Delivery Brigade

Why Amici’s Pizzeria Still Won’t Deliver to the Tenderloin After Dark

Much of the Western Addition is out too.
Much of the Western Addition is out too. Photo: Courtesy of Amici’s

It’s often up for debate which are the most unsafe places to be in San Francisco at night, but Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria has actually mapped it for us! For them, the region of public housing around the Lower Fillmore, as well as the Terrace-Annex projects at the edge of Potrero Hill, are too dangerous and are therefore no-drive zones for their delivery people. Also, there’s no going to the Tenderloin, or even the rather tame 7th and Folsom (home to Sightglass Coffee and Terroir wine bar), after dark. One could argue that this delivery zone map unfairly penalizes low-income residents who reside in public housing, or in SROs. But Amici’s President Peter Cooperstein says that while his company might love the extra business, “driver safety is a major concern” in these areas.

He adds, “We have had instances of drivers being mugged and even shot at,” and he explains that these no-delivery zones were created after those instances, and via anecdotal warnings from friends of drivers who who drive for other delivery services.

“Amici’s ownership would love the additional sales from delivering to the maximum number of homes with unlimited hours,” Cooperstein says, “However, where safety is a concern our drivers are given significant input in our setting delivery areas since we never pressure drivers into placing themselves in dangerous situations.” He explains that drivers are trained not to complete a delivery if they feel unsafe, or if they need to park in a dark alley.

But the delivery map (see it below) does, coincidentally, create a striking illustration of where the city’s affordable/low income housing is concentrated. As SF Citizen points out, Amici’s covers about two-thirds of the city with pizza delivery from their Marina and King Street locations. But they make decisive carve-outs for areas containing public housing projects, namely those in about a dozen blocks between McAllister and Geary, on either side of Fillmore, and those in Potrero Terrace and Potrero Annex housing projects. And there is that swath of the Tenderloin and SoMa around Sixth Street where no pizza deliveries are performed after dark. But are those blocks of the Tenderloin really more dangerous than, say, 18th and Capp after dark? Because Amici’s does deliver there.

In any event, all of this is legal, and the City Charter states that businesses may refuse delivery anywhere that might “expose delivery personnel to an unreasonable risk of harm.”

By contrast, Grub Hub and Seamless, at least as far as we can tell, don’t discriminate based on address, however individual restaurant vendors might.

In a town with few reliable delivery options, bigger businesses like Amici’s can afford to be selective. Cooperstein adds that changes to the map are always possible. Dogpatch was only recently added, he tells us, after “a rep from their neighborhood association contacted us and asked us to reconsider.” It took a few meetings, and some consultation with police, but now drivers are willing to go to Dogpatch — but only until 7:30 p.m. “At least as a first step,” Cooperstein says. But we note that the map has remained unchanged since 2008, near as we can tell.

Racist San Francisco Pizza Delivery Map Evolution - Western Addition, Twitterloin, and Potrero are No Go - Yet It’s Legal [SF Citizen]
Earlier: Amici’s Would Rather Not Deal With the Western Addition [Eater]

Why Amici’s Pizzeria Still Won’t Deliver to the Tenderloin After