What's Up in Pizza: New Horizons in Ordering, Upcycled Huts, and Cold-Weather Generosity!


[Photograph: Used to Be a Pizza Hut]

Whether or not you're a fan of Pizza Hut, there's something kind of...remorsefully enchanting about the entries on this blog that answers a question I hadn't even thought to ask myself: what happens when former Pizza Huts close? Reincarnated, the franchises find new life as liquor stores, martial arts establishments, and Mexican restaurants. One of my favorite is the "Chinese Hut" pictured above. They totally took that weird Pizza Hut structure and ran with it, and it works so well.

To switch from its strange, echoes-of-the-past failures to one of Pizza Hut's major successes: the Xbox 360 app. Last spring we talked about how Xbox had made it possible to place a pizza order from your console, for either pick-up or delivery. Gamers are (unsurprisingly) big into pizza, and according to CNET, the app has seen huge growth ($1 million in revenue for Pizza Hut after only four months) for both companies. And speaking of new-fangled ways to order your pizza...

The newest, according to Time? A pizza app for your car! Or at least, a car you'll be able to buy in the near future. Chain giant Domino's and automobile mavens Ford have combined forces, to bring us a car with a built-in pizza-ordering app. The new device lets you sync the Domino's mobile app with the car, and place an order using voice commands. The new feature is part of a line-up Ford has announced, with other applications allowing drivers to reserve parking spaces, let repairmen into their homes, make mood-based playlists and more...all very impressive, but I think the winner is obvious.

To see how it all works, check out the video below!

Hans-on with the Ford Sync Dominos pizza app

[Video: The Verge]

Last, but certainly not least—anyone not on the West Coast is probably intimately familiar with the polar vortex we experienced earlier in the week. While most of us were huddling under a mountain of blankets, Tom Wynkoop, owner of Fox's Pizza of Ligonier in Pennsylvania, was busy helping people threatened by the freezing weather. According to The Blaze, Tom posted a message to Facebook offering to deliver medicine, food, and other essentials to anyone homebound, or with health problems—folks who needed his help could call his cell phone, and he and his delivery team would respond, no pizza orders necessary.