COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Signs with a blunt approach to “help wanted” outside of a Columbus-area pizza shop are making a big impression, but it’s not the only business to do so.
Santino’s Pizzeria — owned by Robert and Jacqueline Dunigan — had two signs posted on Tuesday reading “Now hiring non-stupid people.” One hung from the fence on the side of the building, while a copy of it also hung upside-down above the entrance. Santino’s also posted a more neutral message, “We’re hiring,” on the door to go inside.
The “non-stupid” signs drew attention online that turned into retaliation, with a man posting on social media that he ordered $110 dollars worth of pizza without paying, then never picked them up.
“They should’ve taken a card for an order over $60. They didn’t,” the Facebook user wrote. “I guess they shouldn’t have hired stupid people. Pizza sucks btw.”
A photo of the controversial sign accompanied the man’s post, and he wasn’t the only one to spot it. Cars were seen slowly driving by the store, located at 1675 Holt Rd., and taking pictures of the signs when NBC4 visited to ask about Santino’s hiring message.
A Santino’s employee inside told NBC4 that the signs were intended to be a joke, but referred further requests for comment to the pizzeria’s owners. The worker was well aware of the online attention Santino’s request for “non-stupid people” had received, with people calling the store to discuss the sign.
NBC4 tried to reach Santino’s owners by phone for comment but did not hear back as of Tuesday evening. Attempts to reach them through an email on the pizza shop’s website returned an error.
The Santino’s Pizzeria team did address the “non-stupid people” sign publicly on social media. In response to the $110 prank pizza order over the sign, the business turned it into positive action.
“(The user) thought it was funny to place a large order and then called back when it was finish (sic) 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 business to use the “Now hiring non-stupid people” sign. A Texas pet store saw a similar reaction online in October 2022 when it posted an identical sign looking for applicants, Entrepreneur reported. The sign is also readily available, selling in multiple sizes for between $27.52 and $165.85 on Amazon from vendor Tampa Printing Store.