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5 Things Every Pizza Delivery Driver Needs for Success

Updated: 2/1/2016.

“How many times has Dave Ramsey said, ‘Deliver pizzas’?” Said someone on the Dave Ramsey forums.

The answer is: lots.

I hear it often when I listen to his show. That and ‘sell the car.’ (Car payments KILL people’s wealth-building income every month. )

Since first posting this list back in December of 2014, I’ve heard great, quality responses and suggestions. The original list of five things has been updated as follows:

  1. A kit for receipt convenience 
  2. A fuel efficient car with an accurate GPS
  3. A need for speed
  4. The “Wow!” extras
  5. A smile

These tips apply no matter what company you drive for. (No pun intended.)

Let’s learn something.


1. You need a kit for receipt convenience


Don’t underestimate the power of a simple receipt kit. It is as follows:

  1. A clipboard.
  2. A suitable pen for your clipboard.
  3. A cheap, small flashlight with a clamp or a tether.

A clipboard and pen are must-haves. It is easier on you. It is easier on them. Not having one demands more of a hungry customer than is necessary. A clipboard makes a big difference. 

I still remember one night when I started. It was a warm night in September. I had just started my shift. I was checking everything while I got out at a delivery. Pizza? Check. Receipt? Check. But I had to check whether it was cash or credit. Then I worried. What about the handoff? If it’s a card transaction, I need to hand them the food, then have them sign. If it’s cash, I need to hand them the credit card, then the food, then the cash. No, that’s not right. No card, no signature, just cash and food.


This awkwardness translated into degraded service at the door. Customers were signing receipts on pizza boxes. Or they left me at the door to get a pen.


Amazewife was a waitress. I told her my plight. She agreed that I needed something.

She found me a small clipboard. This is the model I use and love.

It’s worth every penny. Now, I snap the receipt onto the clipboard in the store.  I write “Thank you! : )” next to the tip line (smile and all). I can fit a $.25 pen under the clip. (*(The absolute best pens are the bic ones with the hexagonal shaft. The flat surfaces allow the clip to hold the pen firmly in place. )

The clipboard is also the perfect size for a pocket or an apron. Plus, I can decorate it with knick-knacks my princesses give me. Customers find it cute.

The door experience improved leaps and bounds after I got it. It’s the first thing I hand to the customer.  As they sign, I get the food ready. Then it’s as easy as trading the food for the clipboard. Easy-peasy. I’ve even received compliments on it.

But what if it’s dark? Not all customers believe in porch lighting. Sometimes they do, but the light is burnt out. That’s where the Dollar Tree flashlight comes in. Buy a $1 flashlight with a clip. Or buy one that you can tether to the zipper on your jacket. A flashlight is crucial for receipt convenience in many cases.

Trust me. Build the kit. Customers will show their gratitude. Not in every case, but in enough to make a difference.


2. You need a fuel-efficient car with an accurate GPS


My 2003 Ford Taurus costs roughly $.18/mile to drive. My Suburban has since died. The new Silhouette probably gets about the same. That cost varies with the price of fuel, but it was the average during summer 2015.

At about twenty-five miles per night, that could be the difference between $4.50 and $8.75 in gas costs depending on fluctuations. Yikes! I drive four days per week. That’s a $17-per-week, $68-per-month potential difference! 

Most delivery operations will pay you per mile. Some, a flat rate per delivery. Either way, the more miles per gallon your car gets, the less cost per mile. I know this because my Taurus broke down once last year and I had to get it fixed. I had to deliver pizzas that night in our old Mammoth.

Also, it doesn’t help your mileage if you get lost. Or run into dead ends.

Those mistakes cost miles and time between deliveries. Make sure you bring an accurate GPS along, or use an accurate GPS on your smartphone. (Don’t forget a car charger for it.)


3. You need speed


Have you ever heard the term, “More speed, less haste?”

You have to be fast. You have to want to be fast. No, this is not a plug for breaking traffic law. Speeding tickets can get you fired from many pizza delivery jobs.

Here’s the deal: you will never be able to control the size of the tips you receive. You can influence them – in good or evil ways – but you will never be able to control them.

You have to focus on what you can control: your time and your level of preparation.

A good clipboard, a solid pen, a cheap flashlight, a fuel-efficient car and a dependable GPS can all contribute to lawful, speedy delivery. They streamline transactions and get you where you need to be: in front of the customer, then back in front of the dispatcher at your store. And fast.

