Author Topic: How to ensure the pizza you order is top quality?  (Read 2025 times)

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Offline petef

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How to ensure the pizza you order is top quality?
« on: May 21, 2013, 05:13:29 PM »
This post was inspired by the thread at link below, where we were discussing quality of a pizza ordered on your first time visit to a highly recommended pizza shop. Too many times we are getting a sub-standard pie inconsistent with the establishment's good reputation.
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,25251.20/topicseen.html

Soooo, what can a person do to ensure they are going to receive the best pizza that a pizzeria has to offer instead of leaving it to bad luck to get a sub-standard pie that might be over baked/burnt or whatever.

Should we be telling the waitress or pizza cook, "I'm from an online organization named PizzaMaking.com and I'm here to review your fantastic pizza, so please make a pizza that people have told me about which is so great."

Or should we say; "Hi, I'm a first time customer and I'm here on the recommendation of a friend, please make me the the best pie possible."

How's that sound?
Any improvements on the wording above would be appreciated.
 
Any other ideas?

---pete---







Offline TXCraig1

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Re: How to ensure the pizza you order is top quality?
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2013, 07:03:20 PM »
Please tell me you wouldn't really go into a restaurant and say anything like that.

If it was my shop and you came in and said either of those things, I'd smile and nod my head at you, but I would be seriously offended that you would imply that I might not make you the best pie a can.

The whole premise seems quite disconnected. Of course every place is going to serve some sub-standard pies or even have an all-together bad day, however if lackluster pies are such a regular occurrence that you feel the need to say something BEFORE you are served for the first time, just how long could they continue to be considered "highly recommended?"

I don't believe it's the customer's place to ensure consistency. It's the customer's place to send it back if it isn't right.
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Offline dhorst

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Re: How to ensure the pizza you order is top quality?
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2013, 07:15:55 PM »
The most I would say, is that I've heard great things about the pizza here.  A compliment often inspires greater care being taken, vs. arrogance, like somehow you are more important than other diners.

I stopped at a bakery for a couple loaves of Italian bread recently.  All they do is bread.  The woman who waited on me smiled and chose a couple of loaves that were fresh out of the oven when I commented on how wonderful the bread smelled.
For the love of Aleppo chile, ask and you shall receive.

Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: How to ensure the pizza you order is top quality?
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2013, 08:27:07 PM »
I agree with the above thoughts, your lines seemed a bit offensive. I think something along the lines of how excited you are to try the pizza or a mention that you've traveled very far because of all the good you have heard, would both be appropriate things to say. 

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: How to ensure the pizza you order is top quality?
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2013, 08:49:30 PM »

Any other ideas?

---pete---
Smile nicely and say a prayer.
And I'm from Craig's school of thought..."if it ain't right...it's time to fight!"  ;D
Seriously though, I will send that dude back quicker than the waitress can roll her pretty 'lil eyes.  8)
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: How to ensure the pizza you order is top quality?
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2013, 10:13:10 PM »
Although it has never been my intent to use this approach to improve the quality of my order, I will often ask if I can watch my pizza being made for reasons that should be obvious to people on this forum. Worst case is that they say that I can't. If they're not too slammed, pizza makers often love to talk as much about pizzas as we all do here. If you come across as just someone who is passionate about making pizzas, you'll get a much better response than if you pose as some kind reviewer/expert from the Internet. Now, I can't say whether this really improves the quality of what I will be served, but I have a pretty good idea whether it's going to be any good. Too often I have seen that the WFO was under-fired and the pizza took way too long to bake.


Perhaps related is something I used to do in fancy restaurants long before the Internet was overrun with food blogs and amateur critic sites like Yelp. I'd ask the waiter to ask the chef if it was OK for me to take a photo of the food served to me. More often than not, the chef would come out to see who was making this unusual request (few patrons took photos of their meal back then). I'd explain I that I was very passionate about food and I wanted the photo as a memento for what I was sure would be a very special meal. On a few occasions, the chef sat down at the table so we could talk more about his menu. I usually end up ordering something I might not have otherwise. And I often got special treatment like an amuse-bouche complements of the chef.


