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To be enormously disappointed in Pizza Express?

(95 Posts)
Fillybuster Wed 30-Oct-13 17:45:09

Please don't flame me...I'm still quite upset and trying to figure out whether I'm over-reacting!

I went to Pizza Express for a celebratory lunch with some work colleagues last Wednesday: they took me out and chose it because I'm vegetarian (for religious reasons).

In fact we all ordered vegetarian options (by chance) and I went for the new 'calzone verde'. I double checked (as I always do) that the waiter had written down the veggie option (they had).

Half way through my lunch, I realised that what I had thought was the base of the pizza (bear in mind it is folded over and full of gubbins, so hard to tell) was actually a bloody enormous slice of pig shock shock.

Opened up the remains to discover this wasn't an 'accidental' piece of meat, but was in fact a meat pizza...totally full of stuff that I would never ever ever eat sad sad

Spoke to the waiter (politely!), who called over the manager, who didn't say anything, just walked off with my plate. Left everyone else finishing their lunch, unsure of what was going to happen.

Eventually (about 10 mins later) he came back to the table to apologise, said he didn't know what had happened but wasn't the real manager so could only report to head office. He took my contact details and told us he wouldn't charge for lunch, then quickly cleared the table and said goodbye to us.

Didn't offer me a replacement meal, or a drink, or a dessert or anything, and pretty much hustled us out of the restaurant.

Bit weird? We thought so... We ended up going somewhere else for dessert, which felt very odd!

Pizza Express phoned me the next day. Apologised for the error (fair enough), said they were investigating process with the kitchen (fair enough) and offered me a single free pizza for my trouble. I thought that was a bit mean, but life is short, so I accepted (nicely!). The guy on the phone made a big fuss of how he wanted me to get in touch when I had been for my 'free' pizza to let him know how I found the service hmm, and said he would email me a voucher immediately.

AIBU to be quite pissed off that a) a week later he hasn't emailed me any blinking voucher and b) that I was only offered a single pizza after a major kitchen cock-up?

I'm holding off on phoning them up to complain until I get sanity checked by the MN crew grin !

WereTricksPotter Wed 30-Oct-13 17:48:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ZangelbertBingeldac Wed 30-Oct-13 17:48:52

No YANBU, that's really bad!

And it's not even a 'free' pizza!! Surely it's just a replacement for the pizza you couldn't eat!

Did they charge you for the meat pizza?

SaucyJack Wed 30-Oct-13 17:50:47


I'm also veggie and I too would've been upset, but I fail to see how any number of free pizzas would make up for the fact that you'd accidentally been given meat.

Coconutty Wed 30-Oct-13 17:51:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Itsjustafleshwound Wed 30-Oct-13 17:51:17

I don't think it is an over reaction. As far as what I would do, I would send a letter to HQ detailing what happened and never darken another PE door.

azzbiscuit Wed 30-Oct-13 17:51:18

Some restuarants are shit. Even if others in the chain are good some individuals ones are not. Best thing is to vote with your feet and not go back. No point starting a vendetta against them.

Sirzy Wed 30-Oct-13 17:54:01

I think giving you a free meal (for a group of you) and a voucher for a free pizza is just about acceptable. Not ideal and it wouldn't have me rushing back there but they have apologised and accepted they were at fault.

CatAmongThePigeons Wed 30-Oct-13 17:56:17

YANBU. I once sliced my hand open on a soap dispenser in one of their stores, I had to kick up a fuss to get the correct treatment and put it in the accident book, but my whole three course plus coffee and soft drinks meal was free on the spot.

I am amazed that they didn't know what was in the bloody pizza or that they didn't give a flying fuck.

CatAmongThePigeons Wed 30-Oct-13 17:56:48

YANBU. I once sliced my hand open on a soap dispenser in one of their stores, I had to kick up a fuss to get the correct treatment and put it in the accident book, but my three course plus coffee and soft drinks meal was free on the spot.

I am amazed that they didn't know what was in the bloody pizza or that they didn't give a flying fuck.

Fillybuster Wed 30-Oct-13 17:56:48

Thanks all....its a relief not to feel like the madwoman in the attic!

Obviously I was very fairly upset at the time to have been fed a meat pizza, but I accept that accidents happen...(I also accept that if I wanted to be 100% certain my food was vegetarian then I should only eat in veggie restaurants (and I would have preferred that, but there's none near my office!)).

