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Some customisation is OK... but this??

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So last night we got home and I couldn't deal with cooking (mustard-grilled lamb, boiled potatoes with butter, salt and parsley, and broccolini), so I punted and went to go get us food from California Pizza Kitchen. (What can I say, I like it now and then.) The CPK ASAP location near Angel Stadium is gone, so I went to the new fancy CPK restaurant at the Anaheim GardenWalk, two blocks from (ominous chord) Disneyland.

There were THOUSANDS of people walking around eating at the good (McCormick's and Schmick's), the bad (Bubba Gump Shrimp Company) and the ugly (the Texas Cheesecake Depository). The CPK had a line out the door of cranky, hungry touri...er... guests in our fair city. The takeout counter was busy too -- and I didn't have the phone number, since they just opened two weeks ago. So I waited... and waited... and waited... while the couple in front of me gave the world's most nightmarish order to the takeout counter.

The woman ordered a Thai chicken pizza. A good choice, and one I often get myself. Then there was the man. He ordered -- and this took nearly 20 minutes -- a pizza with no tomato sauce, but with extra garlic oil, and fresh tomatoes, and Italian sausage, and bleu cheese, and something else, but with the toppings all the way to the edge of the crust, etc., etc. It took the poor 20-year-old at the takeout counter forever to get it all right -- and then, of course, the kitchen read "bleu cheese dressing" instead of "bleu cheese baked on the pizza", and the guy flipped his wig, and it was just too painful to watch.

Honestly, when did it become OK to do this?? I understand a modification because you're allergic or averse to something. I could even understand it if you called ahead. But when you're "building your own pizza", you need to go to a place where you build your own pizza. Not a really shockingly busy CPK on a Saturday night. To CPK's credit (or is it?) they accommodated him. I'm surprised they did, but it's a credit to their customer service (and the dark side of the "guests are always right" philosophy).

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  1. I don't think it's wrong to choose specific toppings for your pizza at a take-out pizza counter. However, "with the toppings all the way to the edge of the crust?" Make your own pizza! Not being from California, though, I don't know what CPK is like. If I went to an upscale, sit-down Italian place that served pizza, I would not be modifying it except for health reasons, (Which may include no tomato sauce and no cheese, if I'm having a bad day.)

    And when I started in the customer service industry when I was 16, I remember reading something in my handbook after my first day: the customer may not always be right, but the customer is STILL the customer.

    6 Replies
    1. re: miss_bennet

      CPK (which is in NYC and locations all over the country) offers several "specialty" pizzas. They don't have the option like a typical pizzeria of pizza with 1 topping, with 2 toppings, etc. from a list.

      1. re: Amuse Bouches

        Where is there a California Pizza Kitchen in NYC?

        1. re: KTinNYC

          I passed by one around Madison or Park Ave in the low 30s this weekend. And I think there's one near Bloomingdales.

          1. re: Miss Needle

            Thanks, I've never seen one before but then again I'm in neither neighborhood very often.

            1. re: Miss Needle

              there's one on park ave south between 29th & 30th...i walked past it last week & stopped dead in my tracks. it just seems so out of place! i used to live in the neighborhood, and it certainly wasn't there back then. i guess i've just always equated CPK with shopping & strip malls.

              1. re: Miss Needle

                Yep, it's on 60th just east of 3rd avenue next to Dylan's Candy Bar. We used to live right next door. If we wanted pizza, we usually went to Patsy's, but I love CPK's BBQ chicken chopped salad.

        2. Yikes. How awful.
          Due to my own personality flaws, I probably would've interjected and said something sarcastic. It likely comes from working in the restaurant business and not being able to say something to people who are being obnoxious or inconsiderate.

          I work at a nice restaurant that's part of a small chain. We have a 2 rule add or subtract policy regarding most dishes. You can add or take away 2 things, but after that, you're altering the recipe and we can't guarantee the food anymore. So, we don't do it. Telling people no when they're making crazy requests usually goes over fine. And we make exceptions, of course. Something simple, fine. But there are people that come in and want to create their own recipes. We don't do that.

