Had you looked outside during last month’s big game, you might have noticed a phenomenon that plays out on the streets of just about every American city on Super Bowl Sunday. The roadways are entirely empty, except for one particular type of vehicle: pizza delivery.
U.S. consumers spend around $10 billion a year on pizza delivery and these orders spike on Super Bowl Sunday. Domino’s has estimated that its delivery drivers cover a total of four million miles on that day alone.
Pizza Planetregularly wins Best of Amarillo in the “delivery” category, supplying local customers with a steady supply of piping hot pizza, wings, and the restaurant’s near-legendary chef salad. Three-year delivery veteran Tim Stovall guided us through a typical day in the life of a delivery driver.
A student at Amarillo College, the 21-year-old Stovall works full time for Pizza Planet while taking business management classes every night. On most days, he arrives for work at 7 a.m.
“From 10 to 5, it’s delivery, but from 7 to 10 it’s all prep,” he says. “We make our own ranch dressing and cut our own ingredients, like green peppers. We do a lot.”
Once the prep work is completed, Stovall gets ready to hit the road when orders begin coming in. This occurs as soon as Pizza Planet officially opens at 11 a.m. “It gets busy, especially on weekends.” His Paramount Boulevard location will deliver as far east as Lakeview Drive, north to Amarillo Boulevard, south to 45th Avenue and west as far as Soncy Road. Stovall leaves the restaurant with anywhere from two and four orders at a time. He tries to deliver in the sequence the orders were received, but has the freedom to structure his route to make it as efficient as possible.
That’s important, so Stovall doesn’t leave Pizza Planet until he knows exactly where he’s going. “I used Google Maps a lot at first, but now I go off the addresses,” he says. He takes pride in the fact that his job has taught him the ins and outs of Amarillo, a process that took him around 18 months of steady work. “Now, someone can tell me an address and I’ll know where it’s at. Other people have to look at their phone.”
A $2 delivery surcharge helps Stovall pay for gas. He gets to keep his tips. “The money is pretty good. Sometimes you get stiffed, but most people are generous. They’re good tippers,” Stovall says.
His largest delivery to date was for a local corporate event. It required 30 pizzas, a couple of extra-large salads, and a total bill around $350.
Jason is a journalist, copywriter, ghostwriter, and the author of more than a dozen books. His most recent is “12 World Religions: The Beliefs, Rituals, and Traditions of Humanity's Most Influential Faiths”, published by Zephyros Press. Learn more at jasonboyett.com.