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Show HN: Order pizza with random toppings (roulette.pizza)
127 points by rscott 78 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 97 comments

This reminds me of None Pizza with Left Beef, which just celebrated its tenth anniversary:

* original: http://www.thesneeze.com/2007/the-great-pizza-orientation-te...

* anniversary stories: https://gizmodo.com/reflections-on-the-10th-anniversary-of-n... and https://www.buzzfeed.com/andyneuenschwander/hbd-none-pizza-w...

For those wary of clicking the Buzzfeed link, it is exactly as content-free as you would expect. (Although, surprisingly, they have done some pretty nifty journalism from time to time.)

I’d never heard of that before, and my friends call me “Pizza Larry”. THANK YOU.

25 pizzas, with random ingredients, and delivery on New Years Eve to a major city:

"Time To Your Door: 44-74 minutes"

I doubt it. I can't afford to try it, but I doubt it. Will it take my $770 and deliver me 25 pizzas in less than 1 hour and 15 minutes on NYE? I would be absolutely shocked.

I recommend adding a disclaimer, or a time "estimate" phrase, or something. Do the estimates come from Dominos? Are they real? Shockingly wicked fast estimates if you ask me.

For far more reasons than I care to go into, the Dominos PULSE system[1] sucks at making delivery time estimates. The CSMs in store don’t use it, but can’t control what online orders see.

As a former manager, blowing through unrealistic delivery estimates for online orders were over half of the complaints I had to deal with.

[1] PULSE is the in-house Point of Sale system Dominos created. Except it’s not just a POS, it does inventory management, labor management, shift scheduling, delivery routing, etc. Theoretically it has every variable it needs to estimate delivery times. But there’s a disconnect between theory and practice, as most franchises don’t learn enough about the ins and outs of the system to customize a lot of the defaults or even to use all of the modules.

While I agree with you that Dominos is terrible at estimating delivery times, it's because the pizzas always arrive in about half the time estimated. This has been my experience in Wichita, Las Vegas, and about half the time in the Seattle suburbs.

Which area were you serving? I recently ordered something on Thanksgiving and it was on time (quicker than the estimated time) - so whether it was a luck draw or something changed in the practice? I order Dominos maybe two or three times a year, and the online timer seems to make customer feeling long but surprise them.

The estimates are real and from Dominos. Thanks for the feedback, that's a good catch. I'll be adding that verbiage.

I wonder of those involve Dominos "deliverator" van.


I saw Dominos pizza tech guy interviewed a while back about their delivery bags. He spoke of one day of not just keeping the pizza warm, but having it having cook while being delivered. Custom vehicles could make that happen and I'm sure somewhere in that organization someone is trying to mount a pizza oven in a 92 chevy.

That actually already exists by a startup in the valley: https://zumepizza.com/ http://www.businessinsider.com/zume-pizza-robot-expansion-20...

I hope that guy had esprit up to here.

that's called a pizza van/truck and there are already plenty of those in any major metro area

$30 a pie for freakin' Dominoes!??!

Sent this to my friend in the next room, he yelled back his exact thoughts. He wants to say that "you're a monster and why is this a thing"

I for one welcome adding an element of chaos into food ordering

It'd probably be valuable to add settings that consider allergies. Vegetarian and gluten free too. Looks interesting, though!

That’s the roulette part. Not everyone wins!

Aye hardly seems good spirited when not taking either of those into account would result in unpalatable food a high percentage of time.

> would result in unpalatable food a high percentage of time

That's the point. Do you understand what 'roulette' means in this context? When you play roulette you more often than not lose all your money and have nothing to show for it. Like an inedible pizza.

If you made it so you always got something nice to eat... it wouldn't be roulette, would it?

You understand the difference between something that's not very nice and something which someone cannot possibly eat at all, right? As a vegetarian, I can imagine some pretty gross combinations of pizza that I still can eat, but I'm at a massive disadvantage if I get something I cannot eat at all.

Coming to terms with missing out is part of abstinence. If you're going to entitle yourself to the accommodation of others every step of the way, then maybe you aren't cut out for it.

I've managed ok for 20 years, thanks. I'm asking for one checkbox, just one, it's hardly asking others to bend over backwards.

I don’t see this as a restriction so much as a category. Having an option to exclude foods based on allergies and other similar reasons keeps the original idea. I’m assuming, of course, the original idea was to entertain and maybe find new, interesting taste combinations.

Ahem, surely you don't honestly believe your request will be fulfilled with just "one checkbox, just one". It's not the matter of adding <input type="checkbox" id="justonecheckbox" value="vegetarian"> to the front-end...

Go visit a restaurant in Germany. They have all kind of numbers after their ingredients which show exactly which dishes contain which allergens, as well as showing which options follow popular diets (vegetarianism being the most common one, but also gluten-free, vegan, and multiple others). Why can an online website not do this when a German restaurant with a physical card is able to do this? Its not much work. You just add some more tables in a database with yes/no on certain allergens, ingredients, or dietary propositions. No rocket science, not a whole lot of work. And IIRC San Francisco is quite open minded to alternative diets.