But pay attention: this is about work ethic. You have to need to be efficient personally. You have to foster that ethic and desire.

I work with great drivers. I love them. They have taught me wonderful things, good and bad. The one negative thing I see over and over again is wasting time. Get out there, get the delivery done, then return safe and get back in line. Occupy yourself with other duties, then hit the streets. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.


4. The “Wow!” extras


You need to “Wow!” the customers. I’m not talking about World of Warcraft. Nobody wants their pizza driver going LVL 60 HAXOR NIGHT ELF on them. No. Don’t do it. They expect a teenage or twenty-something nerd with no people skills. Don’t be that person!

Impress people. Your store will or can provide you with extras that will make a tippable difference for your customer.

Take condiments. Pizza toppings like cheese and peppers or other spices can wow customers when you ask them if they’d like a few.

Delivering to a hotel? Why not take paper plates, utensils and napkins? They will be so grateful. They won’t have to wipe their hands on the hotel loveseat after all.

Delivering to a home? Take dog treats in two sizes: Don’t Eat Me and Stop Yapping. Dogs are peoples’ children, their protectors, and even their compensation for personal insecurities. You tip their dog, they’ll tip you.

These little things make a world of difference. Think about it. How would this affect your customers? How would it affect your team? How would it affect you?


5. You need to smile.


That’s right. I’m talking to you. You know who you are. If you’re in my demographic, you are deep in debt, above “pizza delivery” age and trying to deliver after working full-time during the day. You’re tired. You’re sad. You may be lonely. Or you miss your family. I know. I’m there with you.

Remember your Savior. Remember your goals. Remember your motivations for destroying your financial bad habits. Whatever it takes, smile. Customers notice sadness. They like happiness better. Deliver with an air of kindness and joviality. You’ll make friends out of the regulars, and regulars out of the once-in-a-while deliveries.

Let me switch gears and talk to a different group: the college or high-school student paying for rent, food, video games and/or weed by delivering part-time.

Give up the weed. Pay for the rest. And smile!

The whole world might know you don’t want to be there working. You might gripe and moan in the store. But you are in service, and service deserves a smile. Appreciate people for their business, and they will appreciate you with a tip.

To those who insist on frowning: if you just can’t feel it, fake it. Fake it till you make it. When you make it – the money, that is - you’ll smile for real. Then it will be worth it.


Are you sure? There’s got to be more.


That’s a fair question, and an accurate statement. If you’ve got more, comment below.

It’s all about simplicity. Pizza delivery is simple work. So is making pizzas. So is washing dishes. These businesses have streamlined, honed and simplified all this so that the worst learner can earn their keep. Technology makes it hard to goof up.

If you’ve got the work ethic and the desire to succeed, add these five things to your LVL 60 HAXOR NIGHT ELF weapon rack and get running.

Again, are you a veteran driver with some tricks up your sleeve? Share like crazy, please.



(For those of you just visiting my blog for the first time, see my intro. Thanks for reading!)


    1. I am considering becoming a pizza deliverer and this really helped me a lot, thanks!

    2. Thanks for visiting! Good luck on the streets, and stay positive.

    3. Thanks for your blog, I just found it tonight. I am 35 years old and have $17k in debt (car/cc) and $215k house debt. I work full time at a good job making $55k/yr doing work I love and I'm going to work for Domino's Pizza starting next week. I estimate I'll be working 60 to 80 hours a week between the two jobs for the next 6 months to a year. It's going to be tough but my wife and I are ready to get Gazelle intense and knock this out for good and we're ready to change our family tree! Thanks for the info!

      1. Phenomenal! I'm out delivering right now! Good job jumping on it. Lets kill the debt together!

    4. Great list! One thing I haven't seen on these lists is to carry a flashlight! For those hard to find places or in a not so lit up community it comes in handy I end up using mine every night.

      And if someone you deliver to makes you uncomfortable, leave and get them black listed. I had this one guy answer the door nude then he called the store saying I forgot stuff (so I'd come back) I like to believe he never ate pizza again

      1. Updated today to include the light! Thanks, Chance!

    5. Pointless job. Trying to get out of this trap. You destroy your car, work for less than you spend on wear n tear as well as maintenance and gas and insurance won't cover you if anything happens while's fun to drive around but not good if you want to thrive

      1. Hey Robert! By 'trying to get out of this trap', are you driving now and want to get out? Let me know. I've got recommendations if you're in a job hunt mode.


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