Naples 45 Responds to Outrageous Price Hike Accusations

Wednesday I allowed a Midtown Lunch’er to air his grievance against Naples 45 (on 45th btw. Mad+5th), a restaurant that has raised the price of their after 2pm slice special twice in the past year.  The restaurant responded yesterday with an email of their own:

Dear Zach,

The article about Naples 45 posted [Wednesday] on Midtown Lunch saddens us, as the afternoon slice discount has always been a program of goodwill towards the community.The price of flour has gone up four times over the past 12 months, and the dollar is at a record low against the Euro — which means that the Italian ingredients that we import to make our authentic Neopolitan pizza (San Marzano tomatoes, Italian low-gluten wheat flour) have gone up multifold. We have been forced to raise the price of the afternoon special slice to $1.75 from $1.25 (available after 2 PM).

But we are still keeping the price at under $2 — whereas elsewhere in the city slices have similarly gone up and many charge up to $3 (see a recent article in The New York Times here.)

Patina Restaurant Group

It’s all fun and games until somebody gets saddened.  All Some kidding aside though, as much as I’d like to get sarcastic and tear this email to shreds, I do feel bad for these restaurants who are forced to find a balance between the rising cost of goods on one side, and cheapo bastards with blogs on the other side.  It also helps to know that commenters will probably do it for me. 

37 Comments

  • Their pizza is always room temperature after 2pm…of course, one didn’t mind so much when the cost was only $1.25. But now that it’s $1.75, I’d rather pay the extra 75 cents or so for a warmer crisper slice elsewhere. Like Little Italy.

  • This whole discussion is ridiculous! Naples 45′s slice price is under the NYC average, and more importantly, it’s the best pizza in town!

  • The best pizza in town?? Tom, you either work for Naples, have a good friend/sibling that works for Naples, or you just don’t get out very much. The slice is good and all, but calling it the best in town is sheer ignorance .

    (ironic coming from a guy who’s name is ignorant, eh?)

  • That email sounded alright until it was signed by a restaurant group.

    WHA?

  • They need to quit whining! It still costs them less than .20 or .30 to make a slice!

  • I dont know if the maths on slice prices is correct, but the slice is indeed far cheaper than most others in midtown. I paid $5 for 2 on wednesday..

  • Goats, not sure you’re including all the elements like rent and a pizza oven.

  • Naples serves excellent pizza for below market prices (especially below market for similar “gourmet” style pizza).
    I don’t understand how anyone can complain about this. I’ve been a loyal (and much too frequent) supporter of Naples ever since I discovered the 2 pm deal on this site about 2 years ago. And if you’re slice is not hot enough, ask them to put it back in the oven and they will.
    How can people get angry about $1.75 for a huge slice of gourmet pizza with fresh mozzarella and pepperoni? It don’t make no sense, I tell ya.

  • um, “program of goodwill”???? right dudes, you just keep saying that if it makes you feel better. goodwill is giving free pizza to hobos and shit. marking down your congealed-cheese slices is a MARKETING PLOY. jesus h christ. HIGH HORSE, SADDLE FOR ONE.

  • I used to work a block away from Naples 45, and loved their pizza. It is that thin crispy coal-oven-flavored crust, with tasty cheese and toppings. It is not the generic NY slice that is reheated after sitting out on the counter for god knows how long. Even if it’s not served piping hot, it is several cuts above the generic slices that cost much more. And the choices include slices with toppings (ham, white pizza, veggies, etc.) which delis charge even more for.

    Naples 45 is an excellent slice and still a bargain.

  • I will be patronizing Naples 45 today purely to spite the whiners.
    Cheers!

