In the Kitchen
the pizza dude: Saucy Summer Rants
By Roberto Vergalito
Saucy Summer Rants
By Roberto Vergalito
I hope all my fellow pizzaiolos had a very profitable
summer. Now it’s time to go back to school and back into the swing of a
regimented life for some and, for the rest of us, keep on making pizzas.
I hope all my fellow pizzaiolos had a very profitable summer. Now it’s time to go back to school and back into the swing of a regimented life for some and, for the rest of us, keep on making pizzas.
I don’t know about the rest of you guys out there, but it seems as though this summer I’ve had more miserable, mean, grumpy and downright rude customers. This has been the best summer weather we’ve had in over 10 years and everybody has been complaining about how hot it is.
I can’t believe the things that are coming out of peoples’ mouths these days. First of all, in the winter they bitch that it’s cold, then in the summer they bitch that it’s too hot.
What the #@!! do they want?
This summer has been the worst for complaints in my mind. Some are legitimate, but a lot of them ludicrous. I have had to literally tell some customers not to bother coming back, as I don’t want their business if that’s the way they are going to talk to my employees and I. Mistakes happen, but to every problem there is a solution that does not require yelling or screaming.
I’ve told several customers that if you think it’s hot outside, come into my kitchen, put on an apron, work for one hour and I’ll show you hot.
And for Pete’s sake, don’t tell me how hot it is and that you’ll be sitting by your pool waiting for the pie. If you do, I expect you to bring me a nice refreshing drink while I am making your dinner in a very hot kitchen. Alcohol is optional.
I was finally fed up with peoples’ attitude that I put a sign in my pizzeria that reads: “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice!”
We pizzaiolos are very educated and part of the service industry, so our customers are very well taken care of. That doesn’t mean we have to take abuse from a customer.
I say, stand your ground, bite your tongue when you have to, but don’t get bullied around by a customer by any means. Everyone is trying to get something for nothing, but I guarantee it won’t be from me or any of the pizzaiolos I know; we work way too hard for our money.
The cold weather will be upon us soon and customers will be complaining about how cold it is. My advice is to boost your coffee sales, offer them a warm cup and tell them you’ll let them work by the ovens for an hour to thaw out – all with a smile, of course.
In the end, a good product and good service will keep good customers coming back. As for the rest of them, they can go someplace else.
Maybe we should have a black book that bans people who cause scenes and give us a hard time. We can let them know that we pizzaiolos won’t take it any more. I’m sure they might think twice about treating us with a little respect if they can’t order a pizza in the city.
As they say in our industry, “Make pizza, not war.”
I’m the Pizza Dude.•