          1. It's another one of those frustrating situations where the limit ideally should be in the customer's sense of restraint rather than in a restrictive policy. The idea of build your own is great, but there will always be people who abuse it.

            I just read an interesting article about why the customer isn't always right: http://positivesharing.com/2006/07/wh.... As I read it, I wondered what food hounds would say about it. I tend to agree wholeheartedly with the points made.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Kagey

              As a current service employee (not in the restaurant business though), I loved that article and wished more businesses thought that way. Employees need to be the focus if you expect to offer great service, not the customers.

            2. My husband had to wait a long time to order take out pizza once because the woman in front of him wanted the pizza divided into 1/8th for toppings. She wouldn't accept that they don't do that. I wish take out places would have computers on the side where you can place your order and then pick it up--you could take your time and get exactly what you want. I could really use it at Five Guys because they have so many toppings it's hard to get it straight.

              6 Replies
              1. re: chowser

                Chowser, I am LOL with this story. This is when I would tap the lady on the shoulder and say "here's $20 - make your own at home".

                1. re: Cheflambo

                  The sad thing is the restaurant even offered to do 1/4 portions, though they don't normally do that but she insisted on the 1/8th. I love your solution, though! Maybe we all need to carry around a fund just to pay off the clueless.

                  1. re: chowser

                    Well, as good a solution as that might be, even Donald Trump could not afford to pay off all the clueless people I've encountered lately. DONT get me started on that topic! LOL

                    1. re: Cheflambo

                      It could be funded by a stupidity tax. Or a "bad restaurant karma tax". I can just see it now!

                      Man Diner: "I'll have the porterhouse, medium rare..."

                      Woman Diner: "I'll have the shr..."

                      Man Diner, interrupting: "...and the little lady will have a green salad, low-fat dressing on the side, no croutons, because she's watching her figure."

                      Server: "Certainly, sir. That's $38 for the steak, $5 for the salad and $1400 in jack*** tax."

                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                        Love it. Just love it. Some of my employees would be broke in short order.

                2. re: chowser

                  I don't know that I have ever asked for 1/2 one topping and 1/2 something else. It never even occurs to me. Like I over-cook, I over-order (without exception, typically at my house someone will ask me WHY is there so much food for X amount of people?!) so I would just get 3 or 4 diff pies if there were any nutjobs who hated pepperoni (or whatever)
                  Anyway, your post reminded me of when I lived in NJ right next to a WaWa (I used to get a coffee there almost every am until I moved closer to a Dunkin) and they had a sub place inside that you would use a small keypad to order your sub EXACTLY how you wanted it. The receipt would print out and you would wait until they called your number for your EXACT creation. I never did it, but it seems like a great idea...for a sandwich, not pizza.

                3. Clearly my idea of a pizza place is different from what CPK is. IF AND ONLY IF there is a menu board, with "build your own" and a list of toppings, then ordering the toppings you want is perfectly acceptable, and patrons and workers have no valid reason to be upset.

                  If, however, there is only a pre-set menu with specific pizzas, it is not acceptable. And telling the cook exactly how to place the toppings is horrid all the time.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: miss_bennet

                    Miss bennet, have you seen the menu for CPK? They have tons of different types of pizzas and it isn't a build your own place. I personally have never eaten there, but they are all over the country, and some out of the country as well. It is not my idea of a pizza place either! This person was a total jerk, IMO, and unless he was a regular patron I would have stopped him. I wonder just how much they charged him for his "masterpiece"? I hope it was enough to justify the trouble.

                    1. re: danhole

                      I am not aware of any in BC... But I don't like pizza to begin with.

                      I know that some local menus have "two substitutions allowed per pizza" on them. I think that's the way to do it. Realistically, though, if I'm getting take-out from a chain pizza place, I think I should be able to pick and choose toppings. But I acknowledge that it may take more time, and cost more.

