• Surfside pizza delivery's up on New Jersey shores

MARGATE, N.J. -- So you're hankering for a pizza, but you don't want to leave your spot on the beach, right?

In some New Jersey spots, they'll bring it right to your blanket if you order via cell phone.

According to the Associated Press, on the handful of Jersey beaches that allow foodservice delivery, vendors claim business is growing in step with cell phone popularity.

"A few years ago, we would punish them -- 'The beach? Two hours!' " said Richard DiCicco, a longtime employee of Dino's Sub and Pizza Shop. "Now we cater to them. They are our business."

Many shore towns have not yet come around to the idea, fearing pizza boxes would litter beaches and pollute the waters. Officials in Monmouth and Ocean counties don't allow dune delivery because they believe the sheer number of beachgoers would make correct trash management unmanageable.

But food delivery has been a popular addition in Margate, neighboring Longport and a cluster of Cape May communities.

"Since the cell phones, everyone orders from the beach," Dino's owner Leo Heintzelman said. "No one wants to lose their spot. Every business is getting into it."

The cell phone communiqué works two ways: beachgoers use them to place orders, and delivery drivers use them to track down customers' seaside spots.

At the beach, Dino's delivery driver Mike Grattan had his cell phone out and ready to dial one hard-to-find customer, when the sleepy sunbather emerged clutching a wad of bills.

"Just about every beach order comes from a cell phone," Grattan said. "If we didn't have those numbers, this job would be real hard."

No statistics have been compiled on beach delivery, but restaurant owners and community leaders agree it's a growing trend.

"The times have changed. People are looking for the easy way to do things," Margate city clerk Tom Hiltner said. "I don't think people want to bother with packing a lunch. You're bringing towels and umbrellas and chairs and kids and toys. It's just one more thing to pack."

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