• 11.17.16

A very, very brief history of novelty pizza delivery, 1994-2016

When I read that Domino’s had just delivered its first pizza by drone, I had an immediate feeling of déjà vu. But I think it stems not from having read that particular news before, but from pizza chains having a long history of getting attention for embracing bleeding-edge technology to do their thing.

In 1994, for instance, the Los Angeles Times published Michael Schrage’s story on PizzaNet, an unlikely, experimental service from Pizza Hut that let people order pizza over this thing called the World Wide Web:

PizzaNet customers need to do more than just log on. To participate in the pilot, hungry Santa Cruzers need computers with Internet access and a version of an Internet interface program called Mosaic. Using the Internet’s World Wide Web to access the centralized PizzaNet server at Pizza Hut headquarters in Wichita, Kan., customers see a customized menu for ordering their pizzas. Customers then enter in their vital statistics, along with the orders for pizza and beverages.

Schrage sounded like he thought online pizza ordering was a bit of a prank, which is exactly what my gut reaction was to drone pizza delivery. But maybe today’s goofball news item is tomorrow’s mundane reality.