Pizza delivery

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Scooter used for Pizza Hut pizza delivery in Hong Kong Pizza delivery moped HongKong.jpg
Scooter used for Pizza Hut pizza delivery in Hong Kong
An Oldsmobile Alero used to deliver pizza Pizza car.jpg
An Oldsmobile Alero used to deliver pizza

Pizza delivery is a service in which a pizzeria or pizza chain delivers a pizza to a customer. An order is typically made either by telephone, or over the internet, in which the customer can request pizza type and size, and other items to be delivered with it, commonly including soft drinks. Pizzas may be delivered in cardboard pizza boxes or delivery bags, and deliveries are made with either an automobile, motorized scooter, or bicycle. Customers can, depending on the provider, choose to pay online, or in person, with cash, credit card, debit card or other means. A delivery fee is often charged.



Ordering pizza for delivery usually involves contacting a local pizza restaurant or chain by telephone or online. Online ordering is available in many countries, where some pizza chains offer online menus and ordering. [1]

The pizza delivery industry has kept pace with technological developments since the 1980s beginning with the rise of the personal computer. Specialized computer software for the pizza delivery business helps determine the most efficient routes for carriers, track exact order and delivery times, manage calls and orders with PoS software, and other functions. Since 2008 GPS tracking technology has been used for real-time monitoring of delivery vehicles by customers over the Internet. [2]

Some pizzerias, such as the Ontario-based Canadian chain Pizza Pizza, will incorporate a guarantee to deliver within a predetermined period of time. [3] For example, Domino's Pizza had a commercial campaign in the 1980s and early 1990s which guaranteed orders in 30 minutes. The guarantee was for 3 dollars off the order if broken but is often misremembered today as "30 minutes or it's free". This was discontinued in the United States in 1993 due to the number of lawsuits arising from accidents caused by hurried delivery drivers, but is still offered in some countries. Pizzerias with no time guarantee will commonly state to the customer an approximate time frame for a delivery, without making any guarantees as to the actual delivery time.[ citation needed ]

According to Domino's, New Year's Eve is the most popular day for its pizza deliveries; others are Super Bowl Sunday, Halloween, New Year's Day, and the day before Thanksgiving. [4] Unscheduled events may also cause an increase in pizza deliveries; for example, Domino's stated that its sales during the O. J. Simpson slow-speed chase were as large as on Super Bowl Sunday. [5]


For decades, "free delivery" was a popular slogan for almost all pizza stores.[ citation needed ] [6] In Australia, a portion of the delivery charge is given to the driver as the store is required to reimburse the driver for the use of a personal vehicle.[ citation needed ]

Domino's Pizza is credited with popularizing free pizza delivery in the United States. [7] Pizza Hut began experimenting in 1999 with a 50-cent delivery charge in ten stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. [8] By mid-2001 it was implemented in 95% of its 1,749 company-owned restaurants in the U.S., and in a smaller number of its 5,250 franchisee-owned restaurants. [9] By 2002, a small percentage of stores owned or franchised by U.S. pizza companies Domino's and Papa John's were also charging delivery fees of 50 cents to $1.50, and some of Little Caesar's franchisees charged delivery fees. [9] In 2005, Papa John's implemented delivery charges in the majority of its company-owned stores. [10]

In some countries, it is common to give the pizza deliverer an optional tip upon paying for the order. In Canada and the United States, tipping for pizza delivery is customary. Opinions on appropriate amounts vary widely. [11] [12] [13] Employees are legally obligated to report tips to their employer for income tax purposes, while independent contractors, who may charge a per-delivery fee to a restaurant, are legally obligated to report tips to the Internal Revenue Service. [14]

Delivery technology

An electrically heated pizza bag, plug at the bottom Pizza delivery bag.jpg
An electrically heated pizza bag, plug at the bottom

