Last night, in search of a quick and easy dinner, I opened up Easy As Pi, an app that’s been sitting on my phone for some time. I pushed a button — and twenty minutes later, I was eating a hot, fresh, fancy-pants pizza.
Better yet, it was free: Easy As Pi is so new, they’re willing to give all of its users a free pizza just to try it out.
On its website, Easy as Pi, also called Pi Pizza, calls itself a “hyper-fast artisan pizza delivery service,” which seems about right.
The interface is a lot like calling an Uber: Set your location, choose your pie, and they make it really quick and bring it out to you. I ordered my pizza a little after 6:00pm; I was eating at 6:20.
It’s not a new concept — there’s a one-button pizza delivery app that’s literally called “Push for Pizza” — and startups like Spoonrocket, Sprig, and Munchery have been doing superquick meals-on-demand for a while in San Francisco. Uber recently got into the market too.
More limiting, Easy as Pi is only open on weekdays from 6pm to 10pm. And it has a super-limited delivery range, too, only currently delivering to San Francisco’s Mission District and the surrounding area.
But, come on, y’all. Hot, fresh pizza in 20 minutes. This could be big.
The tale of the pie
Every day, Pi Pizza rotates a menu of three different pizzas, usually some variation on a vegetarian-friendly cheese option, a pepperoni option, and a sausage-based combo pie. When you’re not using the free first pizza voucher, each pie is $20, which includes tax, tip, and delivery fee.
Also because it’s based in San Francisco’s hip Mission District, my pizza came with a postcard-sized art print of a girl in silhouette sitting in front of a car with the headlights on. On the back is the title of the photo — “Veronica Mars Fanfiction #4” — and contact info for Easy As Pi.
Pi’s pizza is a little fancier than your average corner pizzeria. When I ordered, it was a totally delicious mozzarella and goat cheese pizza topped with shallots, onions, and roasted butternut squash.
The pies are on the small side, and of the thin-crust, Neapolitan-style pizza variety. In other words, you might feed two or three people with a pie, but this isn’t really fit for a Super Bowl blowout.
I kind of wish it had more traditional cheese and pepperoni varietals, to be honest. Part of why it took me so long to open the app is the seemingly eternal wait for a pie that fit my extremely picky palate.
Pi Pizza is a little bit mysterious, as you may have gathered.
To be totally honest, I don’t remember where I first heard about Pi Pizza, but I’m pretty sure it was from the Twitter feed of someone in the Silicon Valley investor community.
From its Angelbase profile, Pi was founded by Evan Kuo, a serial entrepreneur whose previous startup, DonorsPlay, helped app developers find audiences on college campuses. It also indicates that Zynga co-founder Justin Waldron is an Easy As Pi investor, as is long-time Google Gmail product manager Keith Coleman.
The website doesn’t offer many details, either, on who’s actually making the pizza, or the kitchen it’s being made in. A colleague pointed out that we don’t even know if this pizza is coming from a kitchen that’s up to code. (My answer to that one: Doesn’t matter; had pizza.)
There is, however, an official video introducing the concept:
The only way I know it’s based in the Mission is because that’s their main delivery area. Which is good, because otherwise, pizza delivery options at my house are pretty much limited to Domino’s.
It’s tasty, it’s quick, and $20 for a pie delivered that quickly ain’t bad at all. If and when Pi Pizza is ready to scale out to the rest of San Francisco and beyond, it could be a huge hit.
Of course, one potential roadblock is that San Francisco already has an established pizza joint called Pi Bar. Could get thorny.