Frequently Asked Questions
All the questions you always ask,
and the answers that you don't want to hear!
All the things other restaurants are afraid to tell you,
we are not!
All you have left is hate us on Yelp, OMG!
Q. How is business?
A. By far the most popular question we get. Hard to believe so many people are worried about how we're doing! Or maybe it's just an unfortunate way to start a conversation. Anyway, business is great. Now you can go and find peace. (By the way, how is your business?)
Q. May I give you a suggestion?
A. This is a very tricky question. But frankly, the answer is 'no thanks'. We believe too much constructive criticism can be confusing. We truly believe in what we're doing and we are commited to giving our best, as we've done successfully for the last 20 years. There are already many ways and places where you can express your culinary knowledge and restaurant business know-how, like Yelp. If and when we decide to ask a professional for suggestions we will contact a restaurant consultant and gladly pay for his time. In the meantime, it seems like we don't need it!
Remember that if we like to hear your opinion we will ask, we are not shy.
Q. Are you the owner?
A. No we are not the owners, the owner is never here and we don't know who he is.
From experience we know that if you are the owner you are going to be harassed by anyone with private and stupid questions about your business, harassed by sellers of all kinds and harassed by all the self titled restaurant consultants who give nonsense suggestions (free of charge of course).
That is why we are certainly not the owners and never will be.
Actually, if you know the owner tell him that we have some suggestions for him.
We heard that the owner moved to India, is trying to find himself.
Q. Do you serve pizza by the slice?
A. Still no.
Q. Do you have ice?
A. Because that's the way, uh huh uh huh, we like it, and still no.
Q. Are you really Italian?
A. We are Italians, we do business like Italians, we speak Italian, we cook like Italians,
and we will treat YOU like an Italian. We must be Italians.
Q. May I ask you a stupid question?
A. We thought you'd never ask! We can't wait to hear it and share it with the public.
Monthly we publish the 10 most stupid questions of the month on our website and in our
newsletter and we reach over 10000 loyal customers.
So be carefull what you ask or you'll become the Village idiot! We have not sympathy for stupidity.
Q. What can we expect when we visit Botto?
A. Always great food, prepared by Italian chefs. A self service, casual trattoria with no frills.
Q. What if I didn't like Botto so much the first time? Should I try again?
A. First impressions are the most important and if you didn't love it at first bite you are not going to like it later. Sorry, it's not for you. Tell your friends also!
Q. Do you read reviews on sites like Yelp?
A. We do and we realize that your opinion is very important to YOU. Luckily we know for a fact that neither the good or the bad reviews have an impact on our business!
Q. Are not you worry that many bad reviews on yelp can impact your business?
A. The day that we think that reviews on Yelp are the key for our successful business, is the day we should change business. Yelp for us is just a source where we can find our "Village Idiot" of the month for our web page. The right customers for us are more likely to browse our website than yelp. We never ask any of our loyal customers to write something positive about us.
We actually reward with 50%off any pizza anyone who give us a one star review on Yelp.
When we face an idiot we make sure he is going to hate us so he can spread the word with his Yelpers friends! The more agressive and angry reviews are the more unreliable are.
There is nothing more useful than an angry idiot! In fact we post our worst reviews on our website and we use them to attract many new great customers ever day.
Check the best three superheroes in our HALL OF SHAME, because of these three idiots we got more and better customers.
Q. I'm a very picky eater and I always ask for special orders or substitutions in the menu, should I go to Botto?
A. We don't think so. We also charge for extras and substitutions to discourage any creative request you may have.
Q. Your pizza is more expensive than other pizzerias? Is it really good?
A. We know that our pizza is one of the best in the Bay area, but what is amazing for us and for many of our clients could be a big disappointment to you.
Our pizza is not the kind you dip in ranch sauce or marinara.
Our pizza is an Italian pizza, delicate, thin crust, with just the right amount of topping.
It also does not come with a gallon of coke, sorry.
For the price sensitive, Costco huge monster pizza is an exit away on Central. For $9.99 you can be sure you'll have your quantity, with tons of ranch sauce.