  • As the cheif Griper/Blogger who triggered this recent controversy, let me just say that my point was to simply bring to everyone’s awareness that the late lunch super deal special was no longer there (as originally reported by ML)… so I was merely posting an update informing the reader of what to expect. That said, thought it was fair that I also speak my mind as to the loss in value as a whole. For whatever the reason (eg. high cost of wheat, rise in gas prices, the pathetic-ness of new 90210 tv series, etc, etc, whatever!!!), the fact remains leftover late lunch lukewarm slices should not be priced at $1.90 as well as deemed “acceptable bargain” by the consuming public. More importantly such an item shouldn’t get any attention (yikes, too late) and defended upon the basis of quality ingredients. Price and taste — that’s the formula to keep patrons revisiting. The discounted price is so because the pizza is discounted for a reason. Thus supporters who keep posting about it being a great restaurant and gourmet-style pizza are dancing around the fact that it’s being served basically cold and not fresh. (although, i do agree, it generally is a great place to eat for a nice italian meal in the Grand Central area). But please, resturant owners/chefs please don’t take advantage of the popularity this site brings you. Sincere thanks to the Naples people for reading the post and actually responding… and I’m hoping that after they see how this site’s popularity works in both directions, they will continue their so-called “good will” and reverse the higher-price trend (and maybe even include in the price a 10% donation to a charitable organization or, heck, biofuel research). ;P cheers!

  • Jeff, I’m not sure what pizza joint you’re blathering about but you are certainly spreading misinformation to the readers here. Are you a communist?
    Starting every week day at 2pm, the Naples crew start pumping out DOZENS of piping hot fresh pies, one after another, for $1.75 per slice. There is nothing “leftover” or “lukewarm” about it. Sure, if you show up at 4:30, you get what’s left thrown back into the oven for a few minutes.
    But how is that different from any other pizzeria in Midtown? It ain’t.

  • Well DDR, you got it… i was there at 4:30, paid $1.90 for leftover and lukewarm pizza… all true. So I guess it’s up to the readers/consumers to decide if this is a true bargain (or if the bargain window should only be considered from 2 – 2:20). Again, it’s a great dinning establishment, but i’m sorry, the ML Late Lunch “magic” is just not there anymore.. that’s all i’m saying. Yikes, I’m actually bothered that it’s no longer a great deal and voicing my concern… yup, i must be a communist… Ivan Drago rules!!

  • DDR, you’re so wrong, it’s almost funny. What happened to Jeff happened to me, not only that, but the atmosphere in Naples cools considerably. You’re telling me that pizza is the main driver of income at Naples? Forget about it, it’s soft drinks and entrees, the pizza just gets you in the door.

    It’s no bargain now my friends, I’m boycotting!

  • One other thing, Tom and DDR are instigators and not true foodies. They probably troll these kind of blogs and just write tomes of such little class, that they detract from all of our experiences as sharers of good food.

    Jeff, where would you suggest we go for better slices in the midtown environs of Naples. Until they return their price, or offer something like a free soda with two slices, I need a new place to visit. Ideas?

  • E-Dawg, you did make me laugh but you know not whereof you speak.
    Also, when did anyone ever say that “pizza is the main driver of income at Naples”? What are you talking about?
    You can’t make this stuff up.
    Happy Friday!

  • DDR,

    I know alot more about the restaurant business than you’ll ever know. Pizza, even if it costs more to import the ingredients is till dough, sauce, cheese and spices. that’s it. You’re telling me it costs more than 15 dollars or so to make a pizza? It’s peasant food, and should probably cost no more than a buck fifty anywhere, since they get you on the toppings as a source of higher profit percentage wise. DDR, percentage is a portion of a whole, ie. 50%.

    Just making sure you’re still following me.

    You’re Mr. Naples, you’re making the most bang for your buck off salads, pasta heavy entrees and soft drinks which have almost no overhead. The pizza deal, even if it is a loser, brings people in the door, and generates good buzz.

    What they did ruined that, and is going to cost them dearly.

  • In an effort to be constructive and to show how strange your “reasoning” is, I, too, would like to know where in Midtown I can get a delicious, piping hot & fresh slice of non-leftover pizza with toppings at 4:30 p.m. for under $1.90 including tax.
    Thank you.

  • There is a place on 3rd between 44th/43rd, that sells decent cheesy slices for .99 cents.

    West side of the street my friend.

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