Pizza delivery drivers brave frozen roads during Tuesday night's storm
Snow storms might mean it’s time for many local residents to curl up inside and stay off the roads until the danger passes, but for some brave souls, it’s time to take to the streets.
Those heroes are, of course, pizza delivery drivers.
They go out into the frozen "snowpacalypse" raging outside so many area residents don’t have to — and there were many out in force Tuesday evening.
Tony Barnabo, who works at the Cottage Inn location at 546 Packard St., said business was as busy as expected. Calls for delivery usually pick up during snow storms and at least one employee was going to work a longer day, he said.
“We just made the morning driver stay later,” Barnabo said.
There almost were as many crashes as snowflakes in the Ann Arbor area Tuesday evening. According to dispatchers, at one point police were responding to as many as 13 known crashes across the area.
Many people reported their evening commute took much longer than usual and traffic was stop and go throughout Washtenaw County.
Many people were advised to stay inside, but the life of a pizza delivery driver requires these risks.
At least one restaurant in Ann Arbor was so busy, a representative who spoke to AnnArbor.com couldn’t spare the time to talk about how busy they were.
“We’re really busy, I don’t even have time to tell you who to talk to,” said a worker at Pizza House, 618 Church St.
Her brevity did not insult this reporter. After all, who calls a pizza restaurant during the middle of the dinner rush in a snowstorm?
While these restaurants reported being slammed by delivery orders, it wasn’t the same story at other Ann Arbor restaurants.
A representative from Bell’s Pizza, 700 Packard St., said they weren’t busier than usual and were doing just fine.
Jalel Nadji, a waiter at Silvio’s at 715 N. University Ave., said the delivery load was pretty standard for a Tuesday night, about one or two orders coming in every hour.
The real effect for Silvio’s was that less people were going to come and dine in during the storm, Nadji said. Instead of pulling an extra driver or two in to help deliver orders, a waiter could be pulled from the dining room and onto the streets.
“It kind of shifts our focus,” he said. “We have two waiters that usually work the night shift, but one could be pulled to drive some delivery orders tonight as well.”