It’s fair to say that when you want a pizza, you want it fast. You’ve never sat there, mid-Stranger-Things-season in your sweatpants thinking “you know what would hit the spot? A large pepperoni pizza BUT in two hours… maybe even three.” No, you want that pizza NOW. Enter the humble, brave, and critically underappreciated delivery driver. Except they aren’t entering – because of, like all of us suffering through, gas prices.

Rowan Freeman on Unsplash
Rowan Freeman on Unsplash
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According to AAA, the average cost per gallon of gas in the Capital Region is $4.97 at the time of writing. (I clarify that because by the time this is published in an hour, we could be sitting at $5.10. It’s a madhouse.) With delivery drivers responsible for their own gas, racking up the miles for work racks up an even larger bill than it’s worth. It simply isn’t a lucrative combo.

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Now, one of the Capital Region’s most popular pizza spots is combating this right at the pump in an effort to put their fleet back on the street.

Goldbelly/Paesan's
Goldbelly/Paesan's
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Reported by 6 News, Paesan’s Pizza is making a deal with their drivers. On a typical Friday, Paesan’s may need as many as 30 drivers to properly meet demand and get those piping hot pies to hungry homes, but only 15 may show up because of the rising dough needed to transport the risen dough. This means the wait time goes way up on peak days – we’re talking 90 to 120 minutes. Nobody wants to wait for a pizza that long.

So how is Paesan’s keeping drivers on the line? With a $100 gas card for every 40 hours clocked in driving for work. This is a test program for the pizzeria, but it seems like a fair one that could be picked up by more restaurants as high prices continue through the summer.

A big thanks to all the delivery drivers who keep rolling so we can keep eating on the couch. The next time you order in, remember to show extra love with your tips.

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