The increasing high risk of robbery and injury for pizza delivery drivers across the United States has prompted two popular pizza chains to allow their franchisee's to impose their own restrictions on deliveries in high crime areas. After a week where one Domino's delivery employee was robbed and a Papa John's delivery employee killed, spokesmen from both companies said that they will allow their local franchise owners to decide on a case-by-case basis whether a particular delivery address is unsafe or not.
Claude Brake had worked for Papa John's in Memphis, Tennessee for six years before he was killed making a delivery in an area that was not determined to be a restricted or particularly dangerous zone. The Papa John's store he worked at was closed for a day as grief counselors were made available for the remaining employees. In the second incident, the suspect who robbed the Domino's employee in Olive Branch, Mississippi is still at large, as is Brake's killer.
Domino's spokesman, Tim McIntyre said, "Our hearts go out to the victim of this, and to his family and to the employees that he worked with," and added that local Domino's franchise owners can look for things like street lighting and whether or not an apartment complex has multiple exits to determine when a certain delivery might be unsafe. Local franchise owners were also encouraged to work with law enforcement in their areas to review the incidence of crime statistics for a particular area, street or building.
The "no delivery zones" will be decided on a case-by-case basis and some areas will be designated for no deliveries at all or deliveries only during daylight hours when a delivery address has been deemed unsafe. Noting that it was a bit unfair that some areas will be denied pizza deliveries, McIntyre said that if people can't get delivery because they live in a restricted zone, it is because they are also the victims of the high crime rates in their own respective neighborhoods.