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Four Tips For Ordering Pizza On A Busy Day Or For A Big Event

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You definitely want to have piping hot, fresh pizza delivered to your big party or event at just the right time. After all, you don't want kids waiting around at a birthday party or guests hungry after kickoff has come and gone. When's the best time to order and what do you need to do to ensure that your pies make it to you on time and in perfect condition?

1. Make sure you allow plenty of time.

The average pizza from a non-fast food pizza parlor takes 20 minutes just to cook fully. Consider the time it takes you to call, have your order processed and the pizza made before it can be put in the oven. Then, it must be delivered to you. So if you call a half-hour before you need the pizza, you're bound to be disappointed. 

On particularly busy days -- the two biggest are Halloween and Super Bowl Sunday -- you could have dozens of orders ahead of yours. Call at least a couple of hours ahead to get a place in the queue. Most pizza restaurants would prefer to take your order early and get it ready when you need it rather than have you call in a panic. 

2. Be pleasant on the phone.

Placing a phone order on a busy day might mean that you have a slightly frazzled employee on the other end of the line. Make it easy on them -- have your order ready to go and speak clearly. Here's what you need to communicate, preferably in this order: 

  • Whether the order is for delivery or to pick up.
  • If it is a delivery order, the address where you want the pizza delivered.
  • The size of the pizza.
  • The type of crust.
  • The toppings that you want.
  • Your credit card number.
  • Any questions that you have about the time it will take.

The easier and more clear you can be in giving your order, the less likely there will be any mixups.

3. Make yourself easy to find.

Turn your porch light on if it is dusk or already dark. If you're ordering for delivery at a business, make sure you or another person will be at the building entrance, ready to meet the delivery driver. Both residences and businesses should have clear, easy to see street numbers on the front of the building and/or the mailbox.

4. Tip well and talk nicely to your driver.

This might not help you if this is the only time you have or ever will order form a particular pizza restaurant. But if you make a good impression as a kind and generous customer, your delivery driver will remember. He or she may even make a note in the restaurant's system indicating that you are a nice person who should get extra special treatment. And it may happen that in the future, your orders, especially on very busy days, will get to you on time and first on the driver's route.

Wondering what amount to tip? Make sure it is at least 10 percent, and if you want to be remembered, go for 20 to 25 percent. It should be at least $3 to $5, even if you ordered less. Don't forget to be pleasant and say thank you.

If you don't have your pizza in the timeframe that you are expecting, it's fine to call the restaurant and inquire. If there was a problem with your order, being polite and pleasant is the best way to get it taken care of quickly.