I was really upset when I went to Pizza Hut yesterday with my family for dinner. It was a return visit after a previous complaint and this time I was served the wrong food. My vegan cheese pizza was not vegan at all and left me with stomach pains and acne break outs. I’m vegan and I have not eaten dairy for over a year… until yesterday, when my vegan cheese pizza at Pizza Hut was served to me with dairy cheese on it. Pizza Hut Vegan Cheese NOT Vegan!
I’d just like to say that I’m not the type of person to complain. I’m not going to sit here and defend myself/explain why I’m writing this, but you should know that I’m not an easy person to complain about restaurants… so knowing this, you’d understand it takes a lot for me to kick up a fuss.
I’m not a fan of name and shame. I don’t like to publish negative reviews on my blog; so I haven’t before. In my whole experience of having this blog, I have never posted a negative review because I made me feel uncomfortable about being responsible for bad publicity.
However, this is an exception. It is food. When there is food involved, it gets a little bit more serious than just a regular complaint about a bad experience.
I know not everyone is going to agree with me here and think I should just get on with it. Trust me, people have already told me that I shouldn’t be so upset about it, that I should just get over it, or think ,”So what; I don’t have an allergy, no biggie?”. But the thing is, what happened doesn’t get justified as okay just because it isn’t as bad as it could be.
I could say I might not feel this way in it wasn’t my second visit after a complaint, if I wasn’t already having a terrible weekend, and if I didn’t much so much high hopes of having a nice meal… there could be many ifs but the truth is this. I was and still am upset and disappointed that my meal was ruined, that I was tricked into eating dairy when I don’t eat it, that my trust was broken, my evening ruined… I cried at the table, I got home and felt sick. That’s what happened.Pizza Hut Vegan Cheese NOT Vegan!
I’ve been vegan for a year. My original idea was just go dairy free because it had been recommended to be to try and help my acne which I have had since I was 11 years old. When I bought it up with my partner, Ollie, who I’ve been with for over 8 hours, it was him he suggested we try to go vegan. One year on, despite the fact that my skin has cleared up a lot since going vegan, I’m now more vegan than just because of acne.
When I go to eat out and I order vegan food I have no reason to doubt it won’t be vegan at all.
I eat out vegan a lot and many of them are chain restaurants. Pizza Hut have only just brought out their new vegan cheese pizza’s and so I was, of course, going to try it. Only a few weeks after it was released we went to the nearest hut; we love trying new things and it’s great that they have a vegan option! This was the first time in years I had been in a Pizza Hut.
Hoping for it to be a success because we are always looking for new places to eat, we got a table for 3 and couldn’t wait to tuck in. Eating out is something we really like to do and it’s only recently that it’s becoming easier with Eric and he’s starting to enjoy it, too. Pizza Hut is family friendly so I didn’t have any reason to assume we wouldn’t enjoy it there.
Toddlers can’t wait very long when you’ve promised them food. If you have toddlers or ever have gone to eat out with one you’ll know this is true. So when we waited an hour for food on this first ever visit to try the new pizza, you’d understand that Eric was losing the will to live. He wanted to leave, he was beyond hungry, fed up of snacks from the salad bar which he had no real interest in and started to get really upset and frustrated.
Usually after an hour of being in a cafe/restaurant we would be leaving. Not still waiting for food. But on this occasion, bot only was food an hour to arrive, it was cold when it finally did come to the table. All of us were frustrated and so we just asked for a refund; it wasn’t like we were going to have a family meal anyway with a over hungry toddler who had waited for an hour for cold food. However, these things happen, I didn’t kick up a fuss; we just left.
The manager was really lovely and emphasised how important it was to make sure our impressions of this new vegan pizza were good… he gave us £40 to spend on a return visit. I was impressed because he handled it really well and I did leave relatively happy despite what had happened.
It was no big deal.
In situations like that, it really is no ones fault. In a restaurant, it’s like a chain reaction… once the whole system has a flaw then something goes wrong. Not one person is accountable for a mistake. I understand this because I’ve only ever worked in hospitality and catering myself, no other job, and I’ve worked in restaurants very similar to Pizza Hut.
On the day we went back, which was yesterday, January 7th… I was soooooo hungry. It was one of those days where I hadn’t eaten well, my toddler was attached to me constantly (and still breastfeeds!) and my partner was at work all day from 5am. We planned to meet up after he finished work to have some dinner out, I hadn’t left the house all day so I was really looking forward to it. The Pizza Hut closest to us is only 5 minute walk away so was perfect. Eric loves pizza so I promised him that and he was more than happy to meet daddy and go for pizza.
