The US Postal Service is famous for its dedication to duty: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” This winter, Domino’s is following suit, helping to plow Pizza delivery routes…
Another corporate citizenship initiative…
Remember, back in 2018, when Domino’s sponsored a pothole-filling program? To make America’s streets safer for pizza delivery guys? They called it the Paving For Pizza campaign. Now, the pizza giant is reprising that effort with a seasonal Plowing for Pizza project.
What they’re doing
With the weather closing in for the winter across much of the continent, Domino’s wants to make our snowy, icy streets safer for pizza delivery types. The benefits will, of course, spill over to all food delivery types. What a grand, selfless gesture!
Dollars and the sense
Domino’s will distribute $500,000 in snow removal grants this winter to towns and cities across the land.
No matter how crazy this ‘program’ may sound, it is founded in sound practice and precedent. Lots of pizza delivery riders – not to mention bike couriers – work year-round, copping out only in the gnarliest weather. And in the US, many vehicle drivers are also cowed, and often beaten, by the kind of perils the Post Office eschews.
I have to apologise in advance for what I’m going to say next. We in Canada love our American cousins. Really, we do. But many of them freak out when it snows, and they have to drive. My dear old birth dad said it best: “We may forget how to drive in the show and ice from winter to winter. But those Americans act as if they never knew how!”
Case in point
I saw a US Weather Network story the other day with a headline something like: “Highways Thrown Into Chaos By Four-Inch Snowfall!”
Here in the Great White North (superbly-named!), the snow removal contractors don’t even roll out until we accumulate a minimum of 4 in. of snow!
I do feel for the delivery folks
A lot of these folks are working for low wages – in spite of recent boosts in official minimal wage rates across the continent. Jobs that were once considered perfect for kids and retired folks looking for a second income are now considered primary employment by mid-range (18- to 65-year-old) workers. And they’re demanding a full ‘living’ wage.
And – aside from armed forces personnel on deployment in war zones – I can’t think of a more-at-risk job category than delivery riders and drivers. And many of them HAVE to go out in all weathers, or they won’t get paid.
I may be in a unique position to comment on the fiscal side of the Plowing for Pizza campaign. Many years ago, when I was a fresh-faced young reporter for the city’s top radio news source, I was assigned to the City Hall Beat. As such I was hyper-aware of what things-municipal cost. Back then, the budgetary provision for snow removal was already in the tens-of-millions of dollars a year.
Fast forward to 2023. A CTV News story reports, “Ottawa’s winter operations budget is $85.8 million for this year. The 2023 budget included an additional $3.5 million to help the city maintain roads, sidewalks and pathways in the winter.”
So… $500,000 spread around the continent isn’t likely to make much of a dent in the overall outlay. By my calculations, it could, maybe, just about cover the cost of clearing the sidewalks in front of Domino’s outlets across the land.
But the promotional value of the Plowing for Pizza campaign is immense. Heck… I just wrote a whole post on it! Free advertising!
~ Maggie J.