Sunday, 13 July 2008

Pizza Delivery Business Take Extra Precautions After Driver Killing

Food-delivery businesses in some areas are taking precautions and rewriting policies to ensure the safety of their deliverers following the abduction and killing of a deliveryman in Fredericksburg.

Yong Hui Zhang, 24, was declared missing last week when he didn't return from making deliveries for his parents' restaurant, China Express.

His body was found in Sussex County days later. Officials said he died from a stab wound to the chest. Authorities think that Zhang was attacked at a vacant apartment after going to make a delivery there. Suspects Jermaine Montgomery, 34, and Marcey White, 36, are charged with abduction, carjacking, credit-card theft and conspiracy and prosecutors are considering how to charge the suspects in the slaying.

The Spotsylvania Sheriff's Office said it has documented five delivery robberies since July 1, 2007, all of which stemmed from deliveries called in to a fictitious address. Fredericksburg police say the recent incident is the only delivery robbery there in the past year. Richmond police say out of 293 reported robberies of individuals this year, about nine involved a food-delivery person.

Though attacks on food deliverers aren't widespread, businesses in Richmond and Fredericksburg aren't taking any chances. "The day we found out about what happened, my mom said we're not delivering past 9 p.m.," said 16-year-old Wo Chan, who runs errands and makes deliveries for family-owned Fortune Gourmet, a Chinese restaurant in downtown Fredericksburg. Others are limiting delivery areas, telling drivers not to carry more than $20 on deliveries and talking about having deliverers carry pepper spray for protection.

Domino's Pizza drivers must make a safety callback to any new customers or people placing a call by cell phone. They have to get an answer and a confirmation that it is a legitimate order before they can leave the building, said John Minick, who oversees safety for Domino's.

If a deliverer finds himself or herself in a situation where they are being asked to hand over their money, Domino's policy is no resistance. "It's a simple policy; they honor the demands of the robber," Minick said.

"Statistics show there is less of a chance of injury that way." Police and restaurant managers make many of the same recommendations on how to reduce the odds of being robbed. Sgt. John Garcia, who runs the detective squad at a south Richmond precinct, recommends that businesses make sure they get a phone number, a complete name and a correct address when taking orders, and refuse to deliver food to intersections or other outdoor areas.

"Typically, what we see is they will demand whatever the product is and whatever money they're carrying," Garcia said. Nine out of 10 times, he said, a robber brandishes a weapon or implies that there is one. If a driver arrives at a house that looks abandoned or run-down, Garcia said, they should obey their instincts and drive to a safe place and try calling the customer again.

A would-be robber probably won't answer the phone. Joy Garden has operated for 50 years on Broad Street in Richmond as a dine-in Chinese restaurant. Manager Mark Sin said drivers there deliver an average of seven or eight orders a night in midtown and downtown neighborhoods.

"We always recommend the driver observe before you get out of the car. If it doesn't feel right, don't deliver. Just take off. ... It can happen anywhere, in a safe place or dangerous place."

Friday, 11 July 2008

Melbourne Pizza Mogul Avoids Jail After Neighbour Dispute

The founder of a Melbourne pizza chain has avoided jail after pleading guilty to assaulting his neighbours.

Milan Mandic, the 50-year-old founder of Pinky's Pizza, was today handed a 12-month sentence, suspended for 18 months, in the Victorian County Court.

He had pleaded guilty to charges of recklessly causing serious injury, and of common law assault. Judge Barbara Cotterell said on December 29, 2004, Mandic's Endeavour Hills' neighbour Kathleen Miller and her daughter called Mandic's teenage daughters sluts and prostitutes, and accused them of giving "head jobs".

Mandic observed the altercation from the balcony of his home, before going next door and arming himself with a piece of aluminium, where Ms Miller's son was armed with a baseball bat,

Judge Cotterell said. Ms Miller was then struck on the head with the piece of aluminium, causing a gash that required 14 stitches. Jason Miller was also struck by Mandic, the judge said, but noted that Mandic received the most serious injury - a deep laceration to the head which exposed bone and caused a mild concussion - when Mr Miller hit him with the baseball bat.

Judge Cotterell said the incident was a culmination of two years of harassment, of which Mandic's family was not the instigator.

In sentencing, Judge Cotterell noted Mandic's contribution to the community as a successful businessman who was dedicated to his family. "On the evidence, you have reacted to a situation which at times has been intolerable,'' Judge Cotterell said. She said Mandic had armed himself spontaneously, because he believed there was a threat to his personal safety.

