Cold pizza and an important marketing lesson


Saturday night, it’s cold and rainy. My partner and I had planned to go out to Valletta for pizza, but honestly, we were not in the mood. 

“Shall we get delivery?”, he suggested. “That sounds good, Sotto has just opened a new restaurant nearby, we’ll get it warmer from there.”

And this is how the nightmare started.

The best pizza in Malta

Before I continue, I would like to mention that Sotto Pizzeria (Sotto Pinsa Romana) is by far the best pizzeria in Malta (and, probably, even in Italy).

The place is located in South Street, Valletta, and is always full (they also opened in Archbishop street). They don’t just make amazing pizzas, they’re pure masterpieces in every single sense (I could go on praising their pizzas, but it’s not the goal of this post).

So, when we found out they opened a new restaurant in St. Julians exactly 650 meters away from our place, we were over the moon. Not only could we walk it whenever we wanted (which is also dangerous), but would also get a warmer pizza if we chose delivery. Well, that’s what we thought.

The amazing pinsa Tirolese, at Casa Sotto, Valletta.

Cold pizza number 1

So, instead of going out, we stayed cosy in our pjs at home, and ordered pizza through the food delivery app Wolt.

I got notified when our pizza was ready, a courier collected our order and started driving towards us. We were staring at the phone screen, tracking the courier’s movements on the map like two hungry lions waiting for their prey to get closer

On the way, the courier stopped to deliver another order (noooo!). And it took longer than expected (nooooooooooo!)

We where hungry and our patience was dwindling.

15 minutes after our pizzas left the restaurant, they arrived home. We rushed to serve our portion and, to our great disappointment, they were cold.

Side note: Please, let me mention again that the pizzeria is 650 meters away. According to my average walking pace, I can complete that distance in 8 minutes. 

Cold pizza is not fun

Now, if you love good pizza like I do, you’ll agree that cold pizza is unacceptable (leftovers don’t count). It’s like being hugged by someone that has just insulted you; not a nice feeling.

Also, reheating it in the oven was not an option, because, number one: that would completely ruin the toppings (rucola, parma ham and bufala); and number two, we paid for the service of getting warm food delivered to our place.

If I had ordered a simple Margarita, I would have probably closed an eye and reheat it, just for the sake of avoiding drama and enjoying the evening. But, thank God, my life is not that empty and meaningless (no offence to the Margarita lovers) and I always choose the most colourful pizzas.

Anyway, we complained to Wolt and they told us we could not get a refund. They gave us €5 credit that felt like a joke because we spent €31.75, optional tips included. Yes, we tipped the courier in advance to get cold pizza to our place.

Let’s place a new order

In the meantime, we had already placed a new order, hoping that we’d get a refund.

“Let’s forget it and enjoy the evening anyway”, my partner said.

Again, we were staring at the phone, tracking that little motorbike icon along the streets of St. Julians. And again, the courier stopped to deliver another order. And then, another one. 18 minutes later, he arrived. And guess what, the pizza was also cold!

You have no idea how mad we were. Again, we complained to Wolt. I must admit that the customer service agent handled the situation very professionally and did the most she could do to help us. But still, we were not satisfied with their no-refund policy and our cold-pizza-in-the-garbage-bin situation.

Honestly, seeing pizza wasted that way is heartbreaking; not because of the money, but because it does not deserve such tragic fate.

We took a deep breath, and tried to enjoy the evening in spite of everything. We had our cold pizza and swore we’d never again get pizza delivered. 

And here I am, on a Sunday morning, writing this article, still disappointed by Wolt’s the poor service.

What can we learn from this story?

If a customer is happy, they might not go that extra mile to write a good review for your product or service, but for sure will tell a few close friends and will become regular customers.

But if they’re not happy, they will rush to write a bad review and make sure every single person in their social circle knows how disappointed they were.  

So what can businesses do? Always give an outstanding service, even if it might look like a loss sometimes, it will pay off eventually. 

It’s in our nature, we’re more likely to rant than rave (if you don’t believe me, go to Twitter). 

We’ll give a bad review if we got a bad service, but not a good one if we’re super satisfied. We take good service for granted, but we hate injustice, and complaining is our way to fight it.

Companies know this, that’s why the standards of customer service have raised in the past years. They know how important it is to offer an excellent service and guarantee customer satisfaction. Because without customers, there’s no business.

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