The Pizza Customer Experience: 12 Derivations & 40 Questions

If you haven’t eaten a pizza before, I mean never, well, we could probably make three assumptions. One, people close to you haven’t either; two, there is no good pizza place (pizzeria) around your place; and three, you probably haven’t been to Italy.

Never mind, maybe it’s high time you got acquainted. And if you have already taken a bite before, let’s paint this mental picture together in few seconds. Ok? Good. Pizza Customer Experience: 12 Derivations & 40 Questions.

The Mental Picture

What comes to your mind when I say pizza? What mental image, experiences, surroundings, people and feelings show up? What about the aroma? Needless to ask about the toppings on the pizza you’ve always loved? What about the optimum temperature you’d preferred it to be?

And what about the gooey cheese and toppings melting in your mouth with the crust being munched in-between the mechanical action of your teeth? With every complimentary thing in place, how divine does it feel at the moment?

So, how does it taste – your favorite ones? And before you start to salivate, what perfect dimension in size would fill you up when you’re craving for one?

Mental Picture View & Direct Survey Result

Isn’t it amazing how you could quickly give distinct, authentic and personalized answers to the questions we have just mentally painted?

I deliberately did not place a pizza picture above in order not to affect the quality of your responses and mental painting based on your real experiences.

In fact, from personal research and survey, about 4 in 5 pizza eating people could tell immediately from the aroma and mere look at a pizza whether it’s up to a star rated pizza standard.

Interesting, you might have quipped, but hold on for a second, it gets more interesting here; 5 out of 5 pizza eating people could tell whether the pizza is good as billed from a combination of three parameters – the aroma, the appearance of the pizza, and the “depiction” of the person or people (Pizzaiolo) preparing the pizza at the pizza place (Pizzeria).

It is generally an accepted fact that the ingredients are important, that’s a given. Yet, the 3 parameters signal a “would-be” incredible pizza from an average pizza before taking a bite.

The 3 Parameters

The first two parameters (aroma & look or appearance) tend to be a general trend in assessing most things we often come across. Albeit, the third factor (depiction), weighs more on the scale of ratings of pizza consumers I surveyed.

Depiction in how the pizza man/woman (Pizzaiolo) works his/her craft in detailed specifics on tasks that seem simple but quite important to the overall outcome (the seemingly little things an average person would normally leave for granted or pay little attention to).

For example; the way the pizzaiolo kneads the dough, the way his/her hands
handpicked the ingredients placed as toppings, the way he/she attends to the oven, the on-spot concentration in the preparation of the pizza,
the passion or inner sparkle felt by the customers about the way the pizzaiolo works, and the measure of “delight” in the process just before the last phase of delivery experienced by the customer.

So, how could the pizza experience help better your customer experience and related business performance? Here it is:

