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Assigning delivery times - Article

You may think giving an estimated delivery time is an easy task. We take a lot in to consideration when assigning delivery times.

Delivery times depend on a lot of factors including but not concluding:

  • Location
  • Size of order
  • How busy we are
  • Weather
  • Time of day / time of year
  • How many delivery drivers we have
  • Where each delivery before yours is
  • Any known delays (roadworks etc)
  • Delivery driver experience and knowledge

Then we have holdups which we can't account for, such as :

  • Unknown road closures (road works / accidents)
  • Unable to find address
  • Wrong address/phone number
  • Customer that requires phone call doesn't answer phone
  • Customer isn't at prearranged meeting point
  • Customer doesn't answer door / popped out to walk the dog / jumped in the bath
  • Agricultural vehicles
  • Cycle races
  • Caravans / horse boxes / slow moving vehices
  • Sudden change in road conditions

We'll go in to some if the above in more detail:


Weather can play a big part in delivery times especially when we're travelling out of town. Not only does poor weather slow traffic, it makes finding addresses harder. High winds have been known to damage trees, blocking roads. Snow and ice are a major safety concern and sometimes deliveries are restricted or stopped in the interest of staff safety.

Time of day

Deliveries between 5pm and 6:30pm statistically have longer delivery times due to roads being busier. As the evenings draw in and it gets dark, houses are harder to find. Especially house numbers and names are considerably harder to see. This can add delivery time to yours and subsequent deliveries.

Size of order

It stands to reason, the larger your order the longer it will take to prepare and cook. Its hard to predict a delivery time before we know what you want, so when you ask how long delivery time is, it largely depends on what you're going to order

How many delivery drivers on shift

Our staff varies on different days of the week, depending on season and how busy we've been on particular days historically. It's not unheard of that delivery times can be quicker on busier days due to having more staff. So ordering that pizza on a quiet Monday doesn't always guarantee a quicker delivery than on a Saturday.

How busy we are

Linked with the above, if we're busy on a night where we haven't got as many staff, delivery times can be longer, likewise, if we're busier than usual on a night we have more staff, it still takes time to get your order out. Nights where there's something special on the TV often create a group of closely-timed orders coming in together, which no matter how many staff we have, would take longer to get delivered

Where each delivery before yours is

As a general rule of thumb, we work on a first-come-first-serve basis. We wouldn't expect you to wait longer just because a closer order has come in. Sometimes people don't understand why they have to wait if they live locally. If our drivers have to go to Mayland and back before delivering your order then that's how it will happen. We cook all orders to order and use a state-of-the-art driver tracking system meaning even if you have a wait, your order won't be sitting around for a long time waiting. The quality of your order should still be as good if it took 45 minutes to arrive than if it took 15 minutes. To make it fair on everyone we've always operated this system

Any known delays (roadworks etc)

As we only have 1 route in and 1 route out of town, when there's roadworks on that route, it can damage our delivery times significantly. During 2017 when resurfacing works were going on, our drivers could spend no less than 15 minutes trying to get out and back in to town. If the delivery was still in burnham, it would make a typically 5 minute delivery a 20 minute one. On the flip side, sometimes we could get through the traffic almost straight away. This made it very hard to make delivery time predictions, as a couple of trips "over the hill" could either take 30 minutes or 5 minutes.

Delivery driver experience and knowledge

People come and go from time to time and it takes time for drivers to learn our regular customers and customers with hard to find addresses. This can delay the whole process for everyone and is just one of those obstacles we have to deal with. Generally, if we're dealing with a new driver our delivery time allowance can increase by 5 minutes per delivery. At the end of a busy shift this can have an impact on our overall delivery times.

A mid-way summary

We're only half way through, and we're only talking about setting delivery times. However, there's more to go! We've gone through the 'known' factors that affect the delivery times we give. If they're not bad enough, we have the unknown factors, which add insult to injury, because we can't calculate those in to current delivery times before they've happened. We're going to split this article in 2, so look out for part 2 where we will discuss unknown factors that affect delivery times

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