Alibi V.29 No.13 • March 26-April 1, 2020

Food for Thought

On Metaphors and Pizza

Dion’s delivery is a welcome change during the end times

Dion’s pizza
Just give us the cheesy goodness straight to our door please!
Dan Pennington

I keep hearing that things won’t be the same after all this is done, and in a way, I feel glad. There’s a cause I’ve been advocating for years, something near and dear to my heart. I try not to hold strong opinions when it comes to my section, but in times like these, maybe now is the best opportunity to speak up. If things do need to change now, why not change them for the better? Why not use what we learn from all of this and make improvements for the future? I’m tired of hearing it can’t be done, yet in the course of a week, massive changes were made to accommodate and put in place the systems needed to pull it off. I am, of course, talking about Dion’s offering delivery.

We’ve been told for years that it was logistically impossible. In terms of infrastructure, Dion’s just didn’t have any way to implement a delivery system. Think about it. You need to retrain people on how to take delivery orders, you’d have to build a whole new section of the website and then train and hire drivers to go out and deliver the food itself. There was just no way to make that happen under the old structure. Yet, here in the midst of the storm, Dion’s rolled out the necessary changes to deliver, making sure pizzas got where they needed to be. An online site was put together, rolled out and functioning within a week of deciding social distancing and restaurants didn’t go together. It is amazing what happens when times become desperate.

Another complaint I’ve heard is that it would cost too much. Part of that cost would be rolled into the previous statement, with the training and all. Who would be paying for all these new positions? Do we, the customers and consumers, eat this cost with our pizza? The multitude of questions centered around cost always seem to be the biggest talking point in the argument. Yet, when it became clear that people in need of pizza delivery were a top priority, the organization coalesced, with no changes in pricing or cost, because, at the end of the day, it was more viable than the current system in place. All it took was a national emergency to show that we could pull it off with no problems.

Let’s say you’re one of those people who likes having other delivery choices. Can I be real with you for a second? Are other pizza deliveries really that great? Or have you bought into the idea that you like them even though they’re always a struggle to deal with? Sure, upfront, it might seem good. Order a pizza, have it delivered and enjoy, but then you’ve got all the hidden fees. You wanted a cheesy bread with that order? Sure we’ll give you those, but only if you spend $20 on the pizza itself first. But then, someplace like Pizza Hut brings you the food you paid so much for, and it turns out to be only mediocre. We’ve all been there and lived through that struggle. What good is a delivery pizza that tastes average at best and doesn’t even offer a comprehensive meal for the price you end up paying for it? Ordering Dion’s pizza and a salad fed the lady and I for two days straight and it was fairly reasonable in cost, all while being delicious. You can’t argue that when looking at national chains and their options.

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before! If everyone has delivery, food will take longer to get to us. With apps like Doordash and Postmates, the system doesn’t get overloaded. Turns out that the capacity to handle extra delivery orders was possible all along, and it hasn’t made a significant slowdown in food prep or sales. Additionally, when you look at peak times where their system has been overloaded by regular walk-ins, no one bats an eye. That’s just the way it is, they’ll say. It’s just the nature of things, they scoff. The point is the system will manage if delivery is thrown into the mix, because at the end of the day, Dion’s still manages to pull it all off without falling apart because that’s always been what they do, ensuring the delight of diners with their pizza and reducing wait times will always be top priority, but maintaining quality is just as important for their business. More jobs in pizza making will be created to handle the uptick in business, helping to benefit everyone.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to this, in regard to complaints. None of it matters, because when things went sideways, we made it happen. I have heard the complaints for years now, but when we got down to brass tacks, the answer was, “Just do it for the good of everyone,” which is exactly what happened. Look, everyone is entitled to their opinion’s and, currently, the free market system our country operates on lets growth be decided by who has the best options versus cost, letting consumers make the choice. But we can also be real and say that we’re shocked most of those options are still there. No one happily eats at Domino's when they could have Dion’s, but when it comes to having it brought straight to your door, up until now, it wasn’t an option. What I’m saying is, now that we’ve seen how well it works, once all this is over, maybe we can keep it? I think the rest of us would prefer it that way.