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Domino’s Pizza now delivers by cargo trike in downtown Portland

Posted by on April 16th, 2014 at 2:04 am

Scott Kealer of Domino’s Pizza on SW 4th Avenue
with his shop’s new vehicle.
(Photo by M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Portland’s pedal-cargo delivery scene has hit a new milestone: even Domino’s has bought a trike.

Cheap, fast and classy, cargo bikes and trikes have been in use for years from Old Town Pizza to Good Neighbor Pizzeria. Last fall, Scott Kealer did the math and decided his downtown Portland Domino’s Pizza franchise should join their ranks.

“I’ve got a corporate name on the front of the door that says ‘Domino’s,’ but it’s really my pizza shop,” said Kealer, owner of the local store on 4th Avenue near Portland State University.

“We’ve been kicking the idea around for a year or two,” said Robert Ricker, the weekday manager. “Depending on who’s pedaling, it can be faster than a car. … Maintenance has been low on it and it’s really helped out in a pinch.”


“We’ve had a lot of people excited about it,” said Dan Comey a delivery expert for the shop.

Kealer shopped around before settling on a new $700 trike from Bike Gallery. The rear storage compartment, designed for a moped, was another $100 or $150. It can hold up to six pizzas.

A few months ago, when one of the shop’s delivery workers was using the trike for all his trips, it would make 14 to 15 deliveries in one of his shifts, about the same as a car. He’s since started using a car for most trips, so the trike is now used as needed.

Unlike the delivery cars, which are owned by Kealer’s delivery workers, Kealer’s franchise owns and maintains the trike itself. Kealer saves $1.15 per delivery in compensation for his drivers, and people delivering by trike don’t have to worry about crash liability, parking tickets or wear and tear on their own cars.

It’s a similar calculation to the one made by the Portland Mercury when, last year, one of their delivery truck drivers successfully pitched them on a plan to switch to bike delivery on the inner west side.

“There’s enough traffic in downtown Portland, and I put enough cars on the road when we’re delivering pizzas,” Kealer said. “If I can take one of them off the road, it’s something.”

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Comments
  • Jonathan R April 16, 2014 at 5:37 am

    I am interested to know how much Mr. Kealer’s workers’ compensation insurance premiums have gone up ever since he ventured into the brave world of delivery by bike. In New York, workers comp premiums for bike delivery are about 25% of payroll, and with an arrangement like what Mr. Kealer describes, where different employees use the bike, they would all see their workers comp premiums increase.

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  • Ivan April 16, 2014 at 8:59 am

    I wouldn’t say people delivering by trike don’t have to worry about crashes! Maybe they don’t have to worry about the damage to the bike in the event of a crash, but they certainly have to worry about the damage to themselves.

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  • Dave April 17, 2014 at 7:40 am

    Also, progressive and non-Christofascist readers should note, Domino’s CEO is a huge funder of anti-choice and anti-marriage equality movements. Don’t fund this stuff–eat local pizza!

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