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How Much Can You Make as a Pizza Delivery Driver

How much can you make as a pizza delivery driver? Like most jobs, it depends on how much and how hard you want to work.

In 2020, pizza delivery drivers helped bridge the gap between closed dining rooms and the millions of hungry Americans that crave baked pies. The pandemic ramped up demand for a profession that receives little publicity but employs hundreds of thousands of workers throughout the United States

However, delivering pizzas almost goes back as far as when the first pizza joint opened in the United States. Immigrants from Naples, Italy brought their home recipes to the streets of Boston and New York. Eventually, pizza became one of the most popular dishes in the country, as pizzerias opened on street corners from Miami to San Diego.

Many restaurants that feature pizza on the menu rely on delivery service for a significant percentage of sales. The fresh pizzas the restaurants send out for delivery must arrive in the same fresh condition as they were when they left the store. This means a pizza delivery driver must be efficient while adhering to local, state, and federal motor vehicle safety laws.

Pizza delivery drivers come from all walks of life, but many of them share one thing in common. Delivering pizzas is a part-time job that either supplements income or acts as a limited source of revenue for college and high school students. Pizza delivery drivers earn an hourly wage plus tips. Pizzerias must compensate their drivers for mileage as well.

The problem with delivering pizzas for some drivers is their employers cheat them out of wages, usually the tips the restaurant pools for sharing among all employees. If you believe your employer has committed wage theft, you should speak with one of the experienced employment law attorneys at Morgan & Morgan.

We will get to the bottom of the issue during a free case evaluation.

What Skills Does a Pizza Delivery Driver Need?

Delivering pizzas does not require a formal education, nor extensive on-the-job training besides knowing what is on the menu. Nonetheless, pizza delivery drivers need to possess specific skills to make as much money as possible.

  • Knowledge of the delivery area
  • Ability to drive safely and efficiently
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Fundamental understanding of math
  • Adapt to rapid change

Driving safely helps prevent a costly and potentially harmful motor vehicle accident. It also keeps the pizzas in the vehicle intact. Fast turns and sudden braking can turn a delicious-looking pie into a mess of cheese and sauce. Installing advanced GPS technology in your vehicle allows you to work faster without jeopardizing your safety.

Strong interpersonal skills are the key to learning how much you can make as a pizza delivery driver. You might have to handle a dispute involving an order or react quickly to a customer’s demand. Friendly interactions with customers can help boost the amount of tips you earn each shift. 

What Are the Risks Involved in Delivering Pizzas?

Although you work in the restaurant industry, most of your job tasks take place outdoors or inside a vehicle. Working alone can pose several threats, especially when you operate a motor vehicle for business purposes.

Vehicle Collisions

Because they spend most of their shifts driving an automobile, pizza delivery drivers are at high risk of experiencing a traffic accident. You can follow every vehicle safety standard and still wind up involved in a car crash because of the negligence of another driver. If you suffered injuries that were caused by a car collision while you delivered pizzas, you should contact one of the highly-rated personal injury lawyers at Morgan & Morgan.

Robbery

Pizza delivery drivers are magnets for criminals that see an opportunity to make a quick score. With a vast majority of pizza transactions involving the use of a credit card, criminals that rob pizza delivery drivers typically get nothing more than a driver’s tips. However, this means you take a hit on what you earn for a particular shift.

Food Poisoning

This risk is more about legal liability when a customer gets sick because of a tainted pizza. The restaurant assumes the legal liability for a food poisoning outbreak, but if the outbreak developed from a delivery, the driver also might be partly responsible for delivering spoiled pizzas.

How Much Can You Make as a Pizza Delivery Driver?

How much you can make as a pizza delivery driver depends on several factors. First, do you plan to work part-time or full-time? Second, does your delivery area include a large group of regular customers? Regular customers tend to tip more because of the familiarity they have with certain drivers. Third, do you work mostly days or nights? Nighttime orders tend to generate higher sales because people order more food for dinner than they do for lunch. Finally, where you deliver pizzas matters to determine how much money you can earn. A pizza delivery driver in Manhattan makes more money than a pizza delivery driver in Omaha, Nebraska makes.

