Things NOT to say to a pizza operator

last night a man walks in, hello how can i help you ? he says " i have a party of 16" where are they? they are coming soon, we don’t take reservations it is first come first served when your party is present we will seat you, he got angry , yelled i’m here !!! grabbed some menus and staked his territory on our one large table, his party showed uup 30 min later,while we had a full house,good part is no one needed the table and they spent a lot , bad part i felt bullied,kept my mouth shut and it didn’t escalate,one time i sat a couple who held a big table for 30 for an hour with a full house, people are not respecting our no reservation policy by sending runners,hmmmm, any suggestions ?

I suggest that you ask when they are arriving and promise to seat them at that time

“That’s where they get ya… the drinks

That’s my favorite, and I just got it today. They always say it like they just unlocked some sort of secret scam where we lure them in by selling our food below cost, and then really stick them by forcing Coke down their throat and adding it to the bill.

I want to say “actually, we get you on everything. We’re a business.”


Oh, my number one thing not to say to an operator…

My wife was traveling a couple of years ago, so we ran a little Facebook campaign with “Where is my wife?”. She’d take a picture and we’d post it on Facebook. Customers would then guess where she was based on the picture.

One guy - somewhat of a regular - posted “Probably at one of those four hour motels by the airport”.

I deleted the post, banned him from our page, and sent him a terse message that he was no longer welcome at our restaurant. Irrational and emotional? Maybe, but if you would like to continue to be a customer here, do not imply that the owner’s wife is a prostitute.

" I have a great idea for a pizza"… haha

I don’t want to tell you how to run your business, but you should…

Try rewarding an employee when they admit their mistake, they suggest a way to improve the process, and they share the story with all employees. Maybe give them a free pizza or dessert after their shift. Make it a positive learning experience. That way nobody gets “hurt” and everyone learns something. Reduces repeat mistakes. It has to be an operational mistake, like forgetting to thaw something early enough, not having enough dough on hand before a rush, or mixing up parts of one order with another.

Obviously that does not work if the mistake was made because the employee was a slacker. The “No slacking” message would not be grounds for a reward.

Sometimes you have to make the call in the spirit of “The customer is always right.” If they look to have a big group, and you can make their experience amazing, do you think they will tell their friends and come back with a big group again?

I now run a pizza buffet. During a rush, people will ask if there is more of a certain product coming out. I always want to say “No, I chose to close down the kitchen at 7”. Especially since the place is packed. We do run out of something for a minute or two, but people can’t seem to wait.

My problem is, I think the complaints are always looking for a discount. Sometimes, it is hard to distinguish between the real ones and the ones that didn’t want to pay the full price of the dinner.

We had people who wanted seating for 20-40 in the middle of the rush, since we don’t reserve, they wanted to show up about 3;00 and save tables for their group - which would be there around 6;00 or so… We had to make a (rigid!) policy that one person could “occupy” a max of four seats. If you want to save 40 seats, it takes 10 people,

“What do you mean you don’t deliver here?? We are only like 5 minutes away!!”

As my brother has always said: The customer isn’t always right, but they’re never wrong

You can offer a good message in response… “Our customers frequently tell us they love that we make a premium quality product and we deliver it quickly. If we allowed complicated special orders, and delivered outside our area, our product quality and delivery speed would affect multiple orders, and we would have to compromise the things our loyal customers love about us. Our philosophy has kept us in business for xx years. I hope you understand.”

A lady which always requests extra sauce on her pizza got mad when we charged her .50 cents for it. She says she has a Dominos in her backyard, but comes clear across town to get pizza at our place, and she only wants a ‘little extra’ sauce because all she can taste is ‘bread and cheese’. Anyway, she kept throwing Dominos in my face. First of all, the pizza she bought at our store would have cost her 5 extra bucks at dominos, and she’s complaining about .50. Secondly, it’s Dominos. Since she kept telling us all she could taste was bread and cheese… we put a note on her account to put the regular amount of sauce on her pizza and 2 less ounces of cheese. She’s been happy ever since.

I realize this is an old thread but have to agree with pizzanow. It is so frustrating when people ask for extra stuff and don’t expect to be charged because they are “regular” customers. Using that logic I should be able to walk into a Walmart and get a free flat screen TV because I’ve been going there for years. LOL and yes everything comes at a cost. We don’t get anything for free from our suppliers, so why would customers assume it doesn’t cost us anything to give away extras?

To John Morrison, sorta a bit late, but we had a restaurant (not pizza) but our policy was that we only sat complete parties. Maybe that would help.

Yup, what we’ve been seeing a whole bunch of lately is tons of our wings being ordered, the cashier asks if they want any ranch dressing to go with them, they decline, but when they grab their order we hear “Can I get some ranch dressing with these?” The kitchen knows this game, and zero food goes out without a prep ticket, so they tell those customers that the cashier handles that.

“What kind of pizzas do you have?” - been getting this wonderful question lately and typically on a friday night. Always revert them to our website for the menu as I don’t want my guys on the phone for 5 mins explaining every single pizza/menu item to a potential customer. Twice, the caller responds to the website suggestion with “can’t you just tell me what’s on your menu?”. Frustrated face emoji

I can tell immediatly when I answer the phone if its going to be an easy customer or not. Heres a common dialogue for a difficult customer trying to order a pizza.

Me:VINTAGE PIZZA! How can I help you!?

Customer: (having a conversation with someone else in the backround)…HELLO?!

Me: How can I help you?

Customer: Is this Vintage Pizza?

Me: Yes. Is this going to be a pickup or delivery?

Customer: Ummm how much is a ummm pizza?

Me: Our large pizzas start at $10.50 plus tax

Customer: (Having an irrelevant conversation with a person in the backround again)…

Me: Hello?

Customer: Yeah Let me just get a ummm large ahhh pepperoni pizza. Ummm Thats it.

Me: A large Pepperoni? Is that for pickup or delivery?

Customer: (Ignoring my questions) How much is that?

Me: First- is it pickup or delivery?
(I need to know so I can give appropiate price)

Customer: Pickup

Me: For just the pizza its going to be $13.08 all together- give us about 15 minutes!

Customer: ( now has me on speaker phone)… Ummmm wait what?

Me: The pizza comes to $13.08 we need about 15 minutes ok?

Customer: …$13.08?..You guys are expensive,… For a pizza?

Me: (getting irratated now) Yes the pizza comes to 13.08 with the tax, would you still like to order it?

Customer: ummm yeah!

Me: Great about 15 minuets. Thanks for the order!

"We currently have 19 different named specialty combos on our menu. Our best seller is the Big Dog with pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onions and black olives. The pie we are best known for locally and which has won best pizza in town is called the Snow in Texas… which is a white sauce pie with mesquite chicken, roma tomatoes and artichoke hearts. Does one of those sound good to you?