“Everything can always be done better than it is being done—even a pizza,” Henry Ford said once. Really? Okay, you got me. He didn’t actually mention a pizza. That’s my fib. But the rest of the sentence is true. And Ford’s rule works in our business like in any other—which can be quite a challenge if your pizza is good already. And ours, well, isn’t bad.
Almost any new idea looks cool—until you start implementing it. Our cool idea was to sell milkshakes at Dodo Pizza. And back when we first started, the logic seemed cogent. Americans love milkshakes. Nobody in the pizza delivery business sells them. And most importantly, milkshakes perfectly fit our trendy concept.
Dodo Pizza has been working in Oxford for more than a month. That gives us the opportunity to perform an intriguing experiment and compare our actual results with our now half-a-year-old expectations. In a startup, such a task always brings the joy of discovery because after launching your business, you’re doomed to face something totally unexpected.
It’s been more than three weeks since we opened our first store in the US, and we’ve gotten some feedback from our customers. Almost every day, a few people ask if they can customize their pies. But they can’t. They won’t. We don’t allow that. Some people even get mad when they hear, “I’m sorry, but you can’t change the recipe.” Almost all pizzerias in the US have this option, but we have a whole bunch of reasons for not having it.
My father has never been to America and hasn’t met a single American in his entire life—and yet my dad is pretty sure that he knows everything about America and the Americans. He’s seen many movies, he’s heard some stories on the news, he’s read a few books—and now Dad is of the opinion that he doesn’t need anything beyond that to make his judgment. Here’s the thing. There are millions of people like him all over the world.