When authorities are telling the public to stay off the roads because a snowstorm is barreling into the region and roads will be slick, some workers will be on the road even more than usual.
Among the compensation: Even if the wind is biting, the inside of their vehicle will smell warm and delicious.
Eateries that are willing to deliver in bad weather — whether it’s classic pizza, tangy chicken wings or fresh doughboys — find themselves busy whenever other people are homebound because of snow-covered windshields and treacherous roads.
“Typically when the weather is like this we’ll see an increase in delivery business,” said Seth Lodge, manager of Nico’s Pizza on State Street in Schenectady. “We slow down, we take a little more time, but people are just glad to have the food.”
Nico’s driver on Friday had a shovel and salt handy, Lodge said, in case he needs to dig out. And in a pinch, the owner has a truck with a plow blade.
In Saratoga Springs, Esperanto, on Caroline Street, was already feeling the impact of the pending storm on its delivery business Friday afternoon.
“Just in the daytime, we get people who are stuck in their offices and don’t want to leave,” said Esperanto general manager Chris Biddle. “We’ve had a couple of large office orders.”
Friday night, the Esperanto delivery person was going to use the owner’s vehicle, Biddle said, because it has four-wheel drive. Sand and a shovel will be in the vehicle, too — in case the deliveries are running too far ahead of the municipal plow crews that will also be out in force, as more than a foot of snow was expected to blanket the region.
When the weather is inclement, students at Skidmore College will also call in delivery orders, Biddle said. But even in the middle of a storm, he predicted there would be people in the bars along Caroline Street on Friday night, people who make up a big part of Esperanto’s clientele.
The delivery customers are typically ordering “comfort food,” which, depending on perspective, can mean pizza and wings, Mexican tortillas or Esperanto’s trademark doughboys — fresh-baked pockets of chicken, cheese and spices.
It’s mostly classic pizzeria fare that Nico’s would be dropping off.
“People will get pizza and wings, but some people will also be getting dinners to eat the next day,” Lodge said.
Brooklyn Pizza and Pasta in Amsterdam delivers as far away as Broadalbin, Perth and Pattersonville. It was already seeing an increase in delivery calls Friday afternoon, said Tina, the front-end manager. She said she couldn’t give her last name because of company policy.
“It’s starting earlier than usual. People are calling to ask if we’re open, and we’re going to be here, pickup and delivery,” she said.
She said drivers are instructed to stay 10 mph below the speed limit for safety during a storm.