slander tactics by competitor

Hello all,
I’ve been open for about 1 1/2 months and have had fairly good success. About a week ago, a competitor has opened their doors about two miles away. Since then, I have heard from two separate people that the owner of the other place is spreading rumors that people are getting sick eating my pizza. To my knowledge, I have not heard of a single person getting sick from eating my food.

I know that this guy is slandering my place to benefit his. Any suggestions about what I should do before I call a lawyer? Or should I swallow the pill and say “that’s business”?


Slander refers to any malicious, false and defamatory statement or report.

If I had reliable people telling me this I think that I might call the owner/manager and try to give him the ‘I respect you, you respect me, may the best pizza win’ speech. He may or may not be receptive to it. If he was to give any negative response or have an attitude about it, I’d end the conversation right then and there. But at least he’d know you are aware of what he was allegedly saying.

You can’t win a fight with a skunk.

Don’t wrestle with a pig in the mud . . . you both get dirty, and the pig enjoys it.

If you seriously believe tha there is a slander/libel issue going on, then definitely consult an attorney for legal advice. that said, don’t swat a fly with a howitzer. The phone call suggested above sounds like a good approach . . . make personal contact. If that doesn’t work, the guerilla marketing tactics are called for :slight_smile:

Ignore it, Ignore it, Ignore it. Say nothing negative about him and when people say things to you just say “Boy, he must really be hurting to say that about our food, I eat here everyday and still love it”

If you run into him or meet him somewhere make it a point to say hello and shake hands.
Kill em with kindness and don’t let anyone see you sweat over something so ridiculous.

Oh yeahh a few months from now when he calls and asks to “borrow” something, make him believe it will be a possibility, put him on hold and say ohh I am sorry we were extremely busy I’m down to my last bit and waiting on my truck. Sorry.

I love when that happens!

A nicely worded letter from your lawyer would do the trick!

A certain POS company does this all the time and no one is doing anything about it.

Badmouthing Firefly
admouthing Rapid Fire
Badmouthing Speedline

So that makes it a good idea? I say no.

Determine what your personal integrity, ethics and style of interaction is with the business community around you. DO NOT let someone else dictate how you decide to interact with them. I find that engaging in public mudslinging with someone else who is allegedly doing the same ends up with EVERYONE getting dirty and no one coming out clean in the end.

Operate a high class, professional, clean and respectable place that people can compare against the rumors. Place your (hopefully high scoring) helath inspection in a very prominant place. Any contact with or about the individual accused would be done well to his/her face in privacy so as to maintain professionality. I do not frequest places where the management or owners engage in rumor mongering or talking ABOUT other business people. I do not find it attractive, and makes me wonder what other underhanded or distasteful things they may be doing in their business. . . like talking about me behind my back.

Now hang on a second. They’re advertising that their product is better. They aren’t making false statements (as best I can tell). It’s no different than PJ’s saying they beat PH in a blind taste test (or whatever).

Pjs, Beats PH thats crazy talk, Ph is hands down the best pizza ever made, Besides mine.

Does any body believe that… Probably not. heck I dont even believe it.

Jack in the box almost killed or did kill 20 something odd people from food poisening and it did not stop them, infact they just spun the publicity and now are stronger than ever.

If people do not hear from a reliable source that your food is bad, (and a direct compedator does not count:) Than you should have nothing to worry about.

When a Place like revention tells me, Which they did, That they are better than Pos, Diamond Touch, or Fire fly then it makes me want to try them and see what scares them so much that they have to compare.

So dont sweat it and take it as a complement… you are odviously scaring him.

Thanks all for the great advice. My initial reaction was to confront this guy either personally or through a lawyer, but now it makes more sense to just beat him through business. I definately have the better location and hopefully through good business practices, I’ll come out on top. I’m more determined than ever and sure I’ll come out the end feeling better about this approach.

Best Regards

Take it as a compliment.

Competitors will react to anyone encroaching on their sales. I know I do, but I do it ethically and morally correct. I’ve got enough on my plate to run my own business, let alone worrying about attacking my competitors. I just continually do different and unique marketing activities to grow my business.

Just like Domino’s who recently commencing banner waving on the busy intersection outside our shop. Their shop is over a mile away.

They are reacting with a marketing strategy to get business from me and I take this as a compliment. They haven’t personally attacked me or my business in any other manner than trying to legitimately get business from me by drawing attention to their cheap pizzas.

Now if they did something unethically or morally corrupt I would be probably be upset but again I would take it as a compliment - a multi national chain needing to attack a single store independent.


Here’s an idea:

Have an organization (whether it be a local school, baseball league, newspaper, church, etc.) conduct a taste test. You’d want it to be a pretty big group to get an accurate reading on which place is better. Of course, someone will have to foot the bill for your competitors pizzas unless you can convince him to donate his pizzas. If you do pay for his pizzas however, I see an advantage going your way since there wouldn’t be any reason why you’d have to tell him what the pizzas are for.

Once you get your winning results (and don’t do this unless you know you’ve got the superior product) you can put it on every advertisement you’ve got.

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could advertise you beat XYZ Pizza in a taste test 2:1 or 3:1? I think that would put the hammer down on him and it’s not beating him at his own game… it’s creating a new one that you’ve already won.


P.S. Sorry guys. If somebody’s going to talk trash about me I’m not going to take it as a compliment. I’m not wired that way.

I’m with j_r0kk. If you mess with my business I’m going to nip it in the bud right away.

How after the taste test you advertise you beat XYZ Pizza in a taste test 2:1 or 3:1 and then as a side note say that the 1 experienced severe stomach cramps, vomiting, mood swings, increased blood pressure, mild hair loss, bloody urine and diarrhea. :shock: