Slice of silliness

We appreciate Robert Jamieson’s P-I columns sometimes, but clearly he doesn’t know the paradigm is that us blogger types are supposed to run around commenting on the paper, not the other way around. Searching for a column idea in a slow news week, he lands today on our Pagliacci delivery-limits discussion. (Nice the company responded to him but not to us.) Anyway, the same guy who defended Mars Hill’s misogynist main man just a wink of time ago is now defending Pagliacci. Sorry, the “seven-minute rule” doesn’t wash (seven minutes to get from The Junction to any place south of Cali & Morgan? in a horse-drawn cart?). We personally don’t think we’re aced out for economics (our own humble shack is a lone island of affordability among a slew of expensive view homes), just non-business sense (what’s the BS about a “cold, soggy pie,” when other outlets further north can get a hot one to us just fine?) — Mr. Columnist implies that the classism claim is the only complaint here and chides us for it, yet this was included in only TWO comments out of more than 50 on the two posts where we’ve had this discussion (#1 here, #2 here). But at least Pagliacci, in his column, has removed any hope they’ll be delivering to us south WS’ers. Welcome, Garlic Jim’s!

29 Replies to "Slice of silliness"

  • The House January 30, 2007 (7:59 am)

    I’m off to work right now, but will e-mail him tonight. We have a saying down South “He done pissed me off”.

  • MAS January 30, 2007 (8:14 am)

    Apparently, Pagliacci just uses inferior delivery technology, since I can get pizza from further away than their store and it’s hot and fresh from Luciano’s (I demonstrated this last night.)

    The economic point made in the article is a good one though. If Pagliacci isn’t serving the community, competition will take it’s place. Someone like Garlic Jim’s will not only gain the currently under served by doing what Pagliacci says they cannot, delivering a quality pizza to a wider area – they will likely gain a fair number of Pagliacci’s customers through general preference or convenience. Pagliacci’s left a hole in the local market, and may pay the price in competitive loss.

    Oh, and I’m amused by the fact that Jamieson ignored the posts showing that Pagliacci’s delivers to places farther away and harder to get to in order to deliver his condemnation of our open discussion. He mentions that such posts exists, and then takes Pagliacci’s managements word for proof that we are imagining it all, when all it would take is a GPS that estimates ETA and some addresses to know for sure. (I’m offically out of their delivery area by this method, since I’m 8.3 minutes away here at 35th and Othello.)

  • Michelle January 30, 2007 (8:15 am)

    If anything I think that this article defending Pag’s will hurt them more than help them. If they were really interested solely in customer service you’d think they’d take the time to jump in the car with a stopwatch and re-drive their boundary instead of digging in their heels like a stubborn child…

  • Josh January 30, 2007 (9:22 am)

    First of all, I happen to be one of the “lucky ones” that lives in Pagliacci delivery area (just barely north of Morgan Junction). I don’t know what they are talking about because the pizzas that I have gotten from them are hardly of great quality or anything warmer than room temperature. If I feel like getting a decent slice of hot pizza there is always Abondanza(sp?) which tastes just as good to me. Although I don’t think that they deliver. Pagliacci has just been resting on their laurels, coasting by with mediocre, at best, pizza. I know the good stuff is out there so I don’t mind a bit when a place is so stubborn that they continue to shoot them self in the foot. BTW, Robert Jamieson is a complete tool. He’s just trying to pander to those that would give him a semi-good column. Which it isn’t otherwise he wouldn’t have to glean ideas from blogs.

  • Mike January 30, 2007 (10:28 am)

    I live on Alki beach. I get Pagliacci pizza about once per week. They’re deliver a terrific pizza and its hot and fresh when it gets here, every time. I’m always satisfied by my experience with Pagliacci’s; the drivers are nice and courteous and the people on the phones are knowledgable and very accurate. When I have a problem with my order, the company makes it right. Its the best pizza chain I’ve ever come across.

    You can’t get delivery? Too bad.
    Here’s a newsflash: It’s not a given right that you should. You are not entitled to get what you want from private businesses. You think its because you live in a bad neighbourhood? Probably right. If I owned Pagliacci’s I would probably do the same thing. Suck it up buttercup. You can either move or give your money to a different outfit that will satisfy your needs. I’m glad to hear some of you plan to do that. I support your decision.

    Now let’s not make mountains out of mole hills, k?

