Pizza shops hit hard by high gas prices

7:20 PM, Jun 6, 2013   |    comments
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  • Pat Cooper puts the pizza in the truck.
  • Steve Grinwis owner of Vito's Pizza.

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Gas prices are hovering around $4.30 per gallon and that is hurting a lot of people, but the people that it is hurting most are those that depend on driving for their livelihood like a pizza delivery driver.

Pat Cooper is driver for Vito's Pizza in Grand Rapids. WZZM 13 followed him around for an hour to see how many miles he puts on a Vito's Truck for an hour of lunch deliveries.

He made his first delivery to a salon, then back to Vito's to pick up three more pies. He then hit a business, two more homes, and then back to Vito's pizza. Traffic was light, but the stoplights were many, and in total the hourlong ride took us 9.26 miles.

The trucks get about 15 miles per gallon, and with gas prices at $4.28 he used about $2.63 in gas. That might not sound like much, but it all adds up.

"Let's just say I am glad Steve is paying for the gas right now and not me," explains Cooper.

Steve Grinwis is the owner of Vito's Pizza. "On a normal day we run five trucks," says Grinwis. "Before the gas prices went up, we ran $80 a day." Now Grinwis says he pays $110 per day. That $30 increase means that in a month, "I pay $900 more. That is a house payment," says Grinwis.

Back when gas prices were two dollars Vito's Pizza had free delivery, but when gas went to three dollars they raised the price to one dollar for delivery. "But now it is at four and it will be awhile before we raise prices again," says Grinwis.

So the high price of gas is impacting the bottom line that is the bad news. The good news is Vito's is not passing that on to his customers... yet.

Too bad his trucks don't run on pizza sauce as it cheaper to buy sauce than it is to buy gas right now.

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