San Francisco’s Pizza Delivery Redlining – It’s Nice and Legal

Well looky here – a redlined pizza delivery map of Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria. It’s the talk of the town over at Eater SF and kissing cousin Curbed SF. Click on the below to see where they just don’t deliver. Why? Driver safety.

Of course taxi drivers can’t legally refuse to take you to certain areas of San Francisco due to their concerns over their personal safety. Non, non, non. ‘Cause that’s a crime called failure to convey, which can land a cabbie in the hoosegow. But isn’t there a law that bans this sort of practice from pizzerias?

Well, yes and no. Check out the law, the part that covers delivery redlining, below. (“You must know ze code,” as Professor Stefan Reisenfeld used to say, back in the day.)

People in the Western Addition, Tenderloin (including it’s Sixth Street Annex, also known as The Flank, in view of the fact that it’s just south of the ‘Loin) and the projects on the southern slope of Potrero Hill all might have trouble getting a pie delivered in James Crow San Francisco:

Back in 1996, then Supervisor Willie Kennedy gave us a law (that became national news), but then it got watered down such that a “reasonable good faith belief” that a driver would be in danger in a particular nabe is enough to allow the brazen publication of the map shown above.

And let’s not forget flower and newspaper delivery people – they’re off the hook as well. (Note also that there doesn’t seem to be any designated punishment for violation anyway.) To review, cabbies are on the hook, delivery people not.

NB: Dominoes appears to use a different map, or maybe none at all, as it seems they’ll delivery just about anywhere in our seven square.

The More You Know…


(a) It shall be unlawful for any person or business entity to refuse to provide home delivery services to any residential address within the City and County of San Francisco falling within that person’s or business entity’s normal service range. A person or business entity may not set its normal service range to exclude a neighborhood or location based upon the race, color, ancestry, national origin, place of birth, sex, age, religion, creed, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, weight or height, of the residents of that neighborhood or location. Where a person or business entity regularly advertises home delivery services to the entire City and County, that person or business entity’s “normal service range” shall be defined by the geographic boundaries of the City and County.

(b) For purposes of this Section, “home delivery services” shall mean the delivery of merchandise to residential addresses, when such services are regularly advertised or provided by any person or business entity.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Section, it shall not be unlawful for a person or business entity to refuse to provide home delivery services to a residential address if (i) the occupants at that address have previously refused to pay in full for services provided to them by that person or business entity; or (ii) such refusal is necessary for the employer to comply with any applicable State or federal occupational safety and health requirements or existing union contract; or (iii) the person or business entity has a reasonable good faith belief that providing delivery services to that address would expose delivery personnel to an unreasonable risk of harm.

(Added by Ord. 217-96, App. 5/30/96; amended by Ord. 295-96, App. 7/17/96; Ord. 222-02, File No. 021462, App. 11/15/2002)

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6 Responses to “San Francisco’s Pizza Delivery Redlining – It’s Nice and Legal”

  1. anna says:

    this is kind of sad- for everyone involved.

  2. Laura says:

    Can you really blame pizza drivers for not wanting to deliver to the T-loin at midnight? Would you do it?

  3. sfcitizen says:

    Cab drivers might not want to go there either, but they are required to under pain of incarceration. Why’s that?

  4. josh o. says:

    No wonder there’s always parking there, even when there’s nothing else in a 20 block radius.

  5. Andy U says:

    Great – albeit disturbing – map. I have actually spent the last half hour for an image of this nature to use in a class I am teaching. As you could imagine, this is not the type of thing businesses readily post on their websites.

  6. sfcitizen says:

    I think they’re relying on the Fed’s guidance on the pizza delivery issue. That map sure looked bold to me when i first saw it.