  • Michelle January 30, 2007 (11:29 am)

    Mike – its great to hear that you’re so much better than everyone in West Seattle that isn’t fortunate enough to live on Alki. Why don’t you do us a favor and move to Belltown – I bet you can get hot fresh pizza there too.

  • Eric January 30, 2007 (11:41 am)

    Come on Michelle, we’re all residents of West Seattle and we can all somewhat get along. Mike makes a good point, Pagliacci is a private business and has the right to deliver where they want. To say that they base their decision on the economic fortitude of a particular neighborhood is obsurd. I don’t think they deliver to Faunltley Hills or Arbor Heights, both of which aren’t doing so bad economically speaking. Have any of you bothered to investigate the delivery radius of any of the other stores? Is the West Seattle store consistent with the others? Please speak up if you have.

  • Blog Business Summit January 30, 2007 (11:47 am)

    The Blogosphere Impacts Every Business, Whether You’re a Multinational or a Local Pizza Chain…

    We blogged recently about Starbucks’ run in with a number of Chinese bloggers who object to the presence of a Starbucks store inside the Forbidden City. But the blogosphere can have the same impact on much smaller-scale businesses. Pagliacci, Sea…

  • Leschi January 30, 2007 (11:58 am)

    Well, there is redlining going on at Pagliacci – but it has more to do with where they choose to open new locations: the latest – way out in Edmonds! – when they’ve yet to open anything near the Central Area, Beacon Hill, or points further south.

    All their locations are in the whiter parts of town north, east, and west.

    I noticed this first when I moved to Leschi from downtown and couldn’t get a delivery anymore. Because if you deliver to Leschi – or Madrona, or Madison Valley – well, you have to deliver to the Central Area too, right?

    Fortunately the point it moot now: we made do with Mad Pizza for awhile – and no prefer to go out to the better Vera Neopolitana places that opened in the past few years, pioneered by Tutta Bella in an area Pagliacci would never dare set foot in: Columbia City.

    So yes, I think they’re redliners – and if they aren’t, they should prove me wrong by opening their next delivery location somewhere in south / central Seattle.

    Until they do, I’m sticking to my guns.

  • Michelle January 30, 2007 (12:04 pm)

    Let me clarify this a little bit – I do agree that a private business has the right to run their business as they see fit. My last comment was in reaction to it being implied that if Pag’s won’t deliver to where we live then we must live in a bad neighborhood…that and being told to “suck it up buttercup”…

  • Eric January 30, 2007 (12:47 pm)

    Just buy pizza from someone else – Pags is great, but I think it is overpriced.

    Try Abbondanza.

    I don’t know if they deliver (they do deliver to BPP), but it is a great pizza and totally local (yes, Pags is local, but it is nothing more than a chain IMHO).

    Someone with some money and some guts should open up a nice gourmet pizza joint that delivers to south West Seattle. Oh, wait, someone is – Garlic Jim’s!

  • PlanetHeidi January 30, 2007 (1:28 pm)

    Funny thing is… if I’m gonna have to drive down to the Junction to pick up a pizza from Pag… I prefer to head over to Lee’s and pick up food there. Their cuisine is worth driving all the way up from Roxbury to get!

  • Matt Galvin January 30, 2007 (2:13 pm)

    My name is Matt Galvin and I am one of the owners of Pagliacci Pizza. Thanks for the feedback and responses posted on this blog. I know that many of you were less than satisfied with Robert Jaimeson’s article in the Seattle PI this morning. My hope is that the enclosed comments will help you understand the business reasons behind our delivery area in West Seattle. However, I would like to invite you to email me at or to our Director of Operations (former GM of the West Seattle location and nine year resident of West Seattle) Jeff Woodruff. Jeff’s email is

    Our West Seattle delivery area hasn’t change since we opened in 1996. Our location, thanks to many of you, has been tremendously successful. I believe that this success has been built on providing great service and an equally exceptional product. As a locally owned business, our success is rooted in the really, really wonderful employees that have worked for Pagliacci for a number of years. Byron and Mike are the location’s current managers. They both live in West Seattle and Mike grew up in the area. Our average West Seattle driver has been with Pagliacci for over four years. Why am I telling you this? Because I think it is important that you know that our employees, especially in West Seattle, are tied to the community. They are vested in Pagliacci because we are a good company for whom to work and they know that we are deliberate and thoughtful about the decisions we make. We haven’t said yes to a bigger delivery area to date because an expanded area has not been the right thing to do for our employees and our business.

