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Pizzeria Eschews Groupon, Offers Own Half-Off Deal

by ARLnow.com October 3, 2011 at 3:59 pm 8,909 89 Comments

(Updated at 4:15 p.m.) These days when a restaurant runs a half-off deal, many people expect it to come in the form of a Groupon.

But Pete’s New Haven Apizza (3017 Clarendon Blvd) in Clarendon is trying something a bit old-fashioned. In the age of Groupon and Living Social, Pete’s is deliberately skipping the daily deal websites and offering its own 50-percent-off promotion.

Starting today, Pete’s in Clarendon is offering dine-in customers half-off pizza on Mondays. All day. No coupon required.

Co-owner Joel Mehr says the restaurant has been packed on weekends and on particularly nice days, but now that winter is approaching it has to drive more regular weekday business to justify its expensive rent. The major daily deal websites, however, don’t allow him to accept coupons only on certain days, and have a less-than-stellar track record of attracting regular customers.

“The biggest thing about Groupon is that we have no control of when [customers] come,” he said. “We are seeing people come in one time only, on a Friday night, they’re not coming back, and we’re giving them a discount when we could be filling that seat with a full-paying customer… If we are giving discounts when we don’t need to be giving discounts, that doesn’t benefit us.”

“Groupon only works if it gets people to come out, check us out, like us and come back after they used the deal,” Mehr continued. “It doesn’t work if it’s just people out there that are looking to get the Groupon deals. There are so many Groupon deals or Living Social deals that it’s sort of a flavor of the week. If you’re one of those people, you only have to go and eat where you get the deal.”

Despite selling more than 5,600 Groupons for its three restaurants earlier this year, Pete’s still doesn’t have sufficient name recognition at its six-month-old Clarendon location, Mehr said. He hopes that offering half off on Mondays can help build recognition with neighbors while creating more regular customers.

“We feel like the word is not out there,” Mehr said. “We’re just trying to create a buzz.”

Plus, by offering its own deal, Pete’s won’t have to cough up the reported 40-50 percent of coupon sales that goes straight to the deal company.

Mehr admitted that while he has doubts about Groupon being able to drive weekday business, it did drive overall business. Sales dropped significantly, he said, after the Groupon deal expired in September. But Mehr’s concerns echo those of other small business owners in a weekend New York Times article that called daily deals a “fad” that attracts a disproportionate number of bargain hunters.

If half-off pizza Mondays prove successful, Mehr says he may expand the promotion to the two Pete’s locations in D.C. And, he said, other promotions — like a Tuesday deal on lasagna — might follow.

  • Christina Keough

    Smart man!!! We may have to go there next Monday for half off pizza night.

  • meh..

    People aren’t coming back for one simple reason…
    He can try and justify it with as much mathematics as he’d like, but the bottom line is that in no shape form or fashion is $30 a reasonable price for pizza. To top it off, they should rethink their ordering process….getting in line and placing an order is way more complicated and confusing than it needs to be. 1/2 Mondays may help a tad….but 1/2 EVERY DAY would help a ton. I just don’t see a bright future for this place at all.

    • GetReal

      what pizza are you ordering that cost $30? The orginal cheese is $18.95 and easily feeds my fam of 4. Even most of the speciality pies are less than $25 and they have tons of toppings. Plus this isn’t just a pizza joint, they have fresh made pasta as well. We go to Pete’s a few times a month and it rarely costs more than $50-60 to feed our fam of 4. Honestly, it’s cheaper than Pie-Tanza and the food quality is much better.

      • John Fontain

        $60 for a family of 4 is $15 a head. That defeats the purpose of pizza’s normal value proposition. You could go to any number of other traditional pizza places and buy each member of your family their own full large pizza and some sides/salads for that price.

        • Stu Pendus

          Throwing money away, eating unhealthy food. Hey, at least they walked there and left the Prius at home. That has to count for some perceived superiority points.

        • GetReal

          You’re right. I could just feed them a bunch of processed food and be happy I saved a few bucks.

        • Articles about pizza ALWAYS.


          ALWAYS elicit the most passionate debate on the web.

          Sometimes it’s about style. New York? Chicago? Neopolitan? Fuhgeddaboutit.

          Sometimes it’s about taste or ingredients or service or location.

          Sometimes it’s about price. Like today. Right here.