All 3 of us ordered vegan pizzas and I was sooo looking forward to it.
Food arrived quick and it was hot so I smothered it in sauce and tucked in. I wolfed down my first slice with salad, fries and didn’t think anything of it… I was just happy to get some hot food. Chatting away to Ollie and Eric, I honestly didn’t notice until Ollie went to the salad bar with Eric and the table was quiet… all of a sudden, I thought, “this pizza tastes funny. I wonder what type of vegan cheese it is (we must have tried them all) because this is very different…”
I bit into the 2nd slice… “it tastes really sickly?” I looked at a piece without hot sauce on that I had smothered on the other slice, removed some of my toppings, and that was when I knew. you can’t mistake how dairy cheese looks like on pizza, you just can’t… and I ate it for 24 years of my life, I knew it wasn’t vegan.
I was just in disbelief that it wasn’t, I was in shock that I had already eaten some, and angry. and confused. how was it not vegan when we had ordered vegan food, it just doesn’t make any sense. When ollie came back to the table I told him straight away, “this pizza isn’t vegan”. Of course he looked at me confused, how could it not be?
All our meals were ordered vegan.
I went straight up to the till area and told staff. 2 staff members asked me “if all meals were vegan” to that I answered yes, the staff then shuffled away and whispered around a corner (I could see this happening). Why would you hide around a corner almost like gossiping? I was upset, I wanted someone to deal with it and try to make me feel better! Not hide from me!
Anyway, that’s beside the point. One of the staff members went over to the table, looked at the pizza and said it wasn’t vegan. she asked me if I wanted anything else instead, to which I said definitely not, and she started to walk away from the table! The pizza was still there… Ollie had to call after her to take it away. If you’re vegan you really don’t want dairy cheese in front of you when you already feel sick from eating it.
A manager came over who apologised and asked if we wanted anything else, said it was an error, and that was that. after she left us I just started to cry. That might be really weird to understand for some but I was just feeling really fed up and very disappointed.
I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to be sick, but I certainly felt it.
No one cleared the table or said bye as we left the restaurant, more so it felt as if we were being ignored deliberately because staff didn’t know how to deal with us. I don’t really know why because I’m not aggressive, I was crying, I was upset, I was quiet, we just got our things and left. I really wished they had made more of an effort with us.
I was still hungry when I got home but I couldn’t bring myself to eat anything for a few hours. A couple more hours after that I started to get stomach pains, it didn’t click at first as I have really no reason to assume I would react to the cheese. I ate dairy all my life up until a year ago and I had never had any issues (apart from the acne which I 100% know now that it is linked to it). Unfortunately, I must have had some sort of stomach upset from it because I had pains and let’s just say I was in the bathroom a lot. While everyone else was in bed I was sat on the toilet, honestly thinking why me? It could very well be a coincidence, like I said I have no reason to assume it was the dairy however… I don’t usually get like that after going out for a meal.
This morning I woke up and I have had a acne break out all over my face, but specifically the areas I have always struggled with the most… that being, my chin, cheeks and forehead. I was really shocked, actually, to see how many spots I woke up with because just like the stomach issues last night I really didn’t expect this. it wasn’t until I saw the angry break outs this morning I realised just how much my skin has improved since I went vegan last year. it must have been a gradual process that I sadly took for granted. but these break outs, I know, from having acne since I was 11, it is because of that cheese.
The acne spots and boils are sore, they are itchy, red, angry and I am not feeling great about it. my skin feels awful, I feel really unattractive and sore. I have spots on my chest which is a tell-tale sign of dairy-related acne; my chest and shoulders were COVERED in acne in my teenage years leaving me with scarring. I took some photos but I have chickened out with posting them on here, I really can’t bring myself to do that!
It really is no ones fault and I am not out to get anyone fired or anything like that. Many people have said naming and shaming is awful thing to do because someones job is in the firing line and I completely and utterly understand this, that’s why I don’t believe that it is any one persons fault that this happened and no one at that restaurant deserves to lose their job or deserve bad publicity because of what happened. However, it isn’t right.
It really is not okay that this has happened and I really hope that this doesn’t happen to someone else in the future, especially someone with a dairy intolerance or allergy.
If something like this has ever happened to you, please let me know. If you have any advice or tips on how I can try and clear up these acne break outs, I would really appreciate it because I’m so uncomfortable right now.
Thank you for reading, and to my usual followers and readers; apologies for a slightly different blog post, but I really had to get this off my chest.
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