                      (When I order pizza, I usually get half cheese and half the regular amount of toppings, and make the two allowed subs. But pizza makes me ill every time I eat it. Stupid hietal hernia.)

                      1. re: miss_bennet

                        The really outrageous thing about this scenario is that they have so many different pizzas to choose from, I can't imagine that he couldn't find one that met his criteria. Just look at the menu and you will be surprised. http://www.cpk.com/

                        At a take out place you can get pizza as a pre-set meat combo, or you can pay to get the toppings you want. 2 toppings costs less, 3 costs more, etc.

                        You are better off not be able to eat pizza - it is not a body's healthiest choice, at all!

                        1. re: danhole

                          Those aren't pizzas. They're casseroles on flat bread.

                          1. re: Gio

                            You are right Gio! They look interesting, but pizza . . .? Probably why I haven't tried it yet. I heard the salads were good though.

                            1. re: danhole

                              In a crazy way I suppose something like that could appeal to many people. Just don't call them pizzas. But then, who am I to say.

                  2. wow. i've just learned from the website that there are 4 of these places in my state.

                    i've also learned that "cpk is THE leader in california-style cuisine." lmao.

                    i learn something new every day.

                    if i was the cpk employee i would have let the dude order whatever and put a zillion upcharges on the ridiculous thing-- i.e. do an extra topping charge twice since he asked for extra garlic oil, whatever that is-- figure out a way for seventeen upcharges to come up on his bill. sure you can get it your way, but your personal pizza will cost $45. . . oh, you're mad? you don't want it and will never come back? aw.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: soupkitten

                      This is a great idea.

                      While CHers don't frequent fast food joints much, I go every once in a while and what kills me is the people with about 5 orders and everyone wants some kind of customization. Oh yeah...everyone has to pay separately too.

                      Why don't they just go inside?

                    2. I'm chuckling. This kind of stuff isn't limited to CPK. Recently I was second in line at my favorite taqueria. There was a woman in front of me with two children, who apparently waited until she was placing the order to figure out what her kids would eat. It went something like this "Billy, would you eat a burrito? You like burritos? Would you eat some chicken in it? I though you liked chicken? No? How about a taco? What would you like in a taco? You've had tacos before. With beans? How about a burrito with beans? No, there won't be sauce in it. Do you want cheese?" etc. etc. etc. I left before she got to the second kid's order - I could see that there was no way I was even going to be able to order in the amount of time I had. This is a small, family-run operation and clearly the young woman at the counter just didn't know what to do. It was lucky that I was the only other person in line, because I'm a regular and returned many times after that; but I could see that if it were someone else in my place, they could have been looking at deciding whether to lose the lady with the kids or the next customer.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Kathleen M

                        Just out of curiosity, do you think the young woman should have said
                        "Do you mind stepping to the side while you decide so I can place the next order? I'll help as soon as you're ready."

                        Or some similar statement? (Thus potentially risking the "The girl behind the counter made me step aside! She has no sympathy for families!" yarn.)

                        1. re: Kathleen M

                          I wonder if those were her kids. It sounds like she was babysitting, or a relative that isn't familiar with their tastes. I have a pretty good handle on what my grandkids will, but if I got to the counter and then they started changing their minds, I would have the decency to move to the side and let the person behind me order. That is called courtesy!

                        2. I don't really mind seemingly endless customization. And I have worked in the restaurant industry. However, I DO mind people who are rude to staff. If you are going to require customization to the extent that the kitchen might mistake what you are asking for or the server has a difficult time understanding, maybe step back and ease up a bit. Certainly if it becomes grounds for grumpiness.

                          1. I don't think it should even matter if it was a "made to order" type place....should a customer REALLY need 20 minutes to place an order? The only time i've ever even remotely seen anyone take that long is if it's a new server who is training and taking a long time to figure out the register etc.

                            I am amazed by how this person, and the lady with the kids above, can be so TOTALLY oblivious to their surroundings and others to do something like this. I have NO patience for being behind such people in a line up....sure the restaurant might cop some extra charges, but unless i leave, who really suffers, but everyone else waiting behind? Get a clue people .

