My Taradel Experience

Hey guys,

Long time no talk. I havent been very active here cause Ive been so busy with opening by myself and then closing by myself. So you guys know, we decided to reopen June 1st. We were closed for a good month but after some long thoughts, keeping it open was our best bet for everyone. Sales have been a little bit better than before and I’m noticing a lot more repeat business and word of mouth business. We kinda did a restructuring. We fixed our pizza sauce problem and now use Fresh Packed Tomatoes, we added pastas and sandwiches to our menu, new lunch specials with good deals, and slices of pizza with a real slice merchandiser.

Anywho, I just wanted to share my experience that I had with Taradel. I am by no means knocking their company or who they are or what they represent, just wanted to make others aware so maybe they dont go through the same thing as I did. Plus I need to vent.

Our first batch of menus when we opened came from a different place and they were 100# stock paper with digital print. Very nice menus. The quality, print, design (maybe not as eye catching as some but the design was perfectly uniform), color, fold etc etc. We didn’t want to skimp on quality but after many conversations with Chris, he lured me into a thinner paper and promised over and over how nice these menus will look. So after many, many proofs and changes (you wouldn’t believe the simplest of errors, spacing/grammar/punctuation) we got our menus… And I dont think in all the years of this business I have been so disappointed. It was a huge slap in the face b/c I passed on Chris’s promise to my father and hyped it all up just like Chris did to me.

First thing right off the bat was the color. I understand (now) that these were short run menus blah blah blah, but had I known they would look like this from the very beginning, I would have upgraded. We have graphic fold lines and the front to back colors are different shades AND textures of red… So when you have the menu completely open and fold the right panel in, the 2 reds (that are supposed to match and blend together) dont match. When you look on the screen (the proof) the colors and pictures pop out instantly, the pictures on the menus are kinda dark and eerie and have this shade of black to em.

Second was the fold. There is a good 1/16" strip on the back page from where it meets the front page which looks god awful.

Then there is our fonts and typesetting. We have basically 2 types, bold and then regular italics. The bold is for the item and the italics is for the description. For example, our first type of crust is thin crust plus the description. They are both a nice solid black (the way they should be). Then the rest of the crusts descriptions are like a gray or black with a white outline that totally doesn’t match.

And finally, now the fun part. He also had promised 1000 free business cards with my order (which I had to bring up several times and they didn’t show up till way after the menus already came). We wanted to do loyalty cards that we would stamp with our custom shape stamp (you know, stamps with INK) so when they buy a pizza they get a stamp. I must of said that 100 times that these are going to be stamped with INK so the finish has to be matte. It even says that theyre for stamps on the card. And I even put in the final comments to my final proof order to send to print that they have to be matte finish. Well after all that time and waiting, I got my cards. To my surprise, they were glossy finish! Who woulda thought that glossy finish cards are INK resistant… Of course I called to let them know and he said he would “rush” out a new batch. Almost 2 weeks later I got my new cards and although they are a much improvement, they still have a tiny bit of gloss on them and when we go to stamp it, it smears and I dont think people like that in their purses or wallet too much. Not to mention, it just looks messy.

Sorry, I really just needed to vent. I know they are a big company that does tons of menus with I’m sure lots of satisfied people, some of you probably. I was just one of the unlucky ones to have this type of experience.

Thanks for the feedback!

Did you call those guys and try to work this out with them already? I am one to fire off here without thinking (too often) to call them to make it right . . . so I thought I’d stand up for the vendor and give him a chance to make you happy before taking in your post.

He seems committed to having satisfactory buyers.

I guess I forgot to mention they did give me a $200 credit after all this, even though I preferred a whole new batch of menus.

Steve I respect your post and understand your feelings towards the new menus. I’d like to offer my perspective as well.

After reading your story on here, and understanding that your situation was becoming desperate (closing the biz, etc.) I was determined to get you the best “bang for the buck”. I offered you twice as many menus on 80# glossy paper as you would have received on 100# digital printing for the same price + major discounts + thousands of free menus + FREE cards. Based on your situation, and my years and years of pizza marketing experience I decided that you needed to get as many menus as possible into as many homes and businesses as possible. It doesn’t matter how pretty your menus are, or how perfect the fold lines are, if the phones don’t ring. I think this is a valid take for 90% of pizza shops.

