Customer No Shows - How do you handle them?

How do you handle customer “no shows?”

That’s when a customer places an order either for delivery or pick-up and prepays with a credit card, but never show up to pick up their pizza or don’t answer the door when it’s delivered.

Do you refund the order? Reimburse the driver? What happens to the pizza?

Rare, but yes it happens. With Carryout’s we generally do not take payment first. We call them after an hour and void it after 2 hours (yes some people take over an hour to pick up their pizzas. We have a grocery store next door so yeah).

Delivery, Driver calls at the door if they do not answer. Moves on to next order, gets back to store calls from store phone so they see the caller ID. If they still do not answer or return the call i will void the CC payment and note it in the customer file. If they do it 3 times, they are no longer allowed to order delivery.

Pay the driver a dead run, it was not their fault the customer did not answer. Keeps the drivers happy so they did not work for nothing. It sucks, yes. But the cost of doing business and keeping everyone happy.

I typically will take them to the fire hall.

Pretty rare for us, but like it was already stated, it’s the cost of doing business. Drivers still get their mileage and if the order was prepaid with credit card, it will be voided. Make sure you note it on the account so you can bring it up the next time they order though. If the customer becomes notorious for that, maybe stop taking their order. And of course, you and your employees eat the pizza duuhhh!

We have this issue time to time. I just void the card and if the food still looks good I give the items away to walk-in customers as if Im this super nice guy, so we kind of turn it into a marketing tactic. If the food looks like shit bc its been sitting so long we all nibble at it.

A more annoying problem we often get is this.
Customer calls orders delivery
We quote 45 mins
We get it out faster than expected
Customer decides to go grocery shopping, fall asleep, take a shower etc.
Customer doesnt answer the 7 phone calls from us
Food comes back
50 mins later get phone call…
‘I placed an order over an hour ago…ummm this is ridiculous how hard is it to deliver food…’
All because I didnt get it there in EXACTLY 45 mins

Curious though, why void the payment? Its the customer’s fault for not accepting delivery even though you kept your end of the bargain of making the pizza and deliverying it.

Because they call the CC company and instantly win the charge back, and then it is a mark against me in any future complaints.

I never knew the credit card companies kept score on our accounts. Anytime I’ve received a contested charge notice I just mail in the merchant copy and I’m off the hook.

If you don’t use a EMV pad to take the order, you instantly lose under the new regulations. And yes they do keep track of charge backs.

Yup- here, too. I’ve only had a few over the years but I always send a copy of the order, cc info, etc and have always won any CB’s.
If a pizza was ordered, delivered and paid for- I never reversed the charge. I did my job- the food was made, driver dispatched, etc… this isn’t a hobby for me. Same w/ C/O’s.
Circumstances and particulars often changed that but- if you ordered pizza and then decided on Chinese… enjoy the buffet but that’s not my problem.

Curious who your processor is? I’ve only had a couple charge backs over the years and have never won. With Central payment, they would literally take the funds out of my account as soon as they got the charge back before even notifying me there was a charge back, and then notify me and ask me to submit all the info/signatures I had on the transaction. I always thought that was BS.

We have never won a charge back dispute. I don’t bother even trying because its a total waste of time. We have about a $1000 a month in charge backs. Most are from orders 6 months to a year in the past. Its about 70% fraud cards and 30% people that decided to just “not pay”.

$1000/month?? That sounds like a LOT of money. Whats it as a percentage for your gross sales?

Its not much percentage wise, that’s why I don’t get too bent out of shape about it. Its combined for all our 4 stores. Its about .25% of our credit card sales. Most of the charge backs are from 2 of our locations that have a high criminal element in their areas.

Across 4 stores sounds acceptable.

How hard is it to run 4 stores & how many hours a week do you spend doing it? Have you been able to optimise your processes to create a system are do they all run ad hoc individually? I see a lot of folks have issues with hiring the right talent and the product quality when they let managers run the store.

I work in the stores about 40 to 50 hours a week and then put another 20 to 30 hours a week into behind the scenes admin type stuff. We have good systems in place but we can always do better so I constantly work improving our systems.

I pretty much just work for fun though. If I was hit by bus, my daughters and son in laws could all run the business just fine.

All of our General Managers and Assistant Gm’s, I feel treat the store as if they own it. I don’t worry about the business when they are there. Our lower level managers still do give me concern at times. I am constantly working with them to bring a feeling of ownership within them. Sometimes it happens and sometimes is doesn’t. 2 of our people are married and took an 14 day trip to Ireland just this last 2 weeks. Their lower level people filled in just fine but my stress level was a bit higher.

Thats amazing and inspiring!

Have you considered writing a book or a guide on how you did it (scaled from 1 to 4 stores), the challenges you overcame etc. and how you think newbies can replicate your success.

We have been at this since the 1980’s so its been a slow path. My wife always tells people we are a 30 year overnight success.

If you want to be an expert at something its simple. Spend 10,000 hours living, eating and breathing it. I have spent 10K hours making pizzas, 10k hours delivering pizzas, and 10k hours helping customers. But I still have not done my 10,000 hours developing my systems. I would say I’m 5000 in with 5000 to go. I’m attempting to set aside 20-30 hours a week to work on our systems, which should get my company where it needs to be in about 3 to 4 years. Maybe there is a shortcut but I haven’t found one yet.

I hear you.
What are the top 3 to 5 things you learnt that you wished someone told you sooner in each of those tasks (making pizzas, deliverying, helping customers, systems etc)

I would say to not be so much of bean counter. Just do what makes the customer and the employees happy and everything else will fall in place. I’ve spent too much time in the early years trying to shave off a nickle here and dime there. I’m not saying that I don’t watch or care about expenses but it is way down on my priority list.