This column originally ran in the Utah Statesman at Utah State University.
LOGAN, Utah — As a former employee of a pizza delivery establishment and a columnist at a college newspaper, I would like to impart some important information. Those of you who have already, or in the near future will be ordering pizza to be delivered to your particular place of residence, take note. Freshman, please memorize. There will be a quiz. Have your No. 2 pencil ready?
Tip the pizza delivery man.
A preface: Of course, when I say “pizza man” I don’t mean to discriminate against the many worthy females who are employed in the industry. “Pizza man”, as opposed to “pizza delivery person”, is just easier to say (and besides it sounds like something Jerry Seinfeld would say).
To get on with it, I’ll begin with some etiquette guidelines. First, when the delivery person comes to your door, have the money ready, whether it be a check or whatever you are doling over in cash. (Friends, they don’t take American Express or even your new First USA Visa card.)
The pizza man does not have time to stand around and wait for you to dig for change or scrounge off your roommate. Just have it ready. It makes things go so much more smoothly.
Secondly, as per the headline above, TIP! It’s not as painful as you might think. It might actually make you feel a bit charitable. Now, whether it be $1, $5, or merely the extra change in your pocket left over from your latest shopping spree at Wal-Mart, just hand it right over. It’s really for the best.
Why is it that we have no problem tipping someone who brings our order all the way from the kitchen to our table at a restaurant? Is it easier to hop in a car, navigate the icy roads, find an obscure address and keep the pizza steaming hot? Doesn’t pizza delivery merit the same generosity?
Contrary to prevailing opinion, tipping is considered kosher. It’s just not cool to dis the pizza man. That $4.75 an hour isn’t going to cut it with all the miles they have to log on their pizza-mobiles in inclement weather.
That’s a lot of wear and tear, my friends. They are doing you a service. Reward them as handsomely as you see fit, but do (and I’m not just making a friendly suggestion here, nor, concurrently, am I by any means issuing a threat) pad the dole. If not, you can expect the same half-smile and sigh you usually get from them. I mean, they’re sincerely happy to do it, but they would just appreciate, I know, a little extra incentive to do it for another day.
And smile at them, for heaven’s sake. They are just like you. Most of them are students themselves, just trying to make a little extra cash to keep them in Noodle Roni and carrots until the next paltry check comes in.
Smile at them because you just received a fairly piping hot pizza for less than $10. Smile, because you did not have to leave your palatial apartment complex or sublet hole-in-the-ground to make it.
This is sort of the answer key; all you have to do is make a phone call, provide adequate directions to your place of residence, turn the porch light on, (this is something that should always be done), write a check and include a tip.
It’s so simple, folks. Let’s not complicate things with unnecessary haggling over prices and toppings or questions about fat grams. It’s a pizza pie. That wonderful distantly Italian feast of the gods. Enjoy!