    Having said that, we are motivated to grow our business. Why not have a bigger delivery area? In the short term, it would be great. We would likely have record nights, record weeks and maybe even a record month or two. However, that would soon end after our customer’s received chronically late and cold pizza. This would happen and has happened at other locations. In the past, we may have been guilty of biting off more than we can chew in other neighborhoods. We know, painfully so, that we would not be able to execute on our promise of great service and product with a bigger delivery range. If we were to pursue a greatly expanded delivery area, our drivers, the ones who we rely on so much would soon leave. And that would be very, very bad for our business.

    What I can say is that we will be expanding our delivery area. When this will happen is up in the air. In order to deliver to a wider area, we need to prepare for this. We need to hire and train more drivers and more cooks. We need to make sure that we can handle the additional volume without compromising quality and service. Many of you have grown tired of hearing us state that we are in the process of reviewing our delivery area. I apologize for this and I know that this posting may only add to that frustration. I know this will disappoint many of you and I am sorry we cannot satisfy all of the delivery demand.

    Thank you for the feedback. I really appreciate it. Please email or call with any questions. Jeff and I can both be reached at 206.652.0877.


    Matt Galvin

  • The House January 30, 2007 (5:05 pm)

    Matt, let me be the first to honestly applaud you for listening to your customer base. I work for a large corporation and we seem to forget that individuals drive and sustain companies. I have always disliked the fact that Pags doesn’t deliver to my area, but still think it is worth the drive b/c it it better quality than the majority of pizza places in WS. There are far more important things for us to worry about than pizza delivery, but it seems like expanding your delivery borders would not be that large of a stretch. I have and will continue to be a Pags customer and am greatful for you reaching out to all of us.

  • Jzo January 30, 2007 (9:04 pm)

    Private businesses make choices. The distance argument is weak. I lived at the Delridge playfield for 6 years…not farther than Alki. None of your arguments address the fact that you deliver to pockets of residents that live farther away than others.

    If your argument about service and cold pizza is true, why not deliver to a few places on delridge instead of deep Alki?

    I got used to living without pagliaci’s. Private biz makes choices. So do consumers. Support Lucianos.

  • Josh S. January 30, 2007 (9:17 pm)

    OK, so now we heard from the owners, and I think he’s taken the time to really answer the concern. It’s also a good point that a number of WS people work there. Some who may live outside their own delivery area.

    That said, I am stunned to be the 15th comment to this thread (not counting previous ones that had huge response).

    We’re talking about Pizza. I like Pizza. But it’s Pizza.

    If they don’t bring it to you, you can go get it. I live where they wouldn’t bring it to me (Westwood). But it’s Pizza. It’s not our democracy at stake. It’s probably not a nefarious plot. Over Pizza.

  • Todd in Westwood January 30, 2007 (9:33 pm)

    After a few times of trying to get good pizza as far south as Roxbury, we gave up, well almost, until we found Amante Pizza and Pasta will deliver down here. It’s fairly good, price isnt bad either. If we are going out it still has to be Stellar Pizza in Georgetown or Piecora’s on the Hill, but for ordering in Amante is good.
    Just remember folks, there is alot of indy pie joints around town that are way better and have much better customer service. They have to, to keep business and fight the larger chains.

  • Eric January 31, 2007 (8:08 am)

    Jzo — your first sentence sums it all up.

    “Private businesses make choices”

    I appreciate their explaination, and I am certain that they are doing just fine with the business they have.

    Nothing more to see here.

  • aNother January 31, 2007 (5:30 pm)

    Alki has traditionally been a working-class neighborhood, actually.

  • myownviews February 1, 2007 (1:55 am)

    Any opinion expressed here is entirely my own and does not represent the views of anyone other than myself, and certainly not anyone that I may or may not work for.