                            1. "Texas Cheesecake Depository"??? Is that a real place or just a reference to Cheesecake Factory/Simpsons?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: coney with everything

                                It's what we always call the Cheesecake Factory. That and "The Ninth Circle of Hell".

                              2. I'm in the camp of folks who believe that we have Starbucks to thank for this. They popularized the whole "make it your personal (drink)" concept and entitled people to come up with the wackiest nonsensical combinations, including calling out specific temperatures. It's perfectly understandable why Starbucks customers would bring that sense of entitlement to other places.

                                "What, you don't have a JUST SAY YES program in your restaurant that allows me to make a mockery of your products and employees? Well, I never!"

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Panini Guy

                                  Nope, years ago Burger King advertised 'Have it your way' This was over 20 years ago and we use to sing a kid version of their theme song, which wasn't so nice.
                                  Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special orders, we.....(went something like that).

                                  1. re: justagthing

                                    I suppose you're correct technically, but I still think Starbucks is customization on steroids. Even at BK you couldn't call "rare" or dictate that the lettuce not extend to the edges ;-)

                                    hold the pickles
                                    hold the lettuce
                                    special orders don't upset us
                                    have it your way
                                    all we ask it that you let us serve it your way
                                    have it your way...

                                    1. re: Panini Guy

                                      Um...and that's why I prefer BK over McD's(not because the product is necessarily better). At BK you have a finite set of choices. To blame customization craziness on them is hyperbole. In fact, when it comes to burgers I'll offer I'm the opposite of the McD's customer; I don't want my burger packed with sweet crap(mayo, ketchup, special sauce, American "cheese")...I'm a relative minimalist...when I order there it's a subtractive process.

                                2. with pizza, as far as i can tell, customization is always ok.

                                  1. As jfood has stated in the past, that stuff ain;t pizza, please change the name. It's that NJ/CT/Chicago influence that made jfood state that.

                                    Now since the left coasters have created this monster, jfood just chuckles when he sees to the extent people will ruin a good thing. Jfood still gets a brain cramp over Thai Pizza, Huh? Especially when he sees Das Ubergeek and his NJ DNA get the best of him.

                                    But to the point of the OP. If you allow customization, well you gotta give it. And to stop the nonsense, as others have stated, make the person pay for it.

                                    So stick with the basics. Maybe CPK should have a traditionalist line and a wild-and-crazy-guy line.

                                    11 Replies
                                    1. re: jfood

                                      CPK is pizza. It's just not pizza PIE. Pizza pie is exactly what I grew up on. It's what Vito's sells. CPK is -- hm -- food on flatbread style pizza. But the Thai chicken pizza is really good -- as long as you think "Thai chicken on flatbread" and not "pizza".

                                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                        Does any of this (what you call something, where it was invented and how many places sell it) really matter if the thing tastes good to you?

                                        1. re: Servorg

                                          Yep. It does matter.

                                          1. re: Panini Guy

                                            Why?

                                            1. re: Servorg

                                              The wording of your question did not appear to be limited to simply pizza/flatbread despite the context. It probably doesn't matter all that much whether CPK wants to call their food pizza or flatbread (thankfully, they're not calling it Neapolitan-style, another descriptor that's constantly abused), although calling it "flatbread" would indicate it is something that's not a pizza in a traditional tomato-cheese context.

                                              But beyond pizza there's a point at which "cheese" no longer means cheese, "butter" no longer means butter, etc. The more ambiguous we allow wording to become, the more confusion over what one is ordering and the more potential for consumer disappointment.

                                              Not meaning to threadjack the CPK/customization subject, but since you asked the question, I answer.

                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                Good morning Servorg. As you could probably imagine it means something to jfood as well. A pizza is a pizza, a hamburger is a hamburger and sometimes a cigar is, well, just a cigar.