Q. What does your food come with?
A. It comes with a plate. Everything at Botto is a la carte. We charge for our breads, olive oils, and everything else.
Q. Can we bring our own wine or dessert? Is there a corkage fee?
A. No, at Botto we don't allow anything from outside. Enjoy your food and wine in the comfort of your sweet home. Our home our wine, your home your wine.
Q. Do you take reservations?
A. No we don't. First come first served, and yes we are busy and crowded.
Q. Have you heard that the customer is always right?
A. Yes and we find it hilarious. A business owner who believes that deserves to deal with the monsters he has created. We don't belong to that club, but if you do...bravo!
Q. I love your food but I don't like your attitude, what should I do?
A. We've heard that before, and usually from people we don't like either!
Based on the thousands of repeating customers who patronize Botto weekly and enjoy our place and company, we know we must be doing something right. Attitude goes both ways, and we are always welcoming to our customers who have good ones.
Q. Is Botto a full service restaurant?
A. No. Botto is counter service only. Not a place for her Majesty.
Q. Do you offer coupons or discounts?
A. Absolutely not. Our business is based on high quality restaurant food at reasonable prices.
We do not believe that offering discounts will attract the right clients for us.
We like to be sure our customers are there because the food is fantastic, not because it costs less. Altough we offer 50% off discount to anyone who give us a one star review on Yelp, but that's another story.
Q. Do you do donations?
A. Yes absolutely. In fact for the last twenty years our businesses have made cash donations to all major associations that help pet animals.
This year the Botto donation went to the House Rabbit Society of Richmond.
At Botto we love our pets, and for us those are the customers that are always right!
Q. Is your food really authentic?
A. Without any doubt it is one of the most authentic Italian restaurants in all the Bay Area.
You can't find many places where the chefs are native Italian and always on site, serving real Italian food with no american influence. Our food is so authentic that our cooking classes are always sold out 4-6 months before the event.
Q. I found your menu confusing. How do I order?
A. Really, this is for real folks, we get this question a lot. We are not going to make any rude comments on this one. You can take a class on how to read Botto's menu or just buy "Botto's menu for dummies" and get back to us when you are ready (ok, we couldn't help ourselves).
Q. How do you rate the costumer service at Botto?
A. Compared to American standards and general Californian public expectations, it is honestly quite poor.
Botto is a traditional Tuscan "trattoria", simple friendly service and authentic Italian comfort food. We are here to prepare great food, and we didn't move all the way from Italy to take crap from people in the name of 'customer service'.
Europeans in general are not used to dealing with absurd requests and stupid questions like the ones that we receive daily at Botto. We prefer to leave those comments to proper mental institutions.
Italians have a very distinct way to run public businesses such as restaurants and in that way you can call us very authentic, and apparently we have no intention to change the recipe any time soon.
It can be a traumatic experience for someone to find out that at Botto "no" IS an answer, and that we don't always care about their opinion.
Q. My grandmother was the best Italian cook in the world! Would I like your food?
A. First of all congratulation to you and your grandmother, we had no idea.
But your grandma does not work at Botto and with all due respect we may have different opinions about Italian food. With a grandmother like that we don't think you would like our food.
Q. I don't like your place at all, I don't understand how you are still in business.
A. We know it's hard to swallow! If you don't like one place everyone else should not like that place either. Luckily for us it does not work that way. Our business is not based on your taste and preferences or we would ask for your approval beforehand. You don't own Botto, we do.
It's up to you to find the place that suits you the best not up to us to make changes to convince you to like our place. There are thousands of excellent restaurants out there, you'll be fine.
Q. What did I learned from this page?
A. If any of the above answers offended you, insulted you or made you uncomfortable in any way, you just found out that Botto Bistro is not the place for you. You should be grateful that we made you save your money and your time. It is also a good news for us as we try hard to make sure that a certain type of customers get the message loud and clear. Our is an Idiot free Trattoria, we like to keep it that way.
If this page made you laugh you are our guy, our favorite customer, we really hope you are going to visit us soon and we will do our best to make you enjoy our simple place, and we are confident you'll love our food.
We enjoy life, good food, good laughs and great people. Welcome in our family!