Domino’s Pizza Japan apologized on Sunday for massive delays customers waiting to get their pizzas experienced on December 24th.
It appears that the reason for the Christmas Eve pizza delays is an inability to keep up with increased demand caused in large part by a heavily promoted buy one get one free take-out exclusive pizza offer. The deal was part of Domino’s Christmas sales push and was intended as a way of attracting customers away from the more popular Christmas dinner option of fried chicken. In order to promote the deal the company even released a TV commercial at the beginning of December, featuring Santa going to a Japanese Domino’s and taking advantage of the limited time offer.
However, despite these efforts to drive up their Christmas sales it seems that they were not ready at all for the onslaught of hungry people that showed up on Christmas Eve. Frustrated customers who were forced to wait up to an hour and a half for pizzas that they had reserved beforehand took to Twitter. Below are some of their tweets.
"I made my reservation this morning and they tell me I have to wait 1 and a half hours? What is this?"
"It’s crowded and I can’t even cancel my order!"
"It’s clear that they took more orders than they could handle."
According to an employee at a Domino’s located in Kanagawa Prefecture, the Kanagawa Domino’s received 1.5 times more orders than previous years and 50-60 people had to wait over an hour before they got their pizzas. The employee also revealed that the local police received 3-4 calls complaining about “long lines of cars in front of the store.” Similar reports of higher than average sales and long lines were reported both within and outside the Tokyo area. According to one Domino’s manager, locations in suburban areas where many people drove to the pizza shops all “had it rough.”
On December 25th, Domino’s posted the following apology to their official website and social media accounts.
"Delays due to the number of orders we received on December 24th far exceeding our expectations have caused trouble for both customers that had requested their orders be delivered and those that went in person to pick up their orders. As a result we are deeply remorseful. All staff members will work hard to provide good service moving forward. We are terribly sorry."
When asked to provide further details a representative for Domino’s public relations company was quoted as saying “We are refusing to provide information not in the public apology.”
It seems like Domino’s is pretty touchy about their little pizza panic. Obviously, they just didn’t have enough staff on hand to deal with the Christmas crowds. However, the public relations guy’s answer seems to imply that there might be more to this story. Perhaps the company was too cheap to staff more people that night and they don’t want to admit that? Or maybe Domino’s just wants people to stop talking about the whole thing as soon as possible. It’s probably a bit of both. In any case, I guess all the people of Japan can do now is hope that this doesn’t happen again next year.