                                                The development of linguistics allows for certain terms to define certain items. One would not go into White Castle and order a pizza with anchovies with a side of beans and expect a cheeseburger and fries. Order a bag of M&M and expect a bag of popcorn in a movie theatre. It is just a means of describing in shorthand, i.e. one word, what something is. "Gee I had a great burger the other night" referring to a beautifully prepared sea bass. Hence a pizza takes on certain characteristics and does not take on others. Traditionalists believe in certain toppings and non-traditionalists other types of toppings. People , like jfood, believe that certain toppings belong on pizza and others change the character of the dish such that it should be called something else, in this case "flatbread".

                                                But in the end you are correct, call it what you want as long as it's delicious. But if you order a PB&J and are delivered a ham sandwich, then everyone on these boards would see the topic "what an idiot server, i ordered pb&j and he delivered a ham sandwich."

                                                Just a view from an east coast traditionalist.

                                                1. re: jfood

                                                  A New Yorker who orders a pizza is expecting a chewy flatbread with red sauce, mozzarella cheese, and oil. To a Californian, it's just another KIND of pizza, whereas in New York, that IS pizza and the stuff with peanut sauce, sprouts, shredded carrots and chicken is not in the realm of "pizza".

                                                  What I'm saying here is that New York has a narrower definition of pizza than California... so the idea of a Thai chicken pizza is upsetting or at least non-canonical to a New Yorker.

                                                  That said, and as lovingly as a son of New Jersey can make it, here's a ladder, @$#%ing get over it already. It's just pizza... and if you stop and think about it, New York already has its share of weird pizza places (Two Boots, hello? Crawfish on pizza?)

                                                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                    Not just a NY'er, people order a pizza that's exactly what they are expecting, not a Mango Tandoori Chicken, or Chipotle Chicken or a California Club with chicken, or Jamaican Jerk Chicken, or Thai Chicken, or Roasted Garlic Chicken or Santa Fe Chicken (sounds like the Bubba/shrimp scene from Forrest Gump), etc. all from the CPK website. And jfood agrees that crawfish belong in a "boil" not on a pizza so no argument there.

                                                    What's next? California Hamburger Kitchen where you can order a salmon hamburger or a tuna hamburger or a sprouts hamburger. Yes they may be great in taste, but if they are so great then call them what they are, don't squat on another term to leverage the marketing aspect. Or how about an avocado meatball hero served on that non-bread stuff. It's just isn't a meatball hero unless it's made with meat and served on a baked bread sub roll.

                                                    But to the point of your OP. CPK created this monster with the flatbread stuff with the Around the World in 80 Days concoctions and they and their customers have to live with it.

                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                      I have to say that I see this a little differently. Don't get me wrong; I am VERY fussy about language. However, certain words denote a process, or general structure, more than specific item. An example would be house. This a generic term used to describe a building in which peopel live. You could live in a bungalow, I could live in a log cabin, Ubergeek could live in a mansion... They all fall under the definition of house.

                                                      Certain food-related words can be denoting a process or general structure, too. For me, a burger is a hot patty served on a round bun. Pizza is dough covered with a multitude of toppings, one of which must be cheese, and then baked til the crust is golden. Baked flatbread is different from pizza because the bread part is pre-baked. I don't think there is one finite "pizza."

                                                      On the other hand, there is a finite margherita pizza: tomato, mozzarella and fresh basil. If I ordered a margherita pizza, and I got cilantro instead of basil, I'd be saying something.

                                                      1. re: miss_bennet

                                                        Nicely phrased MB. And interesting in the linguistics process to prove the point.

                                                        And jfood can very much understand the logic and can actually buy into most of it. As you stated in the last para the adjective, margherita, defines the noun, pizza, and jfood can agree on the desciptive. Where he has a brain cramp is the universe of adjectives should be limited by traditionalists. A pizza should have certain toppings and not others. It's one of those old-dogs, new-tricks analysis, what can jfood say. Thai Chicken and Pizza should not be used in the same contiguous phrase, just can;t get by that.

                                                        But if there is one thing the brain will definitely consider on the flights this week is that certain food words are actually processes, not items. Very interesting concept. Jfood asks for a pause on that one til he gives it a good hard think.

