The owner of one popular Grand Rapids area pizza chain said the $4 gasoline prices predicted by some experts likely would lead to higher pizza delivery charges and more expensive pizzas.
"We're already competing with high cheeses and flours and stuff like that to begin with. Now, we've got to add the gas to the mix," said Joe Dileonardo, owner of Peppino's Pizza.
Today's gasoline prices are the highest they've been since 2008, when they peaked at $4.20 at some local stations. Gas prices plummeted to $1.50 in early 2009. Now, experts expect gas prices to continue climbing due to unrest in the Middle East.
"The increase goes to the customer in the long run," Dileonardo said.
It starts with the delivery charge -- $1.50 right now, with half of that going to the driver.
"It's not only just going into our pockets, you know. It's going into our gas tank," Peppino's driver John Schmid said.
That won't cover the cost if gas jumps to $4.
"If a delivery driver has a five-mile roundtrip and they're using a half a gallon of gas, that's $2 out of their pocket," Dileonardo said.
Peppino's owner says he won't be surprised if he's forced to increase the delivery charge. He increased it to $2 in 2008, but cut it after gas prices fell.
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