Things NOT to say to a pizza operator

Have you had customers or employees say things that were completely out of line?

Had to fire an assistant manager once for something he said to an employee. Not telling the story here!

Oh no! Well, I’ve never been a pizza operator, just an employee, started when I was 16 and I certainly said some things to customers that I shouldn’t have (probably to the operators too).

Worst experience was when a customer called and in a low speaking voice and asked to have the pizzas delivered to the liquor store parking lot. My teenage self replied, “to the liquor store?! …that’s shady.” Turns out the guy ordering was the OWNER of the liquor store and a big shot around town to boot! The manager had a hard time calming him down. I was completely embarrassed. This type of situation hadn’t come up during my customer service training. Luckily the manager took pity on me and it never happened again.

Own/bigshot whatever, I’m sure it was still shady.

The owner was ordering for delivery to the parking lot? Yep. Your instincts were fine. I might not have said it was shady on the phone but that is what I would be thinking. Then I would call the liquor store to confirm!

It really irritates me when customers start off by saying " You know what you guys should do " And then they will suggest something that helps them out. For instance, You guys should put up a cork board in the lobby so i can post my business cards there…

The thing that gets my hackles up is when a customer says they can get the same pizza cheaper from the chain store down the road. If it were the same then I doubt I would still be in business.

I enjoy explaining the business to the employees that seem interested enough to ask. So I value questions from the staff, and why we do certain things the way we do them. That being said, and saying this is ‘crossing the line’ is a bit dramatic… but when I tell an employee to prep 10 more skins, and they ask ‘Why? It’s 9 o’clock, do you really think we’re going to need them?’ I get a little bit annoyed. Don’t question my decision making ability. I know when early release of school is, I know when the fair ends, I know when the concert gets out, I know when people come back into town from their long weekends, and sometimes I will make mention of these things, but sometimes, for the love of god, I just want you to do what I ask you to do without questioning it.

Another thing that bugs me is having to play detective on how something got screwed up. Everyone is too focused on deflecting any blame from themselves when all I really care about is how it happened and how we can prevent it from happening again. They think it’s some big disciplinary witch hunt and someone is going to be told to go sit in the corner. As employees, that’s their fear, I guess. As an operator, I know mistakes are going to happen by everyone, my fear is not learning from them and letting them happen again.

after hours i answered the phone, “sorry we’re closed”, a lady? begged for a pizza and i told her the ovens were off, she asked if i would cook her a late pizza and she would do “anything” for payment. i believe it was a set up for a robbery–she asked if i was alone,

i forgot to bring my coupon can you still give the discount ? we havn’t run a coupon in a decade…

Why can’t I use this !!! she had brought in her own giant container to fill up for a salad bar to go !!!

When the local schools call in for pizza parties. They usually ask for 4-5 pizzas, so we give them a great price on a large 16" pizza. They end up traveling 35 miles to the next town to get a 14" Large from Little Caesar’s to save $1.5 per pizza. We explain to them that our pizzas are better PLUS you are getting a larger pizza. Even the teachers can’t comprehend that for some reason!


This is so interesting. I wonder if they’ve done some studies on the psychology of it before. I once heard a story about a shampoo company who sold low-cost, family-sized bottles of shampoo and they did well in other countries but in India they did horribly. They solved it by selling 1 time use packets for super cheap. Indian women preferred spending a small amount of money at one time, even if they paid a lot more over the long run.

I’m wondering if they’re thinking, kids will just eat as much as there is… and kids also don’t care about the quality of pizza. Do you have any other kind of relationship with the school?

Yeah, we are in a pretty small town. Most of the teachers eat lunch with us on their planning days or after school. We do fundraisers at each of the schools, we donate to various clubs & band, and the booster club sells our pizzas at the high school home football games. We do some pizza parties at the schools, but we get a lot of teachers that would rather send someone 70 miles round-trip to save $1.50/pizza. It just blows my mind…

There a a couple that get me;

  1. When we tell them they are outside our delivery area
    a) Oh come on. It’s only just up the road ( my thoughts - Well if it’s just up the road why don’t you come in and pick up. What don’t you understand about sorry it’s outside of our delivery area)
    b) I will pay you an extra $20 to deliver ( my thoughts - yeah and then you tell everyone that they will deliver outside of their delivery area if you pay them an extra $20)
  2. When they want 1/2 and 1/2 pizzas that are not on our menu eg make your own combo with 5 toppings on 1 half a n 7 other toppings on the other half. We tell them 1/2 and 1/2 are only on large and family size and excludes make your own and our Gourmet range. Replies we have had "what’s the problem, you’re making pizzas not a not the f*#king Titanic, or my 5 year old could easily put toppings on a pizza (my thoughts reply - well if you kid is that good why isn’t she making pizzas for you, or go to xyz restaurant and ask them for 1/2 a piece of steak and 1/2 a piece of fish and see what answer you get)
    I used to stew now I just say sorry but that’s how it is.
    But … at times I still have my thought replies :stuck_out_tongue:

I concur @MSPW11. mind. blown. These are all so great.

I once had a lady come in to pick up her carryout order with “her” credit card number written on a piece of paper. “I swear left my card at home. It’s siting on my bed. But here’s the number.” I made her go home and get it. She didn’t come back OF COURSE.

We run out of dough once every blue moon (it’s a unique recipe that takes four hours to prepare) and have to tell customers that certain menu items are sold out for the night. We had a customer demand that the next time she came in, she would get it for free because we ran out of what she wanted! I could see if she paid for it and we didn’t have it but to not pay for it and get it for free?!

I have a friend who always adds the fine print “Limited Quantities” on all his menus. This is a CYA as sell as a marketing strategy to get people to feel a sense of urgency.

I hate when people complain and say they are in the restaurant industry. Like it makes their BS complaint more valid or something…don’t get me wrong, valid complaints are one thing nobody’s perfect, but some people come up with the stupidest complaints and then say…“ive worked in restaurants for 25 years!”…So what!!! i’ve worked in restaurants for 18 your well-done steak was dry cuz it’s WELL-DONE!!! I never complain when I go out to eat, unless it’s really really really bad. If i didn’t like my experience I just don’t go back. And the only time I ever tell someone that i’m in the industry is if i compliment them.