Safety First for Restaurant Delivery Drivers

Spring is in the air. Winter driving hazards have melted away, but the roads may be more dangerous as cars are free to speed along in clear conditions. With more than 80 percent of pizzerias offering delivery, it’s an ideal time to review safe delivery practices with drivers.

There are also precautions drivers should take when carrying the food orders to homes, apartments or hotels. The following are a few tips to help ensure that every delivery arrives hot and fresh and your drivers return safely:

  1. Qualified drivers only – Obviously, it’s mandatory that drivers have a current license and insurance, and their vehicles are properly maintained. Check and monitor the status of each on a recurring basis throughout the year.
  2. Know the route – Prompt delivery is achieved through careful planning. Encourage your drivers to review the route before heading out on deliveries. Even if using a navigation system or smart phone with turn-by-turn directions, look at the overall route ahead of time. Quick turns and sudden stops can be dangerous and cause damage to pizza slipping off the seat.
  3. Wear the right clothing – There’s an added cost, but having delivery uniforms, shirts, hats and jackets, make customers feel more secure. Strangers coming to the door are not welcome in many communities. If delivery drivers don’t wear company uniforms, suggest they wear light colored clothing when making deliveries at night or when visibility is limited, especially in the rain. Also, suggest non-skid shoes to reduce accidents.
  4. Pull over for phone calls – Even if local ordinances allow it, they should never talk or text on a cell phone while driving. It’s just too distracting.
  5. Ask for a welcoming light – If drivers will be delivering at night or in inclement weather, politely ask the customer to illuminate the address and entryway with an outside light.
  6. At the delivery location – Train drivers to park as close as possible to the front door and take the added precaution of maneuvering the car so the headlights shine on the entryway.
  7. Give them flashlights – Provide flashlights to help drivers see the walkway and front porch. A good light will also enable them to avoid curbs, uneven sidewalks, exposed tree roots, toys and other potential hazards.
  8. Safety tips at the house – Before leaving their vehicle, drivers should scan the neighborhood to make sure there aren’t any potential dangers. Tell drivers to never enter a customer’s house. Also, keep their pocket change to $20 or less to deter thieves.
  9. Provide driver photos to customers – If your customers order online and you aren’t already doing so, consider adding a close-up photo of the driver to the order confirmation. That will help your customers feel safer when your driver arrives at their door. 

Restaurants take every precaution to ensure customers enjoy safe meals. Restaurant operators should also work closely with their delivery drivers to keep them safe. Ongoing safety briefings and discussions about lessons learned will avoid accidents and minimize dangerous situations.