What would you have done?

Hi all!

We had a guy walk in tonight and ordered and paid for a 12" vegetarian pizza. About 5 minutes later cameback and wanted to cancel and get his money back because his friend already bought a pizza elsewhere. Problem was the pizza was already made and halfway thru the oven. I told him this but he was adamant about getting his money back. I got :x frustrated and told him I will refund his money but I will not take any more oders from him. How would you have handled this? Thanks


It’s a difficult one.

We have had similar (not having a friend order elsewhere) where people have ordered and then phone back later to cancel when the pizza has been made and / or it’s in the oven.

There is no set rule but if it is in the oven we demand that they take it as we made the order to teir request. If they have paid tough sh1t, no refund. The exception would be a serious situation out of everyones control, but not just because they changed their minds.

Heck MacDonalds wouldn’t do it or most other take aways so why do people think they can ride roughshop over pizza shops. Maybe because over time operators have wanted to be everything to everyone and feared losing a customer if they siad no to the spoilt brat.

One thing I have found over the past 2+ years I have had a pizza shop is that industry is treated completely different form any other as far as consumer demands and wants go.

Back to your question. Horses for courses on how you want to operate but once someone pays then they have legally entered a contract and if you supply it then they take it. Our refund laws state that refunds are only available if the goods are faulty or do not represent the description… No refund if you just change your mind. This is law (L.A.W.) under the Consumer Protection laws.

Hey if this guy had someone else buy elsewhere at the same time then he probably wasn’t a regular customer.


I would hope I would have told the guy. “Look we had an agreement and I kept up my end of it and just because your buddy decided to order elsewhere doesn’t release you from your end of it. This is a consumable product, I just can’t put it ‘back on the shelf’ and hope to resell it like I might be able to do with an article of clothing or a dvd player. It’s not like there’s anything wrong with your order.”

I can’t stand people who put you through your effort and labor only to turn around and try to pull the rug out from under you. But even more I can’t stand the jellyfish people in this industry who let people get away with it.

Case in point. We had someone call in on a busy Friday night to place an order. I informed her of our high delivery times. She said she was okay with it cause we usually got it to her sooner. I reiterated that probably was not going to be the case. She placed her order and just as the pizza was being boxed up she decides to call back and cancel because we were taking too long. I told her we were well within the time we quoted her and that the pizza was about to leave. She said she already got food from somewhere else. I actually told her that was really uncool of her as I gave her an opportunity to decline the order if she felt the delivery time was too long. She decided I was being “rude” and wanted to speak to the manager so I put her on hold, told the manager (owner) the circumstances. He gets on with her and I hear: "Well yeah, that is rather uncool don’t you think…But you were informed of the delivery time…it doesn’t work that way…the time we spent making your order we could have been working on other orders FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE ACTUALLY GOING TO ACCEPT THEM! (emphasis mine) Obviously you’re not getting it but perhaps you will when I put you down on our “do not accept orders from” list. He hung up and came back to the make table shaking his head. I asked him “What doesn’t work what way?” he said she told him, “You can just give your crew the pizza and they’ll be happy.”


I would have just given him his money back - and kepy my mouth shut. Especially if this is the first time he has done something like this.

You act like he was going to say “oh my god - if I do this I’ll never be able to order here again! nevermind, I’ll take the pizza - please dont ban me!”.

Not only did you lose the foodcost today - you lost a lot more possible profit in the future by banning him.

Crew pie.

You lost a future customer over the food cost of a pizza. If, in advertising, we would consider it a success to aquire new customers for $10 apiece, why would you be willing to loose one over maybe $3.

I would have said, sir your pizza is already in the oven. If he insisted at that point, give the money back gracefully and say, “hey, sorry it did not work out this time, thanks for thinking of us”

Feed the pizza to your crew or send it for free to the front desk of some nearby motel.

I would have given store credit. If that didn’t fly I would give him his money back.