First Winner of Domino's Pizza $10k Gotham City Pizza Comp

On July 8, Jason Nicodemus, a Port St. Lucie, Fla. resident, went to his local Domino's Pizza store to place a carry-out order. He walked out with a Gotham City(TM) Pizza and a check for $10,000, thanks to the ultimate The Dark Knight experience, delivered by Domino's Pizza.

"I was shocked," said Nicodemus. "I couldn't believe that I had won $10,000 let alone the fact that Domino's had given me the check right on the spot. All I did was order Domino's new Gotham City Pizza. I originally was going to order the 2X Tuesday deal, but saw the sign for the Gotham City Pizza and decided to give it a try."

Every day for 21 days (July 7 - July 27), Domino's customers will have the chance to win $10,000 delivered to their door when they order the Gotham City(TM) Pizza.

Now through July 27, customers can order Domino's new Gotham City(TM) Pizza-a large, hand-tossed pizza, cloaked with 1.5 times the amount of pepperoni than a standard order for $9.99 delivered in a specially-designed Gotham City(TM) Pizza Box. For complete Official Rules and to play without purchase, visit .

With any Domino's purchase, customers will also gain access to Domino's exclusive Dark Knight Vault, an interactive online experience that features: -- The Dark Knight movie content
-- Movie trailers and exclusive footage from the movie
-- Cast interviews
-- Exclusive downloadable wallpapers
-- Exclusive preview of the soon to be released book The Art of the Dark Knight
-- An instant win "The Cards Tell the Tale" game

"The Cards Tell the Tale" game gives players the chance to take on the Joker to win a limited edition The Dark Knight-themed Xbox 360(R) game system. Through Domino's Dark Knight Vault, customers have the chance to win one of 110 out of 150 The Dark Knight-themed Xbox 360(R) game systems created for the film.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Salvo's in Leeds - A Dining Institution for Over 30 Years

Now considered a Headingley institution, Salvo's first opened its doors in 1976 and has been packing in customers ever since for it's great buzzy atmosphere, friendly service and wonderful selection of traditional and more contempory Mediterranean cuisine.

Regularly featured in the Good Food Guide, Salvo's is a former Yorkshire Evening Post Family Restaurant of the Year and after 30 years continues to receive plaudits from numerous prestigious national publications.

Salvo's has been voted one of the top Italian Restaurants in the UK by The Sunday Times, The Times, Olive Magazine and The Observer.

As Salvo's prepares to celebrate its 32th Birthday it shows no signs of slowing down and remains the archetypal Italian Neighbourhood Restaurant.

For more details visit their website

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Leeds Restaurant Launches Wheat-free Pizza

Leeds restaurant Salvo's has cooked up a perfect pizza partnership with a Bradford-based food business – to launch a new gluten and wheat-free pizza base mix.

Isabel Gordon, director and creative chef at Brazilian Flavours, joined forces with Gip Dammone, co-owner of Salvo's in Headingley. Mr Dammone says he wanted to develop a pizza base that not only tasted "just like mama used to make" but was gluten and wheat-free too – an offering which would cater for the rising number of customers who are gluten and wheat intolerant.

Brazilian Flavours' ingredients are all naturally gluten and wheat-free so the two businesses teamed up. Isabel said: "Since launching Brazilian Flavours in 2005, our mission has been to produce natural foods with little known exotic flavours, inspired by the vibrant culture of Brazil.

"The Brazilian flours I work with are naturally gluten and wheat-free, so by using a combination of these special allergy flours, Gip and I were able to develop a mix which creates delicious thin crust Neapolitan style pizzas with a lovely chewy texture for the base."

PHD - The New Edgy Brand from Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut has launched a new brand called PHD to take pizza delivery to the next level. And Pizza Hut Oman has earned the distinction of being the first in the Gulf to launch the PHD outlet, at Salalah.

PHD are the pizza delivery experts - Place your order any way you want: come to the store, or phone them. Simple Uncomplicated menu, Uber fast ovens, Hot deliveries. Take the hassle and stress out of ordering. Everyday Great Value at Everyday Affordable prices.

Just waiting for it to come to the UK too. aren’t you??

