Figo Akcay, pizza store manager

Posted on April 24, 2013


Managing State Street’s late-night pizza joint Pizza di Roma has given Figo Akcay a unique skill: deciphering the slurred orders of drunken college kids.

“I want to make them happy, so when they wake up in the morning they don’t have a stomach ache,” Akcay says.

Akcay emigrated from Turkey 12 years ago and found a job right away making pizza. He had never worked in a restaurant before and didn’t speak much English, but he heard from a friend that Pizza di Roma was hiring.

“It’s like college here. I’d say I learned everything at Pizza Di Roma,” Akcay says.
He says his coworkers are like family. They eat pizza together during breaks and grab drinks with the owner after work. But because bar time is work time, his days sometimes end around 4 a.m.

As the rowdy regular crowd stumbles in, Akcay tries to ensure that things run smoothly. “I see so many customers who are normal during the day time,” he says. “But nighttime they are so funny and dizzy. Sometimes they cut lines and don’t want to wait.”

— Sarah Neubauer