"New York" J&P Pizza Ripoff

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Jennie
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2007/06/02 12:48:52 (permalink)

"New York" J&P Pizza Ripoff

http://www.illianopizza.com/

This is a small chain based in north-central Maryland called New York J&P Pizza. It's owned by a local Mt. Airy, Maryland family by the name of Illiano. I don't mean to necessarily disparage the owner, and I have no idea if this is a one-of kind of event or if it's indicative of something more sinister.

The pizza itself is . . . okay. Nothing to write home about. Thin but not crispy, and not terribly flavorful. I'd rather go to Pizza Hut, frankly. But the home branch is next to my kids' day-care center. It's frequently quite busy, and they get a lot of take-out business, so I guess somebody must find their pizzas more appealing than Dominos or Papa Johns. Perhaps they're cheaper. They don't deliver, so maybe that's it. I usually get a stromboli. For some reason, even though it's basically an inverted pizza, it seems better to me. Perhaps because it's more substantial per bite.

In any event, on one evening, I had the two kids there and needed to get going. I waited for 10 minutes for my waitress to appear, and finally asked another one to go hunt for her, as I really needed my check. The waitress finally appeared, and whined that she'd been really thirsty and had been drinking a soda (from which I had apparently pulled her away). I apologized, and explained that I really needed to get going. It took another 10 minutes for her to reemerge, by which time I thought I was the one who deserved an apology, but didn't get one. So rather than rounding the tip up to make the check $22, I wrote $21, which made it just under 15%. Just enough to register my annoyance. When the receipt went through my account, however, it was for $21.04. Now, I have no idea if the added 4 cents was a one-time slap by the annoyed waitress, or if it's a policy of the restaurant to overcharge by a few cents. Not enough to call the cops over, but enough to add up to extra profit.

In any event, I have explained all of this to the children, and they've agreed that we'll go to Pizza Hut or Ledos or somewhere if they want the sit-down pizza experience.
#1

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    David_NYC
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    RE: "New York" J&P Pizza Ripoff 2007/06/05 23:53:55 (permalink)
    I downloaded some of the menus from their website. Only one had a date on it, from 2004. The reason for their polularity must be that they are cheap. Their 2004 prices were about the same as seen here in some NYC neighborhoods during that time frame. The places that charged these prices had "Thin but not crispy, and not terribly flavorful" pizza. Just what you wrote. There are also coupons on the web site, so it is possible this operator attracts the budget conscious.

    The pictures on the website, when clicked on for a larger image, show mostly kids working there. About what you would expect for a chain competing mostly on price. After all, they were lower that what Pizza Hut was charging in 2004.
    #2
    David_NYC
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    RE: "New York" J&P Pizza Ripoff 2007/06/06 06:37:08 (permalink)
    On the issue of "kiting" your credit card slip: if you want to send a message to the owner that he has a personnel problem, contact your credit card company and report that the tip on your check was kited. Follow up your complaint in writing. It doesn't matter if it was a mistake by a careless server or revenge.

    One of the pictures on the website showed a touch screen terminal. A lot of these systems even take the tip amount from charge slips to report income of the employee to the IRS. So, there will be an audit trail of who dunnit.

    I don't think there is anything sinister going on, especially since everything is traceable. The staff may have been "slammed" before you got there and were just beat. Or, the waitress you had may just not be cut out for restaurant work.
    #3
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