I'm more upset that this was the Customer Experience team from HQ who followed up with me, gave me a crap offer and then haven't delivered on the crap offer!

I completely accept a single branch, with an acting manager, might cock up occasionally....but HQ?! shock I mean, where do I go from here?!

FannyMcNally Wed 30-Oct-13 17:58:04

To me it sounds like they are taking it seriously. Ok, I'm not sure why they didn't offer you an alternative but maybe they couldn't be sure at that point of the authenticity of their vegetarian options! They gave you all a free meal, followed it up with a phone call from higher up the chain and promised you a free pizza. I would follow up why it hasn't materialised. Apart from that what more do you want them to do?

Snargaluff Wed 30-Oct-13 17:59:17

I would post on their Facebook page. See how quickly they send your poxy voucher then! I'm really surprised as I've always had such good service from PE

CoffeeTea103 Wed 30-Oct-13 18:00:05

Apart from them not giving you the vouchers I think they appropriately dealt with the problem.

Inclusionist Wed 30-Oct-13 18:01:08

Did they not charge any of the group for anything they had for lunch (presumably pizzas and drinks at that point)? And did he tell you at the point that he came back that your meal that day would be free? If so they probably rushed you out to avoid the awkward question of whether you then just had carte blanch to order a load more stuff on the free tab!! grin

I think it was a terrible mistake, but I do think free meals all round, including for yourself albeit at a later date is resonable recompense.

What do you feel would have been reasonable?

Mintyy Wed 30-Oct-13 18:02:43

I think this has been badly handled. It was a HUGE mistake, the manager at the time and everyone else at Pizza Express should have made more of it.

Fillybuster Wed 30-Oct-13 18:03:30

Thing is, it didn't feel like a free meal...4 of us had a main course each (although I only got half of mine) and drank tap water. We had planned on having coffee and dessert but weren't even offered the option.

At that point, I feel like PE owe me a proper meal with my colleagues, or at least some coffees and desserts or something- it felt very odd leaving the restaurant and then having to work out where on earth we were going to go to finish our meal....!

FannyMcNally Wed 30-Oct-13 18:03:53

Like what mintyy?

Lilacroses Wed 30-Oct-13 18:04:44

That is a really horrible thing to have happened and I don't blame you at all for being upset. I don't really think their response was lacking generosity in principle though. If I read this right you all got lunch free (albeit I don't understand why no replacement was offered to you then and there) and they have now called you and offered you a voucher for a free pizza. Obviously if they don't send the voucher it's not generous at all!! I wouldn't have expected them to offer you a whole group meal free the 2nd time.

ivykaty44 Wed 30-Oct-13 18:04:55

I would email the head office and let them now that it was bad enough that you had awful unmeat free food - but what is worse is that you have been offered a pizza voucher straight away and it has not arrived so you can't work out whether they just don't care or are incapable of looking after customers

Thats the email address for the CEO

Sirzy Wed 30-Oct-13 18:05:36

Why did you leave before you had all finished? Surely one of you could have said "we haven't finished yet and would like...."

Inclusionist Wed 30-Oct-13 18:06:58

You could have said 'no thank you, just replace my pizza free of charge and we will continue our meal'.

I think YAB a little U to expect them to provide everything you wanted for free. You could have asked them to bring up the 25 yo port next I realise that is unlikely but you know what I mean?

Fillybuster Wed 30-Oct-13 18:09:12

Sirzy in retrospect, you're right. But it was all a bit odd - the manager had disappeared with my plate of food for 10 minutes, without anyone telling us what was going on. The others had finished eating. We just sat there waiting for someone to come back...when he did, it was basically to tell me that he couldn't do anything except tell HQ.

Then he said 'and of course we won't charge you'. And I said "well, of course you won't charge us". And there was a moment when he looked a bit confused, then said 'absolutely. sorry again. HQ will be in touch. goodbye' and walked off. So we looked at each other and decided that since we weren't being given the option to order dessert (and didn't feel comfortable asking in the situation) we should just leave. All other waiting staff completely ignored us during the entire process, from the moment I told them what I had found in my pizza....

TEErickOrTEEreat Wed 30-Oct-13 18:10:42

Tweet and Facebook. At least get your voucher.

CoffeeTea103 Wed 30-Oct-13 18:13:00

Your initial post says he said he won't charge you, cleared the table and said goodbye to yourll. But now you say he said no charge, then walked away?

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