BALTIMORE — A Canton restaurant is encouraging nearby neighbors who use its delivery service to be more aware of its newest delivery driver.
"Please, have a lot of patience for him," said Giovanni Ercole.
Ercole is the owner of Tutti Gusti. Recently he gave an employee's family member more work opportunities.
"For 10 years he would ride around with his parents when they delivered pizzas." he said. "This past year he’s actually getting out of the car and interacting with customers.
The delivery worker's name is Alonzo. Family asked WMAR-2 News to only share his first name as to not stigmatize him.
"We're working to give him the social interaction he needs," said Ercole. "We're not teachers but we're doing the best we can."
Alonzo is 22-years old and is on the autism spectrum.
In addition to work opportunity, Tutti Gusti has been working to get him the proper educational resource he needs.
"It's been hard," said Giovanni. "We're doing the best we can but so far the delivery has been okay. I know I may lose a few customers for it but it feels good to do this."
Most customers who interact with Alonzo aren't aware of his situation but recently there's been an effort to educate and make customers knowledgeable about the situation.
"To include someone who might not always have a chance to get out and work in the workforce, I think is fantastic," said customer Paul Valdez.
Valdez recently had a pizzas delivered to his home. When he didn't receive a receipt, he called the restaurant.
After an empathetic conversation Valdez and the restaurant, along with the green light from Alonzo's family, made a social media post on a neighborhood social media page.
"I just wanted to share what was going on so people could be aware," said Valdez. "The comments, for the most part, have been positive."
Alonzo delivers pizza with the help of a family member. Sometimes it's a co-worker.
"So far he's doing good," said Giovanni. "If anyone has a problem all they have to do is call and I'd be happy to explain."
"I just think it’s a great opportunity," said Valdez. "I wish more businesses would be able to do something like that for those members of society that would like to get out and do more."