Nightmare at Pizza Hut!

Sunday night was a good night, the sort of night you would want to go out with your friends and have fun and dine out. That’s what we thought we would do last night, and boy did we regret it!

Our group consisted of 3 couples, 2 with kids (1 aged 25 days:Zd and 1 aged 8.5 months: Zn). We left for Pizza Hut at Boat Basin, which is usually crowded on weekend nights, and this night was no different. No ominous bells or dark sounds warned us, so we were not aware that we had entered a living nightmare!

Things started to go wrong when the high chair for Zn, but it still hadn’t arrived even after half an hour. When it did arrive, I was appalled to see that it was completely rubbish. There was nothing to stop the child from sliding down, as there usually is a bar or restraint which goes between the toddler’s legs. On pointing this out to the manager, we got the response that this chair is “approved” and that they have never received any complaints about this before. I was horrified not only at the Pizza Hut people, but also at its patrons, who had never complained at such a basic failing in design. This was a disaster waiting to happen.

The experience didn’t improve when our pizzas arrived. One of the pizzas was so badly divided that one piece ended up being no bigger than an inch long! I had never seen someone destroy a pizza like this! I asked the waiter to replace it, and he kindly did, but this set the precedent for the night.

The drinks arrived, and although we had ordered one cold pitcher with ice, and one separate room temperature drink, what we got was one room temperature pitcher, and one ice cold drink with ice! The pitcher was grudgingly consumed, as everyone was thirsty, but the separate drink was returned.

Despite asking for garlic powder, chili powderand ketchup since the start of the meal, the waiter brought them only when we were through with 1 pizza.

I would also like to mention that this was the worst Chicken Tikka pizza I had ever tasted! It was also the first time I tried Sicilian on my friend’s recommendation, but I reserve my comments because if the Chicken Tikka was bad, then there was no saving the Sicilian! I will try it again someday.

The last trial came in the form of payment. My friend tried to pay using his Visa Debit card, but alas, the credit card machine was not working! Too bad we had cash, otherwise I would never have payed up after the dismal service we received.

Since this was too much for me, I asked for their comment card. Imagine my disgust when I saw that you could only answer “Excellent / Good / Average” to every option listed. I recommended to the guy at the counter that they should add 2 more options: Bad / Pathetic. The duty manager understood something was wrong, so he quickly came up and talked to me. I explained him everything, and he apologised. He has promised a formal apology and some compensation, which I am sure will come, but that is not the point.

The point is that a person goes out to eat to have fun and have good food and good service. If a restaurant cannot provide good food and service, why not just close the place and do something else? Why make the people pay full price for mediocre products? I do not have an ax to grind with Pizza Hut, infact I love going to Pizza Hut, and enjoy there pizzas immensely. I probably go there 30 or more times a year! However, what ticks me off is that Pizza Hut is now treating customer like sh*t, and we need customers to speak up and let them know that we will not stand this.

So here’s hoping that everytime you get bad service at Pizza Hut (or any other restaurant) go up to the Duty Manager and give him some lip service. Refuse to pay for anything mediocre, and let them know why you aren;t paying!

Request to Pizza Hut:
– Improve your service
– Hire more staff because the number of staff you have cannot provide everyone good service
– Monitor your branches, and put severe penalties on the ones which are not performing well
– Get real high chairs for babies!
– Stop serving substandard pizzas when you have lots of customers

I’d like the readers to add to these suggestions so that I can write them up nicely and email them to Pizza Hut HQ.

33 Comments so far

  1. Tee Emm (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 1:53 pm

    Disclaimer: My experience is limited to Pizza Hut Boat Basin only.

    Orders are never noted with care. Drinks with/out ice are often, too often, swapped.

    Soups are often lukewarm making them useless. Garlic powder and red chillies must always be asked for and are never guaranteed to arrive in time.

    It is disgusting to find dead flies on or around the tables and the windows. Sure that care has been taken to kill the live ones but what about cleaning the area of the dead ones?

    Music is too loud to allow for a more conductive environment to relax and talk away the time with your mates. But this problem is not just limited to PH I believe.

    Debit cards never work.


  2. Arsalaan Haleem (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 2:02 pm

    Next time, try the one on Shaheed-e-Millat Road, (near Tariq Rd) or the one on University Rd (Gulshan). Their service is much, much, much better.


  3. zahra (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 2:54 pm

    jee, that post was so long i can’t bother to read it…man…khurram: brevity is key!!


  4. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 2:57 pm

    Since take over by the Habib Oil Mills, Pizza hut is going down fast. Quality, Quantity, Standard of service all is in shambles.

    Pizza Experts are way better and they are improving FAST –

    Try once and tell them this is your 1st time with them. Ask for Buy ONE Get ONE free deal and or visit them at Sindi Muslim Round about for a meal with kids.

    I always order at home and Many of our family circle have became their happy customers, and increasing.


