Watch CBS News

New app takes the "ordering" out of ordering pizza

"I wish I had a button I could push for pizza."

Five young entrepreneurs turned that simple idea into a business.

Push For Pizza is the latest in the trend of single-purpose apps. And with a marketing video that's been seen nearly 300,000 times online, these millennials have a taste for the future, CBS News correspondent Vinita Nair reports.

For years, pizza has been a big slice of American pop culture, even stealing scenes in movies.

Sean Penn's Spicolio ordered a classroom delivery in the 1982 classic "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," and it's the favorite food of the title characters in this year's summer blockbuster, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turles." In 1995, the Sandra Bullock thriller "The Net" showed online pizza delivery at its infancy.

Nearly 20 years later, this group of friends modernized that concept with Push For Pizza.

After entering your location and payment information once upon download, the app allows users to order a pizza from a list of nearby locations, either plain or pepperoni, in just three pushes from start to finish.

Push For Pizza interface Courtesy of Push For Pizza

Nineteen-year-olds Cyrus Summerlin and Max Hellerstein are the marketing muscle and the faces of the free app.

"We take our pizza seriously, that's kind of the bottom line with us," Summerlin told CBS News. "The video is definitely an attention-grabber and it did exactly everything we hoped that it could do."

As far as creating a working app goes, Hellerstein said, "I believed it was going to work. The actual implementation of it, that was questionable."

That's where 20-year-olds Will Haack, Graham Carling and Demitri Nava excelled.

The three men are students at Brown and M.I.T., studying computer science.

"Graham actually was like the first one to build something that was like, you know, he's actually got something that runs on the iPhone," Haack said.

According to Graham, the first version of the app was "pretty bad, I'm not going to lie. Once Max and Cyrus came on board, it went from being this one screen button to all this infrastructure around just the button."

The app works with online companies and, using their existing links to a nationwide restaurant database.

"Right now we get a small cut, a tiny cut for every transaction, we're going to try and grow that number as big as we can," Hellerstein said. "And we're looking to make deals with larger players in the business as we grow and expand upon the idea."

Summerlin says the button idea will hopefully be expanded to more than just pizza.

"After we've perfected the pizza model, who's to say it can't be a skeleton for something else you want to have regularly," he said.

Right now the app is only available on the iPhone, but the guys say they are working on an Android version to work on other phones.

Will and Graham are even considering taking time off from M.I.T. and Brown in order to focus full time on expanding the app.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.