Welcome back to Restaurant Confessionals, where we talk to the unheard voices of the restaurant industry from both the front-of-house (FOH) and back-of-house (BOH) about what really goes on behind the scenes at your favorite establishments.
I was 16 years old when I started working as a pizza delivery guy. I ended up doing it off and on for nine years. The place where I worked catered to an almost 100-percent college crowd and was right in the heart of a large university. It was pretty different from your average pizza chain—both in geography and the fact that we were open until 3:30 AM. That led to a bunch of debaucherous situations.
I've been offered shots and beers. If I could shotgun one in four seconds or less, I'd get a $20 tip. The more you participated, the bigger your tip was. Usually a shift ran from seven at night until five the next morning—we basically delivered nonstop. We tried to get every delivery out within 15–20 minutes depending on how busy it was, but there was no specific timeframe. We could let it slide if someone wanted to stop and hang out for a while because there were so many drivers. Everyone kept their own tips, so it worked out for everyone.
Once, my girlfriend ordered a pizza and made sure I'd be the one to deliver it. I just went over to her house and we fooled around for an hour. That was her excuse to get me over. But crazy things on deliveries weren't out of the ordinary, especially after midnight.
I was 17, scared, and totally unsure what to do with that situation. But at the end of the day they were just a bunch of intoxicated, naked adults that just wanted some pizza.
Another time, when I was still new to the job, I was delivering to what we referred to as the "cougar community." There were always a bunch of lonely housewives there drinking in the hot tub. I got to the house and saw a sign on the door that said, "Come out back." I went out there and there were two guys—probably in their twenties—and these 40-year-old ladies, all naked together in the hot tub. They definitely were just trying to convince me to get in there with them. They told me to come back after work and hang out. I was 17, scared, and totally unsure what to do with that situation. But at the end of the day they were just a bunch of intoxicated, naked adults that just wanted some pizza.
I have no way of verifying this, but a coworker of mine was delivering a pizza to this house and got his first blowjob. This girl told him she would do it if he gave her the pizza for free. It sounds crazy, but he was pretty convincing, especially with the grin that he had on his face when he came back.
We get lots of porn jokes and people asking for things like "extra sausage." Being in a college town, they think they're so funny. Sometimes we got requests to draw pornographic images on the boxes—there were a couple of artists who worked at the shop, so they usually handled that. But the porn references weren't always just jokes.
One of the craziest things that has happened to me was when I was delivering to a frat party. I opened up the door and there was a girl there who dragged me inside, took off my hat, and started to undo my belt. A guy was standing around with one of those handheld cameras. Another girl passed by topless and pulled me into a room and begged me to enact this fantasy she'd always had. I had a girlfriend at the time, and was just in shock. It was so surreal. I tried my best to be polite about the situation and just get out of there. They were definitely trying to do some amateur something that I wasn't as willing to do—though, some people might have been.
Those were the good times, but then there was the time that I got assaulted. I went down to this sketchy-ass neighborhood in a factory district on the outskirts of our delivery zone. I couldn't find the dude I was delivering to because none of the streets had lights. The guy said he'd direct me to him and give me an extra big tip if I delivered his pizza despite all the trouble. I finally found the place, and it's almost like an abandoned factory. I was like, Fuck, this is not good. There were two dudes sitting under this one light in the parking lot. I went to give them their pizza, and the first thing one of the guys said to me was, "You ever been jumped before?" He took me into a rear chokehold while the other guy jacked the pizza. Luckily, after they roughed me up a little bit, his buddy told the guy to stop and they let me go. Some harsh words were said, and I got out as quickly as possible and called the cops. I decided to carry a taser and a baseball bat with me at all times after that but, of course, nothing ever happened again.
If you didn't know before, almost all of your delivery drivers are high.
The closest call was when I delivered a pizza to this dude who was all methed out and thought I was coming to kill him. He opened the door and put a gun in my face. He apologized profusely once he saw I was just bringing his food. We blacklisted him after that.
Some guys made extra money by delivering things other than pizza, if you know what I mean. One guy was slinging dope on almost every run. It was mostly under wraps, but the people who got high with him certainly knew about it. If you didn't know before, almost all of your delivery drivers are high. We also ran a kind of accidental taxi business. If we were driving through the downtown area where the bars were, people would try to wave me over like I was a cab. Occasionally, I would ask them where they were going and if it was in the general area of my route I would do it. This one dude paid a driver a hundred bucks to take him two miles.
I've delivered sandwiches, Chinese food, you name it, but pizza is somehow the worst. If I had to guess, I'd say 75 percent of all the people I delivered to were drunk or on their way to getting there. None of the crazy shit that happened when I was delivering pizza happened with other foods.
As told to Tove Danovich. This article originally appeared on MUNCHIES in 2015.