Restaurant Chains Vie for the Coolest, Creepiest Way to Feed You More Pizza

After all, the whole reason the Internet was invented was so you could get your hands on a stuffed crust faster.

(Photo: cyclonebill/Flickr)

Jan 14, 2014· 1 MIN READ
Jason Best is a regular contributor to TakePart who has worked for Gourmet and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

After icing a couple of drug lords, leaving a hooker for dead, and fleeing the scene in a stolen jet—all in an afternoon—you work up an appetite: Time for a three-cheese stuffed-crust Meat Lover’s Supreme!

And for Xbox fans who can’t stand the thought of tearing themselves away from their beloved Grand Theft Auto (or whatever make-believe mayhem they’re causing in their own private gaming universe), Pizza Hut hit on a brilliant-slash-diabolical solution four months ago: Just order your pie through the console.

Did it work? Let’s see: gamers, pizza, no need to turn off the Xbox. It worked all right: Pizza Hut recently announced that it hit $1 million in sales through the Xbox app.

“It’s been an unbelievable source of growth for us,” the Hut’s PR director, Doug Terfehr, tells the site Polygon. “Just the explosion of people who wanted to download it, experiment with it, play with it on Kinect. As soon as we did one, everyone was contacting us to do the next [one].”

“Explosion” seems so apt there, doesn’t it? Both for the hail of onscreen gunfire that must assault every Pizza Hut delivery driver who delivers an Xbox-ordered pizza as well as for the impact on the waistline of any serial gamer who now doesn’t even have to leave the couch to order a $19.99 Big Dinner Box (“two medium pizzas and two sides—or NOW skip the sides and get a third medium pizza!”).

Terfehr goes on: “When you talk about a sweet spot for the pizza category, it’s definitely gamers and gaming.” There’s something inherently gross about that, like the PR rep for Malibu rum saying, “When you talk about a sweet spot for us, it’s definitely girls with low self-esteem on spring break.”

Not to be outdone in tech innovations geared to getting pizza into your mouth as quickly as possible, Domino’s also had a big announcement recently—or what it trumped up to be a big announcement. The pizza giant has teamed with Ford to launch an app that will allow you to order your favorite Domino’s pie from your car—hands-free.

The Domino’s app for Ford’s Sync system will use the “Pizza Profile” users have already created on their Domino’s mobile app, allowing hungry drivers to order dinner in rush hour traffic without violating any number of behind-the-wheel cell phone/texting bans.

“This will be the first time any fast-food brand has been able to do this sort of e-commerce from a vehicle,” Domino’s CEO J. Patrick Doyle tells Forbes. “The ability to tie all this together with the Sync system and be able to order Domino’s while driving safely is a pretty big step forward.”

Yes, but will Americans really be satisfied until we can think the word “pizza” and have it show up on our doorstep instantly?