DC Dominos Charging for Delivery
The Washington Post fronts its business section with word that local Domino’s Pizza stores will begin charging for delivery.
Free pizza delivery may soon amount to pie in the sky. Next week, local Domino’s Pizza stores will begin charging a $1 delivery fee for any order. There’s no other way to slice the rising costs the chain has to pay for fuel, rent, insurance and food, especially cheese, the prices of which are “at record highs,” said David Carraway, president of Team Washington Inc., which owns 59 Domino’s stores in the Washington area. “Everything is going up. It’s not a decision we’re happy with, but it’s the reality of what we’re dealing with,” Carraway said. He added that some rivals are already charging the fee. “I wouldn’t be surprised if our competitors are not all doing it shortly.”
Pizza Hut spokeswoman Patty Sullivan said Washington area stores have been charging a delivery fee, averaging about 75 cents, for a few years. Local Papa John’s stores are not. However, some of the franchises in other areas are imposing a $1 to $1.50 delivery fee. “If high fuel prices continue, more markets, including Washington, might consider it,” said Papa John’s spokesman Chris Sternberg.
Nationwide, about 45 percent of all Domino’s stores charge a delivery fee, according to company spokeswoman Holly Ryan.
Why the price of cheese should affect delivery prices is unclear. Is the cheese used on the pizzas customers pick up or eat in the restaurant cheaper?
This is part of a larger trend of businesses advertising artificially low prices for goods and then adding on exorbitant fees. The most obvious example is the “handling” charge added to most mail order and Internet purchases, despite the rather obvious fact that handling merchandise is not a service but rather a cost of doing business. The other aggregious offenders are cell phone and cable television providers, which add semi-official looking “fees” for things like “federal regulatory cost recovery” or “landline connectivity.” One wonders why such things aren’t covered by truth in advertising laws.