Sunday, August 14, 2011

Jet's Soars

A few days ago, I detailed my disappointment with the pizza we got at the new Jet's Pizza location that opened in my neighborhood (on Shallowford, near the intersection with Johnson's Ferry, in the Publix Shopping Center, for those of you who'd like to try it for yourself).

Well, the manager of that location, Casey, read my comments and immediately got in touch with me. He was most concerned that I hadn't gotten a pizza that was up to Jet's standards, and he said that what I had described in my blog post was most definitely not what a Jet's Pizza should be. He added that one of the people on his team worked at a Mellow Mushroom in the past. "If you got more on your Mellow Mushroom pizza than you got here, we did it wrong," he said. So he asked if I'd be willing to try his location again. I was quite impressed by his demeanor and his pride in the pizzas that his restaurant produces, so I was quite eager to give it a second shot.

Tonight Susan and I tried another Jet's Ten deep-dish pizza, and Casey threw in a pepperoni deep-dish pizza so that we could see the differences in a single-ingredient and a loaded pizza. "We do put a little less cheese on the Jet's Ten pizza, so that it'll cook right," he said, "but it's very, very little difference, and you really shouldn't be able to notice it."

Then he said something that really impressed me: "I watched them make your pizza to Jet's specifications, so that I was sure it was made right." Anyone could have made one pizza that was loaded with extra toppings and extra cheese, but that would only have led to disappointment down the line when the next pizza didn't measure up to the one we got tonight. Instead, Casey made sure that the pizza we got was exactly what every Jet's pizza should be--and that tells me that he is very proud of his store and the franchise. So I was eager to get it home and try both the Jet's Ten and the pepperoni deep-dish.

Both pizzas were impeccable. The crust, crisp on the bottom with a little crunch and a lot of flavor, was well-cooked throughout--no doughiness, none of the heaviness that so often passes for deep-dish pizza around here. The ingredients--including the cheese and sauce--were plentiful and flavorful; I got an abundant variety of toppings in every bite, and the meats and the vegetables were fresh and distinctive.

The pepperoni pizza was a real surprise. I rarely care for single-ingredient pizzas, but the this was an exception. The pepperoni was based to a savory crispness, which perfectly accented the toasted, slightly stringy mozzarella (just the way a real mozzarella should be) and the baked-to-perfection crust.

I have to retract my earlier dismissal of Jet's. By making a pizza to Jet's standards, Casey has proven to me that I can expect this sort of quality in the future--and that means that Jet's is on our regular pizza rotation.

Furthermore, I can't say enough about what an asset a manager like Casey can be to any team. He saw a problem, addressed it, found a solution, and made it clear that he had absolute confidence that his company's food was as good as any other pizza out there... and then he proved it! Managers like Casey are all too rare--Jet's should be glad to have him representing them.

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