          We deeply appreciate our regular customers, and our new customers, and our future customers. Sometimes we run deals to show our appreciation. And whenever we do, there’s a backlash.


          “Meh” has made the case that $30 for a pizza is outrageous, at the top of the comment thread. So (as we have found) many people further down the comment thread agree with the original statement, even if it’s not true.

          The fact is that our most expensive pizza is $25.95, and it contains five fresh ingredients (Basil Pesto, Grilled Chicken, Wild Mushrooms,
          Caramelized Onions, Fresh Mozzarella) in addition to the base ingredients.

          Doing the math (surface area of a circle is pi times the radius squared), if we sold this pizza in 8″ individual size, it would be $5.13.

          If we sold it in 10″ diameter, it would be $8.01.

          If we sold it in 12″ diameter, it would be $11.53. With five fresh ingredients on it.

          It’s a simple math problem.

          Don’t get us wrong. We love all pizza, especially pizza that’s done well by people who care about what they’re doing. Most of the other pizza restaurants mentioned in this thread love what they do.

          But making it 18″ only, and selling by the slice instead of in “individual sized,” represents a better value up and down the menu, whether you’re buying a simple cheese pie for $18.95 or the totally loaded “Down the Hill.”

          If we made our cheese pizza 8″ and sold it for the same price as the 18″ pie, it would be $3.75. 10″ – $5.85. 12″ – $8.42.

          Those are the size-adjusted EVERY DAY prices of our pizza.

          For that price, you get crust made with King Arthur unbleached unbromated wheat flour, water, salt and yeast; sauce made from San Nicola all-natural crushed Stanislaus tomatoes from California, with a dash of oregano; Grande whole milk mozzarella from Wisconsin that we shred in-house so you don’t have to ingest anti-coagulants from the maker; and a dash of Pecorino-Romano imported from Tuscany. $3.75 for an 8″ equivalent.

          We could go on. All of our meat is local and hormone-free, and we grind our own beef and pork in-house from whole cuts. Even the pancetta is made in-house, a process that takes over two weeks.

          Beyond the numbers, that’s the value of OUR 18″ pizza.

          We appreciate the debate on this blog, and particularly appreciate how “esoteric” the argument is in favor of our large-diameter pizzas. When you have to force people to think back to 10th grade geometry class, it’s a pretty tough case to make!

          We hope this helps people reading this comment thread who are wondering about our prices.

          • meh..

            It’s nice to see that you are active in the local community forums πŸ™‚

            I think folks totally get that your ingredients are top notch, no argument there at all.

            I know you don’t have the time to go back and forth on a message board; but hopefully it’s clear that there’s an imbalance somewhere in your business model. I know everyone in the community wants to see you succeed. We all prefer to have locally owned establishments in our community. But it’s frustrating when everyone can pinpoint the reasons why an establishment is heading down the wrong path, yet the owners seem to ignore it…or downplay it.

            I think the Monday night deal will help for sure, maybe think about adding a smaller size pizza at a lower price point on another night…. I dunno…. but we all definitely wish you the best and want to see you succeed!

            …oh and tell your young employees to sharpen up and work on their people skills a little too πŸ™‚

          • John Fontain

            “When you have to force people to think back to 10th grade geometry class, it’s a pretty tough case to make!”

            Yep, all of us Clarendoner’s are a bunch of dumb fools and we’d realize just how awesome your prices are we are if we’d go back to school and get the education we obviously missed. You are doing a great job of endearing your business to the local community with comments like this.

          • CW

            +1 to John. Pete’s is pricing on the margin, but consumers see the absolute cost. The barrier to entry is high. Couple that with a saturated market and people might not be willing to take the plunge.

            Also, Pete’s just hasn’t carved out a market niche, IMO. Fire Works has the wood-fired thing and the craft beer thing going. Faccia Luna is a full-menu Italian restaurant. Goody’s is open really late and is family-owned. Italian Store is a staple in the community. What is Pete’s niche? Even if it’s an upscale, high-end product made with the best ingredients, they’ve not really been marketing it as such from what I’ve seen. It just doesn’t stand out, location aside.

            Also, this is why it might be a bad idea to post articles that look like advertisements…invariably, the owners always end up coming on, and then it really does become an advertisement…

          • Maria

            Maybe it’s $3.75 for an 8″ equivalent, and that’s not bad at all, but you don’t SELL the 8″ equivalent.

