Workers Reveal What It's Really Like To Work At Jet's Pizza

Jet's Pizza began on a whim four decades ago when one of the chain's co-founders made an impromptu decision to buy a pizza store instead of a house (via Jet's Pizza). Al deep dish pizza enthusiasts no doubt would collectively agree that the decision was one of the best. Over the years, the chain expanded from its first store in Sterling Heights, Michigan, to 400 stores in close to 20 states, all the while holding tightly to its roots. 

According to a Facebook post by the company, the tomato sauce recipe has stayed the same since 1978, which is the year Jet's Pizza introduced the crispy square golden-crusted pizza to the world. Needless to say, the company takes pride in making the pizza dough fresh every day at each location

The company's employees ensure that the cheese that comes from opera-listening cows is grated uniformly across the dough, that the sauce is mixed to the right consistency, and the pizzas are baked to the right shade of golden brown. 

Working while surrounded by the appetizing smell of pizza all day seems like a dream job, but is it? Most importantly, do they get to take home free pizzas? There's so much to know about what it's really like to work at Jet's Pizza. 

They don't have to take customers' orders on the phone

While most of us don't think twice before letting a call go to voicemail, many food service employees, unfortunately, cannot do that, which probably becomes a task in itself if you're involved in food preparation. Whether annoying or not, it surely is time-consuming. And, with the pandemic-led staff crunch, the chain deemed it best to use the available staff's time for the most important of jobs: To make pizza rather than attending phone calls (via TechTarget). 

According to Aaron Nilsson, CIO (Chief Information Officer) and CDO (Chief Digital Officer) of Jet's Pizza, a large percentage of customers are always using their phones, and he would prefer that people get off the phones so that the employees at Jet's Pizza can focus on making pizzas. This is why the company decided to have a bot answer all the customer's calls starting in December 2021.

Called OrderAI, the phone bots (by restaurant technology provider HungerRush) accept customers' orders just like an employee would, per Chain Store Age. It's a win-win: Customers don't have to wait for a staff to pick up their call, and the staff attends 35% fewer calls than before, which, as per Nilsson, helps lower overall stress too as employees can concentrate on the task at hand. 

They get pizza at discounted rates

Jet's employees don't have to spend several hangry minutes waiting for their pizza to be delivered at the end of a long day: They can grab a box of pizza from work (via Reddit). And no, they don't have to spend $21 to satisfy their craving for an eight-corner pizza: They either get it for free or at a 50% discount. A certain Redditer who once used to work at Jet's used to dig into bungled or undelivered pizza orders during shifts. 

While free pizzas are not always guaranteed, getting them at half the price is. According to one employee on Glassdoor, Jet's Pizza allows its employees to have 50% off menu-priced items. Employees can also take home any extra food at the end of their shifts. 

According to another employee, workers get a 50% discount, and immediate family members of employees can access a 25% discount; however, the food is quite pricey. Unfortunately, while pizza giveaways are nice, they do not compensate for a low pay. 

A Jet's shift manager makes $15.44 per hour, and a dough maker, just $9.67 per hour, as mentioned on Indeed. And, according to employee ratings on the employment website, 59% think they aren't paid fairly. 

They have to make the dough fresh every morning

The eight-corner pizza was introduced after Eugene Jetts, the co-founder of the chain, noticed a family fight over the corner pizza piece, which led him to consider how the chain could create a pizza that had only corners (via Crain's Detroit Business).

 The crust, as it turns out, is made with flour that's specifically milled for Jet's Pizza, as reported in WXYZ-TV Detroit. The staff first mixes a secret blend of ingredients with water and then put in the special flour to make the dough fresh every morning.  

According to the chain's website, the staff makes two types of dough: The 'typical' pizza dough and the Detroit-style pizza dough. Once the dough is made, it's divided into little lumps, each weighed to ensure every pizza that comes out of the oven has the right level of thickness. Once cut and weighed, the dough is hand-pressed into pans (specially made for Jet's Pizza) and topped with their trademark sauce, cheese, and toppings, before being slid into the oven.

The result is a crispy crust that's light and airy in the center, which, as a fan told Restaurant Business, in fact, is the very best part of the pizza. 