Delivery bag

Bags used to keep pizza hot while being transported are commonly referred to as hotbags [15] or hot bags. [16] Hotbags are thermal bags, typically made of vinyl, nylon, or Cordura, that passively retain heat. [15] Material choice affects cost, durability, and condensation. [15] Heated bags supply added heat through insertion of externally heated disks, electrical heating elements, or pellets heated by induction from electrically generated magnetic waves. [15] Innovations in delivery bag designs have allowed without the usage of a fixed box for bike delivery, such as a hard frame, back straps, and waterproofing. These systems proved to be cheaper, more efficient and faster to use.[ citation needed ] [17]

Pizza box

Pizza in a box, with a pizza saver in the middle Pizza Funghi mit Pizzahalter.JPG
Pizza in a box, with a pizza saver in the middle

Modern pizza boxes are made of corrugated fiberboard. [18] Corrugated board has a number of advantages for pizza delivery: it is cheap, recyclable, and disposable, it is stiff yet light, it is absorbent thus keeping oil and juice from leaking, and the channels of air in the cardboard have excellent insulation properties. [19]

The history of the pizza box began in Naples during the 1800s where bakers put pizzas into metal containers called stufas: round, vented tin or copper containers with shelves that held the pizzas apart from one another. [18] Since the 1940s pizza take-out was done with the pizza sitting on a round cardboard base and covered with a paper bag. [18] It is believed Domino's developed the modern corrugated flat square pizza box in the early 1960s, but they never patented it. [18] Patent designs for pizza boxes date to at least 1968. [20] Innovations since have included various venting configurations; [21] built-in holders for extra sauces; designs for easier recycling; and perforated tops so wedge-shaped pieces of cardboard can be used as plates. [18] [19] The lid of the box is often supported by a disposable plastic tripod on top of the pizza known as a pizza saver.

Pizza boxes have a large amount of corrugated fiberboard, individually and in total volume produced each year, but they are not accepted by some municipal recycling programs because the cardboard is often soaked with grease, making them unsuitable for some forms of recycling. [22] Boxes may thus be commonly thrown away with household waste into landfills; a more environmentally friendly disposal option that has been proposed is a form of composting for pizza boxes. It is also possible to tear off unstained or unsaturated sections such as the lid and/or sides of the box and recycle those.

Pizza saver

In 1985 Carmela Vitale was issued a patent for a plastic 3-legged tripod stool that would sit in the middle of the box and keep the top from sagging into the pizza. [19] Vitale called her device a "package saver" and used that term also as the title of her patent, but it has since been renamed the "pizza saver". [19] Variations on the device have since been invented, such as a disposable plastic spatula whose handle holds the box top up; and a plastic tripod like that made by Vitalie, but with one of the legs serrated like a knife, making for easy cutting of stuck cheese and bread. [19]


This pizzeria bills itself as being open late. Pizza Delivery in a College Town Open Late.jpg
This pizzeria bills itself as being open late.

In the United States, two labor unions have been formed specifically for pizza delivery drivers: the now-defunct Association of Pizza Delivery Drivers (APDD) [23] and the American Union of Pizza Delivery Drivers (AUPDD). [24]

APDD was formed in 2002. Its initial claim to fame was as an Internet-based union, eschewing traditional methods of organizing, and making contributions and the sale of goods the center of its fundraising activities, instead of dues.[ citation needed ] People could join APDD using a form at their website, or chat with its officers in an IRC-compatible Java chat every Tuesday evening. At its peak, it claimed approximately 1,000 members in 46 US states.[ citation needed ] APDD held several certification votes in the US, but was never successful in organizing a local. In March 2006 APDD lost a lawsuit against a Domino's franchise in Mansfield, Ohio. This combined with massive debt left the union with little choice but to shut down.[ citation needed ]

AUPDD was founded in early 2006 by Jim Pohle, a driver for a Domino's Pizza store in Pensacola, Florida. [24] It was certified as the representative union for his store in April 2006. [25] Pohle cites the sub-minimum wage paid by his store as the instigating factor in forming a union. [24]

While formed in the more traditional method of organizing at one's own workplace, AUPDD uses certain Internet-based techniques originated by APDD, such as its mass communications with the press and its fundraising activities (although more traditional dues are collected from the eleven members of the fledgling local).[ citation needed ] It also uses the Internet as its primary outreach to those wishing to start locals across the US.[ citation needed ]


Glasgow. Pizzaboy. Street poster art. Glasgow. Bridgegate. Graffiti.JPG
Glasgow. Pizzaboy. Street poster art.

