Is Pizza Delivery Worth It? (Pros and Cons)

While delivering pizzas is not the most glamorous job in the world, it can be a decent flexible way to earn extra money.

Are you wondering, is pizza delivery worth it?

Key Points

  • The pay is typically minimum wage or slightly higher, and you may also receive customer tips.
  • The hours are often flexible, which can be beneficial if you have another job or are a student.
  • You will spend a lot of time in your car, which can be costly in terms of gas and wear and tear on the vehicle.

Pizza delivery is a popular job for many people, especially students and those looking for flexible hours.

While it has its perks, there are also some downsides to the job that you should be aware of before you decide to take on the role.

Let’s explore the pros and cons.

What are the pros of being a pizza delivery driver?

The most significant benefit of pizza delivery is the flexible hours.

Many Pizza companies will offer the option to be a rush driver. You can work 2-6 hours during the busiest period and make money in tips as you could work full-day minimum wage.

If you are an introvert, it can be a great job as most of your time will be spent alone in your car listening to music. Often you have to deal with most people very briefly. You also take short walks outside, which can be very pleasant.

Every job is different, and your shift can go by very quickly. When each delivery takes 15-30 minutes and you are engaged by driving, time never really drags.

The employee discounts, like a giant pizza loaded with your favorite toppings for under $15 if you buy it while you’re on the clock. If you are hanging out with friends and they want to order pizza, you can use your hat or something as proof to get a smaller discount for delivery. This is a popular perk.

Great exercise. Getting in and out of your car a lot, jogging around, and possibly climbing lots of stairs with heavy boxes can add up to a surprising amount of cardio, and you will build up your forearms.

What are the cons of being a pizza delivery driver?

Delivering pizza significantly increases your risk of car accidents, impacting your insurance and stress levels.

An accident may often through no fault of your own or due to other drivers’ errors.

Drivers are under constant pressure to hurry, and the sheer amount on the road increases the risk, especially in bad weather.

There is also the risk of robbery. News outlets frequently report food and pizza delivery drivers getting robbed on the job. In one survey, 22% of self-identified pizza and food delivery workers surveyed said robbery and theft was a main problem that they have faced.

You will often be working at night in the dark and wearing a big sign advertising that you have cash. Drivers should never carry more than $20 cash. Pizza delivery drivers are also the third most likely occupation to be murdered on the job.

Your work/life balance will be out of sync. Some people enjoy late nights, but if you value your evenings with friends, the job will mean working evenings and weekends since most deliveries are at night. If you are closing, you can stay until 2-3 am since someone can call one minute before closing and drive around more, meaning you have to stay later to mop up.

Social isolation. Though Pizza Delivery companies often emphasize the “independence” of working as a pizza driver, if your friends/family/partner work regular daytime hours, this means having opposite schedules.

Most of your free time will be spent alone as well. Your interaction with other human beings might be limited to brief exchanges with coworkers and customers and the voices on the radio. It is not unheard of for long-term drivers to develop a habit of talking to themselves.

You will most likely have to use your car and gas. You might get partially compensated for mileage. This can be a problem if you are earning a tipping wage but get stiffed, causing you to lose money by coming to work.

The wear and tear of the constant stop-and-go traffic on your car will eventually come back around in repairs, which is where much of your savings will go. You have to know when to stop. Otherwise, you might have less money than you started with and no working car.

Driving the equivalent of a road trip every day does take a physical toll and will mess you up after a while. It is common to develop chronic pain, especially in the lower back, right arm, and right leg, where you work the pedal and gear shift.

Do I need commercial insurance to use my car to deliver pizzas?

You will need commercial insurance if you use your car to deliver pizzas. 

Commercial insurance will protect you and your vehicle while you are working. If you have an accident while delivering pizzas, your insurance will not cover the damages. You will need to purchase commercial insurance to be fully protected.

For more information, please contact your insurance agent.

Your employer may require a drug test if you are involved in an accident while out on delivery. The results of the test will impact your insurance.

If you enjoy listening to music, you get paid to drive around to listen to music.

Pizza delivery job requirements (skill set)

The job requires no formal training, and you will need only a high school diploma and a driver’s license.

Pizza delivery drivers should also possess specific skills, including:

  • Pizza delivery drivers should have a good memory because they will have to remember the addresses of customers.
  • Should have the skills of good customer service. They will be in contact with the customer and should be able to answer the questions that a customer can ask.
  • Pizza delivery drivers should be able to work in a fast-paced environment.
  • Should be able to work well as part of a team. They will work with other drivers and also with other employees of the restaurant.
  • Should be able to count money and handle the cash register.

Is delivering pizza hard on your car?

The stop-start nature of pizza delivery can be brutal on your car. Delivery drivers, like commercial insurance, often don’t consider these costs when assessing their hourly wage.

Vehicle wear and tear can wreak havoc on earnings. In one survey, 76 percent said wear-and-tear in their vehicles was a main problem in pizza deliveries. Despite a significant wage decline, drivers say they did not contribute adequately to compensate for the repair cost on the job.

Using a fuel-efficient used car is advisable, not a new one.

Do pizza delivery drivers make good tips?

A delivery charge or tip is generally accepted if you deliver hot pizzas in the expected time and customers receive good service.

Usually, it is customary to receive 15% of the bill. If the service was good, 20% and 25% of the bill if it was exceptional.

The tips also get better when the weather gets worse.

Which pizza delivery drivers make the most?

Pizza delivery drivers who work for major pizza chains such as Domino’s Pizza, Papa John’s, or Pizza Hut make the most. These drivers usually earn an hourly wage plus tips and may also receive mileage reimbursement for using their vehicles. 

Independent pizza delivery drivers may make less, as they typically do not receive tips or mileage reimbursement.

How do I protect myself as a pizza delivery driver?

is pizza delivery worth it

Most pizza delivery drivers are experienced and know how to protect themselves. However, if you are in college or just starting, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself while making the bucks:

  • Wear a seatbelt
  • Avoid driving in high-crime areas
  • Keep your doors locked
  • Don’t open your door to strangers
  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Trust your instincts
  • If you feel unsafe, call the police

If you follow these safety tips, you will significantly reduce your chances of becoming a victim of crime.

Final thoughts

Pizza delivery is a decent way to earn extra money, but some downsides exist.

Each individual will have to weigh the pros and cons, depending on their circumstances.

You will spend a lot of time in your car, which can be costly in terms of gas and wear and tear on the vehicle.

There is also the risk of robbery and accidents, but the rewards and flexible hours can be excellent.

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