I don’t have many photos of this job since it was 100% undercover.
Delivering pizza has never been a career goal of mine. I suppose it’s a good gig for a college student, but those days have passed. It has always seemed like a unique job, and certainly a position of some significance since over 1 billion pizzas are delivered in the United States every year. To learn more about this corner of the pizza industry I had to go undercover with the industry leader, a company with a great history of success and failure that just so happens to be riding a tall wave at the moment. After filling out an online application, interviewing with the manager, and producing all necessary ID and insurance information, I was hired as a part-time delivery driver at a Domino’s in Brooklyn. None of my co-workers had any idea that I spend my days leading tours to NYC’s top pizzerias and I liked keeping that secret to myself. After all, I was there to learn about delivery from the perspective of the person ringing the doorbell.
If nothing else, I expected a massive company like Domino’s to be extremely organized. Incorrect. After a detailed online interview process, the seemingly tight structure of the organization seemed to slip into utter chaos, with a mandatory orientation that felt like its purpose was to satisfy a district manager rather than introduce trainees to the company and its methods. But I made it through and signed up for a shift the next night, figuring I’d be doing some training. Wrong again. With little more instruction than “bring people their food and then come back,” I went out on my first delivery. Maybe this isn’t the most complicated job ever, but I would have liked some guidance about how to conduct the transaction. Oh well, I guess I’ll just learn on the job.
My first delivery didn’t go too smoothly. I forgot the credit card receipt and a 2 liter bottle of soda. I had no option other than to run back to the Big D for the missing goods and get back on the road. If the “30 minutes or it’s free” guarantee hadn’t been nixed due to several major auto accidents in the 1990s, I would have been in deep doo-doo. Every order comes with a tag that lets the driver know what to deliver, the street address, and an estimated time of delivery. That time is calculated based on when the order was placed, and how many orders are in the system. Guarantee or not, there’s a lot of pressure with that estimated delivery time staring back at you. I found myself driving like a madman, but it seemed necessary if I wanted to get back to home base to grab the next order.
Shift length: 6 hours
Total deliveries: 15
Average tip: $2.53