Capital Region (WRGB) — We are all aware of how much it hurts these days to fill up our cars but imagine driving all over town making deliveries at five dollars a gallon! It's causing some pizza delivery drivers to walk, and their employers to up the ante.
Call it a slice of "real" life. Paesan's Pizza owner Frank Scavio says on a normal Friday he would have 25 to 30 delivery drivers, but thanks to the sky-high gas prices now, he's lucky if he can get 10-15 guys to drive around the pizzas.
As a result, their wait time for a delivery went from 45 minutes to an hour and a half to two hours. And he says no customer is going to wait that long for a pie.
With deliveries 60 percent of his business, Scavio says the high cost of fuel is having a huge impact on his operation. And he says his drivers are losing 25-30 percent of their salary gassing up, and for months now--since the cost of gas started to climb--they've been asking for either a raise, gas reimbursement or a higher delivery fee. And that's what led to his creating a summer pilot program to help offset their fuel losses.
Scavio said, "How are we going to fill up a gas tank? It used to be 30-40 bucks, now it's a hundred dollars. So I figured every time an employee reaches 40 hours, we're going to give them a hundred-dollar gas card. That should not only give them gas, but a full tank plus a little extra."
Scavio says he will take a hit with these gas cards but, for now, he will refrain from raising delivery fees, although he admits it may come to that.
MORE: "Loophole:" Saugerties chief orders officers not to seize cannabis from those under 21
Over at Homestyle in Schenectady, co-owner Anthony Adoninno says his corporate and catering businesses are going strong, but he has seen a slowdown at the counter in recent months.
He believes it's one of the ways people are cutting back to afford the high gas prices. But he says he has not had a problem hanging on to his delivery drivers.
Adoninno says, "We tend to use a system that allows my drivers to take 2-3-4 deliveries at a time, so it economizes for them. They can continue to make good money and as I said, I did raise the delivery rates a little bit to compensate for the extra rise in gas prices."
Another food delivery service based out of Latham called Mealeo is offering its drivers what they call a "fuel boost" for every mile they drive in order to help offset the cost of gasoline.
With gas averaging just under five dollars a gallon now, it works out to eight cents a mile and will go higher as gas goes higher. They figure the average mile driven is costing their drivers 20 cents--a nickel higher than before the surge.
And both businesses urge you to be generous when tipping your driver!