Delivery driver goes to the dogs to serve customers

April 10, 2002

GRAPEVINE, Texas -- Janet Shafer hasn't done an official survey, but she's confident at least 75 percent of her customers own dogs.

Her evidence? Ceaseless barking and baying heard nearly every time she makes a delivery for Domino's Pizza in Tarrant County, Texas.

The pesky pooches fighting to get out the door when she arrives make it difficult for customers to pay for their pizzas. So in an effort to calm the canine chaos, she gives them dog biscuits.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Shafer's treatin' heart has earned her the unofficial title, "The Biscuit Lady," and the official distinction of Domino's Delivery Specialist of the Year for Tarrant County.

"It works well because while the dogs are eating their biscuits I can do my business with the customer, and we don't have to worry about the dog getting out and running off down the street or something," said Shafer.

Shafer, a Fort Worth resident and delivery driver for four years, began pitching treats to pups about six months into her job. The biscuits keep her four-legged friends occupied, and they allow Shafer the chance to make friends with her customers.

"I'm only with my customers for a few minutes," Shafer said. "But I want them to know there are still nice people like me in the world."

Her boss, Don Garman, vice president of operations for Mark of Excellence Pizza Co., a Domino's franchise company, compared Shafer to a great waitress in a fine-dining restaurant.

"She epitomizes what we look for in a delivery specialist -- the customer comes first," said Garman. "But she goes above and beyond even that. She just makes getting a pizza delivered a wonderful experience for her customers."

Domino's customer Linda Poss and her two dogs enjoy Shafer's weekly visits.

"She never fails to bring treats for our dogs, Rusty and Winnie," said Poss, who called Shafer "a delight."

Shafer began delivering pizzas for income to hold her over between jobs, but she's stayed with it because she enjoys the work. However, there is one day she dreads delivering: April 15, the deadline to file income taxes in the U.S.

"You know they're doing their taxes, and they just have to get the kids fed. And you know you aren't going to get a good tip," Shafer said.

But even if some customers are stingy on tax day, their dogs still get their special deliveries. "Even if you don't give me a tip, your dog still gets a biscuit," she said.

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