Economic Reality and Delivering Pizzas

Last weekend I mentioned the numbers on the economics of delivering pizzas changed with the new pay scale that went into effect with the increase in minimum wage.  Today in between deliveries, I ran hard numbers from the last two weeks of this new pay scale and it wasn’t pretty.

Minimum wage went up 70 cents an hour, and to compensate the boss man cut our per-delivery pay by 53 cents per delivery.  Since I could only find two nights recedntly where I only ran one delivery per hour or less, this is actually a PAY CUT for me.  Last weekend I was running 2 or 3 deliveries per hour.

Gas prices have eased a little bit in the past week, coming down from $3.99 per gallon for 87 octane to one station only charging $3.65 per gallon.  Since I can remember $0.68 per gallon in 1999, I say “only” with my tongue firmly in cheek.

What my number-crunching this afternoon showed me is my earnings delivering pizzas has taken a nosedive.  When I started driving just one year ago, I was making an average of $14-15 per hour when figuring in hourly, gas offset/per-delivery pay, and tips.  The numbers from these past two weeks has only been $8-11 per hour.  That’s BEFORE gas expenses are deducted.

I just told the boss man to not schedule me anymore, unless one of two things happens:

  • Gas comes back down to $3.25 per gallon or less; or
  • He raises the per-delivery pay

He didn’t look the least bit surprised when I said it.  We drivers tried to stage a mini-revolt last weekend at the employee meeting, and the Boss Man reminded us that Tennessee is a “work at will” state … which means it’s our choice to work or not.  The insiders have been grumbling that they think we drivers were being paid too much before this pay change.

The Boss Man may not have looked surprised, but he also told me he’d look into whether he could raise our per-delivery rate.  For now, I am not going to be scheduled, by my request.  The economics have changed, and it’s just not worth the time away from my family at present.

We’ll be okay financially … that was the point of getting out of debt!  We just won’t be moving as fast towards our financial goals.  Only owing a mortgage and utilities gives us the freedom to make quality-of-life decisions like this.