Ask a Dilettante – Tipping the Pizza Guy

How much are you supposed to tip a pizza delivery driver?

Assuming you’re ordering only one or two pizzas (and pizza is ALL you’re ordering), $3 to $5 is probably a good estimate. If you ordered out because Houston is experiencing one of its “flood events” and you didn’t want to risk floating down the street in your car, you might consider hooking the guy up with a little extra.

[Note: Dilettante will continue to use “guy,” “dude” or “fella” when referring to pizza delivery drivers because I have not in my time on earth seen a female pizza delivery driver – I have no doubt they are out there, but I’ve never run across one]

I have friends (cheap bastard friends) who only tip a buck or two for pizza delivery. You’re not exactly making it worth the pizza dude’s time, especially since that barely covers the gas he has to pay for to get to you (most, if not all, pizza joints do not reimburse for gas). And while tipping inside a restaurant is often based on the entire hour or so you’re with your waiter, the pizza fella only interacts with you for a minute or two. It doesn’t matter if his hair is a bit crusty or if he smells funny. He got you your pizza, it’s hot, and you didn’t have to drag your ass off the couch to pick it up.

Of course, bad tippers are not the only prob on the job for pizza guys. “Drivers-sales workers” – the Bureau of Labor’s description of what pizza delivery drivers do for a living – is the FIFTH most dangerous occupation in America. Fifth. Because they get jacked just trying to do their jobs. There’s a website devoted to pizza delivery guy stories – they range from the no tip customer to the man-in-drag customer to the inevitable obese, sexy customer.

Isn’t that worth a few bucks? These guys are risking life, limb and libido just to bring pizza to your lazy ass. Tip accordingly.

[This column originally appeared in its entirety on Houstonist.]