            Don’t get me wrong… I enjoy the pizza and go for a slice now and then, but using the argument of what the pizza *would* cost if it were smaller doesn’t really help those of us who don’t need an 18″ pizza.

            It also makes the individual slices seem very expensive, so…

          • LyonVillageResident

            I am a big fan of Pete’s pizza, but was disappointed to find out that they charge $3.00 to deliver their $25 pizza (they don’t deliver slices) and $9 salad within the neighborhood. Very disaapointing for what is trying to be part of the community in an already crowded pizza community.

        • I think he meant $60 for a pizza, salad(s), adult beverages, sodas for the kids, and desserts. That sounds about right for a Pete’s dinner for 4. And at $15 per person, a pretty good value. I don’t think his family of four spent $60 on pizza. Unless they each ate half a loaded 18″ pizza and washed it down with a pint of Boylan’s root beer. That might add up to $60.

      • meh..

        I’ll give you that the base price is not $30…$30 is after taxes. And yes, that may be an extreme example…well not extreme, but a typical “works” pizza with 4 – 5 toppings…. either way..
        Still… $18.95 for a cheese pizza is overpriced no matter how you slice it. It’s cheese, dough and sauce.

        Pasta or not, Pete’s brings nothing special to the genre that isn’t already out there in Arlington at a much better price point. Ledo’s for example…small local brand, sells pasta, pizza, sandwiches, and salads…offers a GREAT quality product at a reasonable price point. Z-Pizza, offers a high quality product with fresh organic ingredients at a better price point. Lost Dog Cafe also offers a fresh pizza with a large variety of other dishes at a reasonable price point. I won’t even talk about the numerous Papa Johns & Dominoes in the area.

        Bottom line is Pete’s entered a somewhat saturated market with a product that while decent, doesn’t excel far enough above the other local options to justify the excessive price point.

        • wat

          I think perhaps you are being a bit too generous with your “GREAT” while referencing Ledo. I happen to think their pizza is pure s—, and I don’t think i’m exaggerating on saying that.

          • Carol_R

            I love Ledo’s pizza but the original restaurant in College Park, MD has the best. When I lived in College Park I ate there a lot. It was also a full sit down restaurant. The owners split with the person they teamed up for the franchise and don’t have any ownership now in the franchise so I don’t know how authentic the Ledo’s pizza is at franchises. The pizza at the original Ledo’s has always been fantastic.

        • wat

          I think you are too generous with your “GREAT” rating of Ledo. I think their pizza is complete garbage, and I hate whenever they order that at work vs any of the other great options around N Arlington that they could have deliver to my office.

          • meh..

            They are obviously doing SOMETHING right considering their longevity in the area. It all goes back to price price price. People will speak their support with their wallets.

            Ever since Pete’s came on the scene, they’ve been trying to downplay and justify their high price. Before the place even opened up in Clarendon they were playing their violin…….

            It bothers me so much because any publicity surrounding the place seems to always be rooted in their high prices…lol.

            There are so many other things wrong with the place that compound this problem. The customer service is lacking, the location isn’t ideal, the seating is cramped, the music is TOO LOUD, the atmosphere is uninviting, etc….

          • CW

            You hit the nail on the head. They really can’t get out from under the specter of their prices. They even have that page on their website defending their prices. Result? Everyone talks about how expensive they are. Classic, textbook Streisand Effect.

    • wat

      The pizza is pricey, agreed. Especially with so many other good options near by, Fireworks, Lost Dog, Pizza Authentica, Bertuccis, etc. But where I’m from the $9 large is a normal price, I realize things cost more around here, especially as soon as they start pushing “gourmet” at you. $14 should be the max price of a large 16″ basic (1 topping) pizza. When I see the 18$ price, I start considering the second tier places such as ZPizza and Vocelli

      In general, I don’t like when a pizza shop doesn’t even have Pepperoni listed as a main menu item, but only a topping for cheese. It’s discouraging.

      All that said, the pizza is good, with one caveat. I had it for the first time just 2 days ago, and the entire bottom of the pizza was covered with char from the oven. This made it so bad that I couldn’t even eat the edge crust which I would normally demolish. Less of a caveat, why do they cut the pieces so damn small? it just makes each slice floppy to the point you have to use two hands. Why break the standard 6-8 slice model that has worked so well for so many years?

