How do you handle this? (But mostly a rant)

We have a special - 2 large 3 topping pizzas for $18 (make 1 a specialty for $22.50)

This has happened more times than I can count.

Customer calls and says “can I get 1 large cheese and 1 large with 6 toppings since I did not get any toppings on the 1st one?”

2nd most common request since you can upgrade to a specialty pizza for $22.50 - customer calls and says “can I get 1 large cheese and 1 large supreme pizza but give me a discount since I did not get 3 toppings on my first pizza?”

Now I have allready handled this and have instructed my staff on how to handle this but am just curious as to what my fellow think tankers have to say.

Heck yeah. If you are like most shops, topping volume on a 6 topping should be about 25% less than on a 1-3 item pizza. This is pennies in the bank. Especially if it is a popular question.

This one is a no brainer in my book. Statistically who orders the most pizza? Households with 11 and 12 year old children. Their favorite pizza is cheese. Make them happy and set up a new special for with a specialty and a cheese for $17.

Our policy is that the pizza ordered is what it is. Add any topping is extra even if they take other toppings off. There is no discount for taking toppings off or swapping, say, bacon for pineapple - the latter would be charged as an extra topping. If they buy two and one is a cheese well that is it. Then again we have all “specialty” pizzas but we do have a make your own of up to 3 toppings from our regular (“favourites”) range for the same price of our other “favourites” pizzas. Any extra toppings are charged for. Also we charge $1 extra for half/half with the dearest half charged (plus the $1).
Different strokes for different folkes but our customers know exactly what is what as it is clearly outlined on our menu and menu boards. Takes any conflict out of the equation if they know what the rules are.

100% agree with Pizzamancer.

In your first scenario, we don’t care where they put the toppings. We run a similar special for 2 large 2 toppings for $20.00. If they want 4 toppings on one pizza and a cheese pizza it’s still $20. There no reason to care (I don’t think) where they put the toppings. Heck, it’s probably faster to make a 4 topping pizza and a cheese pizza than 2 2-topping pizzas since the order will usually be handled by two cooks simultaneously.

For your second scenario I wouldn’t give a discount for ordering that way (because that’s not what the special is) but I would re-construct the special to offer a cheese pizza at a good deal. I learned a while ago to always structure a deal with a cheese pizza add on. Pretty much all of my specials have the option to add a large cheese for 6.99. Dirt cheap for the customer, good margin on an add-on item for me, and we don’t run into the specials-bending problem.

We have a similar special. For us, the computer is set to bring all orders down to the “special price” regardless of the configuration of the toppings. For us it’s Two 1-topping pizzas, so you can go 1 & 1 or 2 & zero.

You could also go specialty + cheese, or even specialty + specialty, but it will reduce the price the same amount as it would if you were to order Two 1-topping pizzas which for us is about $3. This is automatically entered to all orders that order multiple pizzas with toppings. Even though it’s small, it’s better than saying “we don’t have any” when we get the calls every single day of “what are your specials today???”

It was nice when I went years in NY without ever hearing someone ask about if we had any specials. Can’t go a day in FL without multiple people asking…

Piper you nailed my instruction to my staff. In the first scenario I had the same reaction as you, who cares where the toppings are at, 1st or 2nd pizza.

The second scenario I said we cannot do but I LOVE the idea of a cheese pizza add on and am kicking myself for not thinking of that one. Gonna add that special tomorrow.

As for my rant and this is tongue in cheek and I would never say this to staff or a customer but I laugh to myself when I think of this…

Walk in to Mcdonalds, Whataburger, etc. and say " I would like the bacon cheese burger combo, mayo instead of mustard and no pickles…OH! can you give me a discount since I did not order pickles?"

Or how about at your favorite mexican resteraunt " my son will have the cheese enchilada kids meal with no onions, and I would like a discount because I did not order onions"…lol

I follow Harvey Mackay’s blog, and this post: Watch Out for These Four-Letter Words came up today. It sums up the way I feel about telling a customer no, specifically this:

Can’t: As in “We can’t do that” or “You can’t expect us to meet that deadline.” Your customers come to you because they think you can do what they ask. If you truly cannot produce what they’re asking for, be honest but then help them find someone who can, even if it’s your competition. They’ll remember that you went the extra mile to make them happy.

Don’t win the battle and lose the war. If what the customer is asking for is not costing you more than whatever it was you offered, the aswer is “yes”. Pay attention to what they are asking for… that is where the best opportunities are.

We often create specials that are described as requiring a 16" two topping pizza plus some other item (free half order of wings, free pint of ice cream, half price 12" cheese pizza, four 20 oz sodas) but actually are created in the POS as a 14" or 16" and the other item with a minimum purchase equal to the described offer. As long as the $$s are there I am good with it. This takes away the decision making from our phone people regarding exceptions. If the offer appears the order is qualified.

I have become very detailed in creating the offers and using the feature in the POS that controls what offers appear with a given order. It has really helped the order process with regard to these issues.

This may be slightly off topic- why do you feel the need to run specials like the big chains. The whole 2 topping/ 3 topping pizza thing always struck me as odd. First off I could go two Days without seeing a pizza go out with multiple toppings. With my calculations, which may be different than yours, my toppings are profitable. I don’t feel the need to “throw them in” I’m all for the coupons to get people in the door but why stoop to dominoes level when they can handle giving away such items when we as an independent should not have to absorb the costs. Of you ran a special For a large at a good price people would add their toppings resulting in an upsell while you make your money on the product. In my experience- if you offer for free they are going to take it and run. If you charge for It they probably won’t want it. I’m not knocking your business, every part of the country has their own way but here? Nobody orders " supreme" and when they do it costs $25.00

Yes I agree but unfortunately my market has dictated that I must have these offers (Small town ~4500 with me and a PH). Believe me I wish it was not this way but such is life.