Ordering over the phone is a quick and easy way to get a delicious, hot pizza delivered straight to your door or picked up when you want it. Whether you’re ordering for yourself, a group, or a party, learn how to successfully place a pizza order with an employee over the phone. All it takes is to decide on what you’d like to order, state your order clearly over the phone, then pay for your pizza once you receive it.
Deciding On Your Order
Determine where to get your pizza.
Make sure you order from a pizza restaurant that accepts orders over the phone for delivery or pickup/takeout. Check the website for the pizza place, or call their phone number to briefly ask if they do deliveries or will let you order something in advance and pick it up when it’s ready.
- If you want the pizza delivered, check to make sure that you live within an area that the pizza place will deliver to. If you’re outside the city limits of where the restaurant is, for instance, that may be beyond their maximum mileage for deliveries.
- Make sure you also have a type of payment that the pizza restaurant accepts. For instance, you will likely want to have cash for a delivery and not plan to use a check in stores that don’t accept them. Have several types of payments ready just in case.
Decide on pickup or delivery.
Choose whether you’d like to have your pizza delivered straight to your door, or simply go pick it up from the store location. Deliveries are great for convenience, while carry-outs are good when you’re on your way somewhere.
- Note that the potential downside to delivery is that there may be an extra delivery fee added to the cost of your food, and unexpected delays can occur with your driver.
- The potential downsides to a pickup/carry-out order are that you have to get to the location to pick up the pizza yourself, which may take longer. This may be a particular challenge if you don’t own a car, can’t get a ride, or can’t use public transportation.
Choose your pizza and toppings.
Consult an online or paper menu for the pizza place you wish to order from to make your selections. Or choose an item that is common or that you’ve ordered before, like a plain cheese pizza.
- Consider pizza size, type of crust, toppings, and any other options available. You may need to ask how large a size of pizza is to determine what you’ll need, but otherwise the choices are entirely up to you.
- Look for menus online from most chain pizzerias. Take note if they have certain items that are only available in-store and not for delivery or takeout.
Choose drinks or any extras.
Don’t forget about drinks, appetizers, desserts, or any other dishes that you may want along with your pizza. Consult the menu to find out your options.
- Also consider the specifications you may need to make when you order on the phone. Decide on a Small, Medium, or Large beverage, for example, or the kind of dressing you want on a salad if given the option.
- Take a look at the menu, website, or any promotional material you may have received or heard about that provides a special offer or discount on ordering other items with your pizza, or even additional pizzas. You might want to add to your order to take advantage of a deal.
Write down larger orders.
Make placing the order easier for yourself and the person taking the order by knowing exactly what you want, which can be difficult with a large group of people or large order. Write it all down on a piece of paper you can look at while you’re on the phone.
- Make sure everyone in a group comes to a firm agreement on the order before you place the call, and they understand they can’t make changes or additions once you’re on the phone. You can even go into another room to find some peace and quiet for the call if you need to.
- Don’t hesitate to write down any order, even if it’s a small one, as it can help you to remember and speak more clearly when on the phone.
Placing the Call
Say a polite greeting and your type of order first.
When someone at the pizza place answers the phone and says hello, say hello back and state whether you’re ordering for delivery or pickup. You should specify this before any other details.
- Don’t be surprised if you are put on hold. Pizza places can get busy, especially around popular meal times, and they may not have someone available right away to take your order. Wait patiently for just a minute or two until someone comes back on the line.
- You can say, “Hello, I’d like to place an order for delivery” or “Hello, I’d like to place an order for pickup.”
Clearly state your pizza order.
Give your exact pizza order, including details about size and toppings. Don’t forget any add-ons, like drinks or side dishes. Speak slowly and clearly so the employee taking your order can understand you.
- State your order beginning with the size of the pizza, then the type of crust (if options are available). Follow that with the toppings you want, in no particular order. This is the easiest way for an employee to take down your pizza order.
- Read off your order if you wrote it down so that you don’t miss anything. Remember that the person taking your order must record it all too, so speak slowly enough to give them time to do so.
- After you state your food order, you may also provide the appropriate numbers or codes for a coupon or gift card, if you have one for the pizzeria and want to use it for your order. It’s best to do this on the phone, otherwise it may take time and hassle to adjust your price later.
