I used to work at Pizza Hut.
I was a server, cook and driver for a total of about four years. I love their food especially their buffalo wings. Not their Wing Dome wings but their original recipe wings.
Every Wednesday I order their buffalo wings from the Juanita Pizza Hut on the Eastside of Seattle, WA. Typically I order my wings at 5:30pm and they usually aren’t ready for 20 minutes.
A couple of Wednesdays ago I ordered wings from the Juanita Pizza Hut later in the day and the person on the phone said they would be ready at 9:07pm. I said OK and hung up only to notice that it was 8:42pm.
Twenty five minutes to cook wings?
I called the Pizza Hut back and wanted to confirm that indeed I would need to wait 25 minutes for wings. He said yes I would.
Since the oven only takes 7 minutes to bake I asked this gentleman if he could make an exception and put the wings in the oven so they could be ready in ten minutes.
He said no.
I cancelled my order and went straight to social media. Social media gives people like you and me the opportunity to rant or rave about our experiences with services like fast food or Pizza Hut.
I’ll be honest, I was impressed that someone responded within 24 hours. So I did what they asked and went to www.pizzahut.com/phcares to share my story. Within three days the General Manager of the Juanita location left a voice mail asking that I call her back.
The last week I had been visiting family in Vegas so I didn’t get a chance to call her back until tonight, here is how the call went.
Hi this is Troy Ritchie returning your call.
Hi Mr. Ritchie thanks for calling me back.
Yes sorry for the delay, I was visiting family last week and didn’t get a chance to call.
That’s great, I hope you had a wonderful time.
I did and I didn’t think I would love the desert as much as I did, it was a great time.
Well, I don’t think I could love the desert (laughing)
The conversation started out great, very cordial and she was very nice. I told her the story that I just shared with you here is her response.
It’s not that busy around that time of night, we typically have one or two drivers and one manager who is cooking.
Well, I am told every Wednesday that it takes 20 minutes to cook wings when the oven only takes 7 minutes to cook them.
It’s six minutes in the oven actually.
So my request was to make an exception that Wednesday and put my wings in earlier since it was so late and I had to get my three kids home.
Well I don’t know how busy it was and I can’t say without knowing. I’m sorry for your inconvenience.
OK, just so you know, big pet peeve of mine when someone apologizes for ‘MY’ inconvenience.
If you can’t make an exception then there is no need to apologize.
I just wish there was something I could do.
I understand how hard it is to grab the bag of wings, turn it over in the pan and put in the oven (yes I was being sarcastic).
OK Mr. Ritchie thank you.
Thank you good bye.
And here I was feeling bad because I thought she would offer me free food and I hate getting free food for lack of customer service. I would rather receive a genuine apology that displays some empathy for how I feel since it is me that spends my well earned money.
Wendy’s did that well when they overcharged me for a meal. The GM called me and apologized for the error on their part.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that Pizza Hut made an “error” I am just amazed that the request of the customer is not treated better.
I used to work at Pizza Hut. I know how to finish a pizza, grab a pan, a bag of wings, dump the wings in the pan and place on oven rack. Takes about 25 seconds. If a customer would request an exception no matter how busy I am I would do that for the customer.
Pizza Hut and a lot of other fast food managers should consider the customer as a valuable partner in this relationship. Especially if they want us to come back.