Rising Gas Prices Slowing Down Delivery Drivers

Local pizza delivery drivers say the rising gas prices are hitting their pockets and that cost may soon end up on your reciept. Daryl Kirkland-Morgan has more from Horseheads.

Effects of Gas Prices
HORSEHEADS (WENY) --  For local pizza and carry-out restaurants, delivery orders are a huge part of their business.  So with the recent spike in gas prices, some restaurant owners say they may have to increase prices or fees to make up for the fuel hikes.  And for delivery drivers having to pay for their own gas, it can be a nightmare.
        Take Theresa Ashley for example.  She delivers for Rico's Pizza in Horseheads nearly seven days a week.  Ashley says she's not happy with pump prices right now, but hasn't taken too much of a hit because her tips are still rolling in.  "I have a Jeep so it actually sucks up a lot of gas," says Theresa. "But I get a lot of tips every night so it's alright."
         According to GasBuddy.com, the average price as of February 24 for a gallon of gas in New York state is about $3.91.  That's 25 cents above the national average and 20 cents more than this same time in January.
         At local pizza joints like Jerlando's on Old Ithaca Road, managers say they're feeling the price pinch for both incoming and outgoing deliveries. "They're affecting us a lot. Not just by [outgoing]deliveries, we get all of our products by trucks," says general manager Justin Bennett.  He says they haven't increased prices yet, but it's not an unrealistic option.  "Those surcharges are going up for the deliveries for our trucks and our delivery drivers are paying more because they're using their own vehicles to drive," says Bennett.
          Owners at the Horseheads' Pudgie's Pizza store agree the prices are making a difference, but say they'll try to make it through without passing the hike onto customers.  "Everybody's really feeling the crunch," says owner Kristen Tarntino.  "So we're hoping that it's going to maybe peak and drop but it doesn't look like that's going to happen."
          While prices are high, they're still not the highest they've been.  The national average of gas is still below last year's high of $3.98 and the record high of $4.11 set back in 2008.  All in all, it's just not good news.  Analysts say every one-cent increase in the price of a gasoline costs the entire economy $1.4 billion.