What Happens Late Night at Ian's Pizza
We decided to go where no sober college student has ever gone after hours: Ian's Pizza By The Slice. Perfectly positioned between Greek Row and the two biggest freshman dorms on campus, Ian's Pizza on Frances Street gets extremely busy between the hours of 11 pm-2am on weekends. Luckily, the friendly staff at Ian's Pizza prepped us on what to expect. We learned that there's a lot more than meets the eye when you're expecting to satisfy hundreds of not-so-sober college students.
Before the Madness
Before their 10 pm shifts on the weekend, workers at Ian's need to chug enough coffee and prepare for anything and everything. It takes hard work and persistence, and there is little room for error. "One slice at a time" is what the employees say. One employee preps for shifts by meditating, having a clear mind, and most importantly, wearing a smile. No night is going to be perfect, but if you wear your smile and have fun it usually goes over smoothly.
While the customers were still only slowly trickling in, we asked some of the employees about their favorite parts of working at Ian's. They shared fond memories of Halloween, and costume favorites ranged from Bleaker in Juno or Colin Kaepernick. Halloween is definitely the most exciting night of the year. One girl came in dressed as Ian's ranch, which made all of the employees laugh.
During the Madness
Having been on the other side of the glass ourselves, we were excited to be behind the scenes when the crowds started rolling in. People were discussing nights, flirting with others, but most importantly, desperately needing pizza.
Willy, one of Ian's most friendly employees says that "there's a lot of excitement and energy during showtime". There are always people yelling. Big bachelorette parties come in and freak over the Mac & Cheese Pizza.
Passionate about pizza and the famous Ian's brand, Willy stresses the traits of the perfect Ian's employee; "You need to make sure the pizza is cooked correctly, which is an art, and then dealing with drunk people. So you have to work with a smile and be extra patient." Willy and the rest of the staff even had to deal with someone stealing the mirror off of the wall in the men's bathroom and running out of the restaurant with it during peak times.
Everyone Loves Ian's
In addition to being the late-night favorite, Ian's is notorious for unique pizza toppings and questionable (yet somehow always delicious) combinations. Undoubtedly, their most famous slice is the good ole' Mac n' Cheese: white sauce topped with cooked elbow noodles and cheddar cheese, a slice of this pizza will rock any plain pizza lover's world. "Smokey the Bandit" is another popular one with barbecue chicken, bacon, and ranch.
Next time you're at Ian's Pizza (aka this weekend), and are feeling adventurous, think about having the workers "surprise you" with a slice of heaven. And if you're sober, stop on by for a slice of crazy late-night entertainment.