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Promises of fast pizza delivery are becoming harder to keep

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

For food delivered fast, pizza has always been a good bet.

(SOUNDBITE OF AD)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character) We guarantee your pizza will be delivered within 30 minutes or you get $3 off your order.

A MARTINEZ, HOST:

But those promises are becoming harder to keep. The places that make and bake the pizza can't hire enough drivers to get it to your door.

MARTIN: That's not a new challenge for the pizza industry.

ANDREW CHARLES: Because this is a job, it's not a career, as an employee, who, if they're going to make a dollar more per hour doing something else, they're going to jump ship pretty quickly.

MARTIN: Andrew Charles is a senior restaurant analyst with the investment banking firm Cowen. He says the pandemic made it hard for many restaurants to keep going. And as the crisis eased, some drivers chose not to come back.

MARTINEZ: The biggest pizza chains say the driver shortage is eating away at the bottom line, although there are options.

CHARLES: One is that pizza delivery comes back in vogue a bit more as consumers are seeking value right now, so maybe more value deals that'll get the consumer to order more pizza delivery.

MARTIN: Charles says pizza places resisted third-party apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash until now.

CHARLES: We've been through two years of pandemic. Third-party delivery worked in large popularity over the last two years. We just have seen that society just does not care who delivers their pizza.

MARTINEZ: And since we all know it ain't easy being cheesy, as long as the cheese on the pizza is still all melty and gooey, everything will be just fine. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.