After working with you through numerous proofs, taking a loss on your job, and spending hours of time on your project and offering free marketing advice, we printed your menus and every person in our office commented on how nice they looked. Other pizza shops that were local saw your menus and asked about them…

I think the real issue is that you were expecting sheet-fed digital quality with perfect folds for the price of web-press printing. Maybe this is my fault for not making it clear that web-press printing (the pizza industry standard) isn’t 100% perfect.

After you called and let me know that you were upset with the results, I provided you with hundreds of additional dollars refunded and told you to keep everything you had received. I also wished you and your father the best with the pizza shop and you told me “thank you” and that all was well.

Our printing is second-to-none in terms of price, quality, and customer service. If you call us, you speak to a real person. I’m available all day, every day. I made absolutely every effort possible to make you and your father happy. I did everything you asked for, and in my opinion, maybe a little more than anyone else would have done.

If I gave others the deal that I gave you, their jaws would drop, so I’m a bit disappointed to read this. The quality we provide is the same quality that major franchises use (the Big 3) and 99% of our customers love it.

…just thought I’d share my feelings on the situation, I apologize for any inconvenience that you experienced and wish you success in the future. I’m still happy that we had the chance to speak and work together.


Are you as disappointed as I was when I received the menus? Even if you did take a loss, I took an even bigger loss by spending over thousand bucks for shotty menus. Thats the bottom line. You gave us a credit, but once again you persuaded me into the cash credit versus fixing the mistake and reprinting them for me. Chris, you sound like a great guy and you talk a great game, I’m not here to bash you or your company. When you spend 100’s of thousands of dollars on a pizza place and work 90 hours a week day in day out providing quality food with a quality atmosphere, you tell me if you would be satisfied with these menus. Its a lot easier for you to say those things until you actually experience them.

Good luck getting the business going again. I hope things get 5x as busy 5x quicker than your last go around. If it makes you feel any better, pizza menus are not works of art. They go from the mailbox or the box top to the kitchen drawyer or on the fridge in a hurry. Most end up in the “circular file” much quicker than we care to admit. I have seen incredibly busy places using one color menus. I have also seen some terribly slow places using the nicest 4 color print that money can buy. I hope thousands of customers get to see your “shabby” menus. At least that would mean business is booming!!!

Steve I think your menus look amazing and everyone that I’ve shown them to agrees. I’ve done everything possible to resolve the situation and I took a major loss on this job.

I don’t think it’s fair that you and I speak on the phone, and come to an agreement on the issue, then a month later you post on here about how terrible we are. When you tell me that everything is well and thank me for the freebies and cash refund, I take you for your word. What else am I supposed to do?

If you’d like to chat on Monday I’ll see if there is anything else I can do.

Thank you,


You really do not have a detailed oriented mind if you think these menus are amazing… Its most likely cause theyre not yours, or that you didnt spend your money on them. These menus are Picasos. From far away they may look good but once you start to really look at them, you scratch your head and ask what were they thinking.

I’m not saying that these menus are going to hurt my business or my sales or have any negative effect on business. NOR have I said anything of how “terrible” you guys are. I don’t understand where the confusion is. You run a business, you gave me sub-par work, and I’m letting others in on my experience. It happens millions of times all over the internet. If I knowingly sold a bad pizza to a customer or gave horrible service, I would expect a bad review on one of the websites.

You resolved the issue by basically saying heres 200 bucks, theres nothing else we can do. You even tried to blame me for not catching it in the proofs. Its not a matter of how you guys resolved the issue… Its the fact that stuck with 12000 menus that I’m not happy with. You could have given me 50% credit and that still would not make the menu issues go away.