It would depend on whether the “short term” or “long term” was important…I would have “cheerfully” refunded his money, said see you next time and gone into the walk in cooler and yelled…There are lots of frustrations being in business, however, this is not one that should get much attention for more than a few minutes…

I would have also refunded his money and kept my mouth shut. Of course, I would have noted it in the POS. I am not above firing customers but it has to be because they are trying to scam me rather than just being a one-time idiot. Cost of doing business.

We had a guy who ordered from us and then no one “was home” for the delivery. I called him up to verify the address. He said that he was tired of waiting for deliveries so this time he ordered from three places and only accepted the first one that showed up. He was in the house munching on a pie when we were ringing the doorbell.


Count me with the “refund and yell in the back” crew. Actually, something similar happened last week during our rush. No explanation for the canceling 10 minutes after the order, though. Customer called to cancel as pizza was half baked. Phone person offered it as a special to the next several customers until it sold. I think it was a couple bucks off or something.

I take no issue at all when someone cancels a pepperoni, meat lover or cheese pie. I can sell that within a half hour on weekends, even if topped with more and back in oven on numerous screens. The pies come out like fresh.

Repeat offenders get some flack from us . . . egregious offenders are told they must make good on the order before we will deliver/sell to them again. Takes a good bit to get on that list. Only about 5 customers have ever had that happen.

lol, I guess my reaction to your specific situation was why ask him not to come back “and” give his money back?

I have to agree with the above posters, however. Grin and bear. Its probably good that my staff is trained and enabled to handle these situations as they are not that emotionally involved.

At our PJ…especially with a veggie pizza…we would have boxed and attempted to resell for less as it’s a common pie that gets ordered here, explaining that it was a fresh, but cancelled order…so we’d sell it for less.

We would have also noted the customer backed down on the purchase…we have a 3 strikes you’re out policy…in the system.

If no one did buy it after about 10 mins…crew pie.

If you had been nice about it, you may have created a sense of obligation in him for your shop. He would have felt bad about the mistake(assuming that is was) and might have felt like he owed you.

We would have taken the pizza and sold it to one of the gas stations or garages around here. Or we would have dropped it off at a business with a menu and some coupons.

How about this one ? You still give him the pizza, along with your menu and coupons. You tell him that his ‘payment’ is to compare your pizza with the pizza his friend bought and call you back to tell you which one was better.

I bask in the glow of your marketing genius. :shock: (that one goes into my bag of ‘pizza owner’ tricks)

It is really and different business we work in . . . so many unkind people seem to have a bizarre sense of entitlement about so many things: we must deliver to them no matter where they live, must deliver THEIR food in 20 minutes, must have every food item they want. Our server/order taker recently had someone get high and mighty because we don’t have a Buffalo Chicken Pizza on the menu . . . even after she offered to make it to his desired specs, he huffed about (but still ordered a pizza).

The customers who treat our people like low-priced servants often find out that we do not behave like low-priced servants.

How about this one ? You still give him the pizza, along with your menu and coupons. You tell him that his ‘payment’ is to compare your pizza with the pizza his friend bought and call you back to tell you which one was better.

Brilliant, definitely going in the bag of tricks.

Give him the pizza, explain to him that it was made for him…
cost you a couple of dollars and could be good will and promote your pizza…
tell him you understand his position this time…and maybe he will become a good repete customer of yours instead of the other place,
hope that helps,


I like it…as long as it does not become a habit.

I agree, this is a difficult call, but I think I would have offered the person a 30-day credit towards another pizza, then sent the pizza to write-off such as a charitable organization (Food Pantry, Shelter House, Etc.) so I could at least write off the ingredient cost and get some good out of donating the pizza to a worthy cause.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Love the tip Dough Doctor…I learn something all the time, A sincere thank U

We tell the people the pizza is already made. Most of the time they say ok fine I will take it. If they dont we say OK no problem and I bring it to the Police station (saves me about 4 tickets a year lol)