What a Pizza Man Could Learn About Marketing

If you don’t treat your customers well, they won’t buy your pizza

Here’s a story that happened to me sometime in the past. We were ordering two pizzas from a nearby pizzeria. We only lived like 50 meters away from the restaurant but since the home delivery was free when ordering two pizzas, why bother walking when they can bring the pizzas at your door.

The pizzas were ordered, we had to wait some time before unknown number called my cellphone. It was the pizza delivery guy, and he said “The pizzas are here, come”. I went to get the pizzas. I was wondering a bit why the pizza guy didn’t come to 6th floor but called me – even when the outdoor was open.

I went out and there the pizza guy was. I paid the pizzas and got quite upset response. He started telling how “home delivery was only for those who live far away, not for your apartment building because it’s so close”. And then he went away.

Can you believe this guy? Basically he was saying that “I’d rather drive 3 kilometers to deliver pizzas than drive 50 meters to deliver pizzas”. There are other pizzerias all over the city. Why would I bother walking a single meter when I can get pizzas delivered at home from any (except this one) restaurant I want?

He couldn’t see a forest for just one tree

Although we weren’t (and aren’t) eating pizzas every other day we still order pizzas now and then and sometimes might recommend these pizzerias them to our friends. The pizza guy was thinking just his feet (well, actually – he wasn’t thinking even them) and the $10 he got from one order. If we would make 10 or 20 orders per year we would have been bringing them $100-$200 per year and also recommending their pizzeria to our friends who might have continued doing this, so basically this delivery guy (who was actually one of the owners) lost several hundreds of dollars per year to other pizzerias.

And that only because he likes to drive 3 kilometers rather than 50 meters to meet the customer.

Well, now he has all the time in the world to do that. I won’t be bothering them anymore.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. You are correct. As a (USA) pizza delivery driver myself, I appreciate the shorter deliveries just as much. I get $1.00 per delivery towards gas so the shorter ones help balance out the farther ones. Plus I can get back to the store quickly to take my next delivery.

  2. Well, I maybe wouldn’t call him idiot because… Maybe he was just busy (he sure sounded like that) and sometimes when we are busy we tend to say things hastily and might make quick & bad decisions. I know I have done that more than once in the past, and I suppose that might also happen in the future.

    We already moved to another apartment so he is now maybe 4 miles away from us. Hey, maybe I should call him now – maybe we NOW live enough far away for him to deliver pizzas to us! :)

  3. He’s an idiot and you’re not lazy. Geez, 50 metres! ,i>he could’ve walked and could probably have done with the exercise!

    You’re so right when you identify small mindedness as his problem. We get so fixated on immediate gratification that we don’t realise that you have to give to get, you have to spend maoney to make money and word of mouth is your best advertising.

    Man, I would make him come back again and again until he gets it. Have some fun with him.

  4. Didn’t realize you were in Finland. Here in the US, if you don’t tip your pizza guy, you can expect him to be surly. If you do tip, you can expect him to be prompt and marginally friendly, particularly after repeat custom.

    If your delivery guy hadn’t had a bad day by then, he sure did afterwards!

  5. @Stephanie: no, we don’t tip pizza delivery driver (or pretty much anyone else) here in Finland. (that’s a *tip* for anyone visiting Finland btw – it would be considered very strange if you’d tip somebody). We actually had been “loyal customers” ordering or buying pizzas from that place at least for several months. I don’t know if he had a bad day or what.

  6. I have to ask, though. Were you in the habit of tipping the pizza delivery driver? If so, then his attitude had no place– he got a tip whether he went to a great effort, or if he went around the block. If not, then I can see why his attitude might be a bit surly.

    Of course, if this was the first experience with the pizza place, then he made a pretty serious error in customer service.

  7. Great post. I believe it has a lot of meaning to people who may be ignoring their local market (that would be those extra hundred bucks by the end of the year).

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