As of September 18, 2021, the average monthly earnings for a pizza delivery driver in the United States sat at $2,227. ZipRecruiter calculated monthly earnings for pizza delivery drivers to be as high as $3,250 and as low as $958. According to ZipRecruiter, the majority of pizza delivery drivers earn between $1,542 and $2,583. In addition to geographic differences, the earnings among drivers vary for other reasons, such as experience, skill level, and advancement opportunities.

How Do Tips Factor Into Earnings?

Tips play a vital role in answering the question, “How much can you make as a pizza delivery driver.” The amount of money that you earn from tips depends on several factors.

  • Distance to a customer’s home
  • Order size
  • Time of the day
  • Day of the week
  • Regular vs. first-time customer

If you have worked the same route at night on the same days of the week for a considerable amount of time, you should have developed a large base of regular customers that tip exceedingly well. The biggest legal issue with tips is when a restaurant’s policy requires drivers to pool their tips for equal distribution among employees. This means drivers that excel at their jobs are financially penalized for participating in a tip-sharing arrangement.

How Do Pizza Delivery Drivers Get Cheated Out of Wages?

Pizza delivery drivers are vulnerable to many different forms of wage theft. If you are a victim of wage theft, contact one of the state-licensed employment lawyers at Morgan & Morgan to initiate the legal process for getting your money back.

Gas

If you operate your own motor vehicle while you deliver pizzas, your employer must compensate you for gas under a formula created by the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS has established the current rate of compensation for gas at 58 cents per mile. Your tips should not cover fuel costs.

Auto Repairs

Another expense your employer must cover if you drive your own car concerns the cost of vehicle repairs. According to a survey published by Coworker.org, more than 75 percent of drivers said auto maintenance is one of the biggest financial issues that negatively impacts earnings.

Stolen Wages

Most tipped employees receive less than the state-mandated minimum wage. The logic is tips more than make up the difference between the state-mandated minimum wage and the minimum wage paid to tipped employees. If your tips do not raise your wages to the state-mandated minimum wage, your employer must make up the difference.

Stolen Tips

Restaurants implement tip pooling to give every employee a financial stake in the outcome of each shift. However, some unethical employers reach into the tip-pooling jar for business and/or personal reasons. Since a vast majority of transactions involve the use of a credit card, you should be able to monitor how much money your employer owes you in tips for each shift.

You Work Other Positions

Because you are a tipped employee, you might receive a wage that falls below the state standard. If you work multiple positions at the restaurant, you have to make sure your employer pays you the right wages for the other positions. For example, if you make $2.13 an hour plus tips as a delivery driver, your employer cannot pay you $2.13 an hour to work in the kitchen.

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Wage Dispute Case?

State and federal laws govern the payment of wages. If your employer has cheated you out of money that you rightfully earned, then you should get in touch with an employment law attorney.

Hiring a lawyer lets your employer know that you are serious about taking legal action. Legal counsel can help you file a claim, as well as calculate how much money you deserve in monetary damages. Because you must file a claim before a deadline, your attorney ensures that you file all the paperwork required to initiate a lawsuit on time. If you fail to meet the statute of limitations for filing an employment law claim, the court will dismiss your claim.

Contact Morgan & Morgan

Knowing how much you can make as a pizza delivery driver depends on several factors. One of the factors decreases the amount of money you earn and it is called wage theft. Restaurants operate on paper-thin profit margins, which can force some owners and managers to skim off a tip-sharing arrangement. Wage theft also can occur for pizza delivery drivers in the form of no compensation for gas or vehicle repairs.

If you are dealing with an employer that has stolen your wages, you have a right to recover the money and possibly monetary damages. Contact Morgan and Morgan today to schedule a free case evaluation that helps our team of employment law attorneys determine the best course of legal action.

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