December 2013: Inbox

No Excuse For Poor Service
As a long time restaurant operator I would take this one on the chin myself. It’s one thing to have isolated incidents such as a burnt pie or bad service, but when nobody is to been seen —not even bus staff  — to notice you’ve been waiting for an extended timeframe, it is likely a culture issue. Build a better team. I have interviewed hundreds of prospective employees and I ask one control question: When you are a customer in a foodservice operation, what is the most important thing to you? No joke, 99% say service or cleanliness. I joke saying we could serve nasty pizza as long as we are friendly, quick and have a clean place. Of course we don’t as our pizza Out Tops The Rest.

Keep the good issues coming.

Sincerely,
William D. Siwicki
President
Ohio Pizza Company, LLC

William is referring to the Commentary on page 3 of the October issue of Pizza Today, entitled “Can I Get a Drink?” In that column, editor-in-chief Jeremy White details a bad experience in which the servers at a local pizzeria disappeared for 20 minutes after his family and other customers were seated. As William asserts here, good service starts at the top.

Slice of Hope Participants Tool KitSlice of Hope Was a Success!
Thank you for having such a wonderful event! Our entire staff at Forno Pizzeria & Grille in Maple Shade, NJ, always looks forward to this event every year. It’s really popular with our guests, and we start marketing it well in advance … We look forward to this fundraiser again next year, and for many years to come!

Denise Sanfarraro
Marketing Coordinator
Lamberti Restaurants

Thank you for your support, Denise! Slice of Hope has become a hugely important industry event thanks to people like you who care enough to make a difference.

pizzology hostessGreet Guests Promptly
I love reading Pizza Today. October hit the nail on the head. I also have gotten up and left a few big name places. We have been in business for 19 years; we have 2 locations (carryout and delivery only). In Cambridge and Byesville of Guernsey County, Ohio. We have an employee meeting the first Sunday every other month. All employees are required to attend. My first thing I tell new hires and at opening a meeting is this: “We are only here because of our customers”. If we don’t do it right they will go somewhere else!

Even slammed on a Friday night every customer may not see a face but they hear, “We’ll be right with you!” My people are told to say it as soon as they hear the door. Not just managers, but anyone. A greeting from many sometimes is better than not feeling noticed at all.
Thanks for putting out a great article. People need to realize it’s the customer paying their salary. We are just the middle man trying to make a buck!

Thanks,
Joe Williams
Just a pizza man trying to make a buck! Or many if possible! Lol.

Like William, Joe is referring to the Commentary on page 3 of the October issue of Pizza Today. Again, we agree — all customers should be promptly greeted. Even if there’s a wait for seating, customers need to be warmly welcomed and informed of the waiting time, etc. It’s basic communication, and customers won’t accept anything less. Thanks for the letter, Joe!