The pizza by the slice at Sbarro in Shibuya didn't disappoint. Although, I didn't have my expectations too high either to begin with. The slices are thin and crispy on most occasions (I've been there 6 times in a span of 2 weeks) and a little small (see it compared to a napkin in my photo), but I must say from my experience so far, the service seems a little inefficient.
In my first trip I gave them the benefit of the doubt, but after having been there on my sixth trip, I should say that they seem to have an disorganized way of doing things.
When you enter and look at the pizza pies presented, you make your selection then tell the staff member who takes your order and writes it down for you on a piece of paper.
You then take the paper to the register, pay and get your drink, or any other "non-hot" item, while you wait in front of the register for your order. On three of the six occasions I was asked to pay again while I waited for my slices.
The otherday, when I went at 8pm I asked for a "supreme" slice and the girl taking orders (Machida) told me they have none and that I "had" to choose something else. I told her I will wait for the next pie and she said they will not make any more which prompted me to ask the men behind the counter making the pies, who told me it would take 10-15 minutes for the next "supreme" pie. This showed me that this particular staff member doesn't seem to know much about customer service.
I then ordered a regular slice and a "supreme" telling them I will pick up the "supreme" after it is finished. Surprisingly, by the time I paid for my order, they said both my slices were actually ready and gave them to me. However it was one regular slice and one pepperoni slice, not the "supreme" I had ordered. I told the staff that it was not a supreme, they actually insisted to me it was, and it was only after I had to point to a photo of a supreme slice in their menu, that they acknowledged the difference.
Was it a mistake or were they just trying to pass off a pepperoni slice as a supreme thinking I didn't know any better?
With this type of service and inefficient methods of order taking and placing, I worry about Sbarro Japan's big plans of having over a 1000 stores in Japan within the next 20 years.
However since they did just open I have to give benefit of the doubt. But then again I would have thought that Sbarro and, at the least, JCI, the company managing the Japan stores would have been better prepared for order processing routine and at the least offer better service where they don't tell a customer that they do not have a particular food item they want.
Another observation made by a friend of mine is that they probably need to change their order counter procedure. It is a system that isn't very Japanese, and may actually intimidate many Japanese from this particular method of order fulfillment. He too noted that it seemed like an inefficient process.
That said, I do hope Sbarro does improve and thrive in Japan, because I am sure they can do well, as long as they implement a better system of running their operations.
Labels: fast food, Italian, japan, Pizza by the slice, Sbarro, Shibuya, slice