12 Derivations & 40 Adaptable Questions from the Pizza Customer Experience

1. Pizza seems to be universally loved; – Not only as a product or the service provided, but an overall fulfillment of a promise to the customers’ all-round innate desires, hence a delightful sensation.
  • What promise do you hand out to your customers?
  • Are those promises met or fulfilled with every contact point with your customer?
  • And are your products, services, and processes integrated to fulfill your customers’ overall wants as it pertains to your functional area?
  • Overall, how beloved are your product/service offerings from the customer’s perspective?
2. Pizza offerings are often available in terms of options (i.e. toppings…etc); – Super customizable to requirement without affecting the expected pizza standard quality.
  • What kind of pizza (product/service) do you offer your customers?
  • How custom-made are your products/services offerings?
  • How qualitative are those customized offerings in relation to your customer’s perceived expectation?
  • Wait, have you even figured out what your customers expect or want from your offerings?
3. Anticipation built up while in wait for the delivery of your ordered pizza is usually met; – Customer knows the pizza would soon be on his/her table, and it often does.
  • How often do you fail to live up to your built-up expectation(s) of your customers?
  • Do your customers even anticipate anything (components, materials, services..etc) from you, because they are certain you won’t live up to your word?
4. You get to choose your pizza based on the offering sets; – Simple, customers have it their way! You are in command right from the ordering or pointing of your finger to stake your pizza choice. 
  • Do you provide reasonable alternatives for your customers to choose from?
  • And when they choose from your service/product options, do you usually give your customers what they really want?
  • How often do you give your customers a feeling of “have it your way” or you stick to that rigid questionnaire and algorithm-determined measures of what you think your real customer’s choices are?
5. The delicious aroma of pizza speaks volume before tasting the final product; – Customer connects with the product-service-process.
  • How are your related customer-processes perceived before the final delivery to your customers?
– Cumbersome?
– Frustrating and too bureaucratic? Or a seamless flow?
  • How pleasing and easy or even fun is it to do business with you?
6. You know what the end product would look like; – Pizza! No stupid surprises in appearance, tastes and other deviation in customer requested things.
  • How often do you deviate from initial agreements and contracts with your customers?
  • How consistent is your quality, brand, and nature of your offerings end-products to your customers?
  • Is your end product consistent and true to your projected image?
7. Time is of the essence for any pizza place (Pizzeria), right from the start to delivery; – They have mastered the art of cutting out unnecessary process, redundancy and focused on the cores of the product, service and overall experience. They are straight shooters, – customers get it straight!
  • How lean is your organization, business or service flow to your customers?
  • What things or processes clutter your organization’s effectiveness?
  • What further actions can still take in straightening your offerings sets to your customer?
  • How innovative are you on your core business aspects?
8. The majority of the pizza places (pizzeria) offer close to similar options (free competitive market), yet, each pizzeria is still known by their customers for a particular special flavor; – Differentiation or the striking effect.
  • How differentiated is your business or organization or your services/products?
  • Does the customer consider something particularly unique about your service/product or processes that rings a bell?
  • Even if you’ve gotten the striking effect, do you project such uniqueness to your customer in order to identify it with you?
9. It never ceases to amaze me of the pizzaiola’s on-spot concentration on the task at each given period, and how the master pizzaiola influences the co-workers; – Keen focus and clear leadership directives.
  • What is your organization’s focus upon now? (If you can’t sum it in a sentence, then it’s something else)
  • Do you lead the line with clear directives to generate results or you simply boss around?
  • How do you influence the people, workers, team members around you towards excellence in offerings to your customers?
10. The pizzaiola’s depiction of delight is always something their customers often cheer about; – Do it with love and delight or find something else.
  • How passionate and delighted are you at serving your customers?
  • What direct and indirect messages are reflected from your relationship, team members, the process towards your customers?
11. Switching up from a lowered priced or different pizza option to another is very easy; – Ease of up-selling the customer with little or no effort. (Why? try to figure that out…(*_*)
  • How complimentary are your services or products offerings to your customers?
  • Any degree of flexibility involved in allowing customers’ change or switch in a request?
  • Are your systems designed to ease a customer’s up-selling or switch of your services/products offerings?
  • And how attractive are your priced options to the customers?
12. The pizza maker’s education is a lifelong adventure and thus feeds into the sum of a customer pizza bite and experience at large;  – Some final advice three master pizza makers gave me (gotten from their former masters):
Observe, watch the hands, ask questions, watch and practice, and keep asking more questions”.
Another one said;  “Take Gabriele’s advice: learn all the methods and then decide which one works for you”.
The last one said, “Learn the language, watch the plates to see if people are eating everything, take care of your staff, respect your oven and care for your vendors”.
  • How committed are you to learning or what is your organization’s stance on training and development geared towards the customer?
  • How masterful are you in your craft?
  • Are you aware or observant of the trends in your customer’s arena?
  • What are the steps you plan to take in relations to your customers’ trend, any clues yet?
  • How often do you challenge yourself and your organization’s status-quo to provide excellent customer experience?
The Crux of the Matter
Customers are the lifeblood and main source of any business real growth. Yes, I know, answering the questions above and deciding to excel in your organization’s overall customer experience is down to consistent hard work but it’s sure doable.
Start from somewhere – a strategic point. Get to work on improving your customer experience. As you might have figured out that a number of things that could still be derived from a pizza experience as it relates to the customer experience and related business and management lessons.


Tosin Adebayo
Tosin Adebayo
TOSIN is a strategist & business development leader that champions “purpose & culture”, proactive approaches, inclusion & collaboration as the driving force for change & growth in business & society. He’s also a Poet & a Storyteller, his poems & stories stir his readers’ imagination & paint the often unnoticed but important aspects of our entirety in different forms of expression. Besides holding an MA degree in Applied Economics from CERGE New York, Tosin schooled in Europe & Africa’s top institutions with diversifies international experience. He finds the greatest rewards in helping organizations, partners & people achieve prioritized goals of growth by delivering meaningful results, provide innovative approaches to solving complex issues & implement strategic initiatives for value creation objectives. He’s open to feedback & connections.

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