A few days ago or so, I was in another neighborhood of Mexico City by around Roma Norte area.
I was with another friend named Bryan who still lives in Mexico City.
Anyway, we decided to get a pizza and chose Little Caesars.
For those who don’t know, Little Caesars has been killing it in Mexico City over the last year or so.
Just go to a neighborhood that has one close by and you’ll always see someone carrying one of their boxes walking home.
I think the main reason why they kill it is because they have these cheap as fuck large pepperoni pizzas for only 79 pesos.
Which is basically 4 bucks for a large pizza.
As I said…
Cheap as fuck.
I can’t imagine how small their profit margins must be.
You literally can’t find 8 large slices of pizza for 4 bucks like that anywhere else in Mexico City.
Not that I’ve seen anyway.
Even if you get pizza on the street, it’ll usually still cost you like 15 to 20 pesos a slice.
The only pizza that I’ve seen that comes close to price is this one business close to where I live that sells large pepperoni pizzas for 89 pesos for the whole thing.
So 50 cents more expensive…
It tasted kinda crappy.
Was like cardboard almost.
When Bryan and I finally did get our pizza…
And I emphasize the word “finally” and you’ll know why soon enough…
We walked into a 7-11 and saw they had these much smaller pizza slices that were probably made hours ago being sold for 23 pesos a slice.
Suffice to say, Little Caesars has the competition crushed when it comes to price.
And their pizzas are actually tasty enough.
All around, it’s a good deal for the price and quality.
However, there is one concern I have with them that I have noticed around 50% of the time that I get a pizza from them….
“No More Pepperoni”
So Bryan and I approached the Little Caesars.
And I had to be the one to ask because Bryan refuses to put on a mask under any circumstances for no matter how little time needed to buy something from a place that requires a mask.
Which, to be fair, I think it’s a bit stupid that this specific Little Caesars requires a mask even by the logic they use about COVID spreading and all.
Mostly because there’s a huge ass glass thing between us and the guy is already some odd feet away from me anyway.
And the guy taking my order has a mask on anyway.
So I could just as easily place the money on the counter.
He puts change and pizza on counter.
Either way, I find the mask thing annoying also but I’m willing to put the damn thing on for just a minute so the dude will take my order.
Anyway, I walk up to the counter and ask for a pepperoni pizza.
And the guy quickly replies telling me that they ran out of pepperoni pizza.
“How long will it take to cook another one?” I asked.
The guy leaned in and seemed confused for a second – maybe an accent thing or something even though he understood me before.
I repeat myself.
“Oh, like 30 minutes! It’ll take a while.”
Then he starts giving me the selling pitch for why I should go for any of the more expensive pizzas they have.
And even know I didn’t know if Bryan was willing to wait 30 minutes or so….
I knew the guy was completely full of shit.
I fucking knew that he had pepperoni pizzas ready for us.
So I tell him “no, no, don’t worry. We can wait for the pepperoni pizza.”
“Seguro?” He asks.
Then he goes on about how “it’ll take a while, you know!!!”
And I calmy assure him “no, no, no te preocupes. Podemos esperar.”
Thankfully Bryan must’ve not heard me or else he would’ve protested probably about the 30 minute wait time.
So I pay the guy.
Then what happens next?
The motherfucker literally turns his big fatass beer belly around to grab a pizza right out of some mini storage space.
Puts it on the table.
“Have a good day” he tells me.
That was that.
Now, I didn’t feel like being a smartass that day…
But it was impressive to me!
They apparently had no pepperoni pizzas left!
Would have to wait 30 minutes, he said!
Then, the second I paid, a pepperoni pizza magically appears.
Even though he told me several times that they didn’t have any left and I’d have to wait 30 minutes!
Funny how 30 minutes turned into a second.
Must’ve been the fastest pizza cook in Mexico City.
Time for some rambling now when it comes to this story….
First, it wasn’t the first time this happened with Little Caesars in Mexico City.
Like I said, it’s 50/50 usually.
Half the time, they don’t have the pepperoni pizza when they really do.
While they do the other half of the time.
In the times where they make me wait “the 30 minutes.”
It’s usually one of two things…
Either the guy literally turns around and grabs a pepperoni pizza literally right there in front of me the second after I paid.
Or he makes me wait like 5 minutes…
And when the 5 minutes are over, he grabs a pizza box that was already visible behind one of the glass doors and gives it to me.
Meaning they had a pepperoni pizza…
But felt like making me wait because “fuck you faggot ass gringo, we know you have money….GIVE ME DINERO!!!! DAME DAME DAME DAME DINERO GRINGOOOOOOOO!”
Now, to be fair, it might be the case they do this to other non-gringos also.
I can’t say with 100% confidence that this is an actual case of someone seeing a gringo and trying to milk me for an extra few dollars.
I assume it’s likely just a case of they feel the pressure to do this trick to everyone…
Have the 79 pizza offer to bring in lots of people who are curious about one of the cheapest large pizzas in Mexico City…
Enjoy the very, very slim profits from that…
But then tell the occasional customer here – perhaps the ones who seem like they have more money even – that the pepperoni pizza isn’t available even if it is.
Then that customer, having already walked over, will look at the other options and go for something else after getting the pitch for their other options from the employee.
Having said that, if you want to avoid all of the bullshit…
First, show up on a late weekend night when they are likely to be very busy with customers.
They likely feel pressure to just give people what they want with the big line behind you and the need to get customers through.
I’ve noticed they tend to not bullshit me on those nights.
Though you can argue that defeats the purpose since having to wait in a line is going to be the same time it takes for them to make you wait 5 minutes for no good reason.
Second, order something else before you ask for the pepperoni pizza.
Like get those crazy bread sticks.
I get those anyway sometimes because they taste pretty good and just want them generally.
But I’ve noticed that they never bullshit me when I ask for the bread sticks first before mentioning the pepperoni pizza.
Oddly enough, they always have the pizza then.
Though, like with the last point, you can argue this is self-defeating because you still spend the extra 2 dollars for the breadsticks.
Still, I don’t mind because I only do that when I generally want bread sticks.
Otherwise, order your 4 dollar pepperoni pizza and play the chances.
Half the time comes with no bullshit.
The other half of the time will involve a made up waiting time between 1 second to 5 minutes depending on how salty the employee is about you not buying the more expensive pizza.
Then grabbing the pizza that was in front of both of you this entire time that they said doesn’t exist!
Though, from what I’ve seen, it’s usually an older person who looks like they are in their 40s who makes you wait 5 minutes if that does happen.
I always imagined that must’ve been the actual manager because no minimum wage employee is going to feel salty about you not buying a more expensive pizza.
Finally, I guess this is a lesson in that it’s not always the mom and pop shops, small businesses and street hustlers that want to get a few extra bucks from you.
What some call “gringo pricing” in some cases.
To be honest, I’ve always had a bias for the actual establishments that sell me something with a price tag on it over some street hustler or whatever.
Mostly because I can walk away knowing I wasn’t gringo priced if there was a price tag on it already.
But, as we all know, larger businesses are just as guilty of trying to fuck with people also in minor and major ways.
The story here would be more minor.
A more major example would be when I was in Colombia years ago and noticed that flights on Expedia were 250 USD from Barranquilla to Bogota…
While the same flights on the actual Avianca Airlines website, as my then girlfriend noted, were only like 50 bucks or whatever. Much cheaper.
In that sense, charge higher on Expedia because the users on that are more likely to be foreigners with more money than the average Colombian perhaps.
Either way, that’s all one long ramble.
Those are all the thoughts that come to mind about this little story.
And it’s just a funny little story.
But that’s all I got to say.
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