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So we were ordering pizza yesterday which only $9 but the total came to $17. I was confused so the rep says it's a delivery charge. So who gets this 'delivery charge' money? Do I have to give more money to the delivery person??!!!

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    An $8 delivery fee seems excessive. Normal pizza delivery charges for Toronto are in the $3 range. – Ross Ridge Jul 6 '15 at 5:08
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it doesn't seem travel related – Dirty-flow Jul 6 '15 at 7:50
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You never HAVE to tip for delivery pizza, but if you become known as a non-tipper, the delivery people will be less inclined to treat you well (hot, prompt, etc.).

As far as two American chains go, Pizza Hut and Papa John's both charge delivery fees and if you look hard enough on their web sites, those delivery fees do not go to the drivers, at all.

Perusing several forums, some say it is a way for the Pizza franchises to recoup the cost of delivering pizza to your doorstep that the store would not have if you ate at the establishment (box, etc). More agree that it is the only way that franchise owners can raise prices.

Pizza is a very competitive market. We have three chains that deliver to our area, Papa John's, Pizza Hut and Domino's. They are all essentially the same, when it comes to just the pizza. Some chains have started trying to compete by offering other kinds of foods, deserts, etc, but when it comes to the pizza itself, they are all mostly the same. So if two of them raise their pizza prices even a dollar, chances are we'll go to one of the others. So, according to many, in 2005 Papa John's started charging a delivery fee. This was a way for them to raise the prices (increase lagging profits) without actually raising the list price of their pizzas.

Now, to answer your question.

For the chains, the delivery charge does not go to the driver, in any amount. This is not to say the driver is or is not paid a minimum wage, just that, according to the web sites, the delivery charge is not meant as a tip for the driver, at all.

If you wish the driver to be rewarded for delivering your pizza hot, on time and all still on the crust: tip him or her accordingly

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    as long the status quo is to tip in america, I'm all for it. But please know that it's pretty ridicolous! The last phrase implies that you really need to tip the guy just for doing his job. Good answer though :) – Ant Jul 5 '15 at 17:14
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    @CGCampbell Is an extra dollar good or are the drivers used to the 15-20% like in-store? – verve Jul 5 '15 at 21:53
  • @verve it really depends. The drivers are using their own vehicle and generally only get minimum wage. That means that typically they're relying on tips just to cover the gas and car maintenance. At least here in the US, $1-2 is acceptable if the distance is short, say a couple miles. If I can get there in 5 minutes, sure I can't really expect more than a couple bucks. However if the route that I'm taking is going to take, say, 40 minutes (Yes, some stores have fairly wide reach), then anything less than $5-7 is just an insult saying "You better cover our convenience with your paycheck". – Thebluefish Jul 6 '15 at 2:21
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    @Thebluefish yes but the insult comes from their employer, not from the client, according to my European eyes. – o0'. Jul 6 '15 at 7:22
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    @Lohoris I feel this way too! It's mind-boggling. I don't get tipped daily to do my job. It's like the customer has to pay the driver for their job choices or something like that as if I'm their mother. lol – verve Jul 20 '15 at 21:01
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The answer is a bit more complex... A pizza franchise is actually two separate companies: 1) the store (franchise) owned by some local small businessperson, and 2) the corporation that centralizes advertising and the order-taking and payment process for delivery.

When you walk into a pizza place you pay the local business for the local costs. When you order delivery you are paying the corporation for the separate business they run for order and payment. The corporation charges the local business for that service.

The local business has no option to not use the service; they have to according to the franchise contract.

Your delivery fee goes to the corporation. The local business just gets to sell one more pizza and gets the $8 less their cost for the pizza. The delivery guy gets his minimum wage.

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You never have to tip. But the norm in Ontario is that you do. Since 15% would be just under $3, hand the delivery person a $20 and say "keep the change." Even if the $8 (probably less, I bet there was GST too) is all for delivery, I doubt it all goes to the driver. They make minimum wage and some of them have to use their own cars and gas.

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    Who gets the $8? Purely up to the business. They might not give any of it to the driver, instead paying a flat wage ($11/hr or so) and using the delivery charges to fund that. They might give all of it to the driver. We can't know. My guess is that either they keep most of it or they make the driver use their own car, or both. That's why I tip delivery people. – Kate Gregory Jul 5 '15 at 11:30
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    Why would you pay 15% on the delivery fee? I'm all for hitting the magic 15-20%, but I wouldn't include the delivery fee in my tipping percentage. You don't tip on stuff like carry out (or, you eat in and then get something to go... you tip on the part you ate at the restaurant and not the stuff in the doggie bag). (With that being said, I normally tip a minimum of $5 - but the idea remains... you tip on the food you buy NOT the extra fee) – WernerCD Jul 5 '15 at 21:31
  • @verve for a 10 pizza? That's a dam good tip. Without the fee, it'd be a fifty percent... with the fee outs twenty five... – WernerCD Jul 5 '15 at 22:09
  • @WernerCD And conversely, if I have a coupon or other thing that reduces my cost of the meal, I tip on the amount BEFORE subtracing that off. – user23030 Jul 5 '15 at 22:13
  • @Michael yeah, that too :) – WernerCD Jul 5 '15 at 22:19
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As someone who used to deliver pizzas, we never saw any of that delivery charge. I can only speak for the US, but it's customary to tip on the order total.

BUT!

Tipping on a pizza is a lot different than tipping a server at a restaurant. 15-20% is customary for a server, but they're doing a lot more: taking food orders, delivering food usually, taking care of you all night. Pizza delivery drivers have different challenges, like managing traffic and showing up at your house before your pizza is cold.

Here, the customary amount to tip on a food delivery is only 10%, so tipping $2 on a $20 order makes sense... but it really sucks to jump in your car and drive like a madman trying to get a pizza out so you can make $2. For me and the guys I worked with, we were happiest for a $5 tip on orders up to $50. I mean, really, $5 so you don't have to deal with traffic? Is that THAT terrible?

The answer is that it's up to each person individually. Maybe you can't afford the $5. That's fine! But at that point, do you really need to be paying all the delivery fees and surcharges just for a pizza? Go pick it up, there's usually some kind of carryout coupon anyway.

But everything is subjective, and I certainly can't speak for Canada.

  • What bothered me is the pizza store was 0.1km so I felt it was ridiculous to charge that amount. Don't ask why I couldn't pickup. Long story. – verve Jul 20 '15 at 21:05

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