Give your address and phone number for delivery.
If you’re making an order meant for delivery, provide any contact information they need when asked. This typically includes your name, a phone number that they can reach you at, and your current physical address.
- Don’t forget to provide your apartment or unit number if you live in a building or complex with more than one. Also give out any access instructions or an area you can agree to meet your delivery person outside the building.
- It helps to provide a recognizable landmark or any special instructions about where you live to the person taking your order, especially if it may be difficult to find. For example, you could say “between the post office and yellow apartment buildings” or “the house with the blue door.”
- If you placed an order to pick up, they will only need your name and phone number, not an address.
Confirm the price and thank the employee.
Ask for the price of your order, and the estimated time it will be delivered or ready for pickup, if they haven’t already told you this information. Answer any other questions and confirm the order before you hang up the phone.
- The person taking your order will likely repeat what you’ve ordered back to you so that you can make sure they got everything right. Tell them “correct” if it’s right, or state any corrections or changes if it’s wrong.
- He or she will then give you a total price, which will have any discounts you used excluded, as well as possible fees added on if tax applies or there is a delivery charge. Make sure this is the price you expect, then write it down if you need to to remember it.
- Say “thank you, goodbye” to end the call, then hang up the phone.
Receiving and Paying for the Pizza
Pay by phone if using a credit card for delivery.
Specify that you want to pay with a credit card while on the phone ordering for delivery. While some companies may have delivery people equipped with modern conveniences like Square to swipe your card, you can typically expect to pay for a delivery in cash unless you specify otherwise.
- Have your credit card on hand when you specify that you’d like to pay with one. Then give the information for the card to the employee on the phone. You can request to add a tip on at that time, write in a tip on the receipt that comes with your pizza, or give a separate cash tip to the driver when he or she arrives.
- If you’ve placed an order for carry-out, many forms of payment, including credit cards, are accepted at the store itself, where you will pay when you pick up your food. If you’re unsure about a method of payment, ask while you’re still on the phone.
Have payment ready, including tip.
Be ready for the pizza delivery driver, or show up to the pizza location, with a form of payment that covers the amount given to you on the phone. You’ll also need enough for a suitable tip for whoever served you.
- Add a tip of 15-20% of your order total. Some pizzerias suggest that for any order under $20, you should tip a minimum of $3 to make the delivery worthwhile for your driver.
- You can always tip more for excellent service, complicated orders, or bad weather, but never tip less that 15% on regular orders or 10% on large orders. Pizza delivery drivers often rely on tips to supplement a low hourly income rate and cover the costs of using their own car.
- Some restaurants have a delivery fee on top of the typical price for the food. They will tell you the total price with this fee included on the phone. Note that this fee is not a tip for your delivery driver; you still need to provide one.
Wait for a delivery.
Stay at the address you gave over the phone if you ordered for delivery. Be prepared to answer the door and make payment when someone knocks, rings the doorbell, or you get a call from the delivery driver.
- While you’re waiting, go turn on the porch light outside your home if it is dark or getting dark outside, so that the delivery person is better able to find their way and know that you’re home.
- You can also use the wait time to calculate the tip on your order total and get the money for the total amount ready, to have on hand or by the door. This will make payment quicker and easier.
Head to the store at the right time for pickup.
Wait for the call from the pizza place saying your pizza is ready, or the time frame during which you were told you may pick it up. Then go to the location to pick up and pay for your food.
- Factor in the time it will take you to get to the pizzeria when you decide on a time to leave.
- If you arrive earlier than the time they suggest or call you, your order will likely not be ready and you will have to wait. If you arrive much later than suggested, your pizza will likely not taste as fresh or be as hot.
- Remember that mistakes and delays happen, often at the fault of no one. If your pizza order comes out wrong, kindly ask for it to be changed or just accept the order if you are able to eat it. Expect times to be approximate, and don’t get upset if your order takes a little longer.
- Always treat the employees at a pizza restaurant with respect when speaking to them on the phone, in the store, or at your home. You will be served more promptly and agreeably if you speak politely and act kindly toward the people that help you.
- Don’t attempt to tip delivery drivers in anything other than money. This is not acceptable or appropriate.
- Avoid making any “prank calls” to a pizza place. It wastes the restaurant’s time and can prevent you from getting service there in the future.