Pizzerias not alone in refusing delivery to Muncie neighborhood

April 1, 2004

MUNCIE, Ind.—Denise Dollison can't get pizza delivered to her home in the Parkview Apartments public housing complex in Muncie. And according to the Star Press, other Parkview residents say they can't get newspaper delivery.

"Chinese people deliver to me, so why can't I get pizza? I work hard for my money," Dollison said. "My money spends just like anybody else's. I think it's discrimination."

So why do pizzerias and the Star Press avoid delivering to Parkview, when they deliver everywhere else in the surrounding Whiteley neighborhood?

"It's one of those situations where the driver pulls up at night and the car gets surrounded by people," said Gannon Grosh, manager at a nearby Domino's Pizza store. "I took a delivery out there last summer, and when I returned to my car, I had three people leaning on it. 'Hey man, got any more pizza for us? Hand it over.'"

Ben Rhoton, a manager at Papa John's, said his business didn't deliver to Parkview because "It's just been that way since I started with the company—the boss told me that and I didn't question their judgment."

Pizza Hut doesn't exclude any area of the city from delivery, said store manager April Foster, but she said the company "will not force anyone" to deliver to an area where the driver feels unsafe. "If they come upon something deserted or there are too many people, we tell them to come right back," she said.

Nearly three years ago, a pair of men mugged and beat a Domino's delivery driver in the neighborhood, but pizza drivers have been mugged in other Muncie neighborhoods that still receive delivery.

Some neighbors say Parkview's residents are good people, and blame the trouble on outsiders who come to the area at night. Drinking and shooting are common after hours, said one resident, who asked not to be identified.

"There are no race problems. As far as that goes, everybody gets along," the man said. "At night time, I stay in. When I hear gunshots, I go upstairs. ... There have been 12 to 14 shootouts since I've been here. I've been here over a year. When there are a bunch of people out, it's not safe."

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Topics: Domino's Pizza , Operations Management , Papa John's , Pizza Hut

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