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Apr 25, 2008 08:25 PM

How long is too long for takeout?

This may sound silly, but one night recently I ordered takeout and they said "we're busy 45 minutes." It was 8:30 when we called and this is a strictly takeout place, not a restaurant, so I figured, we'd be eating by 9:15 - 9:30 at the latest. The food didn;t arrive til almost 10:15, and that was 20 minutes after we called to ask about the food.

There was no apolgy, no dedection, and no extras thrown in, and honestly, the food wasn't great that night. Do you think there should have been some gesture? We've ordered from there since, so I know it was a one shot deal, but I wa surprised something wasn't offered.

Just to put it in persepective, I went into a neighboring place recently and ordered 4 slices, and they only had 2 left. They were about to close and they said, hold on and made another pie. 15 minutes later, I had my four slices to go, and they gave me garlic knots as a freebie.

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  1. i never would have waited that long. after an hour, i would have made scrambled eggs or a grilled cheese and told the delivery guy to go pound sand if/when he ever showed.

    i'm hoping this is on your "never again" list? i don't care what the back story was.

    what did they say when you called? that would have been the time to negotiate.

    1. You've ordered from there since this lengthy wait....but you're still thinking about whether you should have gotten something gratis for your wait? If the food is good and it was a one time issue with a delay, let it go. If there are ongoing service problems, stop ordering. They clearly had problems/were slammed that night. When you called to check (which I'd have done earlier than you did) you should have told them to keep it, it had been too long. Otherwise, you agreed to wait as long as it took and pay the menu prices.

      1. Haven't had to wait as long as you did, but once waited 1.5 hours for a delivery that was only 7 blocks away. As I was working, I couldn't leave my office to pick it up. I've ordered from there before and delivery has always been within 30 minutes. So this was quite an anomaly. I called twice. First time was about 50 minutes after the order where they told me the delivery guy was on his way. Second time was 1 hour 25 minutes later where they said that the delivery guy is still making his deliveries and will be there soon. Five minutes later I got my food and it was piping hot. I asked the guy when he picked up my order from the restaurant -- told me 10 minutes ago. So I wasn't pissed at the delivery guy but at the restaurant for lying to me.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Miss Needle

          I didn't blame the dlivery guy. Good point in asking the delivery guy, As silly as it sounds, I didn't think of it, I was too hungry!!!

        2. I'd say that more than one hour is TOO LONG... I start to get impatient after thirty minutes but delivery folks tend to have trouble finding our building so we've had to learn to be patient and wait up to an hour. But my patience is NOT eternal. If I ordered food and had to call them back over an hour later and it wasn't on the way, I'd cancel the order and find something else to eat - for one thing, waiting two hours to eat would really mess with my bloodsugar so I'd have to eat something anyway or get sick! You usually call for food when you're hungry, not two hours beforehand...

          1. My favorite or worst takeout experience involving a simple order of a pizza and sandwich from the local pizzeria, where I had been ordering for many years prior, started one evening by placing the order @ 8:30 PM and being told it would take 45 minutes to be delivered. No problem on my end for the delivery time. I gave my address and my telephone number, the latter standard practice for all pizzerias in Northern New Jersey.

            An hour later, still no pizza and sandwich delivery. Now I know this pizzeria closes at 10:00 PM, so I start calling the store, but no one picks up the telephone on the other end, no busy signal, just constant ringing. This goes on for another 20 minutes or so before someone finally picks up the telephone. I tell them my name and that I have been waiting for a delivery promised more than a 30 minutes ago. I am placed on hold for another 5 minutes before the owner comes on and tells me the driver has been trying to find my address, but cannot. I ask him why he did not call me and he says they tried to contact me........I tell him I don't think so, I have been waiting patiently until 9:30 before I tried calling them and it took 20 minutes for them to pick up......I can only surmise they do this (not picking up the telephone) because they do not accept any orders 30 minutes before closing time. He proceeds to tell me I am wrong and they have indeed tried to call me numerous times...BTW, I have voice messages. I then tell him my address again, which is (Malden Court).......he then tells me the driver has been on (Maiden Lane) for the last half hour, two blocks away............and I gave him the wrong address and it was my fault..........I said to him are you sure you want to say I purposely or mistakenly gave you an incorrect address?..........His reply to me was "Yes",........I then told him I have lived in the same house for 47 years, I am sure I know my correct address and do you think maybe someone on his end was careless in writing down the address?........He then tells me he took the order and it was not possible.

            So in the end, for me trying to do the right thing and receive my delivery as ordered, I am accused of:

            Giving a false address
            Not knowing correct my address or where I live

            It is now past 10:00 PM. As I realize the deliveryman probably had to pay for the order first out of his pocket. I tell the owner if the delivery is made in the next 10 minutes, I will accept the delivery, but if not, I will refuse it. He tells me "Do whatever you want". Very nice business sense and social skills..............Ten minutes later, still no pizza.........10:45, my doorbell rings and surprise......a pizza delivery. I shake my head and ask the deliveryman what the problem was and he tells me he went to the wrong address.......he seemed sincere, so I accepted the delivery and PAID with a tip included........

            And no, I have not ordered from the place again long is too long....for me the answer would be one hour past the delivery time given. The reason I have not ordered again from this pizzeria cited, is obviously because of the owner's responses back to me.

            1 Reply
            1. re: fourunder

              wow. I've had cab drivers try to deliver me to the wrong (home) address and maintain that I was taken where I asked to go and try to charge the distance to correct it.

              but there were a lot of variables that are too lengthy for here. too bad for the owner, berating a customer.