Fueling Frustration

By David Tomas

Restaurants with delivery services in DeKalb have been dealing with record fuel prices in recent months.

Delivery drivers at restaurants such as Jimmy John’s, 1011 W. Hillcrest Drive, have not seen a salary increase, manager Vince Ramon said.

“We pay [our drivers] more than most other places; they just don’t like it when they don’t get tips,” Ramon said.

Other restaurants have different situations.

Drivers for Tom & Jerry’s, 215 W. Lincoln Highway, use the restaurant’s trucks, manager Jennifer Butts said. They are also provided with gas, she said.

Gasoline prices worsened in recent weeks and local businesses are ready to take action if necessary.

“If prices keep going up we’re going to have to start charging for delivery,” said Mike Hillman, owner of Domino’s Pizza, 901 Lucinda Ave.

Tips are also an issue for Domino’s Pizza workers.

Drivers have not been receiving as many tips as last year, probably because customers also suffer from this fuel-cost increase, Hillman said.

Restaurants do not have the only delivery drivers affected by the increase.

“Our trucking company has really been hurt,” said Karna Gross, president of Davidson Trucking in Creston. Business has gone down and customers are not willing to help with the fuel surcharge, she said.

Today’s gasoline prices reached $2.69 per gallon for regular unleaded in DeKalb area gas stations, according to the Illinois Gas Prices Web site.