    I would like to take the time to express what may or may not be an insiders view, I may or may not be working at the restaurant in question in this thread, I may have been working there for more than five years. If I was to have any inside knowledge I might know that the discussion to expand the delivery area has come up several times. I may also know that perhaps it has been tried in the past and currently there are several customers that live outside the delivery area who are delivered to frequently. I might also know that there may be serious discussion about expanding the area that has been going on for several months. Perhaps before this thread was even in existence.
    If I were to know anything about the Pagliacci in question I might know that Pagliacci has a very loyal group of delivery customers, some of whom have ordered over 500 even 600 times. I might also know that Pagliacci strives to maintain the best quality product and outstanding service to all it’s customers. Usually this is a level that is met, and sometimes it is not. I know not everyone likes the pizza and some people have other favorites. I know not everyone gets perfect service and a perfect product every time, the place is after all run by human beings who make mistakes. But the difference is Pagliacci tries to make it right for the customer when things go wrong.
    I might also know that the discussion is largely based on continuing to provide the best product and best service that Pagliacci can, as Matt Galvin stated in his post. I may also know that Pagliacci is a company that does value it’s employees and does not wish to lose a bunch of long time employees and start over.
    There would be value in expanding the delivery area in that it might mean an increase in sales for the business, but the downsides are there too. Possibly longer waits for the food, perhaps not the same quality if it takes longer to drive there. Perhaps the drivers might not want to drive further and put more wear and tear on their cars and be out on the road longer and in turn not have as many deliveries for the night. Perhaps more drivers would be hired on and that would also mean less deliveries for all the drivers.It’s also simple enough to say the drivers are just trying to make a living, and more miles for less deliveries for the night might not be the best thing for them. Do you care about the drivers problems, perhaps, but probably not. Do the drivers care if they drive further to customers who don’t care about them, probably, but perhaps not. If you want the pizza and Pagliacci doesn’t deliver to you, the choice is pick-up or patronize another place.

    Now I really wish there was a Dick’s Drive In in west seattle, but there isn’t. And Ted Turner owns the movies and can colorize them if he chooses to do so. In other words the decision of a business is based on what that business chooses to do and feels will be best for that business. Of course the delivery area is based on what would support a more expensive pizza. Doesn’t it make sense to look at where the customers might be willing to pay for a higher quality product and focus the efforts on that area. That being said the demographics of West Seattle have changed over the years and perhaps it’s time to open up the borders a bit. But that’s up to the owners of the business and even when they do open up the area there will still be people who are not happy because they still live too far from the store to even be in the new expanded area. So as with anything it is a matter of personal choice whether or not you will be happy with this or any other business.

  • Administrator February 1, 2007 (6:03 am)

    Absolutely. And all I can tell you is that we used to get PP at least once a week, spending at least $40 each time. Picking up just doesn’t work for us any more. So over the past 6 months or so, that’s maybe $1K in lost business for PP. Drop in their bucket, perhaps. But it adds up.

  • Eric February 1, 2007 (9:44 am)

    Since we’re talkin’ pies… one pizzeria I would love to see in West Seattle is Tutta Bella.

    Worth the trip over to Columbia City!

  • Tish February 1, 2007 (11:39 am)

    I love Pagliacci pizza and have not only been a loyal customer, but a vocal supporter as well. Growing up in a small beach town off the coast of California, I only ate national chain store pizzas before moving up here so Pags–with it’s unusual seasonal offerings and fresh ingredients–was truly a delight. That said, the comments on this threat have made me question my loyalty and what’s more, become frustrated by their response of customer queries.

    While I can agree that some of their points are valid, several central claims that they make ring false:

    CLAIM #1: We determined our delivery area by simply mapping out all locations we could reach within seven minutes.
    MY RESPONSE: I live off Holden and 35th. It consistently takes less than five minutes to reach our house from Pags and yet we don’t fall within their delivery area. What’s more, the 2500 block of Beach Drive (where one poster saw Pag’s pizza being delivered) and other points are Alki–with their narrow one-lane roads and dead-end streets–are often more than seven minutes away. So is the delivery area truly determined by what areas do (and don’t) fall within seven minutes of their WS location? I think “MyOwnView’s” (who clearly works or has worked for the chain) veiled admission “Doesn’t it make sense to look at where the customers might be willing to pay for a higher quality product and focus the efforts on that area” is a much more honest reason as to why Pags created the boundaries that they did. What upsets me is not that they determined their delivery area via this logic (because after all, they are a business out to make money) but that they won’t admit it. I feel like I am being lied to and that makes me question their honestly as a whole…not to mention the respect they have for their customers intelligence. Lastly, for what it’s worth, West Seattle as a whole is changing demographic wise. Alki is no longer the only area where upper and middle class citizens live. The average cost for a house in my neighborhood is 400,000-450,000 dollars.

