First of all, I love this forum. I don’t work in the pizza industry, but I do work in food service and I just love reading about food. That being said, I would just like to pick your brain about this. (It will be long)
We have a local pizza shop that has been around for years. It started in a little trailer and is still in that same location and building. I am almost 47 and I have been eating this pizza all of my life. I remember prices being $4, but as time goes on, prices have gone up to around $12 for a pepperoni pizza (8 cut). That is ok with me, I can be difficult with my order (medium cheese, light pepperoni please), but I don’t mind paying for it because it is good pizza. It’s a taste all on it’s own. And it’s pick up only, no delivery from them!
They’ve also grown to adding burgers, fried foods and specialty pizza. Personally, I would have preferred they stayed the old way and focused on pizzas, but not my business and not my decision. So that’s a short back story on the business.
Enter social media, they have a Facebook page. Negativity has ended up on the page from customers, but I have also seen some negativity from the business itself. One post from they talked about a huge order that was placed and not picked up. Turned out, someone from MA ordered from a place in PA (place in MA has the same name). My personal feelings, the post from the business went the wrong way. Yes, they were mad, but it got to the point of while I was reading it, I felt like they were yelling at me. And a remark was added by them “And all big orders in the future will be prepaid!” I get they were upset, being left with 12 pizzas, but I think it could have been handled differently. In the end, the company that ordered these pizzas paid for them, but the negativity of the pizza business remained.
Mistakes. Yes, mistakes are made. I was one of those customers that ended up with a bad pizza (It wasn’t cooked). I called them and explained the pizza wasn’t cooked, they offered another pizza and my money back. I told them I would return the uncooked pizza (there was a bite out of it) and I didn’t expect my money back, after all, I was eating the pizza! They said since I was a steady customer, they would refund my money. I also pointed out the wings and homemade chips were perfect, some good to go with the bad. I never went to social media about it, though looking back, maybe I should have. Maybe I should have went with something simple such as “Thank you for the correction on my pizza”, I am just not one that blurts out things on business pages. (or my page for that matter) But, there are people that aren’t like me and some negativity has been posted. Ok, it happens, but the post the business put on seems to almost yell at people for putting it on there. I get the impression that they don’t want criticism. Who does, but take it as a learning experience and work to make things right.
This all leads to last night. They are getting rid of their page, the 12 pizza story was mentioned, along with the negative reviews. If you want to know specials or double stamp days (stamps earn you free pizza), call them. I admit, “call for specials and double stamps” made me cringe. Working in the food service, I know how the phone can really thrown a wrench in your rhythm on busy days/times. I suggested keeping their page with comments turned off. Post your specials and double stamp days to save yourself from the hassel of the phone ringing. I have even offered to help them set up the page to do it that way. Since their “going away” post, they have remained silent.
With this bit of info that I provided to you, I am kind of turned off with the place. My thoughts with the 12 pizza mistake…why not put it out there in a different way? In a short version “Our pizza is so great, someone from MA placed an order and couldn’t get here in time to pick them up! Their loss is your gain! Grab a pizza for $5!” A small explanation could have been added with the real story. Getting rid of the page is another thing that I think could be approached differently. Maybe just figure out FB, post specials and just turn off comments silently, with the fanfare of a flounce (that’s what it feels like to me).
I did reply to their “goodbye”, with the offer of helping them turn off comments. Some people agreed with me, but silence has remained from the business. I guess what I am leading to is as a customer, would you understand why this has turned me off? As a business owner, do you think these incidents could have been handled differently? I really hate to feel this way about the place, it’s been a big part of my life. It sounds silly, but for years, we had this place and Pizza Hut. When Pizza Hut arrived, we couldn’t imagine paying $10 for a pizza. This area grew up on this pizza place’s food and people that left the area always make a stop for a pizza when they are home. My friends always order prebakes, we wrap and freeze them and they head to Indiana in a cooler. The pizza is just “special”.
But I have a sour taste in my mouth “Why didn’t you do it this way?” (they saw the out of state number on caller ID, why not verify? Sell the pizzas at a discount) “Why not handle it that way” (We’re sorry, we may have gotten confused during a rush, let us make it right along with a free box of chips!)
I follow a business in upstate NY just because of their daily specials “It’s National Meatball Day! Stop in and grab a meatball sandwich a side of macaroni salad for $6!” Sounds silly, I am in PA and won’t be going to that deli, but wow, that special sounds great! Their page is what I think social media for business should be and I would love to say to local pizza shop “Hey, do this!”
(FWIW, little pizza shops are popping up left and right around here, I think these places need to be on their game. I’ve had some good pizzas and I for one am not being loyal to any one place anymore. I don’t have to)
And sorry for the ramble, but this really got to me.