  • reader

    I do love their pizza but agree that it’s just too expensive to go there regularly. It’s also loud as hell so only a place I’d like to go on the weekends.

  • meh+2

    Agreed. The pizza costs too much and it isn’t very good. I really was unimpressed by this pie. If the food is good people will return, bottom line.

    • Phil Anctil

      It’s pizza – like pasta, does not cost a lot to make – I guess the location demands a high rent therefore higher prices – pizza is good, when made correctly (the way it is ordered)

    • John Fontain

      I wanted to like this place, but I agree that the pizza costs too much for what you get. We ordered Pete’s for dinner with two other families recently and the bill was almost $80 for 3 pizzas. I don’t care how large the pizzas are or what toppings are on them, that is plain nuts!

      As I ate the pizza I couldn’t help but compare them to the Z Pizza down the street, which sells similar ‘gourmet’ pizzas. I had always thought of Z Pizza as being expensive, but Pete’s makes Z Pizza look like a bargain.

      Having said all of that, I would definitely strongly consider going there with the family on a Monday night with this deal.

  • Interested Pizza Consumer

    Anyone know if this half-off deal applies to take-out as well?

    • It’s dine in only, according to the Pete’s website. We’ll clarify that in the article.

      • Interested Pizza Consumer

        You rock ARLnow; I came for the Rosslyn Clark site retaining wall collapse pictures – I stayed for the awesome attentive and detailed local coverage.

      • Doodler

        Doh! Had it not been for that, I would definitely have become a regular Monday night customer. But it’s gotta be takeout. (Pete, I mean Joel, are you reading this?)

        • wat

          make your spot Fireworks in Courthouse. $5 10in pizzas from 4-6:30, and 33 draught beers to go with it

          • CourthouseGuy

            Every day?

          • wat

            every weekday at least

          • Tony Pepperoni

            they stopped offering the HH pizza deals last Tuesday. New HH menu looks a little rough

  • Chris

    I must beg to disagree about the price. Take, for example, ZPizza – a competitor nearby with ‘gourmet’ selections, great crust, and fairly high prices. If I spend the same amount of money at Z and Pete’s, I’m going to end up feeding roughly the same amount of people. This has been the case for me when I’ve had people over. Even with the ZPizza coupon, I feel like Pete’s is a bit better deal. It’s not exactly competing with Papa John’s, Vocelli, Listrani’s, etc.

    • South Arlington

      I agree, a Pete’s pizza is deceptively large. The slices are huge, and I’ve not come away from Pete’s hungry. The pizza is far, far better than mediocre and overrated ZPizza. Of course Pete’s is expensive compared to Papa John’s or Dominos – it’s also not slop like Papa John’s or Dominos.

    • SomeGuy

      Chris, what are you disagreeing about? Prior commenters said they thought it was expensive and that the expense would keep them from going there regularly. You’re disagreeing with them by saying that another pizza place is also expensive?

  • Erin

    I had a groupon to Pete’s and didn’t get a chance to use it before the expiration date. 99% of companies on Groupon will allow you to redeem it for its original purchase price, which is standard practice per the folks at Groupon. We had talked about going over to Pete’s, a small group of us, and I called them to see if they would honor the $10 Groupon that I had (there were 5 of us.. would have spent WAY more than that), and the person on the phone was so rude, I decided to never go there. Instead of a simple, “sorry, we don’t do that”, the guy was like, “NO way! You missed it, we don’t have to do anything for you”. Well, excuse me, mofo, I will take my business to one of the 15 other pizza places in Arlington! Oh, and for the record, I passed that along to Groupon, and they credited my account.

  • Phil Anctil

    Only went to Pete’s once (so far) – wrote them a note about the pizza I ordered and took home to eat – ordered extra cheese and 1/2 garlic – came with garlic but very limited cheese – not even close to extra cheese – pizza was good BUT very surprised not to get any response at all – too bad!!

  • SomeGuy

    This reads like it should be categorized under “Promotion.”

  • MC 703

    I loved their white clam pizza. Worth every penny IMO.