    CLAIM #2: Pags will lose longtime employees if they increase the delivery area. In addition, most of the these employees will become too taxed due to the increase in delivery orders.
    MY RESPONSE: Please! Anyone who has ever taken in Intro to Econ class is well versed in the law of supply and demand. If orders increase, one can simply hire more drivers. The increase in business will almost certainly pay for the increase in labor costs. What’s more, I find it improbable that Pags would lose employees simply because they expanded their delivery area by a few miles. And even if that were the case, they could only assign the new drivers to the farther delivery routes. Lastly, for a business to succeed, they necessarily have to adjust with the times (or in this case, the changing demographic and needs of West Seattle citizens). While I applaud their belief in employee retention, I would question any management team that allowed their business to grow stagnant due to their employees unwillingness to adjust to changes in the business or neighborhood that houses it.

    CLAIM #3: Pags’s service and/or the quality of the pizza would suffer if they increase their delivery area
    MY RESPONSE: Your service is already suffering because you’re failing to meet the demands of the neighborhood! I order pizza at least 2-3 times a month. 75% of the time I end up driving down when told to only to wait an additional 5-15 more minutes than was stated over the phone because the staff is running behind and/or there are a lot of customers milling around waiting to pay for their pizzas. Consequently, I’ve not only had to waste five minute driving down to the junction but another 5-15 waiting to get or pay for my pizza, and finally, another 5 minute to drive home. This is why the possibility of a Garlic Jims that delivers to the South end (and in my case, 35th and Holden) is so exciting.

    Finally, the quality of your pizza and service will never suffer if you carefully calculate how much staff you can afford to have given the demand. That’s what has allowed you to prosper in other larger areas after all…so why not here?

    That’s all I wanted to say on this issue. Truth be told, I do feel a little silly commenting to this post but Pag’s lack of response and/or lack of honestly when they finally did respond has been frustrating. Last night I ended up trying another pizza chain mentioned in this blog and I doubt I will be going back to Pags anytime soon. Like the post above, I am only one person, but I have a feeling that there are other customers like me who may love Pag’s pizza but don’t appreciate being ignored, mislead, or (worst-case-scenario) lied to as well.

  • D February 1, 2007 (1:37 pm)

    Ok, on an unrelated note, I had never before heard the phrase “Suck it up, buttercup” and have now run across it twice today in totally separate blog comment strings. Random.

  • RaceCar February 1, 2007 (2:45 pm)

    Anyone that can make it from 35th and Holden to the Junction in 5 minutes is gonna get pulled over eventually and get a hefty speeding ticket.

  • kb February 1, 2007 (3:43 pm)

    35th & Holden to Pags per google maps
    2.4 mi (about 5 mins)

  • myownviews February 1, 2007 (4:01 pm)

    One more thought I would like to share. If I were in fact an employee there the one thing that would truly make my job worthwhile and fulfilling would be the customers. As time goes on you build good relationships with people and look forward to seeing them again. Since the majority of the business is repeat customers it is often a real pleasure to see that name come up on the ticket and know you will see someone who will make your night better just by being friendly and happy to see you too.

  • The House February 1, 2007 (7:39 pm)

    I have a response and final word for myownviews. I had the craving for pizza tonight and picked up Abbondanza. “BURP!”

    May this be the end of our pizza discussion?

  • hellokitty February 14, 2007 (3:21 pm)

    I am a long time customer of Pagliacci (frequent Pi-er baby) who is fortunate enough to live in their delivery area (Admiral District). I have always received great service and quality product from them.

    I think there’s truth in that socio-economic factors affect their delivery area, but I don’t understand why people are taking it personally. I think we can all agree that Pag’s is pretty expensive as pizza goes. Now I’m sure there are plenty of people in White Center, Westwood and related areas who both desire to and can afford to order from Pagliacci. But overall they would be exceptions, not the rule, and a successful business cannot cater to exceptions. Would it make good business sense for Tini Bigs to open a second location in Kent? Of course not…there isn’t a huge market for $11 martini’s since the majority of people going out there are perfectly content with a $5 martini. Does that mean people in Kent can’t recognize the difference between Grey Goose and Smirnoff…of course not! But since the majority of people there are more likely to consume $5 Smirnoffs than $11 Grey Gooses, it would not make prudent business sense to open a Tini Bigs there. And the Kent-ites who prefer $11 martinis…well…they just drive to Seattle.

    Similarly, of course there are people in Highland Park who know the difference between prosciutto and carl buddig ham product. And are willing to pay more to get it. But business logic doesn’t look at individuals…it looks at probable cost vs. perceived benefit. From that perspective I can honestly see why they don’t believe it would be profitable or beneficial to expand into these outlying areas.

Sorry, comment time is over.