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Hampton Roads delivery drivers hit hard by rising gas prices

Gas prices are at an all-time high, at more than $4 a gallon. That's hitting everyone's wallet, including people who work as delivery drivers.

NORFOLK, Va. — Gas prices are at an all-time high, at more than $4 a gallon. That's hitting everyone's wallet, including delivery drivers.

Charlie Carlin has delivered pizza for The Pizzeria in Norfolk for the past seven years. But these days, filling up his gas tank has been cutting into his piece of the pie.

“It’s eating up my tip money,” Carlin said. “Right now, I am talking to my boss, trying to get out of this line of work.”

The fuel burden is weighing on owner Todd Craig, too.

“It really is tough,” Craig said. “And I am probably going to lose a couple of drivers, and I don’t have anybody else.”

Craig opened the shop ten years ago off East Little Creek Road in Norfolk.

“You are only as good as your employees, and I got some great employees,” Craig said.

He wants to help his drivers out, but worries that means his pizza prices could rise.

“I don’t want to go up on my prices, but I have to survive,” Craig said. “Because, as a small mom-and-pop place, I can’t compete at all with Domino's and Pizza Hut and all that stuff.”

Drivers for companies like DoorDash and Uber have been feeling the burn too.

“The last time I filled up it was like $80,” said delivery driver Curt Owens.

Owens said he's been app-hopping daily between Uber, DoorDash, and Instacart to see where he can make the most money.

“With gas prices going up, the difference in the rate that they are paying us to do deliveries is not really panning out for us as drivers,” Owens said.

Their big message during this challenging time is: don’t forget to tip your driver.

“There are some nights where everybody tips and there are some nights when people aren’t tipping,” Carlin said. “Which hurts me bad. They don’t realize.”

A spokesperson for Uber told 13News Now they recently launched a new feature that helps drivers save 25 cents per gallon through a cashback program. A spokesperson for DoorDash said they also provide drivers with access to discounts on gas.

   

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