By Maureen Mackey
Pizza delivery guys share their secrets, tips and best etiquette advice.
1. My other line is ringing, so choose the toppings before you call. Remember: It's a pizza, not a lifetime commitment.
2. We know when kids are prank-calling us. They can't mask their voices very well. The smart ones block the phone number. The dumb ones don't.
3. If I drop your pizza on the way, sometimes I'll shake the box to get the cheese to slide back on right.
4. Patience, please. It takes about 20 minutes to go from raw dough to fully baked pizza. And then I have to drive to your house.
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5. In some neighborhoods, a kid getting out of a car with a pizza in his hands is like screaming, "Rob me! I have cash!" That's why we won't deliver to some neighborhoods.
6. When you see me drenched and shivering in the rain, it's not nice to close the door in my face while you search for some quarters in the sofa cushions.
7. When you open the door, please hang up your cell phone or put it down. It's basic etiquette.
8. I'd prefer that you have a shirt on (and definitely some pants).
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9. Tips should be 10 to 15 percent of your order. If you order a lot of pizza-say, hundreds of dollars' worth, for a party or something-but give me a $1 tip, well, I'm going to have a problem with that.
10. The more gated the community, the more guarded the wallet. The best tips actually come from middle- and lower-class people who know what we go through.
11. I remember every customer who doesn't tip. I won't do anything to jeopardize my job, but shaking the soda on the next delivery would not be out of the question.
12. I'll knock on your door three times and call you on the phone twice. If you don't answer, don't call later to complain that you didn't get your food. I can't wait forever.
13. A guy once ordered pizza from me just so he'd have some help moving his sofa up a flight of stairs. I agreed to help him. He gave me a few extra bucks. I took it.
Sources: Anonymous pizza delivery people in New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
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By Maureen Mackey