"For the money.
For the glory.
And for the fun.
Mostly for the money"
-Burt Reynolds as The Bandit
"Smokey and The Bandit"
The other day I ran into a friend of mine outside of SuperAmerica. She was
with some guy that seemed vaguely familiar. The three of us decided to walk
home together since we live close to one another. On the walk home, the guy
asked what I "did". I told him I delivered for BS Pizza.
He shook his head and said "I don't get delivery from there anymore.
The service was kinda shitty and it took a long time to get there.
Well, actually, the first few times I got delivery the service was really good.
But after that, it really sucked."
I could start to smell this guy.
"Well..." I started, "How much do you tip".
He stopped walking, looked at me indignantly and said "Hey. I always really good".
"How much?" I asked.
"I usually throw 'em a buck or two... that's pretty good".
The fact that he used the phrase "I throw 'em" was not a good sign.
"No, no it isn't. That's shitty" I said "That's why you get such poor service"
"Yeah, right" he said, looking away "Like you guys remember every customer..."
It was then that I totally remembered this guy.
I'd delivered to him.
He was a cheapskate.
While the guy was looking away I blurted out his address.
His head snapped back and he looked at me.
"How did you know that?" he asked.
"Pizzamen never forget the addresses of bad tippers. We're like fuckin' elephants
At this point in our walk we were in front of my friends' apartment. The guy started
in on some excuse for his poor tipping habits.
I listened for a minute, then started walking away. I didn't want to waste anymore
time with this douchebag.
"Bye. I'll see you..." I said and split.
Shit like this happens all the time to me. People find out that I'm a Pizzaman
and they want to talk about tipping
"How much do people tip you?"
"What's your average tip?"
"What's a good tip?"
Now that I have this blog, I get emails from people every week asking how
much they should tip or what a "decent" tip is.
But I'm loathe to answer this, for it's one of my touchiest subjects. I hate the
fact that I have to rely on tips to make a living.
Sometimes while on the job, I feel like I'm a beggar, like I'm some street urchin
in a Dickens novel existing on the kindness of strangers to put some gruel in my bowl.
"Please sir, can I have some more"
Basically, I beg for a living...
...and I hate it.
I absofuckinlutely hate it.
Every night is a crapshoot.
Every night, at the beginning of a shift, I wonder if I'm going to pull
in enough bread to sustain my basement apartment-living, rattletrap car driving,
Campbell soup slurping, no health insurance having, thrift store clothed, lifestyle.
I envy my friends who earn a steady paycheck, they know exactly how much
money is going to be coming down the pike on payday.
They can draw up a budget. They know exactly what they can and cannot afford.
But me, I'm at the whim of complete strangers who determine what I'll get paid
for my work.
Sure, I know what my regulars are going to tip. I know those two
gay dudes that order every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday are going
to hit me with at least $5 and "The Wolf" over on G Avenue is going to hook me
up with $4, while the couple on H Avenue with the annoying kid is going to stiff me.
But I go into a lot of deliveries blind. I have no idea what they're going to give me.
They might be total assholes and give me a dollar.
They might be nice and hook me up with a fiver.
Either way, I have to kiss their asses and hope they fork over the Long Green.
The other day I delivered to this women who commented that the delivery time
was "super fast", but then gave me a thirty five cent tip.
As I walked away, I thought to myself "That will never happen again.
You will never get service like that again".
Basically, what it boils down to is, if the Pizzalover treats me right, I'll treat them right.
If they tip me well, I'll bust ass to get their pizza to their home ASAP and be sweet
as a peach to them.
If they tip poorly, I'll try to avoid their order. And if I can't, I'll take my sweet time
getting there. I mean, it's the difference between doing a job for $5 or doing a job for $1.
So when I'm asked "What's a good tip?" I always tell them to tip as much as possible,
they'll reap the rewards in service.
If they ask for hard numbers I break it down like this:
- $3 - Three dollars should be the minimum tip. This is the bare minimum to
keep my crappy life afloat. Seriously, if you're tipping less than $3 you can kiss my butt.
- $4 - A bit better. You'll get good service, but nothing special.
- $5 - As a regular, once you hit the five dollar mark, you're getting my attention.
You'll get preferential treatment.
- $5-$10 - I'll know your address like the back of my hand. I'll try my damnest to
get your order and get it there as soon as I can.
- Over $10 - I'll pretty much stop everything and expedite your order. I'll grab a
cook and get him to make it right away. I'll pull it out of the oven myself. I'll
show up at your doorstep in record time. (I once had a regular who always
ordered a $20 pizza and tipped 100%. When that dude's address came up,
everything else became secondary and I'd get that pie out within 10 minutes)
However, if you're making a bigger order, let's say $30 or more, you should
tip 20% just like if you were dining in a restaurant.
So there you have it.
You want to get good service? You want to make your Pizzaman happy?
Follow these guidelines and make the world a better place for me and you.