  5. mansoor (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 2:58 pm

    i agree with arsalan,

    the boat basin one is just too overbooked to have any form of decent service, its become more of a ‘see and be seen’ place than actual food place.

    you can even try out the II Chundrigar branch at night, its relatively less crowded, good food and good atmosphere. Dont go there in the day though :p unless you fancy driving for an hour 2 get there :D


  6. FARAZ (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 3:04 pm

    That hardly classifies as a “nightmare” in my book. But thats me.


  7. Iqbal (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 3:20 pm

    Last time i was @ Gulshan branch and everything was ok.


  8. zia (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 3:24 pm

    HARDLY A NIGHTMARE

    BIG FRIKKIN’ DEAL!

    NO NEED TO MAKE A MOUNTAIN OUT OF A MOLE HILL.


  9. Adnan (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 3:26 pm

    Bhains Colony key scientists ne GOBAR se Bijli banali.

    link

    Bye BYe KESC, now we will be dependant on GESC[Gobar Electric Supply Corporation]. Ab humay German k bajaye Gujarwala k CEO k nakhray uthana hongay..


  10. Khurram Farooq (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 3:28 pm

    @Tee Emm: Nice suggestions; will add them to the list!

    @Arsalan Halee: Agreed… they are better, but this was the one we decided to go to!

    @zahra: If you can’t bother to read it, why bother to comment on it?

    @Jamal Shamsi: Yeah man Pizza Experts is also good, but I still think Pizza Hut tastes better (at least when they don’t mess up!)

    @Mansoor: No way am I taking my friends and family to II Chundrigar for Pizza :)

    @Faraz: Your comment hardly classifies as a “comment” in my book. But that’s me.

    @Iqbal: Last time I was in Kabul there was no suicide bombing :) Btw, incase you missed it, we are talking about boat basin branch. And I am not saying that this is what always happens. It’s just that this happens too many times for it to be acceptable.


  11. JayJay (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 5:21 pm

    So they have waiters in PH to serve customers, rather, very fussy customers. What happened to old tried takeaway?


  12. Rukun (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 5:57 pm

    any pro Dominos here, I prefer dominos to the current pizzahuts, with their worldcup deals


  13. yaya (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 5:58 pm

    hi i really sympithise with your bad experince that you had but i sympathise even more so with all those who think its no big deal it only goes to show that you only get substandard service when you have low standard and maybe just maybe we are a nation with low standards


  14. Sufi (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 6:42 pm

    Well, they are offering what the public is asking for. The problem is that most people don’t know what their money is worth. So, even if they get a faulty brand new honda, or undercooked pizza, they wouldn’t complain. Boat Basin pH used to be a nice branch, but nothing beats the Pizza Viza offer on the university road. Music is indeed very loud at the boat basin.

    Don’t we have any other good pizza places, like not chain restaurants?


  15. Keep Walking! (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 7:45 pm

    We were at Pizza Hut Zamzama last nite.. The chicken tikka was delcious… mouth watering…. uff… Everything was ok..

    Khurram man,, hota hai, chalta hai…


  16. Carpe (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 8:00 pm

    I agree Arsalan, The new Shaheed-e-Millat Take-away outlet rocks when it comes to food quality!

    Wish they had a Dining facility, or maybe that would ruin what it has now? hmmm…

    “Next time, try the one on Shaheed-e-Millat Road, (near Tariq Rd) or the one on University Rd (Gulshan). Their service is much, much, much better.”
    Posted by: Arsalaan Haleem at April 16, 2007 02:02 PM


  17. Arsalaan Haleem (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 10:41 pm

    Carpe, of the three main PH’s branches mentioned here, I think that the SM’s one offers the best food.

    But I think that in terms of Service, the Gulshan one takes the prize.

    Haven’t been to the Zamzama one and that at IIC Road one, so that cannot serve any notices on those.


  18. Red_Munk!! (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 10:46 pm

    Yeah, hota hai.

    Last i went to PH was back in Feb. Bunch of friends, right after the beach, we were all hungy
    & the service was P-A-T-H-T-I-C!!.

    We just ordered Cheese Sticks and 2 Large Supreme’s.

    Both the servings were cold. There was no purie (Tomato sauce) in the Pizza’s. The meat tasted burnt & the Cheese tasted like rubber.

    But the few and far in between times that we do eat PH (90% + times delivery), its usually good.

    Problems with consistensy & ure luck on that day basically.

    Went to Pizza “Experts” way back in 2005— Back when they were still conning ppl (Park towers wala) by keeping the same Menu/cuttlery as Pizza Express.

    Lets just say that for the whole month i had to incurr abuses from my friends.

    PH has been around for a decade & the Menu is pretty much the same as it was back then. Why dont these guys introduce new stuff? (Like in India or Arabian markets). Instead of the “If it aint broke…”, they should experiment & keep the public intrested.

    Btw, hows Pizza Next?


  19. Sufi (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 12:00 am

    P. Next is a wannabee P. Hut. Beware.


  20. Red_Munk!! (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 12:53 am

    I saw their Advert campaign when they started (Got vouchers—everything on the house).