Realistically, not honoring this request would just make those with allergies not participate. That’s a loss of revenue. If OP doesn’t want it, fine, but opportunities are being missed.

OP doesn't get any revenue from it. He's not Dominos Pizza.

Make vegetarianpizzaroulette.com

> I'm at a massive disadvantage if I get something I cannot eat at all

Yes.... like a game of roulette where you sometimes lose it all and get nothing out of it at all.

Your definition of success is just an excuse for bad software, with the reasoning being "cause RL roulette works like this as well". Reminds me of car analogies.

What you desire is a very basic, boring version of roulette which you can easily make with a few lines of Python code.

random.randrange(0, 4) # number of toppings random.randrange(1, 100) # this in a loop iterating with result of previous amount, and this from a database where each number representing a topping.

Its much more fun to do some advanced stuff with randomisation such as adding weights, blacklists, whitelists, edible combinations, etc. When you get edible results based on randomisation is when I call it a success.

Second, you're excluding a significant amount of people [1] by not catering to vegetarians. Regardless of your dietary preference this is not done in 2017.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetarianism_by_country

> this is not done in 2017

If you can choose not to eat certain things, the rest of the world can choose not to be bound by your artificial social constructs.

/ "Not done in 2017"... SMH.

My link proves that vegetarianism is a significant group which you can cater to. The system I proposed does not force you to be bound by my artificial social constructs (with which you assume I am a vegetarian which you are wrong about, btw). The system I proposed takes into account the option of vegetarianism, and allows a vegetarian to also partake in the overall system without damaging your fun in any way except the mention of a diet you apparently do not agree with.

At the very least, a bunch of disclaimers that the outcome might not be according to certain diets (ie. "the random outcome is unlikely to be kosher, halal, vegetarian, etc").

Your use of "vegetarian" and "cannot eat" is incongruous.

It would be more correct to say "choose not to eat." Being a vegetarian isn't like being afflicted by a disease. It's a lifestyle choice.

Vegetarians may not eat meat products anymore. They have a severe, painful reaction to eating meat. You’re essentially revisiting a decision made in the distant past. You might as well be asking people to change who they married.

And you're essentially shaming people who do try to change who they're married to. It is difficult enough to be divorced with parents and relatives chiming in with "I told you so" and "how could you not see..."

In a question about national ID I said I don't have to be open-minded and consider every single proposal. The community here was loud and clear: me not wanting to consider an alternative solution is a bad™ thing. Well, I say a vegetarian wanting to never see a menu with meat on it (which is what this essentially is) is similarly l closed minded.

I mean if you're allergic to something, I think you have a right to ask "does this food contain x? I am allergic to x" but everyone else can shove it with their special diet.

It would be a pizza-loot-box. That actually sounds like a nice product.

The whole idea of potentially unpleasant or not consumable (due to allergies) output is a problem for me. The waste in time, work and resources to output something that has a high likelihood to be discarded (pizza is perishable) isn't something that should be encouraged. Especially when there are steps the service provider could take with minimal effort to avoid that outcome.

Typically with roulette there is a substantial upside to winning as well (large payout at casino for example). What is great thing you get by winning pizza roulette? A pizza that you could simply have ordered at no risk?

If anything this has a severely negative downside for dominos/the pizza vendor with “business as usual” as an upside. Doesn’t seem like something they’d like.

You think this roulette is mean spirited you should see the Russian version.

It's like Truth or Dare. Sometimes you just have to accept defeat.

You don't get to remove numbers from the game roulette. If you need to be picky for whatever reason (even if completely justified), don't play the game. Adding those features would make the website just be another pizza ordering website and would lose its gimmick.

Possibly, but to be honest Domino's doesn't have a great selection for vegetarians anyway, at least in the UK, so there wouldn't be a lot of ingredients to choose from.

Like these audiences would appreciate uncertainty in their food ordering. That must be a very small overlap in the Venn diagram

I like this, but that's probably because I buy 5 pizzas or so fairly frequently and hate choosing the toppings.

That said, I'd prefer roulette on their medium pizzas that seem to be on sale perpetually. That with a modest upcharge and I might use it.

> All orders are fulfilled through Dominos.

With Dominos pizza, I already have the feeling my toppings are random. That is, sometimes I get a lot of topping, and most of the time but not always I get very little topping.

I think all the major chains have a policy in place where you get the exact same amount of toppings by weight no matter what you order. If you only order pepperoni you get a ton of pepperoni, but if you order supreme you get less of everything but it ends up being the same overall by weight.

This is highly recommended to me by excellent pizza makers. You don't want to overtop the pizza, it'll get soggy or greasy if you add too much

Concept (but not implementation) reminds me a little of the old-school Pizza Party terminal app from the '90s: https://youtu.be/J691aLfkWP0

$34.61 estimated for my random pizza. That's a hell of an expensive pizza.

$31.21 including tip and delivery for me in Manhattan. I just priced a random pizza from dominos.com with three ingredients and that came out to $26.38 total, so it sounds like the roulette.pizza prices are a result of them adding a lot of toppings to a pizza (5-6?). You can also get a large pie from a place that's truly excellent (like Joe's Pizza) for less than $30, though I don't know if they deliver.

