Customer Allergies What would you do?

A customer orders a pizza and is allergic to one of the toppings on the pizza but does not make it known to the person taking the order. You make the pizza deliver it to the customer and then get a call they want a new pizza delivered because they are allergic to a topping on the pizza.

If someone has a food ‘allergy’ then they will check before they order. If they don’t check then they are either ‘not allergic’ or ‘can’t be bothered’. In either of these cases I wouldn’t give them something for free.

If the complaint is made by the person who ordered then I’d definitely think it was odd - I assume your menu has the toppings clearly listed on it? Have they ordered before?

In these types of situations the most I would do is to ask for the whole uneaten pie back (they obviously can’t eat it if they are allergic to it), and I replace it. Normally when I say this they’ll either say yes no problem (probably a more genuine complaint) or they’ll say ‘well we’ve eaten half of it’ or something along those lines in which case I deal with the issue as tactfully as I can.

I’d have to agree with Wizzle on this one. IF it was a new customer who had never ordered before, they might not have seen a menu with the toppings listed. However, if I’m “allergic” to a particular food, I’m going to ask what the toppings are.

Recently had a customer come in and order hot wings. Took them home and his wife calls back screaming that they wanted BBQ wings and her sister is allergic to pepper. It was right at close, so my manager apologizes and offers to take them a replacement order on his way home. (He didn’t think about them living about 12 miles the opposite direction). When he gets to the house and asks the lady for the hot wings, she rolls her eyes and screams out, “Can you believe he wants those hot wings back”? Clearly a scam thinking she could get 2 orders for the price of 1.

I’d have to think long and hard on how to handle this one. I think it goes without saying that my response would be greatly affected by her attitude during the complaint too.

I have had this happen a few times and here is what we do. We tell them we will make them a different pizza but we will have to charge themour food cost which is 1/2 price( doesnt matter what food cost is this is the number we use). Nine times out of ten this makes them happy the other one time we usually hear something like well I didnt know your hose pizza had olives because I usually order from xyz company and theirs doesnt, this is where we do the ol switcharoo and say Oh in that case let us give you a free on this one time and we will send you a menu so next time you order you will know whats on it or when you phone in just ask us and we will let you know. The reason I change for that excuse is because now I have an opportunity to get a customer from the competition. I have never had any complaints doing it this way.

Force yourself to smile on the phone, it does go through the phone wires, and apologize. No need to take responsibility for the mistake, but sincerely say you are sorry and you would be happy to make it right in the customer’s mind. Offer to re-make the pizza and send it out free of charge, and let them eat the one they have while they wait, and throw in a 6-pack of cokes because they had to wait an extra 30 minutes before eating dinner.

What have you got to lose? $5-6? What is the cost to gain a new customer? What is their potential cost over the next 5 years?

You have a POS, use it, and make sure that these guys never get the topping they are allergic to again. Set a pop up message, and you will be fine for the future. Give them the benefit of the doubt, and bend over backward. They will be impressed.

Yes, it is a given that any fool is smart enough to mention things they are allergic to, and these idiots didn’t, but why piss them off in the process. Take the high road, and do what Wally did. (Then make sure they don’t have the opportunity to do it again).

Now here is the rest of the story. This guy has come in the store (so there is no records in the POS) and done this 3 times to different staff members. I have given him full credit once, half credit once and this last time I told him it is his responsibility to let the staff know of his allergy and there will be no more credit. His response was “I am going to tell everyone you ripped me off” all I ask is if you tell a story about my store tell the whole story.

Now that is a completely different situation. Don’t stoop to his level with the snide remarks though.

Pizzamancer has the right idea. Perfect how to handle it.

Daddio, scammers are usually rare. Although you have to tell this obvious scammer to shove off, don’t let it influence how you treat future similar situations. It is much more common for people to be clueless rather than malicious. And clueless customers can still be great customers if you help them like Pizzamancer layed out.

This little incident has made me think it would be good to have a disclaimer posted in the store and printed on the menu. Something like: Please inform our staff of any allergies. If you do not we can not be held accountable. or something like that. Any suggestions on wording would be appreciated.

I would not do it unless this is a chronic problem. Customers hate disclaimers. Besides, it won’t affect the scammers. They will just figure out another angle.

I suppose you are right about that. When I get a request for no cheese on a pizza I always ask if it is an allergy of a preference as there is parm in my sauce. I have never had problems with customers identifying allergies until this character.

Do you have a surveillance system? Can you print off a screenshot of the jerk to post in the back of the house so employees can ID the crook? :twisted:

With a rewards/loyalty program, promoting online ordering, as well as just asking everyone for their phone number, we hope to identify all of customers. This is core to our marketing and customizing service to the individual, but also serves to identify these jerks.

For the walk ins that complain, I don’t think it would be too intrusive to ask for name and info to put into the system, do you think?

sometimes you have to fire a customer

i had this scammer and i knew it after the 2nd order she said we screwed up i told we would fix it this time but that was it, made a note on the cpu to triple read her order back so no confusion, she called back and still tried to get something free i finally had to call here and tell her that we obviously couldn’t take care of her and that she will have to get her pizza from someone else she went balistic i just hung up the phone and blocked orders to her address and yet she still trys at least once a week to order and we tell her no

Pizzamancer hits it square on the head. We all hate to be taken for a ride by a scammer . . . but the cost of one pizza versus the chance to score big and develop loyalty froma customer who may not be scamming is overwhelming. For $4 in food costs, I can keep a customer happy, and even possibly get them to tell the story to others who are impressed that we went the extra yard. Use that POS to track and definitely ask for food back to analyze for problems that they may have reported.

If an “allergy” complaint, then just put on your big-boy p@nties and send them a new pie . . . the first time. If it gets to happening again, then another tack may be indicated. Find a way to say YES to the customer and give them something spectacular in service and food. That customer may be good for $600 this year, so don’t lose them over one pie.