One afternoon when hanging out on the couch, Carlo Espinoza and Greg Santos found themselves suddenly craving pizza. Not wanting to pick up the phone because, as Espinoza described, “we were lazy,” the duo began clicking around on takeout sites like GrubHub and Seamless.
But after several minutes of poking through countless restaurants, the two thought that there must be an easier way to order pizza.
They mused to their hungry selves: Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was an Uber for pizzas; you could simply press a button and your pizza would be ordered.
After a few weeks of joking around about their “Uber pizza app,” Espinoza said that they decided to think about their concept a bit more seriously. They began researching the pizza industry and how pizzas are ordered, and came across a wealth of information about the $30 billion industry, and how more orders were being placed digitally. For example, Domino’s alone reached the $1 billion mark in digital sales between April 2011 and 2012.
Those numbers represented a real opportunity for Espinoza and Santos, and they began working on SpeedSlice, an app that allows users to place a pizza order in seconds. Contrary to apps like Domino’s, SpeedSlice focuses on local chains and mom and pop pizza shops that don’t have the budget of a national brand for digital services.
Here’s how Espinoza explains SpeedSlice from the consumer perspective: “I just want a pizza, and I don’t want to deal with any of the BS of ordering the pizza. I just want to pop an app, and within 30 seconds, I want [to know] a pizza [is] coming my way.”
The SpeedSlice web app launched this week and successfully executed their first order on Thursday. Currently, the company is operating through Ordr.in, which acts as an aggregator of 400 restaurants in the greater Boston area, and they are using it just to prove their model works, said Espinoza.
Longer term, the duo wants to establish a network of local pizza places who would use their service. “We have a huge opportunity with smaller, local chains who can’t tap in to the trend of people placing orders through their mobile devices,” said Espinoza.
Speed Slice will be available as a mobile app in both the iTunes store and Google Play within the coming months.
Down the road, the team also hopes to increase the customization of pizza orders to include things like half-pizza toppings, and introduce features such as “gift a pizza” where users can send a friend money that can be used towards their own pizza order through the app.
“Our goal is to create a network of pizza lovers and remove any friction associated with ordering a pizza,” said Espinoza.
Count us in.