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Posted on Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:30 a.m.

Pizza delivery drivers brave frozen roads during Tuesday night's storm

By Kyle Feldscher

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.

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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 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.”

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 11:37 p.m.

For every stiff on the tip every driver got last night.......I feel for you bro. I've been there and maybe even been worse. Standing on an uncovered a torrential downpour.....waiting for some chick in pine lake to find an extra 90 cents to pay her tag......waited about 2-3 FULL minutes....only to get 75 cents (at least 20 pennies) with "it's all I got..." Standing in front of an apartment building during rain that was SHEETING down hard....chick takes at LEAST a minute to answer the door (no exaggerations....was actually walking away when I heard the door buzz)....hands me a $20 for a $19.XX order (less than a quarter change is what I remember) and then had the AUDACITY to say "keep the change." No...those aren't even close to the worst....just pertinent to the current conditions.

Joseph Maino

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 3:47 p.m.

Or maybe people could cook at home. Just the best idea ever. But for those drivers, bless you all.

Homeland Conspiracy

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 4:55 p.m.


Homeland Conspiracy

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 3:38 p.m.

Come on drivers let's hear from you. What it was like last night?


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 3:31 p.m.

Also the recently much maligned Ann Arbor cab drivers are working all through the night.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 3:12 p.m.

I just hope no ne stiffed any of these guys and gals in the weather we had last night. Anyone that did not tip (and a good tip to boot) ought to be ashamed of themselves. I know there are a few out there from previous experience. Most of these drivers have to buy their own. The wear and tear on the car has to be maintained. Brakes and struts with the condition of the roads in this area are costly. Trust me, if you are a regular stiffer your food is coming last and who knows else what may be added to it on the way. ;)


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 3:30 p.m.

Drivers know who the non-tippers are. If two deliveries are ready at the same time, priority goes to the people who tip. The non-tippers can enjoy their pile of cold grease when it finally gets there.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 3:07 p.m.

Poll: 5 best pizza joints with delivery.

Lizzy Alfs

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 2:53 p.m.

Honestly, I was considering ordering food last night and then I felt sorry for the drivers and didn't want my stomach to cause an accident. So I made tacos!


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 4:11 p.m.

Lizzy, glad you think of others and not just yourself. That said I now know what I'm making tonight for supper tonight. Thanks for the idea.

Homeland Conspiracy

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 3:37 p.m.

TACOS!!! Do you deliver?


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 3:01 p.m.

Lizzy....If you give the driver a nice tip there's no need to feel sorry for them,that's where most of their money comes from and they appreciate it

Ben Freed

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 2:53 p.m.

Wow, rough times for these drivers last night. Hope the tips were good.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 2:40 p.m.

All those people asking for delivery during a snowstorm better tip really, really well!


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 5:04 p.m.

Great point! Hopefully people will read this and remember to give a little extra next time.