‘They only sell one type of pizza.’
‘The prize is ridiculous.’
‘They don’t do home delivery.’
‘It doesn’t even have waiters.’
‘The oregano and salt are inside plastic bottles.’
‘The place looks like a jail.’
‘It smells bad.’
‘There’s no toilet.’
‘Pigeons come and go whenever they want.’
No one in Buenos Aires actually seems to like this pizza restaurant. But everyone goes back there sooner or later. One customer explains it this way: ‘It’s a tradition, it’s part of life in the city, almost a tourist attraction: you eat their crappy pizza and then complain about it afterwards. Hahaha.’
The man responsible for this phenomenon is Hugo Solís. He left the USA, where he’d been working in fast food, and came to the Argentine capital to open his own business. His goal was to create the most popular pizzeria in Buenos Aires, by fair means or foul. And it looks like he succeeded. If this is how he sees his staff, imagine how he sees his customers:
‘Yes to drugs. Yes to pizza’ is Ugi’s motto, and the pizzeria has a very distinctive approach to managing its social media. ‘The best defence is a good offence’ seems to be their philosophy, and they mercilessly troll any customers foolish enough to leave negative comments on their social networks.
Ugi’s use of Facebook is masterful: they treat their page like a street gang treats its turf. Gangster rules apply; if they come at you with a knife, pull a gun.
That’s how their community manager deals with users who dare criticise Ugi’s. If you’re brave enough to leave a negative comment on their page, prepare to be severely trolled. All their wrath will rain down upon you. Oh, and don’t expect anyone to come to your aid. You’re on your own. The laughter of other users will echo across the internet.
Of course, there are those who know perfectly well what they’re getting into: gluttons for punishment who leave negative comments just so they can bask in the vicious shit-storm that will follow. They know they’ll survive and that the experience will be entertaining. When it comes to trolling, Ugi’s are masters of the art.
They know they don’t make the best pizza in Argentina, but they don’t care because people keep coming back for more. Ugi’s Facebook page is a masterclass in how to treat ’em mean and keep ’em keen. Bravo, boys.
‘No censorship and no swankiness.’
‘Our pizza makers never touch the dough with dirty hands after leaving the bathroom. (There is no bathroom)’
‘The idiots from food hygiene have come round a few times, but Miguel just shits on them until they leave.’