Monday, June 16, 2003

The Restaurant I Ate at Last Night XX

Usually, when I order pizza for delivery, I order from one of the local pizzerias in Cambridge. But Friday night, for some reason, I had a serious jones for Domino's. Several things contributed to this jones, including a coupon in an advertising circular received in the day's mail, two Domino's commercials on the television, and memories of how good a slice of Domino's pizza tasted one late night at Paddy Burke's. So I dialed the number in the advertising circular.

Even though that Domino's is located on the Cambridge side of Broadway, they didn't deliver to my address. They gave me another Domino's number. I dialed it, and they didn't deliver to my address, either. They referred me to a third Domino's number. I dialed it, and -- thank heavens -- they delivered to my address. So I placed my order: a large cheese pizza and breadsticks. "The coupon is for cinnasticks," the person at Domino's said. "Actually, it says breadsticks or cinnasticks. I'd like breadsticks." "OK, 45 minutes."

After 45 minutes, Domino's calls to check on my address. The driver can't find where I live. I describe how the numbers don't quite run sequentially on my block, and Domino's employee affirms that the pizza is on its way. 30 more minutes pass, and I decide that after more than an hour, I should call them. I do, asking the status of my pizza, and the guy says that the driver rang my doorbell and no one answered. I said that the driver did not ring my doorbell -- and that I've been sitting in my living room since placing the order. Since the pizzeria called to verify my address, no one has called or run my doorbell. The Domino's employee affirms that the pizza is on its way.

Finally, the pizza arrives. The driver is a little sheepish when I thank him for finally delivering the pizza, but that's little consolation. The pizza is no longer hot and isn't very good. Needless to say, I shouldn't have ordered Domino's in the first place, but I certainly won't be ordering it again any time soon. The experience reminded me while I rarely eat or shop at chain businesses -- ubiquity doesn't mean quality -- as well as an experience I had in high school.

When I was in high school, I would occasionally book rock bands for school functions. One time, for a Students Against Drunk Driving lock in, I hired the Gomers to play. We couldn't meet most of the rider they requested -- which even included beer! -- but we did say we'd pay them and provide dinner. They wanted pizza, and the SADD advisor said he'd call Domino's. Dave said that we couldn't order Domino's because they supported anti-abortion rights activists.

That is mostly an urban legend -- Domino's itself does not support anti-abortion rights activists, although its founder has and many people boycott the business for that reason. I may not approve of Domino's founder's political and spiritual beliefs, but that's not why I'm not going to order or eat Domino's pizza again.

I'm not going to order or eat Domino's pizza again because their customer service is lousy and their pizza isn't very good.

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