Ordering innovation develops pizza industry

By|Kristen Kuron

Pizza. It doesn’t matter if you’re a bright-eyed freshmen or a senior preparing for the “real world,” chances are you’ve had a slice at some point in your college career. Friends will come and go, midterms will be aced and failed but pizza was there for you through thick and thin (I prefer Sicilian). From that first club you joined on campus to movie nights  with friends, pizza was there with you from the start to finish.

What I’m trying to say without getting too metaphorical here is that, pizza is good. It’s great. But waiting for it really isn’t. Recently a breakthrough in the ordering process has taken the form of apps for smartphone users. Domino’s Pizza, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s all advertise their apps online and have had great success with its customers looking for a friendly, hassle free experience.

This breakthrough in technology has made placing orders a breeze for larger chain restaurant corporations but what about the less-known pizza companies around home? The mom and pop shop down the street? What about Milano’s?

A small pizzeria that is family owned and run most likely can’t afford a mobile app. It is time consuming to create and often times out of budget to have a company create one for you. As a company, you need to judge the cost against the profitable income that the app will bring. For a small pizzeria with a limited audience, the profit may not outweigh the cost.

While yes, a small pizzeria could build a mobile app from a template, it would be difficult to customize it past basic colors, images, text and logos. The layout, features and design will be pre-set. It would be very time consuming trying to learn how to change this and get it to work. I have tried to build mobile apps in the past and whether you are working from scratch or working from a template, the technology is still so complicated that it can be hard to understand and implicate. Sometimes just getting the app to work correctly can take many hours.
However, thanks to five nineteen year old boys from Brooklyn, perhaps small pizzerias won’t need to create their own apps. Their “Push for Pizza” app made CBS news headlines. These boys just wanted to push a button to get pizza, they didn’t want to go through the hassle of ordering.The team of five are made up of Cyrus Summerlin and Max Hellerstein who marketed the app on Youtube. Will Haack, Graham Carling and Demitri Nava are computer-science students at Brown University  and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, that worked on the infrastructure.
According to CBS, “The app works with online companies Order.in and Delivery.com, using their existing links to a nationwide restaurant database.” If small pizzerias would like to be part of the free mobile app, they only need to join sites like Delivery.com or GrubHub.While small pizzerias may not have been able to participate in mobile apps before, now thanks to “Push for Pizza” and user’s laziness everywhere, they are able to get their pizzas on the mobile market.

It is amazing how technology runs the modern world, even with something so small as a mobile pizza app. Not only apps, but the ability to go on websites and rate or review restaurants, such as a Pizza Parlor. Technology is constantly growing and evolving, and even if a particular restaurant is not able to create an app, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds are also viable promotion options.

We are always waiting for the next great invention that will make our lives that much easier. While this new technology is great for the big name companies, it makes us wonder what the future of ordering holds for mom and pop pizza shops such as the Milano’s that we all know and love. For now, all we can do is sit back and wait for the next great invention, and while we do, keep Milano’s on speed dial for your next movie night or school event, and get ready to enjoy  your favorite large college special.