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Pizza the App: The One-Stop Service for the Hungry 

Wednesday, Apr 2 2014
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Right after you request an Uber after a long night, you can now place your order for a pizza to devour entirely by yourself when you get home (no judgment, we've been there). Pizza the App, created by Stanford grads Adam Ting and Michael Brandt, lets you sit in your underwear and order a hot pizza with just a few taps.

As Brandt explains, the idea is something that Google masterminds Larry Page and Sergey Brin toyed with back in the '90s. They wanted to make pizza orders possible via fax, but due to unforeseen circumstances that concept didn't work (so they just created Google instead).

These days, you can order almost anything via the Internet and, increasingly, through apps. While it's easy enough to order pizza on websites from major chains like Dominos and Pizza Hut, Brandt and Ting wanted to make the process even more basic.

"Honestly, we're just inspired by the way that Uber and Lyft do it," says Brandt. "It's so simple. We want to make it even simpler."

As of now, the service exists only on pizzatheapp.com. When you visit the website, a photograph of a 16-inch large cheese pops up. You can order it as is or add toppings, limited to pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, green peppers, and black olives. Enter your delivery address and payment information, processed by Stripe and saved for later, and voilá. Time to stuff your face.

Obviously, the service won't satisfy the pizza lover who enjoys, say, artichokes on his pizza. Or someone who only eats pizza from that one corner spot.

The pies come from any available location at the time. Ting and Brandt chose the group of pizza places, called the "Pizza Network," based on Yelp reviews (3 stars and higher) and their own judgment.

"We make sure it's a good pizza spot we've eaten at or we would eat at," says Brandt.

Your order goes to the first available place, but if that doesn't work out, the service finds another and another until it can place the order. Hours depend on which pizzerias are open in the area, so the Mission might have better late-night service than a location outside of the city. There are 22 pizza places currently, but Brandt and Ting welcome anyone with a pizzeria or food delivery API to reach out to them.

As for his own pizza, Brandt prefers a very simple combination of toppings.

"I was having a conversation with my friends the other day and we were talking about how pepperoni is the Michael Jordan of the toppings and sausage is the Scottie Pippen," he says. "So if it were up to me, I'd order the Jordan/Pippen combo."

At the moment, the service only caters to hungry San Franciscans. A smartphone app is in the works and the team hopes to eventually expand its coverage both in terms of hours and geography.

"We're having fun, we love pizza, and at the end of the day we're doing this because we wanted there to be a pizza button," says Brandt.

Now if only we could get a brunch button for the morning after.

About The Author

Eva Recinos

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