. “If the delivery driver had to drive through rain, sleet, snow and everything else, the tip should go up accordingly.”

Leake agrees. “Almost always, the weather is miserable. Every once in a long while you have a great day, but usually you’re driving around in extreme heat, cold or rain. People should at least scrape together something in those kinds of conditions.”

So why should you tip?

Tipping is how drivers make their living, and they remember good tippers. Also, it’s a simple way to express gratitude and is much appreciated, according to tipthepizzaguy.com.

Good services rendered should be well rewarded, said Quinn

“You tip to tell someone that they’ve done a good job,” he said.

Of course there are times when a tip is not deserved or expected.

The tip should reflect the service, according to Quinn.

“When it’s the drivers fault that the food is very late or the driver just looks really sloppy, I don’t think they deserve a tip,” Leake said.

Layton agreed. “If the service was bad and the driver was rude, don’t tip,” he said. “But if you get what you ordered and the driver is working hard, they definitely deserve a tip.”

Copyright Daily Helmsman

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