Monday, February 15, 2010

Once Upon a Pie

Every industry has its peak season. For those in the business of making pizza pies in the US of A, it coincides with the NFL season. During those four months, you can expect to generate 2/3 of your revenue for the year. If you’ve worked it, you know it’s as chaotic as it gets and definitely not for those who like to dilly dally/fiddle faddle/lolly gag. But if you can somehow grind your way through, it can pay off big.

During the ’96 season, pizza delivery was really booming in Wisconsin, and especially for our store. We had what some call the perfect storm of success. It was beautiful. After cutting ties with some major turdlingers, we realized we had kind of a Pro Bowl Pizza team. That is, we had quality tossers, efficient drivers (yours truly), smooth operators and to top it off, one of the pies we concocted one drunk Tuesday – the Triple Bacon Cheese Dripper – became successful beyond our wildest imaginations.

My store had almost 5,000 deliveries alone (a franchise record to this day, my friends) and I put almost 25k on my Tercel that season (that’s with taking game days off per my arrangement with my boss). Yeah, we were working double and triple shifts but almost always with a smile on our face. After all, we were making unprecedented money (I had a stack of tips smashed as thick as phone book). And almost as good, our customers loved seeing us. Some simply tipped more, others offered homemade knickknacks, and it wasn’t unheard of to be invited in for beers and yes, even the occasional motorboat. Life was good!

Our store performed so well that we each received a bonus from corporate of $150 (before taxes) and five vouchers for a free large one-topping with the expiration date missing (suckers!). It was the kind of reward that dissolved your cynicism and rejuvenated your faith in mankind – it truly felt that great.

But as much as I like to reminisce about that year, we owe it all to the Packers. Without a doubt, they were the hypodermic needle for the greater Green Bay/Wisconsin economy. Our store, like so many others, was simply riding the crest of that magical Packers season. I think that season was best summed upped by my coworker Geoff, a promising young tosser with webbed feet. He said, “Dude. You know what I just realized? When the Packers win, we all win!”

That’s damn right, Geoff.


  1. Nice. I was a pizza deliverer during my college days. Loved having all that cash...

  2. I also delivered pizzas in college and made the most money on Packer Sundays. My boss was the one who got the day off, but I had Wayne Larrivee to keep me company.

  3. As a native Chicagoan (don't throw $#!% at me, born and bred a Packer fan), I applaud the use of Aurelio's pizza in the picture. It may have been chosen for its comical facade, but that's some damn tasty pizza.

  4. Good call, PPGJ, on listening to the game while on the road. That's about as good as it gets.

    On the contrary, Becky, I give you even more props than usual for enduring your Packer fandom in Chicago! Let's go out for pizza sometime! Lol.

  5. I too once worked magic in a pizza parlor, but I was never allowed to drive the Geo Metro. Something about an insurance liability for a slightly alcoholic juvenile offender.

  6. I'm proud that our readership consists of such a high number of pizza guys and former pizza guys. It just feels right.

  7. I've never met a Pizza Delivery person I didn't like. Dialing the Glass Nickel right now . . . . .


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