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There’s something just incredible about ordering pizza and having it delivered at home and then enjoying a hot slice of cheesy goodness! And without that helpful pizza delivery driver, it would be so much more complicated to get that pizza hot at home.

So that’s the reason it is time to celebrate Pizza Delivery Driver Appreciation Day!

History of Pizza Delivery Driver Appreciation Day

Regularly putting up with inclement weather, smelling delicious food without actually being able to eat it, and driving all over the city to find random addresses in bizarre neighborhoods? These privileges belong specifically to delivery drivers, and it’s time to celebrate them on Pizza Delivery Driver Appreciation Day!

The history of pizza delivery drivers can be traced back to the end of the 19th century when, the story goes, Queen Margherita of Savoy fell ill and requested that the food from Naples be brought to her. A custom creation was made by a royal chef and brought to the queen, made with tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese. These colors represented the colors of the flag of the region. The pizza was named after the queen and, to this day, the Margherita pizza is a favorite.

Of course, that was a unique situation with royalty, but the regular practice of delivering pizza to average people started after World War II in large cities like New York and Chicago. The soldiers who had been stationed in Europe during the war wanted pizzas so a number of pizza restaurants opened up and offered “ordered to take home” pizzas in special individual containers for transport.

The convenience of take home pizzas caught on and in the 1960s the idea of pizza delivery really took off all over the United States. This was also in keeping with the fast food craze that took off during this era.

By 1979, Domino’s pizza in the US had started their policy of “30 minutes or it’s free” to keep up with their major competitor, Pizza Hut, which didn’t have delivery services. The scheme lasted for a few years until it began to be a bit too costly and people were taking advantage, so the perk was to receive a $3 off coupon if the pizza delivery driver failed to bring the pie in thirty minutes.

For more than 50 years, pizzas have been brought to homes and offices by pizza delivery drivers, and it’s time to show some appreciation and celebrate them with this day!

One of the reasons that Pizza Delivery Driver Appreciation Day was started is because many people don’t realize the risk that pizza delivery drivers take when they are working. In fact, according to some sources, the United States government ranks pizza delivery as one of the most dangerous jobs in the nation. After police officers and taxi drivers, pizza delivery drivers are the most likely to be killed or injured on the job.

With this in mind, it is particularly important to celebrate and show these folks how much they are loved and cared for – especially for Pizza Delivery Driver Appreciation Day!

Pizza Delivery Driver Appreciation Day Timeline

1889

Queen Margherita gets her pizza delivered

Chef Esposito creates and delivers the iconic mozzarella, tomato and basil pizza, which is then named after the queen. [1]

1945

Pizza gets popular in the US

Following World War II, the demand for pizza makes its way over to the United States through soldiers and immigrants. [2]

1960s

Pizza delivery begins

With the advent of drive-in restaurants and fast food places, the convenience of getting pizza delivered at home becomes all the rage.

1994

First online pizza delivery is ordered

Pizza Hut creates a website and the first online pizza is ordered.[3]

2006

First US pizza delivery union is formed

Delivery drivers from Domino’s Pizza form the American Union of Pizza Delivery Drivers. [4]

How to Celebrate Pizza Delivery Driver Appreciation Day

Take some action and show some love for Pizza Delivery Driver Appreciation Day by celebrating with some of these great ideas:

Show the Love to a Pizza Delivery Person

Those who have a friend or family member who delivers pizzas as a job can show some extra attention to them on this day. Whether they are a student paying for college, a family member with a side hustle, or a person who is working full time in the industry, Pizza Delivery Driver Appreciation Day is the perfect time to show they are cared for. Take them out to lunch, send them a thank you card, or get them one of their favorite gift cards to say how great they are. Show the love in honor of this day!

Give a Big Tip

In honor of Pizza Delivery Driver Appreciation Day, one of the best ways to show appreciation is to order a pizza and then leave an extra large tip. Show some gratitude by adding a larger tip within the app or offering a cash tip upon delivery.

According to the Tip the Pizza Guy website, the suggested tip for a pizza delivery driver is to give an average of 15% of the total order, but no less than $2. If the service is excellent, then go ahead and leave a 20% tip to let the driver know that they’ve done a good job and encourage them for the future.

In addition, when it comes to pizza delivery, it is considered to be good form to tip better when the weather is bad, or when the food comes late at night. During the rain, snow, sleet hail or even extreme heat, give the delivery person an extra dollar or even more, giving some credit for the extra struggle they had to go to get there.

Watch Pizza Delivery Drivers in Movies

A rather iconic role that can be played in American movies is that of the pizza delivery driver! In celebration of Pizza Delivery Driver Appreciation Day, check out these movies that have a scene, whether memorable or not, where a pizza is delivered:

  • Do the Right Thing (1989). Mookie is a pizza delivery guy played by Spike Lee.
  • 30 Minutes or Less (2011). Nick is played by Jesse Eisenberg.
  • Loverboy (1989). A romantic pizza guy is played by Patrick Dempsey.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series (1990s). Keno is played by Ernie Reyes, Jr.

Employers Host Special Events

Restaurateurs and owners of pizza shops that offer delivery can celebrate Pizza Delivery Driver Appreciation Day by hosting various events on the day or throughout the week. Since being a pizza delivery driver is such a difficult job, it’s important that these folks feel cared for and appreciated in their work. Offer paycheck bonuses, performance contests, spiffs and perks for all of the employees, especially the drivers. Make the world a happier place by celebrating the people who bring happiness in the delicious form of pizza!

Pizza Delivery Driver Appreciation Day FAQs

How much to tip a pizza delivery driver?

The usual tip for a pizza delivery driver is 15% or no less than $2. [1]

Can pizza delivery drivers write off mileage?

Yes, delivery drivers can write off their non-commuting mileage from their taxes. [2]

How much does a pizza delivery driver make?

The salary for a full time pizza delivery driver can range from $40,000 to $100,000 per year. [3]

Can you be a pizza delivery driver at 17?

According to the US government, delivery drivers under 18 have to follow very specific rules including only driving during daylight hours and delivery comprising only 20% of their main job. [4]

Do pizza delivery drivers need special insurance?

Yes, pizza delivery drivers typically do need to have special commercial insurance for their car to be covered while working.[5]

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