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The little things can hurt you

A lack of online ordering cost one hometown pizzeria our editor’s business—possibly for a long time



 

Sometimes, the people I love and respect let me down. It happens to everyone. We’re all human and flawed. But when a pizzeria lets me down, that’s different. I hold pizzerias to a higher standard. I don’t demand perfection, but I do require a certain degree of professionalism and common business sense.

Lately, I’ve seen my expectations confounded again and again. One recent Friday night, I called a nearby pizzeria to place a carryout order and listened to the phone ring and ring on their end. No answer, no switch-over to voice mail, nothing. I hung up, waited a couple of minutes and tried again. Same thing. By the fourth time, I began muttering vehement oaths and ordered sushi instead. And I wondered, how many other customers experienced the same problem that night? And how many said, “To heck with it,” and popped a Totino’s in the oven? How often does this happen? How much business has been lost because of it? An online ordering option on the pizzeria’s website would have solved the problem and ensured my repeat business. As it is, I probably won’t order from them again anytime soon.

While in New Orleans, I ran into a different problem. One pizzeria’s website hooked me with its mouthwatering food shots and menu item descriptions…until I encountered a troubling mystery: Where the heck was this place? There was no address listed on the site. What was it, a ghost pizzeria? I searched the entire site, and the mystery remained. A restaurant website that doesn’t tell you where the restaurant is located is a failed website. (Yes, there was a phone number I could call, but that was an extra step I shouldn’t have been forced to take.)

Do these sound like trifling complaints? Maybe, but here’s the bottom line: In both cases, I spent my money elsewhere. And I’m probably not the only one. I urge you to review your operation and ponder these “minor” errors that could be hurting your business. How are you losing potential customers, and why? Are you making your pizzeria harder to reach or find? What are the solutions? Don’t let the problems fester—get cracking today. Don’t make me call you out in this space. Next time, I might name names!

 

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