    Cuttlery/Menu/Brochers even the boards, all PH ‘chaapa’, a tad cheaper though & supposed to be more “family friendly”. Couldnt try the food for some reason (dun rem y :S).


  21. Faisal (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 12:54 am

    Go eat at Pizza Experts or Pizza Next. Papa Johns can also be an option. Competition serves as a body of regulation. Market Economy ethics boy ;)

    Once they start losing their customers, they’ll think of something.


  22. Kashif (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 1:51 am

    I had almost similar experience at Pizza Hut Gulshan, this sunday. The Euro was not properly baked, salad items were missing from the bar and music was too loud.


  23. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 2:11 am

    It seems that ppl here have never worked in offices at IIC :-). Nobody said anything about Pizza HUT IIC branch. I am very much satisfied with service of Pizza Hut Gulshan and IIC.


  24. wasiq (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 4:42 am

    seems like a one night stand or a very bad hair day to me …..cannot be a bad karma….did you do something wrong when you were away from karachi…?

    anyways, do you have any suggestions about more profits….as well…???khatey kam hain jaltey jalatey ziyada hain….lol


  25. ZULF (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 11:10 am

    Khurram, are you ok man? Can’t believe you came out of this nightmare alive. May Allah bless you and make your life easier.


  26. Carpe (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 2:48 pm

    Yes Arsalan, I agree 100%.
    I have been to almost every branch in Karachi! Although they all have their bad days, more often than not, the food and service are not so bad.
    Pizza Next? hahaha, cheap imitations! Dominoes, Papa John’s? well, u need to have a taste for the original type pizza to appreciate them, otherwise we have all gotten used to the Deep Pan for the past 13 years or so!
    I live in PECHS so almost always have mine delivered from the new SH-e-Millat Take Away branch and have made friends with the people too!
    Awesome :)
    Cheers…


  27. zainub (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 4:53 pm

    I haven’t been to the one at Boat Basin for a long time, but yeah, I’ve heard similar complains about that branch from others too. Personally ever since the Zamzama has opened, my friends and my self have gone their in a bid to avoid the over crowding at the Boat Basin branch – plus if you’re unlucky and get a seat in the large smoking area, then it can be a really unpleasant experience. I’ve also been to the Tariq Road one, and that’s a nice setting too, even if its gets a full house over there it still doesn’t get as congested as the Boat Basin one, which if I’m right, was their first ever outlet in Karachi. Perhaps they need to renovate the place from scratch and get in some more ventilation.


  28. Buggerism (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 5:48 pm

    @ Khurram Farooq.

    Mr. Khurram, I have taken the liberty to send in your complaints and reservations to the relevant people at the Pizza Hut Head office!!!

    :)


  29. Original_Anon (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 9:29 pm

    I couldn’t read the whole post either – I guess I’ll just wait for the movie. Is there a way we can restrict the authors to 55 words as well?
    Talk about hyperbole. Nightmare was what happened at Tech yesterday, you just had a bad dining experience!


  30. Concerned (unregistered) on April 19th, 2007 @ 3:43 am

    who has been approving these authors. U should work for Bollywood dude. you can dish out a lot of crap.


  31. Hasnain (unregistered) on April 19th, 2007 @ 12:53 pm

    Everything in Pakistan has to act the way Pizza Hut does. Once they rope in customers and start earning humongous profits, quality and quantity suffer badly. I agree with the baby chair thing, I have a 2 year-old and we used to ask for those chairs when I used to frequent PH but not anymore, the baby would be in position to sit and we had to keep watching rather than eat those cold pizzas all the while. I wonder where and how did they get a concept of using baby chairs without a bar, they fail to address the very purpose of the baby chair…come on guys be realistic, do you expect the baby to sit on his own?

    After several weird experiences with PH i have switched to Pizza Next, their Pizza’s are excellent with equally good service. Their Clifton branch near chartered Accountants avenue is the only that I have tried and trust me guys, it is far better than PH. they may have copied stuff from PH but they have excelled in quality, quantity and service. PH cannot even come close to what Pizza Next has to offer. And with those Rs. 499 cards that you get, they get you more than 20 large and 20 medium free when you buy one.

    And then there is a guy at PN Clifton called Dominic who would go out of the way to make sure you enjoy your food, once he even offered to play with my kid while I was eating…this is real service and these guys know how to make you feel good. There is no loud blaring music which make you go deaf before you finish your pathetic pizza’s, not would chilies, garlic powder and hot sauce arrive after you’re done…Pizza Next rocks guys, you wont know it till you try it out.


  32. Abbas (unregistered) on April 22nd, 2007 @ 3:04 pm

    Stop bitching! Did y’all know Pizza Hut is kind enough to let us bring beers?

    Who wants annoying little rugrats there anyways!


  33. Buggerism (unregistered) on April 22nd, 2007 @ 6:21 pm

    @ Hasnain, let’s not be biased? :)
    You probably had a single good experience, I have almost always have lousy experiences at Pizza Next… does that prove anything to you? It is consistency in what they do that makes or breaks…



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