A few weeks back, I hit the well-worn “stuff-it” button and began that familiar routine that involves sniffing about for something quick for dinner. Pizza was the order of the day. What would it be this time?
Then a wave of realisation swept up behind and smacked me fair across the sconce – I was a moron. A dunderhead. A moon-calf. A nincompoop. A dolt. For there was I, sitting at my desk, looking once more at the monitor, ordering like the chump that I was from Domino’s Pizza.
It hadn’t always been that way but slick ads and tantalising offers and convenient interfaces were just too much for my work-exhausted brain to resist, and so I’d dutifully click those buttons and order those pizzas and wonder how I ever did without.
Until that fateful day. What spawned the notion, I’m not sure. Maybe I had actually had a decent sleep the day before, or maybe some forgotten trace of caffeine had wormed its way up, but the result was undeniable.
I marched to the telephone, picked it up and rang the number of George’s Pizza, and was greeted with an actual human – amazing – who has always been so polite. I had their dog-eared brochure handy in the little folder under the coffee table. Twenty minutes later I was marching back in the door with two steaming hot examples of how pizza should be. We ate like kings. We savoured perfectly cooked bases. We enjoyed actual anchovies and proper sausage and real bits of seafood. We fought over the leftovers the next day.
My point is this: Those big brands do everything they can to cut their costs, have slick websites and call-centres and television adverts and sms reminders and phone apps, and they don’t give a rat’s about quality. They make it too damn easy to purchase what really is inferior quality food made poorly at inflated prices.
Meanwhile the mum and dad battlers who actually give a damn, who actually know how to make a great pizza, who actually bother to learn your name and are interested when they ask how you are, those guys are getting squashed. They are feeling the pinch as the bright lights attract the masses (yours truly, regrettably, included).
Support the people who live in your town. Support the people whose business is their livelihood, not just an investment. Support those who are selling their time, traditions and skills to you.
Support your locals, dammit!
And eat good pizza.