"Specials" bending????

Who allows modifications on their specials? Suppose you advertise 2lrg “1” topping pizzas for 16.99 Someone wants to order that and say gimme one pepperoni and the other pepperoni sausage and banana peppers. Do you give them the 16.99 plus the two additional toppings? Or do you ring it up regular price? One side may say that hey I am offering these pizzas deeply discounted as a special offering…the least they can do is stick to what the offer says, “1” topping. The other side may say that the customer is always right and give them the special price even though what they ordered was not the special. What do some of you do?


I charge for the extra toppings.
$16.95 + $4.00($2.00 per topping)
i WANT them to add more toppings,more toppings= more money

I have the specials programmed into the POS and any changes will not be accepted by the discount programming. If they want the advertised special great if not they pay for what they order.

I hardly ever have complaints when I tell the customer the total.

i am with John…just charge regular price for the add-ons

same here

No brainer, charge for the extra toppings. If they want two toppings on one & the other plain, same deal.

It’s not a matter of the customer always being right, it’s a matter of accepting an upsell (with no effort).

Wow. I don’t understand the “you can’t add a topping” logic - at all.

What if I just wanted 2 cheese pizzas - you would deny me the special also because I didn’t get 1 topping? Craziness.

I guess that is why I rarely do ANY discounts. Do you think the burger joint that has a special on 2 cheese burgers should give the same special on 2 double cheese burgers?


Nobody is saying u can’t get the special for 2 cheese pie’s…they are saying there is an additional cost for the “extra toppings”.
If the special is 2 Lg 2-topping pies for $16.95 then you can get that or 2 1-topping or 2 cheese pies for $16.95

That’s how I understand the posts.
It is simply just a lesser discount.

We always get people pushing the envelope on deals.

We have a set range of pizzas for deals and anything else we charge extra. It’s plainly stated on our menu and special boards.

Some want half / half and if it is in the set range they get charged an extra dollar but if it one half is outside the range they get charged the extra charge full price plus the half / half surcharge. They still get a great deal but pay for changing from what is offered.

I just wish we were like Daddio with rarely doing any deals but I inherited a history where the previous owner built the stores reputation on having a deal for everything. We have cut this back dramatically but still have too many, but the customers always want to push the boundaries.

They get good deals but just want more and more. They won’t get it at PH or Domino’s without paying a lot extra.

I’ve also seen menus where they have deals and state “no alterations to deals otherwise full price charged”, or no half / half.


No, he is saying that he won’t do the special at all if you want to add extra toppings - reread the post. Thus my question if the order didn’t match “the other way”.

He is saying that if the special is for a 1 topping pizza, and you want a 2 topping pizza - that instead of paying the special price plus the price of 1 topping - that you should pay the regular price for everything since you didn’t “get the special”.

The post about having a special on a hamburger vs. a double cheeseburger isn’t really an apples to apples comparison. When you order a hamburger - you don’t usually add meat patties - unlike when you order a pizza you build as you go. Totally different.

What is so special about a special that you would deny it to someone who wanted to add a topping? Sounds like a control issue to me.

Could you imagine going to Mcdees and them not letting you get a value meal because you wanted to add lettuce to your chzburger.

Wow…keep doing it…I am thrilled they called my place. I even bend it that if I have 2 large 2 toppings and they want cheese on one they can get 5 toppings on the other and only pay for one extra topping. What do I care?

We actually suggestive sell extra cheese on our specials…and extra 4 bucks for asking…I’ll take it!


My objective in making any sort of special is to get the phone to ring or customer through the door . . . so that we can up-sell him/her on anything that moves or is fried/baked in the kitchen. Up-sells are the goldmine of the specials strategy in my marketing planning. Extra Cheese . . . additional toppings . . . salads . . .all are profit for the taking.

I agree with nick… we do the same thing… if i dont hear one of my employees offer anything else over the phone… i get on their A$$ …

Totally agree. We design our specials to have a high probability of getting an upsell. I’ll do a 1-Topping pizza, garlic bread and salad for $XX.XX. Most people want more than one topping, so my order takers automatically say “Do you want to add additional topppings? They’re only $1.50 each.” The garlic bread is our stealth item. All they say is “Do you want to add cheese to that”? 70% say yes, and we get an additional $2.00 (while using 50 cents worth of cheese). I never send out a coupon that isn’t easy to upsell. That’s why I shy away from the “dollars off” any pizza type of specials. It’s much harder to get somebody to add an item than it is to upgrade an item they were already planning on purchasing.