  • CW

    I think their pizza is good and will definitely go for the deal. Yeah it’s expensive in absolute terms, but for half off, why not? What I don’t understand is why he’s doing dine-in only. Now, not doing delivery I can understand – delivery takes effort and you’re losing money there. BUT, why not do take-out too? If they’re doing business on weekends and he wants to pump up sales, then a monday deal will get people in there. But it’s unclear as to what he thinks is going to happen. If, at half price, he can still turn a (albeit smaller) profit, then that’s one thing. But at other points in the interview, he seems to allude to believing that this will draw repeat business. That is, that people who will come on a Monday and be so enamored that they come back and pay full price. How does he think these people are going to differ from the Groupon crowd? So I don’t understand – if he is doing this at a loss just to build name recognition, I don’t think it’s going to work any better than groupon. If he’s still turning a small profit, he should try to sell all the pizza he can, which means he should expand to take-out as well.

    In other news, I’m wondering if Clarendon has possibly reached quick-serve saturation. I’ve been getting offers from Rabbit, South Block, and Pete’s in the last week. Are places just being gracious or are they getting desparate? Maybe too many openings in too little time? Rents are astronomical and margins can be low. Can Clarendon support all these places?

    • Clarendon

      And yet there really is not a good deli… This Sunday I made myself a Reuben with corned beef and pastrami, sliced thin and piled high (really high) with good kraut and swiss and thought – why can’t I get this in Clarendon ?

    • wat

      my hometown had one pizza shop that ran a Monday night special, the time you call is the price you pay for a large 16″ pizza after 6pm.

      Call at 6:23, pizza costs 6:23.

      All pizza deals at all pizza places were take out or dine in

    • Maria

      I think because the Groupon deals are one-time-only, while you can go back every Monday to get the in-house deal?

      • CW

        @Clarendon – agreed. Earl’s is underwhelming, IMO. Sam’s Corner, well, we’ve had this discussion before. I realize pastrami/corned beef/whatever on rye is considered an “NYC thing” but it sure tastes good wherever. We don’t even need a “deli” in the smoked-meat sense, we just need a place that makes good, big, filling sandwiches.

        @wat – exactly. That was my earlier point. If he’s making money on this deal still (1/2 price still covers costs plus some), then you’d think he would want to sell all he could. In that case he should allow carry-out. No extra work for them. The fact that he’s not leads me to wonder if he’s losing money on this deal thinking that it will earn him repeat customers for other days.

        @Maria – exactly as well. That’s what I’m curious about. He’s going to build up a following of people who only go on Mondays. Not sure how much that will help his busines…

        • Presumably dine-in customers buy drinks, appetizers and desserts that make deals like this profitable, while take-out and delivery customers are more likely to just get the pizza.

          • CW

            One would think…but when you advertise on price, you tend to attract a bunch of cheapskates!!! πŸ™‚

          • UnlimitedCustoms

            is ice/tap water free?

    • UnlimitedCustoms

      Probably because they make money on drinks, both hard and soft.

    • Carol_R

      Way too many eating places already in my honest opinion. Also, are any of them that unique?

      I would never pay those prices for pizza at Pete’s. Two Amy’s in NW DC near where I work I don’t think is that pricey and it’s authentic Neopolitan and so delicious.

      Plus the 4% restaurant tax to me is a big turn off to eating in Arlington.

  • R

    Seems to me that opinions on pizza are so much a matter of personal taste that you really can’t take other people’s opinions on it. That said, for my tastes and for fairly minimally less money for a 20″ vs. 18″ at Pete’s, I’ll take Italian Store any day over Pete’s.

    • Clarendon

      That’s true. Personally, I like variety over any one pizza. Don’t much go for the papa john’s but on my regular pizza rotation is Faccia Luna, Astor, Italian Store, Goody’s, and I’ll even throw in a Marios once in a while for old time sake. Oh, and I do like the pizza I had a Pete’s. Definately worth it at half price ! Tried ZPizza and didn’t really like it.

  • Jon

    It’s good pizza and better soda, but I’d like Pete’s better if they could manage walk-in slice service better. Slice or two on paper plate, drink, swipe card or give a nice, even $5 or $7. This needs to be done in 30 seconds, maybe 1 minute tops. I would be there every day if they could get that process down. But it’s such an ordeal to get small orders and I don’t have a big family to feed, so it’s never really worth it. It usually involves waiting for Mr. Popped Collar ahead of me in line to count out the right number of pennies for the tip and his girlfriend making 9 modifications to the side salad, slowly collecting 8 pieces of paper in receipts, verifying my order (yes, I said a slice of cheese and one soda, thanks) standing around playing Angry Birds or reading Bloomberg for 12 minutes, and then finally collecting my one, already-made slice of pizza.

