On a slow news day in August 2014, a one-touch pizza-buying app called Push for Pizza was created. After signing up with your credit card information, you hit one button on the app, and it orders a pizza from a local place. (In essence, the app uses Ordr.in to sync with delivery.com and other sites to find a few places near you — basically, it's three or four steps short of ordering from the delivery site Seamless). Today, several BuzzFeed employees ordered a pizza. This is their story.
Katie Notopoulos, pizza orderer: I saw an article about this new pizza app on The Verge. At the time, we were very hungry in the office. It was right around lunch. Maybe 12:20 p.m. I wanted to order salads from Just Salad. Charlie and I always get the Thai Chicken Crunch salad. I'm not sure what Myles gets. It was Johana's first day so it was about to be a really important moment when we discovered what her salad preferences are. But then I was like, "What if we got pizza?"
Myles Tanzer, pizza eater: When I heard Katie say "pizza," I was relieved because I'm not even sure what salad I was going to order. It was a little bit of whimsy on an otherwise humdrum day. Pizza! On a Tuesday!
Katie: I downloaded and signed up for the app. I was ready for pizza.
Charlie Warzel, pizza eater: Despite washing half a bagel down this morning with a half gallon of coffee, I was hungry by 11 a.m. So when Katie told me she downloaded a one-button push pizza app I was able to stave off an eye roll long enough to agree that this is something we should do. Salad is dumb.
Katie: Our office building has a service entrance for food deliveries that's around the building's corner with a different address. I entered this side door address for the delivery. However, the app couldn't find the address. I tried a few different permutations (4 W. 24th, 4 W24, 4 W 24 ST), figuring that perhaps the app's address finder required standardized USPS address format. No dice. At this point, I started wondering if we should give up. Was this the end of our pizza dreams? Was the app broken? What we were going to eat?
Charlie: You could see it on her face. Dejection. "Should we just get salads?" she said, her brow furrowed. What followed felt like a two- or three-hour pause. In reality it was probably less than three seconds. She got the app to work. Salad is dumb.
Katie: I entered the front door address, and the app accepted it. I felt bad because this is an inconvenience to the delivery person, who will inevitably go to the front entrance and be told to go back around to the side door.
The pizza was ordered. One large cheese.
Charlie: Katie showed me the app. No breadsticks. No sausage. No pepperoni. I like that. If you're going to have a gimmicky app, you might as well eliminate frills. A perfectly efficient pizza delivery device shouldn't play around. Hit a button and pizza slides into your face and down to your stomach. That was the first time I started to respect this app for what it is. An efficient pizza-delivering device.
Katie: It says a pepperoni option is "coming soon."
Charlie: When Katie got the call it seemed too good to be true. I figured the worst. A family emergency, maybe. Or the pizza place burned down, overwhelmed by smartphone-toting youths feverishly tapping out orders like those old-timey morse code guys in the Navy. Katie put down the receiver and looked at me, the blood drained from her face.
...The 'za was calling from INSIDE THE BUILDING.
Myles: I was really impressed with how fast the pizza was delivered. I know 30 minutes or less is a cliche, but this really was incredibly fast. Not sure this had anything to do with the app, but I was impressed with the speed of the delivery.
Katie: There were a few people from the building picking up food at the elevator, so there was a moment of confusion. Luckily, I identified our guy, Jose, and got the pizza.
Charlie: The pizza was OK. Kind of greasy. A little heavy for an early lunch. But damn it if it wasn't piping hot.
Myles: This pizza had the elasticity of a pizza from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. A sick part of me wanted to take a bite and walk backward across the canteen to make the longest possible floating cheese ribbon. I wanted to chase the slice with a thick slab of ice cream cake — like a perfect birthday party at Fun Time USA. The fact that this was all possible with one click makes me happy.
Charlie: It's not often in this cold, awful, and unjust world that things come as-advertised. Katie showed me an app that offered the promise of one-click pizza. With almost zero fanfare and hardly a single hiccup we clicked once and were greeted with pizza not 20 minutes later. In a tech landscape dominated by annoying PR and app gimmicks, Push For Pizza looked me square in the eye and unblinkingly offered me the choice to enter into a simple contract. We shook hands and with a John Wayne-esque sense of duty, Push For Pizza delivered. It felt like something from a bygone era I'm too young to have known. I don't mince words when I say that Push For Pizza is a product that The Greatest Generation could be proud of.
Katie: I had a pretty bad bowel movement about an hour later.
Charlie: I told Katie she could expense this. I lied. Owned.
A previous version misstated how many food delivery sites Ordr.in is connected to. It is connected to over 40 sites, including delivery.com, the site that our pizza place used.
Katie Notopoulos is a senior editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Notopoulos writes about tech and internet culture and is cohost of the Internet Explorer podcast.
Contact Katie Notopoulos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charlie Warzel is a Senior Technology Writer for BuzzFeed News and is based in Missoula, Montana
Contact Charlie Warzel at email@example.com.
Contact Myles Tanzer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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