I just put that above offer out there for $19.99, but my average ticket on those coupons is $26.40 :shock:

Wiseguy, you should absolutely be charging full price on additional toppings. It should be part of your entire game plan to putting out specials. It isn’t a “customer is always right issue” at all. If the grocery store had a special for two gallons of milk for $6.00, would you ask them to also throw in a candy bar? Any customer that expects you to honor the 1-topping price while they add additional toppings is being ridiculous.

I tell my order takers that we should be answering the phone with the attitude of “Thank you for calling XYZ Pizza, how can I help you empty your wallet today?”

This should be one of the FIRST lessons that pizzacashcow sends out to people! Successful coupons need to be an open-ended marketing opportunity that benefits both the consumer and the purveyor.

There was a thread recently in another site I frequent where they guy is blasting one of the big three for their “two 1-topping” deals. He wants 1 cheese and 1 with 2 toppings and feels he shouldn’t be charged extra for the second topping as he’s getting two toppings on one and zero on the other. I’m torn on which way I’d handle this situation as I know how the big guys would handle it. I’m thinking “I’ll be happy to do that” would go a long way on goodwill. The customer’s point is clear, as is the owner’s. The customer wants to pay as little as possible and the owner wants to charge as much as possible, even on a special. I think that and indy has to meet their customer’s requests and be more flexible (within the boundaries of the offer) to be successful. You COULD make $1.50 more on the order or you could lose it completely. Is “goodwill” worth a buck fifty? I hope so.

On another note, do any of you guys use “bounties” on items. A scenario would be that the person who sells the most garlic bread orders between 5 and 7 gets $20. It doesn’t matter if it’s a suggestive sell or the customer comes in wanting 100 garlic bread orders. This helps ensure that your folks are running to the phone when it rings, attacking the customer at the counter when they walk in, and most importantly, gets a “customer service” competition going. You could lose a little money on the deal, but chances are you’ll get a higher ticket average, happy employees and great customer service. It’s a motivational tool. When I was a server, there was a bounty on desserts. The bounty was “you don’t have to roll silverware tonight”. The lowest person rolled the winner’s silverware. It can be a very cheap bounty – loser cleans the restrooms tonight.

For those two-pizza deals we do exactly what that customer wants. If the special is for “Two 1-toppings” and they want both toppings on one pizza our POS will still charge the special price. That only seems fair to me, and I’m surprised the chain won’t allow it (although not that surprised.)

And yeah, we have bounty items every week, but always for a non-financial incentive. I personally don’t feel that I should be paying employees extra cash for doing something that is already their job. If we want them to upsell, I’m already paying for that in their hourly wage.

We change up the incentives every week: Choose a shift next week, choose a shift NOT to work next week, make a manager fill their dressings, make a manager polish their silverware, make a cook clean the bathrooms, etc. We’ve also done two-week upsell contests where the winner gets to make ME work one of their weekday shifts and they still get paid for it. The cooks have their own incentive programs too where they get to stick the servers with work; so it goes both ways. It’s important to make it fun and get everybody involved.

It only costs me around .40 in food cost. Heck yeah! Your wisdom fits into my philosophy:

Make the customer happy as long as I can preserve the financial integrity
of the special and the opportunity for up-sell.

The up-sell is even there for the cheese pizza as you suggest extra cheese on it. I want to do whatever I can to prevent increasing my costs . . . but make that customer happy somehow. It is the Art of Finding the Yes". Sure, we have to give in sometimes . . . but find one that works for both of you.

It probably comes down to identifying the objective of your marketing piece. Once that is clear, then decision-making around it is not at all difficult. If the objective is to advertise a deal that will sacrifice $3 food cost to get the customer’s attention and order . . . then accomplish that goal! Find a way to minimize your food cost and still keep the order. It may be that the customer request so unbalances the special that you have to get creative to find a way to give them value for their call . . . you throw in a 2-liter . . . or comp the delivery charge . . . or candy bar . . . or a sample of some great new dessert that “not many people know about” . . . or some other way of giving them a special something for their effort.

“Tell you what, sir. I think it would be too much of a stretch to do a large Works and a large cheese for the two 1-topping coupon price, but I really do want to honor the deal somehow. Would this still work out if we were to send you a gallon of sweet tea with your order? It is a $3 value, and you still save as much as the coupon deal.”

The phone rang. There is no greater happening in the world for a pizza place. The marketing piece got the call to happen . . . now you gotta close the sale. Even better is to turn the phone call into a further marketing opportunity with exceptional interaction and “finding the yes”.