“Pizza Hut’s First Intergalactic Customer Relations Workshop,” by Jacqueline Doyle

Oct 31st, 2012 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Good evening, everyone. My name is Mort Stephenson. I’m the Workshop Coordinator and Director of Interpersonal Relations from Human Resources, and this is my assistant, Jennifer Longley. We’re here with you tonight for a truly historic occasion: Pizza Hut’s very first sensitivity training session for Intergalactic Customer Relations!

I want to emphasize how proud we all are to be part of a forward-thinking organization like Pizza Hut. We are really in there on the ground floor, pioneers ushering in the new age. We don’t know, we really can’t know, what that’s going to look like, but Pizza Hut is going to be ready.

Some of you old-timers may remember that Pizza Hut’s advertising has already reached farther than any of our competitors’. Jennifer, can you put up our slide? For you younger managers out there, what we’re looking at is a 200-foot Russian Proton rocket launched in November 1999 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Yes, that’s a 30-foot Pizza Hut logo on the side of the rocket. And what were they eating at the International Space Station? You guessed it.

Let’s fast forward to 2012. NASA has just given seed money to private sector firms—SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, Boeing—and we’ll be seeing U.S. commercial flights to outer space any day now. Pizza Hut is poised to renew its bold marketing push (brand recognition is the name of the game, folks), and as we reach farther into outer space we’re bound to attract attention. It’s time to start thinking about our expanding customer base and how we can respond to the needs of a potential new demographic.

I can’t tell you how excited I am to be in on this. The sky is really the limit!

I’m going to start with four points. Jennifer, can you put up the first PowerPoint now? Thanks so much.

1. We don’t know what they’re going to look like. 

Color, size, shape. We just don’t know. It’s important to be friendly and open-minded, as you’ve been trained to be with all of our customers. Smile. Speak clearly and distinctly. “Hi, I’m Mort. Welcome to Pizza Hut.” Shake hands, if they have hands. Do not react with surprise. Remain polite and friendly.

We’re going to do some role-playing exercises later, to give you some practice here.

2. You may need to explain who we are and that Pizza Hut is an eating establishment.

Think of yourself as Earth’s ambassadors, introducing our visitors to our culture. Remember the importance of first impressions. We are going to be right there on the front line. And what are we going to tell them about Pizza Hut? That billions of people all over the world are eating our food, and we’ve got the best gosh-darned pizza on the planet, that’s what.

3. You may need to explain what pizza is.

You may laugh, but not everyone knows what pizza is. You might take a bite out of a slice yourself to demonstrate, show them the wide variety of toppings (Jennifer can you get some pictures up here?), explain the differences between “Stuffed Crust,” “Hand-Tossed,” “Thin ‘N Crispy,” and of course our “Dippin’ Strips,” (For you creative types, there’s room for product development here: pizza atomizers, freeze-dried pizza, predigested pizza, you name it. Put your thinking caps on for our brain-storming sessions later.)

Make it clear that you don’t eat the box. Be ready to answer any questions they may have.

Yes, sir, do you have a question? What to say if they ask why we’re called a Hut? Jennifer, make a note of that. We’ll get back to you with a full script of answers to FAQs within twenty-four hours. Why don’t we hold any other questions until after the workshop.

4. Take them to our website.

Let them know about our Hut Lovers e-mail deals and our catering: “Affordable, Easy, Accessible,” no matter how large the group. Make sure they know that we deliver. (Within reason of course.)

They may be interested in franchise opportunities as well. With as little as $700,000 Net Worth and $350,000 in liquid assets (or whatever the equivalent is where they come from), they can open the first Pizza Hut in their neighborhood. We have a lending program. Refer them to our website for further information about Yum! International, our global partnering division.

We are a growth market. Emphasize that. As Scott Bergen, our esteemed CEO, says (picture, Jennifer), Pizza Hut is “A Slice Above the Rest”: “We’ll continue to deliver success as we re-awaken the joy of eating with real food.”

We’re going to take a break now. Help yourself to some Dippin’ Strips and Pepsi, folks, and take a look at the Workshop Schedule that Jennifer’s handing out. We’ve got some more PowerPoints and some fun small-group activities coming up when you return.

Remember, we reach for the stars at Pizza Hut!


Jacqueline Doyle’s flash has appeared in Monkeybicycle, Staccato Fiction, elimae, Prime Number, Everyday Genius, 5-trope, Red Lightbulbs, Fix It Broken, and Temenos, among others. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she teaches at Cal State, East Bay.

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