If you live in Belconnen or the Inner South and have ordered a Domino’s pizza in the past 16 years, there’s a good chance you’ve had your order delivered by Australia’s top delivery driver.
Usually a transient job taken up by university students or as a stopgap between work, Domino’s most prolific driver, Peter Patrech, has astonishingly delivered over 70,000 pizzas across Canberra in his 16 years on the road, and was recently named ‘Domino’s Top Delivery Expert’.
An unassumingly distinguished veteran in a job with a traditionally high turnover, Mr Patrech joined Domino’s Belconnen’s Florey store in 2003.
“I realised I was doing something I loved from day one,” he told Canberra Weekly.
“The moment I delivered that first, piping hot pizza to my first, hungry Belconnen customer, I knew I would never get tired of watching someone’s face light up when the ‘pizza guy’ arrived.”
To cast your mind back, in 2003 Joe Roff, George Gregan and Stephen Larkham were running out for the Brumbies in heavy cotton Computer Associates jerseys, movie rental stores were booming, the Gungahlin Town Centre was still surrounded by sheep paddocks, and a number of Mr Patrech’s contemporary co-workers would have been running around in nappies.
“Over 16 years ago I was in between jobs and looking for casual work when I saw that Domino’s were looking to hire,” he said.
It didn’t take Mr Patrech long to make his mark. In March 2004 he was named second in the country for highest number of deliveries made that year.
“I dreamt that one day I would be number one, and as the years went on, I was later recognised for making the most, safe deliveries in Australia that year, and several years after that.”
After 16 years on the job, he’s seen and done it all; his war stories include delivering over 150 pizzas to a military base, and navigating his way up a pitch black battle-axe driveway on foot without a torch in a pre-smartphone world.
The store Mr Patrech has plied his trade out of, Domino’s Belconnen, has consistently been one of Australia’s busiest.
It’s seemingly no coincidence then that Domino’s top delivery driver works out of one of the country’s most successful franchises.
“There are many things that make Domino’s Belconnen special,” he said.
“I believe the success of the store, and what makes it so special, is its location, consistency, value of product and of course, the extraordinary leadership of local franchisee, David Hutchinson.”
Having delivered all kinds of orders over the years, Mr Patrech’s favourite is a BBQ chicken and bacon on a deep pan crust. He says if he’s lucky enough, he puts away one or two a week.