The Magic of Pizza Delivery Fees: How We Fell Under Their Spell

Imagine being amazed by a magician’s sleight of hand tricks, where coins appear and vanish before your very eyes. The art of deception has its advantages, and even renowned magician David Copperfield used his skills to outwit a mugger by making his possessions seemingly vanish. But it’s not just magicians who have mastered the art of deception – pizza companies have joined the act with their delivery fees.

If you’ve ever ordered pizza over the phone, you might have noticed that most pizza joints conveniently forget to mention their delivery fees. It’s a sneaky move, leaving you surprised when the total comes out higher than expected. The conversation might sound something like this:

“Okay, sir, you ordered two Pizza Planet pepperoni specials for delivery. That’ll be $30.17.”

“Hold on a minute; those pizzas were advertised at $11 each. Taxes aren’t that high, are they?”

“Well, sir, that total includes a $5 delivery charge.”

“Whoa! Five dollars? Are you sure you’re not related to Copperfield? Is this some kind of magic show?”

“No, sir. Why do you ask?”

“Never mind. Just forget it.”

Now, I might have exaggerated the part about the mysterious friend named Fred, but you catch my drift. Delivery charges are like an illusion. Interestingly enough, these fees don’t always go directly to the driver. Instead, most, if not all, of that money is usually used to cover business costs such as ingredients and employee wages, boosting the bottom line rather than benefiting the delivery person.

The major pizza chains started experimenting with delivery fees in select areas around the early 2000s. At the time, Pizza Hut charged about 50 cents, while Papa John’s and Domino’s charged around a dollar. However, over time, these fees have skyrocketed compared to the rate of inflation.

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In my area, Papa John’s charges $4.50 for delivery, while Domino’s charges $4.00. Even the local Pizza Hut imposes a whopping $5.00 fee – ten times more than what they used to charge in 2002. Curious about other pizzerias, I surveyed a couple in my neighborhood. Round Table adds an extra $3.00, while a nearby independent joint charges $4.50.

It seems that pizza delivery fees continue to rise above inflation because they cleverly hide price increases. This monetary trickery allows pizzerias to subtly raise prices while still advertising their pizzas at seemingly affordable rates.

In case you’re wondering, these delivery charges became more permanent and widespread once the major pizza chains realized that customers weren’t deterred by them. Perhaps due to the magic happening behind the scenes, many people didn’t even notice they were being charged a delivery fee in the first place. And now, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Unfortunately, pizza delivery charges are here to stay. They have become so deeply ingrained in the market that not even David Copperfield could make them vanish. So, the next time you order a pizza, remember to anticipate the hidden delivery fee. After all, you don’t want the magic spell to catch you off guard.

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