I picked up two pizzas from Papa John’s yesterday. The take-out $5.99 specials. There were a couple of random things I noticed on the box:
Coupons: A problem and a question
The coupons stuck to the top included the usual fare (two large pizzas for $18.99, family dinner special for $20.99, etc.) but on the same sheet, there was a big coupon for 25% off Amtrak fares (with a huge paragraph of limitations and exclusions).
First, don’t get me started on limitations and exclusions. If you’re going to give me a coupon, don’t make me read an encyclopedia entry on the tortured gymnastics I’m going to have to go through to redeem it. Make it simple. Coupons with wall-of-text fine print say “please recycle me.”
Second, I’d love to know the reasoning behind sticking an Amtrak coupon on a pizza box. Do Papa John’s pizza buyers somehow overlap the demographics of desired Amtrak customers? Is there something about pizza that makes pizza-eaters more likely to travel by train? Or is it a wildly flailing, desperate attempt to somehow get anyone to ride Amtrak?
I feel smart, but somehow also manipulated
There was a little receipt sticker on the top pizza box, showing that my subtotal was $27.48 (that’s what I would have paid if I’d called in the order for delivery, I suppose) and that I got a discount of $15.50 for picking up the take-out specials.
Yay me! I paid only $11.98 (plus tax!) for something some other sucker might have paid $27.48 for! Awesome!
And now I will never again call in an order in advance. Because I will never knowingly pay that extra $15.50. Does that make me a savvy consumer… or a mindless drone who’s happy to obey a corporate giant’s instructions? I’m not sure.
Thanks to Reese for my pizza experience
Also on the receipt was a line that read “Your pizza experience managed by Reese.” Really? Because Reese wasn’t invited to my house for dinner. So how much actual managing of my pizza experience could this guy really do?
Yeah, I know. What they really mean is that Reese was the guy behind the cash register when I showed up to buy my specials. But “pizza experience?” It’s kinda clever, really. Makes it seem like I didn’t just grab a takeout dinner, I had a pizza experience. And it’s all thanks to my buddy Reese.