  • J

    Every time I’ve been there, it’s been packed. Granted, it’s always been a Fri or a Sat, but I don’t think it’s an unpopular place.

    I get that it’s not the cheapest pizza, but it’s not like it’s outrageous, either. Their non-pizza items are really delicious and their pasta is awesome.

    They also have a deal on Tuesdays for enewsletter subscribers so if you are a fan of Pete’s be sure to sign up for the newsletter.

  • Zach

    I just want to chime in and say that Pete’s is delicious and very worth the price. My girlfriend and I eat there on Fridays once or twice a month now and always leave with enough pizza for at least one more meal for the both of us. We’ll probably keep going on Fridays and Saturdays because that’s when we like to dine out, but this promotion will definitely get us to come on Mondays once in a while. I hope Pete’s succeeds in this location.

    • lionfann

      +1. I go to Pete’s at least twice a month. $18 for two/three meals is perfectly reasonable to me. Sounds like the people here are ok with $10 chain restaurants – everyone has their opinion. I’ve never been there when it wasn’t crowded and I’ve found the owner/managers to be extremely helpful and nice.

  • Louise

    We get the plain. It’s around $15 and huge–and delicious. We also signed up for the M-Tu specials. They are super acommodating for pick up, bringing the pizza to you in your car–a huge plus for parents with kids in car seats!

    • meh..

      $15 for dough, sauce and sprinkling of hard cheese is ridiculous……
      I guess in Clarendon that’s chump change….

      • GetReal

        It’s actually real whole milk mozzarella, not hard cheese.

        • meh..

          It’s actually NOT…this is the $15 plain she’s referring to:

          “Plain (V)
          In New Haven, you have to ask for “mootz” to get what most people think of
          as a plain pizza. When you ask for “plain,” you get a simple, classic fresh tomato pie
          the way Frank Pepe made them when he first opened for business in New Haven in 1925.
          Ours features our crisp thin crust, all-natural tomato sauce, fresh chopped garlic,
          extra virgin olive oil, a dash of oregano, and a good sprinkling of pecorino-romano.
          Light, healthy and a great value.

          it’s right there on the website menu in black & white…

          • Yum!

            I guess the question is why are you so concerned about how much people pay for pizza?

            If they like it, why do you care?

          • meh..

            I’m not concerned about that at all. I’m concerned about why the Pete’s ownership doesn’t seem to want to accept that the reason their business isn’t as swift and popular as they’d like it to be is because of the price point. …. actually, i’m not really concerned about that really….just bored, and posting on ArlNow is a great way to pass the time.

            If I don’t like it…why do YOU care??

          • CW

            Kind of a silly comment from Yum!…this whole article is about how people DON’T like it, given the fact that this guy more or less came out and said he’s not doing enough business to pay his rent.

      • Yum!

        My family loves Pete’s! They use fresh, wholesome ingredients and make all their dishes in house! They serve things that you would have to go to a more upscale restaurant to get: fresh made pasta, fresh made sauces, house made gelato–the pistachio is delish!, even house made lemonade!!! Anyhow, we will definitely be making a few Monday trips to Pete’s! If the naysayers stay away, so be it…I would just encourage people to try for themselves!

        • wat

          You know who else cooks fresh natural ingredient pizzas and is right around the corner? WholeFoods.

          Also, Fireworks, which IMO is better and slightly cheaper.

          • CW

            +1…in terms of food for the money, you are never, ever, ever going to beat WF’s tuesday night 2 for 1 deal. And while some people think the WF pizza tastes school-cafeteria-ish, I think it’s pretty tasty, and filling too. They don’t skimp on toppings.

  • R.Griffon

    BTW, if anyone’s inclined they should go get some Pete’s TONIGHT as a portion of proceeds will benefit the Arlington Science Focus School!

    • meh..

      Let’s all meet there in 30 minutes and hug it out!
      I don’t mean to offend anyone with my strong disdain for their prices πŸ™‚

  • JamesE

    Need a little Caesar’s for $5 hot and ready

  • TGEoA

    A few things since I’m late to this party.

