Okay, so in the pinball league I play in, and blog about over on skqrecordquest.com, we have a deal where we order pizza every week. Everyone chips in $5, and one person (usually the league president, Phil) takes care of the ordering and cash handling. It is usually an efficient process: everyone who paid takes a break between games when the pizza arrives, and can focus on playing pinball instead of dealing with the logistics of pizza delivery.
When I throw in the word “usually” like that, you probably can guess something is up. It didn’t happen that way this week. League play started at roughly 7:30pm, and I think the order was placed sometime before 8pm (I remember paying just before the second game of the night, but I could be off). Phil called in the order to Two Guys Pizza, which I had given a positive recommendation to because I knew they supplied pizza for another group I am part of and it was good.
Okay, so I would expect sometime around the third or fourth game, we’d have our pizza and be ready to take a break. 9pm rolls around, then 10pm. I, and others, are wondering where in the H-E-double-hockey-sticks our pizza is. The story I get is so bad, I’d swear it was straight out of a comedy movie unless I knew the people telling me.
Turns out the delivery driver finally showed up after an hour and a half when the quoted delivery time was 45 minutes. Phil mentioned this to the driver (someone said he used a profane word followed by “ridiculous” when describing the situation to the driver), and apparently not only did the driver clearly just not give a damn, he wound up refusing service and leaving with the pizza.
Phil tried again, ordering from the nearest Domino’s, and the driver arrived in 15 minutes, and I would assume was friendly. This was long after some people who had paid for pizza had to leave, but at least the few of us who were left didn’t have to go home hungry. We had players coming from all parts of town, some even from over an hour’s drive away. Many of these people I consider at least relatively acquaintances if not friends, and it really pisses me off that this happened to them.
Needless to say, I’m retracting any past recommendation I made of Two Guys, and I now recommend you trust just about anybody else to make and deliver your pizza. Product quality is completely irrelevant when the customer service is this piss-poor; there is simply no excuse for either the long delay or the attitude from the delivery driver.
I will admit I’m not the biggest fan of Domino’s, but at least they can actually deliver a decent pizza within a reasonable time frame and it has been at least 20 years since I have had Domino’s screw up an order. That’s actually quite an accomplishment given that the average pizza kitchen or pizza restaurant probably does not even stay in business anywhere close to 20 years. Just about every other pizza kitchen offering delivery that I have tried has been accurate and punctual (before or within 10 minutes of their quoted delivery time), even if the quality of the product has varied greatly. Of course, I also have a certain quality point below where I don’t care how fast the delivery driver is, but after this experience I’m willing to lower that point just a notch to “slightly below average.” As a certain candy bar advertises in their ads, I’m not me when I’m hungry, to say the least.
(I use the term “pizza kitchen” to refer to establishments without a dining room, i.e., delivery and carryout only. Some establishments are “on the edge” in that they offer very limited dining space, but clearly focus on those eating off-premises.)
So, the morals of the story:
- Doing your due diligence is important. Even when you are just ordering pizza. This probably could have been avoided had I looked at some of the Yelp reviews first.
- As much as I prefer buying local, sometimes it is better to choose the national chain in some cases.