Pizza delivery, by its nature, can pose risks for those engaged in it, as they are required to go to the homes of strangers, in unfamiliar neighborhoods.

In 2004, Pizza Hut fired a delivery driver who shot and killed a robber while on the job, citing its company policy against employees carrying weapons. [26] Other national chains such as Domino's and Papa John's also prohibit carrying weapons, though many independent pizzerias allow delivery persons to carry weapons in a legal manner. [27] [28] Employer restrictions on carrying weapons is a controversial issue in the U.S.

Prank order

Pizza places may be subject to prank orders for numerous pizzas or to random houses or a target house. A prank order may cost businesses money and aggravation, resulting in the restaurant throwing away the unpaid pizzas. For example, in November 2010 in Amherst, Massachusetts, a man claiming to be part of Bob Dylan's crew placed an order for 148 pizzas which cost nearly $4,000. [29] Prank callers have been fined in Singapore for placing false orders. [30]

Assaults on pizza delivery workers

Pizza delivery drivers have been subjected to assault, kidnappings, robbery, and have sometimes been raped or killed while on the job. [27] [31] Fake orders are sometimes used to lure robbery victims or kidnappings, and delivery people have been injured and killed in robberies and kidnappings. [32] [33]

Pizza delivery workers who have been lured and murdered include Brian Douglas Wells, Michael Choy, and Yafim Weinstein.

Minuteman Missile National Historic Site entrance door, satirizing the Domino's Pizza logo World-wide delivery in 30 minutes or less.JPG
Minuteman Missile National Historic Site entrance door, satirizing the Domino's Pizza logo

Pizza delivery has been featured as a major element in several media in popular culture. There are several works of fiction where the main character delivers pizzas, including Tom Wolfe's novel I Am Charlotte Simmons (2004), and Neal Stephenson's cyberpunk novel Snow Crash (1992), which posits a future in which pizza delivery is organised by the Mafia as one of the US's four major industries. Several feature films also use pizza delivery prominently, including the 1984 comedy Delivery Boys , the Spike Lee 1989 film Do the Right Thing , and the 2000 comedy film Dude, Where's My Car? . In the case of other films, use of pizza delivery has been regarded by critics as "overly integrated product placement". [34]

Pizza delivery has been the subject of films, even to the point of being the subject of such feature-length films as Drivers Wanted and Fat Pizza: The Movie , as well as Pizza: The Movie. [35] Pizza delivery has served as major plot element of such films as Loverboy . [36] The 2011 American comedy film 30 Minutes or Less is concerned about the kidnapping of a pizza-delivery driver and his subsequent coercive involvement in a bank robbery, which was loosely based on the 2003 death of Erie, Pennsylvania pizza deliveryman Brian Douglas Wells. [37] In television, the Australian comedy series Pizza centres on Pauly and his co-workers who deliver pizzas for a Sydney-based pizzeria called Fat Pizza.

See also

Related Research Articles

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Take-out A prepared meal or other food items, purchased at a restaurant or fast food outlet

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Papa Johns Pizza Pizza restaurant chain

Papa John's is an American pizza restaurant franchise. It is the fourth largest pizza delivery restaurant chain in the United States, with headquarters in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, a suburb of Louisville.

Pizza Pizza Canadian pizza restaurant chain

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LaRosas Pizzeria

LaRosa's Pizzeria is a chain of pizzerias serving neighborhoods in Cincinnati, Greater Dayton, Central Ohio, Northern Kentucky, the Bluegrass region of Kentucky, and Southeast Indiana. It was founded in 1954 by Donald "Buddy" LaRosa, along with partners Richard "Muzzie" Minella, Mike Soldano and Frank "Head" Serraino. Originally called Papa Gino's, LaRosa later bought out his partners, and changed the name to LaRosa's.