And let me clear this up… I’m not dissatisfied with the overall design and placement of it. I like that part. Its simple and gets the point across like a menu should. Its the details that get me. I mean, 2 different reds AND texture? Or 2 different shades of black for descriptions? Or the front page on part of the back? I guess I just expect too much, especially paying that kind of money. You would think someone would print a couple first and do a quality check and let the designers/operators of the problems before printing 12000 more.

I have to agree with Chris’s take here Steve. There’s nothing wrong with simply stating your experience and how it was resolved but I don’t think its right to post something negative given you agreed to the resolution. At least call Chris and talk to him again if your are that upset. I don’t know what your menus looked like but I don’t know of any company that would do all they did just for your purchase of menus. Typesetting and layout design is pretty labor intensive work. Also, I’ve never done a print job where “I” was not responsible to catch any errors.

I’ve never used Taradel but I have spoken with them and read Chris’s posts. Personally I think Taradel is the perfect company for you to work with. They can offer you the expertise and provide the materials you need to get a successful marketing campaign going. Unless you want to spend some serious money, I don’t know of any company that will help you out as much as Taradel. I guarantee you they were not making any money off you to begin with “and” then they gave you a refund.

I would not be happy using sub par materials either but it has to be better than doing absolutely nothing.

I’m not trying to be mean or anything, but maybe your business needs to fail for you to make the next step. I fell flat on my face with my first restaurant because I thought I knew it all. It was a miserable experience but invaluable at the same time. I’ve read most of your posts here, and joked with you a bit, but you seem to come across a bit arrogant in the way you just dismiss people’s advice. I honestly hope this all works out for you but I don’t see it given your attitude. You obviously have the work ethic.

tardel was great with my menus…chris was excellent as were all the staff
stevie quit blatting like you always do

No harm. I can see your point and your probably right. Chris is obviously making it out to be much more than what he really did. I paid for 12000 menus, not 1000. There are also zero errors in my menu. And just to let you know, I can do design work and I sent the designer many many proofs back to him the way I wanted it to look using his files he provided me.

What Chris did was his job and that is to provide customer service, which he did. He didn’t really go that extra mile that he keeps talking about. He gave me advice about putting a menu on every box… Which Ive done since we got the new menus… But you dont do all these “free, extra” stuff and then say thats accountable for the poor quality menus… “yeah you dont like the menus, but we did all this ‘extra’ stuff for you so that makes it ok, right?”

You guys are over reading into this. I’m just showing my experience, just like when people show good experience, I happen to have a bad one. You have no idea what I have been through with people screwing me over. Literally every detail into building this place has somehow turned to crap… The pos system, our custom pizza boxes that we spent a fortune on, even the plumbing, the village, permits, construction/carpentry from ground up, even the magnets. Sometime I wonder if I attract these people that like taking advantage of me.

You have no idea how much these menus were hyped up to be and I was buying the greatest value in the world and I will be so pleased and happy with these menus. And of course what do I do? I relay all this hype to my dad so now my word is on the line cause I trusted all the hype. All to get the phone call that the menus arrived and then to show up and see the look on my dads face. How do you think I felt? I felt like an idiot and it was all my fault.

I didn’t even mention the smaller details with the actions and the time factor and the delay in responding to emails ANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD soooo many un-returned phone calls and having to call back and leave messages over and over… See I didn’t want to do this, but now its turned into this. Why am I the bad guy here? What did I do? I just wanted nice menus. Especially spending over $1100. Which was near impossible to get my dad to agree on.

We’re still forgetting that I have 2000 business cards that are useless. But I guess thats ok right, cause they were FREE!

