Having worked in a few pizza restaurants in the past, I’ve noticed similarities and differences. The most obvious are in the menu offerings. Some in the recipes and others in the equipment or methods they use. Over all though they are very similar when it comes to prep, making, cleaning and business practices. Such as paperwork, ordering, handling money and training.
Up until now, I’ve worked for the large chain pizza places. Such as Little Caesars, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Papa Johns and Chanello’s. This time I work for a much smaller chain. Most of their locations are here in Michigan and I find their product to be incredibly tasty. Much more so than the larger chains. Of course, that is only my opinion. It may not be shared with the rest of you. Besides, that’s not the point of this.
Before I go into detail, let me assure you I’m not complaining. Merely noting aloud. Yes, many of the differences have made me raise an eyebrow in confusion. Though it has not deterred me in any way to work for them. Nor will it keep me from promoting their product. Though if it were up to me, I would encourage the company to change a practice or two just for the sake of making things easier for the employees as well as giving them better methods of handling things in the kitchen.
The thing that caught me off guard right immediately is how they do the dishes. It’s not wrong, it’s just awkward. Every large chain restaurant I’ve worked in has had a three sink system for doing the kitchen dishes. Wash, Rinse and Sanitize. The sinks were all identical. Including the sink where I now work. Except their rinse sink isn’t to rinse the soap off the freshly washed dishes. It’s to rinse the food off before putting them in the soapy water. Their sanitize sink is the rinse and the sanitize. Which of course needs to be changed out much more frequently because the dishes going into it have soap on them. It’s a real time waster and it also wastes a lot of water. The company could save a fair amount of coin if they were doing it more efficiently like everyone else does. Not too mention the possibility of clogging up the sink filled with used food if the employees don’t’ keep after it.
The make line is also something I’ve never seen before. It looks similar, but the line has no under trays to catch food that misses the main products. (Pizza, sandwiches, salads and such.) So the missed product simply lands on the line and can make for a messy work area and loads of food waste when it falls to the floor and is now just garbage. In places I’ve been too before, they have wire racks with catch trays you can pull out underneath. This catches cheese, toppings and such. When business slows down, you can claim the dropped items and cut down on food costs overall. It also keeps the make line clear of debris so you can keep moving when you have a lot of orders to make instead of stopping every few minutes to wipe the food in the trash. Better yet, keeping the floor cleaner and you don’t slip on fallen food.
This one sort of annoys me as I don’t like having a wad of cash on hand when I’m out and about. Having a company sign on my car and on my head makes me a target. Delivery drivers are robbed more frequently than the average Joe because people know we carry change. Every pizza place on the planet as far as I know, has a method in place for the delivery drivers to drop large bills, checks and credit card slips. This helps reduce the amount of money lost. If the driver is only carrying change for $20, chances are they will only lose a few bucks. All the big chains have drop boxes. This way the driver can drop money without flagging down a manager to do it. These are little locking boxes on a wall with a slot to slide money, checks and slips into. At the end of the shift the driver can open it and pull out all the money to count out. This place has no drop boxes. So I have to flag down a manager to drop money. If they are busy, they get annoyed. Understandable, but I don’t want to have a couple hundred dollars on me when someone decides I’m an easy target. I am. I’m overweight and can’t run fast. So I’ll likely just give them the money in hopes I don’t get stabbed or shot for it. But I also don’t want to be responsible for the lost money. I’ve figured out a way to make my own drop box. Though I hope the company comes up with a solution. It wouldn’t be hard really. It doesn’t have to be built into the wall like the big boys do. Just securely mounted to it.
As a driver, you normally put a lighted sign on the top of your car. This is cheap advertising, which in turn gets you more deliveries. Of course making you more money. Every time I deliver, the store will generally get another call from areas I’ve been too or through already. It’s great. Though this company, none of the signs light up. They are all in disrepair. No cords. So after dark the advertising is pointless as no one can read it. I think a little money spent will make more money earned. Just logical thinking.
Speaking of spending a little money to make things better. The hot bags they use all look like they’ve been acquired though a close out sale. They all work but are beat up, and many are not designed to handle smaller foods like sandwiches and the like. Many are just outright flimsy. You stack a sandwich and bread sticks in a bag and it’s just sags and is hard to handle and keep the food from knocking about the bag possibly popping open sauce cups and making a mess out of the whole bag. They should really invest in some bags that hold their shape better. This way the food will stay still and the bags can be stacked with orders without falling down in the car. They would also be easier to carry to the door. Otherwise the driver looks like a fool jumbling about.
Holy cow. The one caveat to working at this place is their software. I’m a genius with computers and I can clearly say this software is clunky at best. Not to mention it needs better pictures so finding things would be much faster. Thankfully they didn’t write it, but it has no flow to it at all. You bounce around trying to find things. Those who have it down pat are doing alright, but even they complain it could use some serious help. Selby advertises their software as intuitive. I don’t agree. Though perhaps it was in the implementation of it that it went wrong. I really couldn’t say.
Training is also kind of strange. Every place I’ve been too before, you rode with another driver on your first delivery or two. Not that I needed it, but they say the company insurance doesn’t cover it. Why would that be? You’re in passenger in a car like any other person. It’s required to have car insurance to work delivery. So I’d think you’d be covered like any other passenger. No big deal, I just find it strange.
They do have awesome food. I highly recommend their products! If you live in Petoskey, I urge you to indulge 🙂