Friday, 4 July 2008

How Fresh Thinking on Pizza Led to a Taste of Success for Indian Businessman Ashit Patel

Andy Garcia, the Cuban-born American actor, probably has no idea that his last name is often on the lips of Mumbai's pizza lovers - all because it caught the fancy of the founder and former proprietor of Garcia's Famous Pizza, Ashit Patel, when he was watching Brian de Palma's The Untouchables.......(read the rest of this article from the Hindustan Times)

The Pizzas and Stuff blog is raising money for Special Olympics GB by bringing you the best pizza related stories from around the Web.

Please help us and make a donation by clicking on the widget on the top left or visiting

If you really like us you can even download the widget to your own site and help us raise even more dough

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Well There's a Surprise! Police Say Pizza Joint Robbery Was an Inside Job

A ten-day investigation into a robbery at the Glass- Glassboro boro PizzaHut led to the arrest of a manager and an employee. The Glassboro Police Department was dispatched to a robbery at the Pizza Hut restaurant in the Double Tree Shopping Plaza on N. Delsea Drive on June 14, at about 11:30 p.m.

Upon arrival, officers were advised that a male individual, wearing a black hood and a mask covering his face, walked into the store, displayed a weapon and demanded money from the registers and safe.

After receiving the money, he fled the restaurant in an unknown direction with an unspecified amount of money. After ten days of investigation, on June 24, Investigator Mike Powell and the Glass-boro Police Department developed information that led to the arrest of two of the store employees.

Josue Torres, 18, of Glass-boro and Alexsandra Chap-pine, 23, of Sicklerville allegedly had conspired together to commit a robbery on their store. Torres acted as the robber and after the crime was committed, returned to the store and acted as a victim. Police were able to recover the weapon used in the robbery.

Torres was charged with first degree robbery, theft, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and unlawful possession of a weapon. Chappine, a manager at the store, was charged with conspiracy to commit a robbery, conspiracy to commit a theft and theft.

Both were committed to Gloucester County Jail with no bail. The following day, Superior Court Judge Christine Allen-Jackson set bail at $150,000 no bond for both Torres and Chappine

Is This The End of Free Pizza Delivery

Stacy Zournas can guarantee you'll get the freshest pizza in Lone Tree if you order it from her shop, but if you want it delivered, she also can guarantee you'll pay a fee.

Following the lead of the three big pizza makers - Pizza Hut, Domino's and Papa John's - smaller restaurants like Luca's Jersey Pizza Pasta are charging their patrons to bring a hot meal to their doorstep because gas prices and food costs are skyrocketing.

"We didn't want to do it but we had to because costs are going up left and right," Zournas said about the $2 delivery fee Lucas Jersey Pizza Pasta now charges.

The average cost of a delivery fee is about $1 per order for places like Pizza Hut.

Zournas, who up until four months ago only charged $1 per delivery, held off on raising the fee as long as she could, but nearly every commodity that comes to her store has a fuel surcharge topped on their order.

"We had to up it because we're receiving fuel charges from all of our vendors," she said. "I just wonder if we charge $2 now, what's it going to be next year? Where does it stop?"

Roma Food Products, Zournas's base distributor charges her $10 for their deliveries. The wine distributors charge $5 every time they come, and the people who bring carbon to run the soda and beer machines charge $4.50.

On top of vendor charges, Zournas said her ingredients are costing more, too.

Where she normally paid $12 for a bag of semolina, she now pays $23. She spends roughly $500 monthly on cheese. The cost of cheese has doubled in the last year, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

"The higher costs all link back to gas prices," she said.
So along with a higher delivery fee at Luca's comes increased prices.

Last Monday, the cost of Luca's 18-inch Meat Lover pizza jumped 10 percent to $19.99.

"We've been open for three-and-a-half years and never raised the price of our pizza," she said.

"My people are telling me I need to raise everything by at least 15 percent but I won't do that to my customers at this point. Customers are holding their dollars closer to them right now because everyone seems to have less money," she said. "But if I don't raise prices a bit I'm out of business."

So how is business since they began charging a delivery fee?

"Some people are complaining about it, but not many. Most understand that it's a luxury to have hot food delivered," she said.

"Mainly because customers now think it's a bargain to pay a few dollars than to spend their own gas money to go out to eat."

Pizza deliveries make up about 50 percent of the restaurant's business with drivers making about 400 deliveries a month. But hard times have caused the restaurant to drop the number of drivers from 10 to six.