Ok…not being one to keep my mouth shut ever and usually getting myself into trouble with it… I need to speak up a bit here. I come from a background of a family run food production business that started out in a run down old flower shop and growing up living without much and growing that into a 300 employee 80 million dollar a year business. I remember in the begining when every little thing was a big deal because it was a dollar out the door. You needed it to be right and look good because everything did depend on it. You know what… 20 years into it…you still need that attitude. Steve has the right to vent and be upset if things did not turn out as he wanted and everyone here has vented to someone about something at somepoint I am sure. I do not have a problem with that at all. It is good to get things off your chest and move forward when things like this happen. I do have an issue with Chris on this one. It seems like you are in a pissing war with steve over this and being the rep for a company of your size and all…and to be honest… I am going off what I have read and not personal experience on your backgroud… I think you are painting a bad picture about yourself and your company. I agree that Steve needed the best bang for the buck it sounds like, and it appears you put a pretty good deal together for him. But as as sales rep, and especially in advertising, I have never approved any order for anything from business cards to letterhead to invoices to anything without seeing proofs that represent the final product. You need to represent the final product and not display or discuss one item and ship another. I know that there are always 3 sides to every story and it’s always bad when something like this happens but I am a little disgusted by the way a company rep is basically bad mouthing a client in a public forum. You should have contacted Steve directly and voiced concern about his comments and still worked to make the situation better even at your loss. Every sale is a learning experience and you take what you learn from each and move on.

Good lord.

Steve - What did you do with the menus? If you used them, are you going to blame them when you close again in a few months? At least at that point you will have someone else to blame. “Geez Dad, we’d be doing $20,000/wk if it wasn’t for those crappy menus!” - “Yeah son, I know - it’s not your fault!”

Epic fail!

Chris - My advice is to just step away from this issue. There will be nothing you can say or do to make it any better - and saying any more will just make it worse. I’ve seen too many internet pissing matches over the years. They never end good for either party. You aren’t going to lose any business to anyone who has read any of Steve’s previous posts.

I can’t disagree with you here Mike, based on this one specific instance, but its hard to give someone the benefit of the doubt when they do not have a good history with vendors, period. He has had issues with everyone he has worked with. At some point one has to look in the mirror.

I have made 3 purchases from Taradel during the last year and very pleased with the product and service. The prices were very reasonable and they were very easy to work with.

I will use them again. Chris kept his word.

i for one would like to see the menu in question.
I haven’t bought from Teradel, but i soon will.
Chris has and will earn my business from his valuable contributions to the board.

Steve, I think you have to let it go. This type of public forum should really be used in cases where they are really trying to take advantage of the customer. Can you imagine if everybody here was to post every time we were dissappointed with a vendor or even every time a less than perfect pizza went out and you had to see it on the web? I see where you are coming from Steve, but it is obvious that the company was not looking t screw you. Seems like he tried to make it right by offering you a discount so I think that posting here after the fact is not cool

I will be the first to admit I am new and not familiar with past posts or problems and he might very well have a history of bringing on problems of his own. I just don’t like the fact that a company rep would ever make a derogatory or negative type comment about a customer no matter what the circumstance. It just is very unprofessional. Mistakes and bad business deals or experiences happen every single day and will continue to happen to the guys that bring them on themselves and to the ones that just happen upon a bad situation. Either way a vendor, no matter how large or small should always looks after its customers and even if the customer walks away still unsatisfied, no matter how hard you have tried or what you have done…you as the service provider should be the bigger “person” here. I personally think that no matter how much Steve were to bad mouth or vent to others about his experience with Chris, if Chris would have handled or maybe I should not say handled…more if he would have just commented differently… I think it would have painted a much better picture of himself and his company for me and hopefully others. All he would have needed to say was he understood there were some issues with the quality of the product that Steve received and we have worked on it and I will or am continuing to work on the situation. Bottom line…if all else fales… refund the entire purchase price and terminate any future business with the custome since they are not going to be satisfied no matter what you do for them. Some people are very hard to please and want everything for nothing. Please do not get me wrong here. I am not trying to justify anything that either party did here. The only thing that really has me going is the way that a vendor should never make negative public comments about its customers… it just looks tacky and maybe I am over reacting but I would not deal with people that work like that. No matter how good they actually might be at what they do or offer.

I just want to say that I just got my menus from Taradel this week, and I could not be happier with them!!! I am happy with everything from the design, colors, print quality, and the service. I am still working on my menu mailer with Taradel, but I am the holdup trying to decide what carrier routes to send them to! I have found Patrick and Chris to be nothing but a great deal of help. Thank you guys over at Taradel for my wonderful menus for Monkey Business Eatertainment!