    1) Pete’s is delicious
    2) It is pricey as hell
    3) Goody’s has hands down the best slice in Clarendon. I put it slightly ahead of the Eye-tie store.

    • CW

      I put Goody’s WAY ahead of the I-Store. A hell of a lot easier to deal with too. Much nicer people.

      • John Fontain

        Love the pizza at Goody’s and love the family that owns it – they are the nicest folks and truly understand what good customer service means. Goody’s is our family’s go-to pizza place.

        • UnlimitedCustoms

          I’ve been to Goody’s twice. I like it, and would go back. My only concern is how clean the back is, as the front of the joint isn’t always clean.

      • JamesE

        I still haven’t tried goody’s, I will have to one day when I can find close parking since I am pretty lazy and don’t want to walk/metro from Ballston.

        • John Fontain

          They have free parking right behind the store (about 4 or 5 spots).

          • UnlimitedCustoms

            Awesome! I did not know that. No more risking a ticket!

  • Chris M.

    Boooooo! Not news, just a free add. You should do a story on Whitlow’s now. They have done this for years!

    In fact, most Clarendon eateries do this one day a week.

  • 1234

    If the owner of a restaurant has to post on a blog defending their prices by trying to convince people of the quality of their ingredients after halving their prices, their battle has already been lost.

  • NoVapologist

    Over the weekend, the NY Times questioned whether this whole Groupon thing is just a fad dying a slow death. Merchants have begun to figure out that ~98% of coupon users never become regular customers. They are only looking for deals, not new favorite restaurants. Also, a recent study at Cornell showed that Groupon and Living Social users tend to be whiners as well as cheapskates and their reviews generally lead to lower Yelp scores. Pete’s, like many other places, is beginning to realize that Groupon and its ilk are losing propositions.

  • J.Busby

    I went to Pete’s a couple of weeks ago for lunch with a few co-workers. I ordered a panini, and it was awful, to me. I think I ate only a third of the sandwich. Maybe others may like it, but I didn’t, at all. I like Cosi’s panini much much better. My co-workers ordered slices and they were not overly impressed. I liked the space, but I didn’t think the service and atmosphere was anything special.

    In any case, I’m not inclined to go back. First impressions are key, and so many businesses still do not recognize that. In this day and age, especially with the economy the way it is, you would think businesses would be going overboard with customer service. I have to admit that some are, but the majority don’t give a sh*t.

    What it all comes down to is the total package. Patrons will have their complaints about various aspects of any business, but if the overall perceived value isn’t overwhelming, they are not likely to return.

    I definitely use Groupon and Living Social to try new places that I’ve never been and also to get discounts at places I always go to.


  • Ted34

    I’ve had Pete’s, and I thought it was quite good, though perhaps a bit light on the cheese. They do piont this out on their site–that they don’t pile the toppings high. So while you may get more square inches of pizza per dollar, it’s mostly crust. Very good crust, though.

    Re. the price: Most people want at least a couple of toppings. To get that at Pete’s, you’re going to spend $30 *after taxes.* Tax in Arlington is 10%, remember? So a $26 pizza is really $28.60. Which is just about $30. And that’s hard to justify unless the pie can feed three or four people–which usually isn’t the case.

  • biggsy

    Costco. Huge pie. Approximately $10. Done.

    • CW

      Truth bomb!

    • UnlimitedCustoms

      $10 + heartburn from going through that Costco.

    • JamesE

      $2 chicken bake, SON!

    • Ted34

      Trader Joe’s crust in a bag = $1. Makes three pizzas, easy. Add your own ingredients. Way better than any pizza place, plus no parking hassles, no surprises on the check, no doooshes, no surly employees.

      • CW

        I wonder if, when TJ’s opens in Clarendon, their prices will be “adjusted for the area”. You know, eight-buck Chuck, for example.

  • leehighway

    I initially was hesitant to try Pete’s when I saw the price…but we ate there one Friday and I have to say that the pizza easily justifies the price. Many people probably here eat at Italian Store and Lost Dog, and a large pizza with any toppings at all runs $20 easy. While I do like the pizza, their antipasti is what draws me back often. You could get a slice of pizza and a large anitpasti for around $13 which is a good deal and not really that expensive.

  • Flying Spaghetti Monster

    I. AM. SO. THERE.

  • Biff

    Add thickness into the pizza value equation and it’s easy to see that Pete’s loses out in cost/volume category.


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