They have flexible working hours

You probably have ordered the Triple Cheese Turbo Stix enough times to know that Jet's Pizza operates a whole 12 hours (10 am to 10 pm) on all days except Friday and Saturday when it closes an hour late. The stores employ a morning and a night crew, wrote a former manager on Indeed

Some put in four hours, some six, according to reviews on the website. A majority (about 70% of the employees, based Indeed user responses) said that their working hours were flexible. Naturally, the flexibility of the work schedule was listed as one of the pros of working at Jet's Pizza by employees on Glassdoor, besides having pleasant coworkers.

A majority of them also attested to the fact that they had the option of choosing a flexible schedule upon return from parental leave and were satisfied with their maternity and paternity leave policies. While a significantly high percentage of employees agree that it's easy to request paid time off, about 94% of them said they don't get any paid vacation days.

The interview process is quick and easy

Based on all the reviews by employees about their jet-speed interview process, it wouldn't be awfully wrong to say that a Jet's Pizza interview is over faster than a pizza gets made (via Comparably). As per one employee, it was a quick five-minute process. According to another on the same platform, the interview wasn't really an interview as they were offered the job when they received a callback. 

For anyone planning to apply, stop prepping, for according to a majority of employees who have been through the drill in the past, it's a piece of cake. It's very easy, as many of them wrote on Glassdoor

A majority of Jet's Pizza employees considered the interview a positive experience, as reported on the website. Why wouldn't they? Especially if they just had to breeze through it; or, in one case, get to take free pizza home. 

Peak hours can be hectic

From a customer's point of view, every minute waiting for your BBQ Chicken pizza might feel like a year, but at the Jet's Pizza Kitchen, peak hours can get quite tight for the staff (via Indeed). According to a review, the days at Jet's Pizza can be relaxed and slow, or they can get extremely busy. Despite being surrounded by comfort food, the high demand during certain hours can be a cause of stress, especially if the particular Jet's Pizza spot is short on employees, according to a former worker.

Some employees have complained that their location is very short-staffed and the work is far too monotonous on Glassdoor. While the wildly swinging workload could stress employees out, there is another downside to it. As per a former Jet's delivery driver in North Carolina, the erratic demand also leads to inconsistent pay for those who rely on tips.

There is no way to know the Jet's sauce recipe

Jet's Pizza's sauce recipe is a top secret: Even the employees who make the pizzas from scratch every morning at every location have little idea what goes into it. As per a former employee's post on Reddit, they simply had to add a premixed seasoning with cans of pre-blends (the Jet Fuel) to get the sauce.

They would throw in about eight to 12 cans of sauce into a Hobart, and the manager would then get a large bag of premixed seasoning that had a very generic name. 

From what Sean McEvoy, a franchisee of Jet's in Ohio, told Mimi Vanderhaven, once the sauce is made, it's left to marinate for 12 hours before it's slathered on the pizzas. 

Well, looks like the staff know only so much about the sauce as the customers do: That it's absolute yum. 

Jet's employees started cutting fewer pizza slices since 2022

In January 2022, Jet's Pizza launched bigger slices of pizzas, which meant that instead of cutting a large pizza into 10 slices, employees were only required to divide it into eight (via GlobeNewsWire). According to John Jetts, president of the chain, this change has meant that the employees will be making 25 million fewer cuts per year, which is helpful considering the labor shortage that is affecting industries.

As per the reactions on Reddit, cutting fewer slices hardly made a difference to employees. As per one particular employee, one less cut saved about 2 seconds! Having said that, cutting a pizza into eight slices instead of 10 does help get consistent sizes, commented another employee. According to this worker, cutting 10 slices is not always easy, whereas cutting eight is simple since it entails making just one vertical and one horizontal cut, along with two cuts on each side. 

The work environment can be difficult sometimes

A video shot at a certain Jet's Pizza location in Michigan made the rounds on Snapchat in 2020 (via WXYZ Detroit). The video showed the manager of the location shaving her legs in the store sink. 

While one can only imagine the discomfort of the employees stepping into work the following day, what would have further added to their concern would have been the scandal that soon followed the incident. The same employee who shot the video later complained of sexual harassment against a co-worker who was eventually fired.

Meanwhile, a Jet's Pizza store in Milwaukee made news after an employee was called out for being racially insensitive (via WTMJ TV). In yet another incident, a customer at a Detroit-based Jet's Pizza complained that a staff member had used disrespectful remarks against him and his friends despite there having been no instigation from their side (via Eyewitness News).