Offline petef

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Re: How to ensure the pizza you order is top quality?
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2013, 03:41:25 AM »
I agree with the above thoughts, your lines seemed a bit offensive. I think something along the lines of how excited you are to try the pizza or a mention that you've traveled very far because of all the good you have heard, would both be appropriate things to say.

I see your point (and others) on the offensive approach not being preferred. I like your approach of using compliments to get their attention. So I'll adjust my language and say something like; "Hi, this is my first time here. I came all the way from "my town" just to try your fantastic tomato pie. You came highly recommended by the folks at pizzamaking.com."

I also like Bill's idea of asking permission to photograph the food, so I might also say; "Could you please ask the pizza chef if it would it be ok for me to photograph the pie so that I can share it with my friends at pizzamaking.com?" 

"Asking the chef" that's the critical part to ensure you get good treatment by the guy who's actually baking your pie."

How's that sound?

---pete---
« Last Edit: May 22, 2013, 04:04:52 AM by petef »

Offline norma427

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Re: How to ensure the pizza you order is top quality?
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2013, 08:10:13 AM »
Pete,

I am not sure if I would mention pizzamaking.com.  The pizza business might think you want to copy their pizzas.  If it were me I just would say that I wanted to show friends at home some photos of the pizza you tried, or Bill's advice to remember the occasion.  I agree that compliments do get you farther.

You could also say you saw good reviews for their pizzas, so that is why you wanted to try their pizzas.   Friends are also good to mention that tried their pizzas.   

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: How to ensure the pizza you order is top quality?
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2013, 08:12:22 AM »
Pete,

I forgot to mention in my last post, that I have told pizzerias that I had wanted to send photos of a pizza to my brother in another state.  That has worked well for me on different occasions.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline derricktung

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Re: How to ensure the pizza you order is top quality?
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2013, 08:46:13 AM »
To be honest, I'd side with TXCraig a little bit on this one from a though process.  Shouldn't EVERY pizza be one of the best they can make?  I mean, if they're willing to let quality slip, then they probably don't deserve (or no longer deserve) to have the reputation that's been said of them. 

It's unfortunate, but there's definitely a few places near us that served at least ONE great Neapolitan pie, and then our follow up visits were mixed results so we no longer go there. 

While every pizza may not be perfect, it should be high enough quality that people shouldn't be able to say "that must have been a bad night for the restaurant" or something to that effect...

If/when I open up a shop, I'd like to think that every one of our pies is high quality and consistent... (which while will be hard pressed thing to pull off while I"m not at the helm, will be my goal as I push my partners towards perfecting their skills and QA.)
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Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: How to ensure the pizza you order is top quality?
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2013, 09:43:20 AM »
Pete;
Allow me to weigh in on this one. We have done a lot of auditing for companies big and small over the years, including some of the bigger pizza chains. When we audit a store we NEVER announce who we are, or why we are there. Instead, we just order prescribed pizza and proceed to evaluate it, along with a shopping list of other store attributes. The reason for this is because a store's product is only as good as the worst product it sends out to the customer. A great store's or chains reputation isn't built on only one pizza, but instead it is built upon the sum of all of their pizzas. I like to rank stores/chains as follows: Consistently good; Consistently bad; Inconsistently good and bad. If I've got to beg or ask for a decent pizza from a store, there is something inherently wrong there. Just my opinion.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: How to ensure the pizza you order is top quality?
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2013, 09:50:38 AM »
Pete,

I am not sure if I would mention pizzamaking.com. 



I agree. The relationship betweens pros and the public on the Internet is uneasy at best.

