By Cara Sulieman
CUSTOMERS at Pizza Hut had a shock at the weekend – when the restaurant ran out of dough and had to shut.
Hungry shoppers had to rush to other cafés in the areas in a mad dash to get some food.
A lonely sign on the front door of the Fountain Park branch of the food chain announced that customers could not be seated due to a lack of dough.
But customers already in the restaurant were able to enjoy their food whilst their fellow diners had to fight through the queues in other restaurants.
A manager at a nearby branch of the chicken chain Nando’s had noticed that it was a busy weekend, but didn’t realise Pizza Hut’s problems.
She said: “I just thought there must have been something new out at the local cinema and that was why we were busy. But that makes sense, if Pizza Hut is closed then that would increase our custom by a lot.”
But it was a lot more noticeable for the customers who were turned away.
Suzanne Mackie, 23, tried to get something to eat before she went to the cinema with a friend on Saturday night.
She said: “There were about two other groups of people trying to get in as well and no one could quite believe it. For a pizza place to run out of dough, the main ingredient needed in every single pizza, is laughable.
“I would have thought an organisation the size of Pizza Hut would know how to control its stock levels – especially with something as necessary as dough.
“As a result the neighbouring units were all full and my friend and I had to grab a takeaway pizza from a nearby kebab shop. The entire situation was a little ridiculous.”
A staff member at Pizza Hut, who doesn’t want to be named, said it wasn’t uncommon for the popular chain to get through their dough ration before the end of the day.
She said: “I’m not saying it happens all the time, but it is difficult to judge how busy the restaurant is going to be. Especially with the way it is just now you just can’t tell how busy it is going to be.
“Nine times out of ten it’s because not enough dough has been proofed for the day’s service. Once it comes into the restaurant it needs to be left for a couple of hours to rise before it’s used and this process takes a couple of hours.”
A spokesperson for Pizza Hut explained that it was an unusually high number of customers that caused the shortage.
He said: “Due to exceptionally high demand at our Fountain Park restaurant, we ran out of dough for a short time on Saturday evening and as a result, the store was closed for around half an hour.
“This can happen on rare occasions as our dough is freshly prepared every day. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”