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Apr 24, 2010 04:25 AM

A Slight Rant: Silly Pizza Rules


I frequent a little pizza place often....too often... at least three times a week for lunches. They have good soups and are noted for their thin crust pizza with interesting toppings.

Last night I called to place my order and asked for "half vegaholic" and "half buffalo chicken."
I am told "we don't do half and half pizzas anymore."
I say I had one two days ago.
I am told " we *won't* do it anymore. Order two smalls."
Two smalls would cost about $6 more than one large.

I don't want/need two pizzas.

And, to add background data, In the past we were always charged as if it were a whole pizza with the higher-priced topping.

Their pizzas are already 30% more expensive than the norm in my community, but the interesting toppings are what makes the price acceptable imho.

My questions are:

Is asking for a half and half pizza an unreasonable request by the customer?

Does refusing to do so without explanation or notification in change of policy make any sense?

I checked their web site this morning and there is no mention of this.

Chowhounders, how would you feel?


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  1. While most places will accomodate halving...the resto in question is not required to do so. They are entitled to implement whatever policy they choose, as long as it is applied consistently.

    As a three time per week regular it would have been nice if they had mentioned the new policy to you in a more personal way ("Mr. Jones, we know you always order the X half/Y half. Unfortunately we will no longer be able to do this"). Nice yes, realistic or required, probably not.

    2 Replies
    1. re: HDinCentralME

      and they can implement these policies until they realize that they don't work and people stop buying their pizza. On the other hand if it makes no difference to them financially then they will carry on.

      1. re: smartie

        That's true. They may "suffer the consequences" of this decision.

    2. Personally, I've always considered the "half this and half that" pizza a silly way to order. I can't imagine ordering a sub, a sandwich, a steak or whatever like that. So why pizza? Just plain indulgent silly.

      So yes, I think their policy is fair.

      And for those who love comic strips; Foxtrot just recently did a daily strip about this! Too funny!

      4 Replies
      1. re: Quine

        it is nothing like making a steak or even a sandwich - the toppings are assembled last before the pizza goes in the oven, so ti is barely more work that doing a whole pie, and probably less work than doing 2 pies

        1. re: thew

          I agree, when I make pizza at home I often put different toppings on each half. it's barely any more work. Besides, in Italy it's very common to see a "quattro stagioni" pizza, with four different toppings. And they should know!

          That being said, it's their restaurant, and unfortunately they can do whatever they want.

          1. re: visciole

            Four different toppings, each on 1/4 is no more work than putting all of them evenly on the pizza. In OP's case it's more likely that the vegaholic and the buffalo chicken each have 4 toppings with none in common and it's more work putting on 8 toppings than 4..

        2. re: Quine

          When we owned a sub shop, we received tons of orders that were half this and half that. And yes, it was annoying, but no, we never said no.

        3. Are there sauces different for the vegaholic than the buffalo chicken? Or is it just the toppings?

          It would seem to me that preparing half and half is much more labor intensive - measuring out half portions if the whole portion is already pre-measured as well as keeping that line of demarcation separate.

          It's a business and they are allowed to do whatever they choose, including raising prices, changing policy or going out of business tomorrow. I personally have never ordered half and half; if there is something I don't like, I peel it off and give it to the other people or my dogs.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Cathy

            "It would seem to me that preparing half and half is much more labor intensive - measuring out half portions if the whole portion is already pre-measured as well as keeping that line of demarcation separate."

            Typically, anywhere I have ordered 1/2 & 1/2, we always got charged for all of the toppings as they would use the portion used on an entire pizza on just the 1/2.

            I agree that their attitude if accurately portrayed was poor especially to a regular. However, they are entitled to change their policy and if enough people don't like it, hopefully they will revert back. Otherwise, it's your choice. I've been there. I had a favorite restaurant that I frequented about once a week. Without going into detail as that is not what this thread is about, the owner did an about face one day and I just could never set foot inside again. Walking by one day, I noticed a change in ownership. I went back but unfortunately, it was never as good. Fortunately, there are a lot of options out there just not necessarily ones that can fill the same shoes.

          2. I'm in the camp that says it's fair of them, but they handled it rudely. However, if as Cathy suggests those two you chose have different sauces, I think that's perfectly reasonable of them. It's kind of like when two people at a sub shop want a footlong sandwich but ask for it to be dressed different ways on each half because that's cheaper than buying six inch ones. I don't think that's reasonable. Part of the rationale behind the larger one being less expensive per serving is because of the economy of scale on the labor.

            On the other hand, if it goes all the way to them refusing to do one half pepperoni, one half onions -- that's just stupid. They must have enough business that they can afford to run a bunch of people off.

            1 Reply
            1. re: dmd_kc

              My first impulse is this is ridiculous. We occasionally get one large pizza for our family to share, and sometimes we ask for half plain, half mushroom. Whatever. Never had an issue. If they gave us a hard time I'd think they are nuts. It reminds me of a new bagel shop that opened up around us. All the shops around our area give a baker's dozen. Don't know if that's the case everywhere, but it is absolutely the norm here. This new shop, when we went to get a dozen bagels, said, no they don't do a baker's dozen. Now this is just bad practice; given that the expectation is a baker's dozen, just price your dozen bagels a bit more. I doubt people pay much attention to the dozen price, but they definately get irritated with the "no baker's dozen" idea. So in this pizza case, say "we have a $2 extra charge for half and half". Whatever. I think that would be WAY more acceptable than refusing to do it at all.

            2. half and half pie, I don't find unreasonable, 'specially if they've done it in the past....I DO find buffalo chicken on a pizza a llittle unreasonable tho! ;)

              4 Replies
              1. re: BiscuitBoy

                Finally, someone who agrees with me that buffalo chicken does not belong on a pizza!...and blueberries do not belong in bagels. (I am so glad I got that off my chest.LOL)

                1. re: pesto

                  And finally, someone who agrees with me that blueberries do not belong in bagels! An interesting observation... I have a coworker who from time to time stops off at Panera and brings in muffins and bagels for everyone in the office. Now, I'm a savory kind of gal in terms of breakfast food (as opposed to the muffin, donuts, pastry kind of gal) and my heart would do a little happy leap when I spied that box of goodies in the work room but I was repeatedly disappointed to find that she had bought sweet bagels - blueberry, apple cinnamon, raisin, chocolate, etc. Each time I figured that maybe I had missed the onion, sesame, egg, everything, etc. bagels. I finally realized that to this co-worker a bagel by definition was something sweet, like a donut, hence, her selection of bagels and flavored cream cheeses (strawberry, cinnamon, etc.). Don't get me wrong, I appreciate her generosity and thoughtfulness and I would never say anything but thank you for thinking of all of us, but I just finally realized that I had to learn to control my heart's little happy dance at the sight of that box...