This is a prime example of how to reduce your customers. I suppose they thought they were being helpful but I doubt the shareholders or owners of Zizzi would agree...and if they did, you better get in touch with me and I will put you right.
On Sunday, the day after new year, some friends and I were wondering where to go for lunch. Zizzi in South Woodford came up. They serve Pizzas, Steaks and Grills and pasta. The only challenge was, were they open all day on a Sunday? So I called them.
"Good afternoon, Zizzi"
"Hi, can you tell me please, are you open all day today?"
"Yes we are, we are open until eleven tonight."
As I was about to put the phone down I heard the following.
"But i should tell you we are not serving Pizzas or Garlic Bread!"
"We are not serving Pizzas or Garlic Bread today. If that was what you wanted we are not serving them."
I thanked her and hung up. We ended up somewhere else when another steakhouse was suggested but...
Why on EARTH tell someone on the telephone that a major part of your menu isn't available? This wasn't just one kind of Pizza but every kind of Pizza. How many people had been told that they couldn't have Pizza when they rang to book a table or when they just walked in off the street and hadn't even sat down?
Firstly, it shows people that you are disorganised. If one of the most popular items on the menu is completely and totally OFF the menu then that is like shooting yourself in the foot, but telling people before they have even sat down is re-loading and shooting the other foot.
Secondly, why not get your customers seated and get them a drink and THEN inform them that, due to circumstances, you cannot offer them Pizza or Garlic Bread but the Steaks are superb, the Pasta is delicious and everything else is available and, what's more, your first drink is complimentary (tip: you tell them that AFTER they have ordered a drink otherwise they will order champagne - trust me, I would)
That way you have a restaurant full of people, happy people, who may be eating something they would not have normally ordered and enjoying it rather than a half empty restaurant because your customers went elsewhere. Remember, customer loyalty is far more important than customer satisfaction. But...customer satisfaction leads to customer loyalty.
By being a bit more savvy on the phone and thinking things through Zizzi could have had a lot more business that day.