                                          2. re: Das Ubergeek

                                            have to agree with jfood on this. best for me to avoid the whole cpk thing entirely.

                                        2. That may be "good service" to the megalomaniac making the absurd order, but what about the 59 people waiting in line behind him?

                                          I think that the "two changes rule" suggested by others in this thread is reasonable. Or even a "we can't make special accommodations during peak service hours" policy. Personally if I was standing behind him when the clerk had said either of those things to that jerk, I'd have cheered: "Hooray! There is some hope that we ALL may be served before we grow old and gray and die of hunger."

                                          7 Replies
                                          1. re: BeaN

                                            I have never been to a CPK and based on this, never will go, but aren't they a sit-down place? They sound like the Starbucks of pizzadom.

                                            1. re: dolores

                                              Yes, it is mainly a sit down place and no it is not the Starbucks of pizzadom. I am not much of a pizza person, but do like CPK's as the pizza's tend to be a bit lighter and use/has interesting ingredients.

                                              1. re: justagthing

                                                So why the annoying queue if it is a sit down place?

                                                1. re: dolores

                                                  In addition to their full service operation, most if not all have a take-out station.

                                                  1. re: dolores

                                                    Could be the habits of the area. The ones that I have been to do not do as much take-out biz, or maybe I just don't go when there is a line for take-out.

                                                    1. re: justagthing

                                                      The reason for the annoying queue at the takeout desk (and, frankly, the reason for the takeout desk in the first place) can be summed up in four words:

                                                      Two.
                                                      Blocks.
                                                      From.
                                                      Disneyland.

                                                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                        Ah. Gotcha.

                                            2. There's a larger question here, the benefit of "choice" and this dubious concept of endless customization. When I go out to eat, anywhere, I want what's fresh, what the chef feels like preparing. If the restaurant in question happens to be a chain or a fast food joint, I want what they're notorious for. That's it. I'm not coming in with my own agenda.

                                              What's the point of attempting to micromanage a restaurant's kitchen? If that's the experience you want, eat at a diner. Or at home. It's not realistic to play puppeteer to the kitchen staff and then kvetch when they fail to conjure the dish in within your imagination. I like chefs who say "no." I love restaurants with a handful of choices - be it Le Petit Bistro or In and Out Burger. Make it easy for me: What's great here? That's all I want to know.

                                              How many people working in kitchens across this country have a cultivated disconnect between their palate and what they plate? Why do we prevail upon them to do this, to betray their (presumed) better judgment?

                                              10 Replies
                                              1. re: markp

                                                Oh, I agree. The idea of a clod deconstructing and rebuilding a menu item is similar in annoyance to the person with a full basket in a '10 items only' line.

                                                In either case, I'm outta there.

                                                I was just curious why a sit down restaurant with servers would also bother to have a takeout line. The proximity to Disneyland answered my question.

                                                1. re: dolores

                                                  There's actually a smaller set of CPKs that specialise in takeouts called CPK ASAP. I had never seen one outside of an airport until the one that used to be at Katella and Howell, a stone's throw from Angel Stadium. That was actually where I started, but they closed when the larger full-service CPK at the new GardenWalk mall opened.

                                                  It's a shame, really, that it's so crowded, because I really do like CPK pizza now and then and the next closer one is at MainPlace Santa Ana, which has major parking issues.

                                                  1. re: dolores

                                                    lots of sit down restaurantats with servers also have take out. Sometimes boyfriend and I will get takeout from local restaurants that we like. We like the food, don't feel like cooking but maybe want to watch a movie while we eat or enjoy it with a bottle of our wine or eat in our pajamas or any number of reasons.

                                                    1. re: jes

                                                      Understood, jes, but is there another CPK where the line and people aren't so annoying?

                                                      If you sit down, can you get served at your table?

