Pump My Ride: The classic New York pizza-delivery bike is specially configured to carry pies. This one is from Sal's in Cobble Hill, at the corner of Court and Degraw. Its rider pumps the pedals to bring you your pizza. Don't forget to tip.
We at Slice, like many New Yorkers, don't keep that much food in the larder, relying instead on take-out and delivery for our daily bread. This weekend's snowstorm showed us the error of our ways. (Maybe we should lay in a few frozen pizzas in the icebox.) While we were tempted to call our favorite neighborhood restaurants for delivery, we didn't want to put anybody through that much trouble. We're sure many of you, however, did get delivery on Saturday and Sunday, and, really, who can blame you? We only hope you tipped well.
And that brings us to the heart of this post: tipping the pizza guy. Sunday's New York Post ran a story on the subject, giving advice on how much to give while digging up some bizarre anecdotes about the things delivery folks see and endure. The article mentions the website tipthepizzaguy.com, which recommends a gratuity of 15 percent. The Post asked Slice editor in chief Adam K. for an opinion on the matter as well:
Adam Kuban, who runs the pizza-related blog, Slice.com [sic], agrees that customers ought to dig deep.
"I tend to tip 20 percent," he says. "You can't just send the driver out into the cold."
"I delivered to a customer who easily weighs 400 pounds," says Tony, who works for Bleecker Street Pizza. "The man folded the entire pizza in half and devoured it in under five minutes. It was amazing!"
The story briefly touches on the case of Steven Gordon, a former Domino's driver in San Antonio, Texas, who was fired for calling cheap-ass customers on their BS:
Tipthepizzaguy.com takes a polite approach, but one Domino's deliveryman's attempt to teach stingy customers backfired. He kept a database of clients who undertipped, then sent them complaining letters. But instead of increasing his tips, the letters cost him his job.
Doug Greenwood, the co-owner of Bleecker Street Pizza, says he empathizes with the pizza man. "Not tipping is not an option," he says.
"New Yorkers understand that you tip, and you tip big."