October 30, 2007

Pizza Delivery Revolution


I had an idea. I think it's a good idea. When I get good ideas, ones that I can act on, it's rare, and it makes me wonder where they come from. Because there wasn't anything that really spurred me onto the idea. Because if I could simply manufacture great ideas, I'd be doing it more often. And I'd be rich. I think good ideas are usually accidents, though. I have a theory about where my idea came from though.

I think it's an answer to prayer.

You see, my lifestyle isn't one that yields immediately impressive revolution and heroics. I'm just a guy learning one job and, let's be honest, being really awesome at the other. I've been a pizza guy for over two years now, and I've had plenty of adventures. As glorious as being a pizza man is, it doesn't often lend itself to me being an agent of redemption and revolution on planet earth. My crusade for better tipping has been short-lived and poorly executed. And so I was asking God for a way to make a difference where I am right now.

Enter Roy Williams.

Detroit Lions (Ahem, that would be the 5-2 Detroit Lions) Wide Receiver Roy Williams openly admitted to being a deliberately bad tipper with an awful lot of money. So a few weeks later, Pizza Hut had him deliver pizzas. So I hear, he gave his tips to charity.

And I thought, I could give the 20, 30, 40 bucks I make one night to charity. I already fight hunger on a very small-scale - I provide access to pizza for those lacking initiative or automobile. If for one night I can give my tips to an organization that fights hunger, it will be a way for me to make a slightly more significant, more necessary dent in West Michigan's hunger.

Second Harvest Gleaners food bank can prepare 32 meals with every dollar they receive. Don't ask me how, that's just what the billboard between US-131 and GVSU's downtown campus says.

And so, I imagined myself showing up at their front office, the secretary with the beehive hairdo, pointy glasses and pearls staring at me awkwardly as I hand her a crisp $20 bill. I wink and say, "This should buy, like, a hundred meals or something." And when I leave, I help an old lady cross the street. Because that's what modern revolutionaries do - they help old ladies cross the street.

But I got to thinking, what if it wasn't just me, what if all the drivers at my store would do it? We could make a bigger dent. What if drivers at other stores did it, too? What if we got a lot of pizza drivers together - and honestly, we're a group that could use some good press - and said, just for one night, we'll give our tips to fight hunger. We'll fight hunger not for people unwilling to leave their living room, but for those that don't have a living room. We keep our mileage, we make our wages, but the tips go to something bigger, something better.

And that Roy Williams thing, I don't know, maybe we go to the Grand Rapids Rampage and ask if they might be willing to go along with it, maybe have some linebackers deliver some pizzas, if they can fit in my car. (They can't. It's a coupe. Escort. ZX2. Yeah, that's right, ZX2.) I think people would love to see a Rampage player on their doorstep.

With a little buzz, this is a way to help pizza places get more business, get good press and make a difference in their community without forking over a dime. It shouldn't be tough at all to pitch it to pizza chains. (Though, if they're cool, they'll match, right?) The timing is good - it's before the holidays and people are spending money, winter is coming and charities like Second Harvest will be in greater need of help. Also, we could play the Roy Williams angle if somehow the Rampage got involved.

I truly believe this could happen, and I believe it could work. We have the time to make it happen before Christmas.

The only hangup will be the reluctance of drivers to fork over their tips. Maybe we do it for three hours. Maybe we make it voluntary. People will be more willing to fork over three hours of tips instead of a whole night of tips. We pizza drivers are a greedy bunch. But we could show the world that we have at least a little heart.



Jon said...

Put it in motion now before someone steals it. Like the Papa John's suits. And when suits donate to charity, charity is 50% in their pockets. Minimum.

Linda said...

you know that i think posting on just about anything is stupid.


it's a good idea. flavors of tithing. i'll do it if you do. :)

Evan said...

Jim, I don't know how you're gonna do it, but you should. I work at a food bank just like Gleaners in Chicago and I can tell you that not only can you feed a lot of people for a little money, but there are a lot of people out there that need food. It sounds like a swell idea to me. Maybe you should go to a higher up in Papa Johns or you should just call Gleaners with the idea and they might be able to get in contact with some of the "suits" for all of the pizza chains and make it a big thing. I don't know, just a thought, good luck,