Not a pizza shop owner (I'm a customer), but I would like your opinions on this

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.

If it’s that important to you I suggest that you stop in there in the mid-afternoon when things are slow and ask for the manager or owner and talk to him or her. If they don’t want to talk to you or you don’t like what you hear move on. If you don’t want to do that I suggest you stop bothering yourself about it.

I understand you work in the food service business, but unless you have owned and operated a pizza shop you cannot understand our business. You say you like their pizza and they have taken care of you when needed, why do you care about the other stuff, don’t read it. Most of the complaints about my shop have nothing to do with food and service and yet people feel compelled to post a negative review about us. You make a mistake on an order and fixing it is not enough, they feel entitled to the fix, free food, and their money back. No other industry does this. You buy a shirt at Walmart with a hole in it, they replace it. You don’t get a new shirt and your money back. Just my thoughts…

I think I feel they are in fight mode and it is turning me off.

The owner is a holiday customer of ours so maybe I will just ask her what happened and go from there.

I know what working with the public can do to you. I work catering and there are days it is all you can not to explode on someone. You wouldn’t believe the food that was “missing” from a takeout order during a fish fry this past Friday, when two people remembered preparing it and another packed it.


They’ve been open for 40+ years so they are obviously doing something that works for them. Social Media is a pretty new thing and many businesses have yet to embrace it, and many never will. Some will survive without it(maybe even thrive) while others won’t. There’s days where I think it would be best to remove my facebook page. We rarely use it and I just get pissed off with complaints that have to do with other stores in our chain. One thing I’ve learned in my 20 years in business is that I like to do things my way and I don’t appreciate others giving me their unsolicited ideas about how I should run my business. At the same time, I commonly form my own opinions of how other operate their business but I rarely give unsolicited suggestions to them on changes they should make. If people want my opinion, they’ll ask, and vice versa.

How this pizzeria runs their business quite frankly is none of your business. Just like jollypizza mentioned you can’t understand what it is like to run a restaurant. Until you experience all the weight on your shoulders. You clock in and you clock out then you get to go home and sleep peacefully at night. Business owners especially in the restaurant industry do not get this same luxury. We do not get to clock out EVER. After enduring long stressful hours of work and responsibilities we go home to our families and stress out about finances both in the business and at home. We stress out because we don’t get to spend enough time with our kids. We stress out because we are short staffed and we know we are going to get screwed on service. We stress out because “jonny” called in sick today and who is going to cover. We stress out because we put our heart and soul into our food and service and someone is unhappy because their delivery is 5 minutes late or their food wasn’t ready when they arrived to pick it up so they feel the need to run to social media and bash someone’s livelihood without so much as having to show their face. The list really is endless. I will give you a for instance one of our ovens took a shit on Friday night we now have to drop 20k for replacement so yes not only did the rest of our weekend suck because we were literally with 1 hand tied behind our backs, but having to go home and figure out what to do next and having to move fast because you are crossing your fingers that your working oven doesn’t go down because then you are truly screwed…makes my stomach twist and churn and you can’t sleep at night. With all that being said if you feel the GENUINE need to help these people then stop by and offer your services. If not if you like the pizza and they give you good service I would just leave it at that.

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I took down my FB page, it did me no good. I don’t think social media is all it’s cracked up to be in my area. My customers know what kind of service I provide, I don’t need to advertise at all.

It’s hard to not let 1 or 2 negative reviews turn you off of social media, it’s tremendously unfair that of the thousands of people to walk through your door and leave satisfied only a handful write a positive review and the one time you legitimately screw up a month ends up on social media somewhere as a negative. That being said there is a sort of ‘switch’ you need to flip to remember the vast majority of people on social media are happy with you (whether they write a review or not) and they don’t deserve or want to hear us whine about one or two bad apples out of the whole lot. These ‘40 years in business’ types will not be keen on adapting and learning a new language (social media) unless their kids are helping them be hip and cool about it. You can be disgruntled about it like it appears these people are, but you’ve got to put up a wall and not let your customers or social media followers find out about it.

As far as not advertising, I always thought that was silly. I’m not waiting for customers to aimlessly discover I exist. Word of mouth is overrated. 56k people in my town, don’t tell me Aunt Edna is going to start a word of mouth campaign that will reach everyone. My rent isn’t based on how many customers I get, it’s the same whether I get 50 or I get 150… so I’m aiming for 150.

I may not own the business I work at, but I do know what it’s like.

It’s hard, and I am thankful I don’t deal with it full time. I may not have a financial stake in this business but it is owned by a family member that I support financially when business is slow and mentally when business is crazy.

I wish you the best…and I have to give you two thumbs up for dealing with what you do. When you get that phone call for that outrageously ridiculous order, I understand why you have that blank look on your face. I’ve had many head pounding conversations trying to explain that we are caterers, and no, we don’t have chicken dinners available for takeout.


Nailed it.

You may get some of it but not all of it. I’d just continue to support the pizza place you’ve been supporting for years and move on from their social media responses. In fact, when you’re there next why not just compliment their place up and down (or write a positive review) it’ll probably be a great mental relief for them. Trying to bring anything up that they’ve responded to isn’t going to do you any good, because really, how they handle their responses has nothing to do with you. The business is under no obligation to sugar coat their responses. All these “foodies” are concerned about is earning more badges on yelp and killing time at work instead of actually doing their job. If you love their food, continue to support them. If how they handle themselves on social media is more important than the quality you’ve grown accustomed to, then move on. However, that’s entirely your choice.

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F#@K social media, but its a great tool. the problem i have with it is that the customers never ask to speak to a manager and give us a chance to fix it first. they just run home like cowards and post. thats fustrating. the best was the one time, some lady complained her delivery was 15 minutes late even though we told her “over an hour” (that doesnt mean 65 minutes!!!). she was rude and nasty, and i just told her that one of our drivers was in a terrible car accident and in bad shape. she actually apologized real quick. sometimes i like to make an excuse that will make the customer seem like a horrible person. lol