July 8, 2013

Papa Murphy’s Take ‘n’ Bake Pizza – as good as their customer service

Papa Murphy's vegan pizza?

Papa Murphy’s vegan pizza?

It is very seldom that I will post an unfavorable comment on this site but sometimes things are so over the top that something needs to be said.

I feel a separate article is forthcoming regarding all the great experiences I have had with Papa Murphy’s. My negative experience is not with their product.

The convenience and flexibility of Papa Murphy’s Take ‘n’ Bake Pizza products are part of what makes them an unparalleled option for vegans who like home baked pizza. I wholly support Papa Murphy’s Take ‘n’ Bake Pizza as a vegan eatery. Their sauce and crust is vegan. They will make you a pizza with all veggies and no cheese and you can get their “Cheesy Bread” without butter or cheese. On either can put your own vegan cheese if you wish. I have even had a Papa Murphy’s in Chico, CA make me a pizza with a vegan cheese that I brought with me. I don’t expect that because that would be extraordinary customer service when all I really expect is polite fair treatment.

There are some people who should just should not work in a customer service role. We have all encountered the type; someone who, for some reason or another, feels empowered by making making things inconvenient or difficult for the customer.

Such is my experience with Papa Murphy’s Pizza. To be more precise, my local neighborhood Papa Murphy’s Take ‘n’ Bake Pizza in the Southport area of West Sacramento.

Papa Murphy’s has a menu item called Cheesy Bread which is pizza dough coated with a butter-like sauce and has cheese sprinkled on top but I don’t eat cheese and neither of my children eat cheese. So the solution is that we order the cheesy bread without any topping then we can put on some olive oil, fresh basil and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast or whatever we choose in lieu of butter and cheese. Papa Murphy’s ultimately benefits from this by not using any of their inventory of topping ingredients and skipping the labor step of having to put those toppings on.

Papa Murphy’s should welcome this and they do, from a policy standpoint at a corporate level, and at every Papa Murphy’s location I have visited in recent years except the one in my neighborhood.

A few months ago I attempted to order a plain cheesy bread. Granted I called it a “crust” out of habit because this is the way I had happily conducted business at every other Papa Murphy’s I have been to. My order this time was denied by the young manager citing that the policy had changed recently and that they could no longer sell just crust. So I left empty-handed with grumbly hungry kids. When I got home I posted a message on Papa Murphy’s corporate Facebook page asking if the policy had indeed changed. The response I got back was, “No”. Papa Murphy’s sells plain crusts and charges for a cheesy bread as they always had.

Soon afterward I received an email from the owner of my neighborhood Papa Murphy’s franchise. The owner told me that there was a misunderstanding, that I had asked for a plain “crust” and not a cheesy bread. Of course they would sell a plain cheesy bread but they would not be able to sauce it for me. No sauce? An order of cheesy bread is served with optional sauce on the side. Whatever, I don’t need sauce.

I didn’t go back for a long time but I got over it and thought I would give my local Papa Murphy’s a try once again because they had an advertised special by which you could order two cheesy breads for six dollars and save a dollar off the regular price of two. I was careful not to use the word “crust” to avoid any confusion this time but the same manager gave the same story, that the policy had recently changed and it was the owner’s decision that they could not sell the plain cheesy bread. Again I left empty-handed and emailed the owner as soon as I got home. The owner was quick to respond and again apologized for the misunderstanding and that she called her manager to clear up the policy confusion.

So I went back the very next day the same manager was there but refused to sell the plain cheesy bread at the special price and that was what he had worked out with the owner. In other words if they did not put toppings on it it was going to cost me an extra dollar. I politely asked what the reasoning was, that Papa Murphy’s was making even greater profit off of me by saving on cheese and topping. His response was, “we are responsible for what people put on our crusts”, which neither answered my question nor made any sense at all.

As I asserted the absurdity of his reasoning he agreed to give me the two plain cheesy breads at the advertise special price of six dollars. I had six dollars in hand. I had counted the last six bills from my wallet in the parking lot and even grabbed some quarters in case the special was no longer going on. “That will be six dollars”, said the manager. I handed over six one dollar bills and turned around to speak to my daughter. “Do you have another dollar”, I heard. He lifted his hands and counted five dollar bills in front of me. “Am I short a dollar? I could have sworn I gave you six”, I said and handed over 4 quarters I had in my pocket, thanked him and left.

I cannot recommend the Papa Murphy’s at 2455 Jefferson Blvd in West Sacramento. It is more than just a case of poor customer service. It may be due to a single staff member but, when said person is the front line manager, a business should expect to lose customers.

I will recommend the other Papa Murphy’s that is less than 3 miles north on Jefferson Blvd in the Safeway shopping center. There are also a few other Papa Murphy’s I have patronized which were always happy for my business and respectful of my vegan requests.

Papa Murphy’s Take ‘n’ Bake Pizza

1288 West Capitol Avenue
West Sacramento, CA 95691
(916) 372-7222

5618 Folsom Blvd
Sacramento, CA ‎
(916) 452-0550

14 West Eaton Road
Chico, CA 95973
(530) 343-3993