Pizzeria Gets Burned for 'Now Hiring Non-Stupid People' Sign

An Ohio pizza joint served up a lot of laughs and a little bit of controversy with its help-wanted sign.

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By Dan Bova

Does an Ohio pizza joint need a new recipe for sensitivity, or should some outraged patrons replace pepperoni with a sense of humor on their next order?

ABC 6 reports on a saucy "help wanted" sign hung outside Santino's Pizzeria in Columbus, Ohio that has caused quite a stir. The sign reads simply "Now Hiring Non-Stupid People."

Related: 'Now Hiring Non-Stupid People': Texas Pet Store Owner Posts Controversial Sign After Employee Lasts 3 Days

Jayden Dunigan, daughter of the shop's owner, told ABC 6: "It's more humor than anything. It wasn't meant to target anyone like that or be rude."

But Dunigan admits that there was a little dash of truth with the joke, explaining, "A lot of people we've hired just don't want to work. There is no work ethic behind them, so that's the meaning behind the 'Non-stupid.'"

Response on social media was overwhelmingly positive, with most commenters posting that they thought to sign was funny and that they agreed with the sentiment, citing examples of workers giving incorrect change or being generally incompetent.

One person apparently did not find the sign funny, according to Dunigan. She explained that after the sign went up, someone called a placed a $100 order that turned out to be a prank.

Related: How to Handle Difficult Workplace Conversations

"It was about 10 pizzas. We made the order, he called back, he talked down to one of our employees. He said our pizza sucks, and he's canceling the order," Dunigan said. (Bart Simpson did not return Entrepreneur's call for comment.)

But the Santino team served up some goodwill with the bogus order, explaining on Facebook, "[The caller] thought it was funny to place a large order and then called back when it was finish[ed] to talk down to one of our employees and then cancel the order," the Santino's team wrote. "We took it to one of the homeless shelters and the people tonight were extremely grateful for the food!"

Santino's isn't the first place of business to look for "non-stupid people." In November 2022, a man named Walter Parsons, the owner of Pets Gone Wild Resort in Pasadena, Texas, said he put up a sign "Now Hiring Non-Stupid" sign after being driven crazy by a former employee who incessantly talked on her cellphone during work hours.

All of this begs the question: Who is at greater fault when there's a bad worker behind the counter? The terrible employee or the terrible hiring manager who brought them on board in the first place? As someone who has hired less-than-impressive people, and someone who has at times been a very stupid employee himself, I'm going to declare this one a tie.

Dan Bova

Entrepreneur Staff

VP of Special Projects

Dan Bova is the VP of Special Projects at Entrepreneur.com. He previously worked at Jimmy Kimmel Live, Maxim and Spy magazine. Check out his humor writing at Planet Bova.

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