Ali Baba Pizza: Slice of Service

There’s nothing like wandering the streets of your city (in a good way) and slipping in to a pizza place for a slice. I don’t know why but it tastes different than if you order in or go for dinner. Maybe because it tends to cost less…though today I’m not talking about a “2am 98…nope, 97-cent dried-out pepperoni because that’s all they have left under the heatlamp” pizza. No, today it’s Ali Baba Pizza on Fort Street.

After travelling a few blocks downtown, with no destination in particular, the “missed dinner” hunger pangs kicked in. Money was short and so was our patience so we wanted tasty, easy and close. Enter: Ali Baba Pizza.

We walked in and ordered a Pesto Gourmet and Hawaiian slice. It was readily available and took about 10 minutes to cook so we waited in the store/restaurant/place. (What do you call it?) Anyway, rather than continue the strolling, we decided to stay in and enjoy the pizza pie. Tables filled up a little while we were there but certainly not to capacity…but it was a weeknight.

What do you expect from a pizza parlour? (yeah, parlour. I’m going with parlour). No really. High expectations? You get what you get? See I really don’t know what to expect from such an establishment but I do expect good customer service. I got that at Ali Baba.

As soon as we arrived, the first thing we noticed was the lack of pizza slice selection. What sat there was one full vegetarian and two different halves of something else, none of which we wanted. But that’s OK because immediately upon arriving, the counterman (his superhero name) told us to pick whatever we wanted and he’d put it in the oven.  It would just take 10 minutes. Now that’s completely reasonable. I’m just glad that’s an option. I can’t tell you how many pizza parlours (I’m looking at you Brickyard) just give a blank stare with a “get what you get” attitude when there’s obviously not a lot to pick from. Not so here.

We sat down to wait and, low and behold, 10 minutes later our pizzas were ready. And they didn’t yell or put them up…they delivered them to us. I KNOW! Is it sad that I’m impressed by this? I should mention, on top of all this, the pizza was great, but it was the accommodating service that stood out and will bring me back.


Ali Baba Pizza: Going steady – This could be the beginning of something major. I may have fallen in love. That’s right. I’m looking at you Ali Baba. You smell great. You cater to my needs. You offer me what I want even if I don’t see it right away. Sniff, I think I’m tearing up. What are you doing this weekend?

Service Rating System:

Friend Zone – I just don’t like you in “that way.”
Booty Call – If I don’t have anything else better going on, I’ll stop by.
2nd Date – I’ll give you a second chance.
Going steady – This could be the beginning of something major.

How much do you tip whom? First it was 10 per cent, now it’s 15. And even then there are rumblings of 20. Does a taxi driver get the same as a server or the same as a pizza deliver guy? How about a valet or the counter service guy at Booster Juice?

Service is not the same. And it shouldn’t be. I don’t have the same expectations from a waiter as I do from the girl who makes my Subway sandwich and shouldn’t reward them equally. (FYI – tips are rewards for good service, not expectations for a job so-so done).

So here’s the question: What do you tip? Give an example.


  • I tip 15% to 20% for good service at a restaurant. 10% if all they really did was bring the food…and it was cold because they left it on the counter too long.

    I have no idea how much to tip a hairdresser, so I always hit the 15% button.

    Even if my takeout order has been processed quickly, with a smile and appears correct, I’ll drop 10%.

    Starbucks, Booster Juice, Parlours, etc. rarely get anything.

    Oh ya, and doormen. I never tip doormen…but I feel really bad about it.

  • I tip between 15 and 20% for good service. If it’s slow and it’s obviously because of the service and not the kitchen I tip nothing. Delivery people always get about $2 unless they’re really slow.

  • I tip around 15% at a sit down restaurant. Less if they didn’t have to do much or weren’t super friendly, more if they went above and beyond. I’ll not leave a tip if the service was bad, or rude, I don’t feel obligated to pay a tip. And I’ll throw in a little extra if the kids are with us and they make a mess.

    I don’t tip at coffee shops, pizza slice places, buffets, anywhere I serve myself really. (I should be tipping ME!)

  • In a restaurant/dining room I tip totally on service. I don’t follow any 10% – 15% rule. If the server is friendly and helpful he/she will be left closer to 20%. If I get poor service they will get nothing – I don’t reward bad behavior.
    Other service related (cab drivers, bell boys, delivery persons, bartenders) I tip 2.00 – 5.00 depending on the service and attitude.

    • I like the “set tip” rule. $2 – $5 is completely reasonable (though as an ex-bartender I do find that could be more depending on the service).

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