                                                      1. re: dolores

                                                        well i didnt actaulyl mean CPK, i meant getting take out from table service in general. I have eaten at CPK and the one closest to me is also particularlay touristy (in the Inner Harbor in Baltimore) and there tends to be a line of people waiting for take-out but that doesnt seem to affect actual eating at the tables with servers serving me jsut like they would in any other restaurant. The issue the OP had was that she was also waiting for take-out behind this man. Had she wanted to eat in she would not have had this issue at all.

                                                        1. re: jes

                                                          I would have had an hour plus wait for the table, though, so I ended up "ahead".

                                                          Oh, and "she" is a "he". :)

                                                  2. re: markp

                                                    While I think that some customizing is excessive, it's a pizza. They have all the ingredients there, they have to put toppings on whatever pizza you order anyway, I don't see why they can't just change the toppings. It's not like the guy was saying something like "I'll take the beer-braised short ribs, but can those be braised in port instead?"

                                                    And when I eat at chain-style restaurants, I ALWAYS customize my order so it will be fresh. I don't want a pizza that was prepped at 4, then baked off at 7 for me! So yes, pepperoni instead of ham. (I realize that this would not have been valid in the OP's instance; everyone should have been getting fresh stuff if it was that busy.)

                                                    1. re: miss_bennet

                                                      Uh, I assume that you have not been to a CPK. Many of them have an open kitchen and all items ARE made to order, only after the order has been placed. The pizza's are smaller, not giant pies there. Finally, like many have said, it is not a pizza joint in which pizza's are customized. I mean most pizza places state, 2 items for x amount of $$ or 3, 4, or 5 items for x amount of $$s. CPK does not have that sort of menu.

                                                      1. re: justagthing

                                                        I have not. They have not expanded to Canada. I'm just surprised that they have a take-out counter, yet don't have a create-your-own option. And, the guy was asking for blue cheese. Most pizza places where I live don't offer blue. This place may his only place to get the exact pizza he wants. However, he should have pre-ordered by phone, and have been charged extra for the customization.

                                                        Blue cheese, fresh tomatoes, sausage and garlic oil? Sounds like a pretty damn good pizza to me! And I don't like pizza!

                                                        1. re: miss_bennet

                                                          LOL! I am not a pizza fan either, but I do like my CPK pizzas for the very fact that they are different. Not so greasy, usually.

                                                          I have linked the pizza menu and find it interesting now. They use to have very fusion style pizzas with a couple of traditional, I see that they have added a few more traditional ones. Take a look at the rest of the menu and you can see how it is not an Italian restaurant or a regular pizza joint either. My friend loves their chocolate souffle cake.
                                                          http://www.cpk.com/menu/pizzas.aspx

                                                  3. I work in a restaurant with a scratch kitchen, and we often encourage people to make substitutions if they have their heart set on something that we don't have listed on our menu. That being said, on an extremely busy night, we don't always have time for the extra prep work necessary for making certain custom dishes. Even though they allow substitutions, If the CPK was as busy as you describe, the person at the counter would have been well within the limits of good customer service to deny the man's request. Everyone wants to be treated like they're the only guests in the restaurant, but no restaurant should sacrifice the happiness of many for the sake of accomodating a single person.

                                                    That being said, I once had a woman order our most complicated salad (we no longer have it on the menu, but I think it had something like 9 different garnishes to start out with), add a couple more items, take out a few, add extra of certain things, ask for us to go easy on others, and she wanted the dressing on the side. I actually saved the ticket that printed out in the kitchen because it was close to a full foot long. And then when I delivered it to her, she goes "UM, isn't this supposed to come with provolone?" PLEASE. It's a freaking miracle that provolone was ALL that was missing on the salad. If you have a very complicated or unconventional order, please be understanding if the kitchen doesn't make a dish they've never prepared before EXACTLY the way you envisioned it.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Al_Pal

                                                      "If you have a very complicated or unconventional order, please be understanding if the kitchen doesn't make a dish they've never prepared before EXACTLY the way you envisioned it."

                                                      I never looked at it that way! I usually just say "two out of three ain't bad!"
                                                      Thanks for the insight!