Eagle Boys

Eagle Boys was an Australian fast food pizza chain. The chain was acquired by Pizza Hut in November 2016 and was officially closed on 1 May 2017.

Blackjack Pizza is a Colorado-based pizza delivery chain founded in 1983 by a former Domino's Pizza employee, Vince Schmuhl, because Domino's Pizza was the only major pizza delivery company in the Rocky Mountain region and he thought customers would appreciate an alternative. The pizza chain is the largest in Colorado with 800 employees, some of whom work part-time. On January 1, 2013, Blackjack Pizza was acquired by Askar Brands.

History of pizza History of the food known as pizza

The history of pizza begins in antiquity, when various ancient cultures produced basic flatbreads with several toppings.

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Pagliacci Pizza is a Seattle-based restaurant chain. The first Pagliacci Pizza location opened on February 19, 1979, at 4529 University Ave NE in Seattle's University District. Over the years, this location underwent many face-lifts and remodeling changes until that location's closure in July 2018. Since the original pizzeria opened, Pagliacci Pizza has grown to 24 locations across the greater Seattle and Bellevue area, most of which offer delivery, sit-down dining and pizza by the slice bars. An interior decor staple for the local chain is Italian-language movie posters. On November 1, 2012, Pagliacci Pizza opened Seattle's first stand-alone LEED-certified pizzeria in the Madison Park neighborhood.

Dominos Pizza Enterprises

Domino's Pizza Enterprises Limited (DPE) is the largest pizza chain in Australia in terms of network stores numbers and network sales, as well as the largest franchisee for the Domino's Pizza brand in the world. DPE is the exclusive master franchise for the Domino's brand network in Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Japan, Germany, Luxembourg and Denmark. Across these markets, DPE has over 2,600 stores. In May 2005 DPE became the first publicly listed pizza company in Australia.

Pizza Corner

Pizza Corner was an international franchise of pizzeria chains that offers a wide range of pizzas, pastas and side dishes from chicken wings to salads. Pizza Corner operated as both standalone restaurants or combined with other Global Franchise Architects brands such as Coffee World or Cream & Fudge. Its service formats include: large dine-in restaurants, delivery outlets, express dine-ins, and express kiosks.

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Big Mama's & Papa's Pizzeria is a pizza restaurant chain primarily located in Southern California. The chain is notable for its extremely large "Giant Sicilian" pizza, which is claimed to be the largest deliverable pizza in the world. Additionally, the chain gained notoriety when, during the 2014 Academy Awards, host Ellen DeGeneres had Big Mama's pizzas delivered onstage.

Pizza box cardboard boxes for storing pizza

The pizza box or pizza package is a folding packaging box made of cardboard in which hot pizzas are stored for take-out. The "pizza box" also makes home delivery and takeaway substantially easier. The pizza box has to be highly resistant, cheap, stackable, thermally insulated to regulate humidity and suitable for food transportation. In addition, it provides space for advertising. The pizza packages differ from those of frozen pizzas, which contain the frozen product in heat-sealed plastic foils as is the case with much frozen food.

Pizza in China Overview of the role of pizza in China

The presence of pizza restaurant chains has contributed to a significant increase in pizza consumption in China. This also had an effect of introducing cheese as a culinary ingredient and everyday food in China, which was relatively uncommon in Chinese cuisine prior to the emergence of pizza chains. Pizza Hut opened its first store in China in 1990, and several pizza restaurant chains exist in China today.

Slice (app) Online food ordering platform for independent pizzerias

Slice is an online food ordering platform for independent pizzerias. It allows pizzeria owners to offer their products to their customers using a mobile-optimized website and their customers can place orders through the Slice app and social media channels. The company claims their platform is used by 9,000 pizzerias in 2,500 towns and cities in the US. It also claims to have processed more than $100 million worth of deliveries in 2017 and to have filled a total of over 12 million orders since 2010.


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