Offline Kostakis1985

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Re: How to ensure the pizza you order is top quality?
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2013, 10:58:46 AM »
As a person who has worked in the industry for 15+ years The best way to approach is say Ive heard you guys work very hard and make excellent pizza here and smile- just leave it at that dont add anything condescending like " we'll see if you live up to the hype" or " if its good i'll be back" its beyond irratating and makes us who work in the industry every day night and every weekend feel like we are below you
Jamie

Offline misterschu

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Re: How to ensure the pizza you order is top quality?
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2013, 11:04:02 AM »
I'm not sure how much of an interaction with your server will get passed on to your chef.  I wouldn't imagine saying "I've heard great things about the pies here" to your waiter is going to be repeated to the chef, the waiter is well aware of the reputation of the restaurant he works at.  I think you also have to recognize the increasing separation between front of house and back of house with electronic ordering systems.

Offline Kostakis1985

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Re: How to ensure the pizza you order is top quality?
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2013, 11:31:39 AM »
Right I was talking about order at the counter places.

Upon further thought about the question posed I think you shouldnt base your opinion on just 1 visit you need to get an average its totally unfair to expect somebody to be spot on all the time.
Jamie

Offline derricktung

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Re: How to ensure the pizza you order is top quality?
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2013, 12:43:34 PM »
Right I was talking about order at the counter places.

Upon further thought about the question posed I think you shouldnt base your opinion on just 1 visit you need to get an average its totally unfair to expect somebody to be spot on all the time.

Is it?  I mean, it is their profession of choice, right?  Granted we all make mistakes, but bad quality is bad quality and inconsistency is a hallmark of bad quality, especially in a brick and mortar restaurant where the environment is much more controllable.

I would toss it back to you and ask:  What's allowable in terms of serving up an inconsistent/lower quality pizza from a percent perspective?  1%?  5%?  15%?  What what would that mean for other professions if we gave them the same leeway?  (Surgeons, airline pilots, etc.)
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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: How to ensure the pizza you order is top quality?
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2013, 12:53:10 PM »
Is it?  I mean, it is their profession of choice, right?  Granted we all make mistakes, but bad quality is bad quality and inconsistency is a hallmark of bad quality, especially in a brick and mortar restaurant where the environment is much more controllable.

I would toss it back to you and ask:  What's allowable in terms of serving up an inconsistent/lower quality pizza from a percent perspective?  1%?  5%?  15%?  What what would that mean for other professions if we gave them the same leeway?  (Surgeons, airline pilots, etc.)
You let me over charge you the way surgeons and airlines do ya and I'll give you a perfect pizza every time.  ;)
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: How to ensure the pizza you order is top quality?
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2013, 01:00:32 PM »
Pete;
Allow me to weigh in on this one. We have done a lot of auditing for companies big and small over the years, including some of the bigger pizza chains. When we audit a store we NEVER announce who we are, or why we are there. Instead, we just order prescribed pizza and proceed to evaluate it, along with a shopping list of other store attributes. The reason for this is because a store's product is only as good as the worst product it sends out to the customer. A great store's or chains reputation isn't built on only one pizza, but instead it is built upon the sum of all of their pizzas. I like to rank stores/chains as follows: Consistently good; Consistently bad; Inconsistently good and bad. If I've got to beg or ask for a decent pizza from a store, there is something inherently wrong there. Just my opinion.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Yes, and that makes sense for what you do, but your objective is very different from Pete's. He wants to accomplish exactly what you want to avoid. You hide who are because you want a truly random sample. Pete wants to let them know who he is because he DOES NOT want a random sample. He wants to influence the pizzamaker with the hope ensuring that he will get their best possible pie.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2013, 01:04:16 PM by TXCraig1 »
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Offline Kostakis1985

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Re: How to ensure the pizza you order is top quality?
« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2013, 01:01:51 PM »
I would say first off lets compare apples to apples peoples lives arent in my hands pizza is not life and death.

Jamie

Offline derricktung

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Re: How to ensure the pizza you order is top quality?
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2013, 01:38:07 PM »
I would say first off lets compare apples to apples peoples lives arent in my hands pizza is not life and death.

Fair enough, but isn't it more a question of work ethic and willingness to represent a great final outcome?  (Sorry, my dayjob is in the hospital business, so I'm tend to be pretty outcome driven and don't have much tolerance for bad patient outcomes).

In any case, I think I'm derailing the thread.. my apologies... 
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