It's definitely not worth it from a price perspective. The best deal at the moment, if ordered directly from Dominos, appears to be 2 Medium 1-Topping Pizzas, 16 Piece Parmesan Bread Bites, 8 Piece Cinnamon Twists, a 2 Liter of Coke, and a $1 donation to St. Jude for $19.99.

roulette.pizza could use some better price-optimization mechanics, like fewer toppings (it's really diminishing returns past the first few), picking a pre-made pizza randomly, or even being able to randomly order whatever Domino's deal of the moment happens to be, like that St. Jude offer.

Unsurprising for Dominos. In the UK their pizzas are consistently 2x the cost of a good takeaway pizza, or 3-4x the price of something equivalent to Dominos in quality. They only exist because of brand recognition.

Very true, but Dominos is a lifesaver in Japan. In my experience, it's one of the few places where you can order a pizza online in English and be certain that it will actually be delivered.

I think of it as an additional tax on people who can't make their own cheese on toast.

I don't know where it gets ordered from, but a place in my town has pizzas that are about $30-$40 and they're worth it. For one, they're just amazing pizza, made by an amazing local entrepreneur, with a cool little pizza shop. For two, it's a meal out for 3 or 4 (they don't actually deliver), which isn't a bad price to eat out.

If it's Dominos, then I feel your pain.

I don’t probably know WTF is a PIZZA (even a large one), that is worth it, at over $/€ 15-20... seems like we need a new big mac index! Is a $30+ pizza reality?

Edit: it’s probably just the common salary & cost level difference here at the play, if in some places even a junior can make over 100k / year..

There's a place by me that makes a very good $32 pizza.

It's also 40 inches across, so I have to borrow the neighbor's truck to go pick it up.

Honestly, I'm fine eating a nice deep-frozen (almost typed fried) pizza that costs 1,25€, Germany. I eat 2 or 3 per week. I have no clue why people would buy 20$ Pizzas :D

It says on the page all orders are fullfilled by dominos. So yeah that is a pretty ludicrous price for a dominos pizza.

On the website, it says Dominos.

Feature request: randomize the delivery timing as well! I'd like a random pizza to show up at some point in 2018, ideally once I've forgotten this service exists.

Random address may or may not be going too far.

How about I enter how much money I'm willing to spend, and the website comes up with an order that fits the constraint? Completely random grubhub orders would be fun, too.

Add a browser plugin that detects when you are hungry based on how quickly you switch tab to something meaningless and just feedscrooll. Popup which asks, are you hungry, want me to order you a pizza on XX?

[Yes Please!, Schedule delivery for Later, Not Today ]

AI is truly taking over.

Over-engineering solution: Feedback the reviews from customers to a ML algorithm that have for inputs the actual pizza, time, and photos of food from the customer Instagram to truly make the best pizza each time.

Clever scrolling taglines. Seems like your target audience would be a party crowd, and you might want to play that up a bit.

This is awesome, I’m a little too chicken to put my money down though. It’d be fun just to see the random options or maybe other people’s previous randomness.

Anchovy Pineapple Pizza on the way!

This exists on some other axis than fear.

Whimsy or something like that.

Random between 0 and 4 toppings? 0 toppings is a pretty boring pizza...

Maybe 0 designates a quantum pizza, whose toppings change every time you take a slice.

By “0” I mean “cheese only”. I could have been more clear, thanks for the feedback.

I'm a big fan of cheese only pizza.

There's a funny novelty to this that you can't deny and the user experience does make it super fast to get a pizza. I'm not sure I see myself using it outside of an office joke but why not make a little profit from those who want to do this?

As a owner of a dice I don't see a great need for this even if it was available at my location. The dice solution also has a lot more features such as covering allergies, absolutely-not-toppings or just adding drinks.

I guess if saving the surprise until you actually open the box is important you could either have a friend roll for you or give your local pizza place a dice (or url) and promise a tip if they roll for you. Who knows, maybe they would even like the idea of adding that to their menu.

If you want to complicate things a bit it should not be very difficult to just make a user script that makes a random order for you on your favorite pizza site.

Back before Netflix decided my address was fake and cancelled my account, and dvds were more relevant, I maintained a 500 length movie queue. When I got a dvd in the mail, it would be something I chose years in advance and I'd not look at the title on the envelope. The surprise from my past self was a great part of the experience.

UI enhancement suggestion: "May the odds be ever in your flavor."

Interesting idea. The website reminds me strongly of Grubhub from its coloring to the typing-taglines. Did this idea begin as a parody of GrubHub?

Not a criticism—-actually curious.

I see what you mean, but no actually. I really just Googled "what color makes people hungry" and picked a red I liked!

I priced a random 3 topping large pizza on Dominos website: $17.92 which includes delivery fee but no tip.

Roulette: $23.70 including tip.

This is a nice novelty idea, but there is no way I'm entering in my info just to see what kinds of results pop up. Now, if you showed some random results, and THEN had an ordering process where we entered our info, you might get some actual use.

You can enter fake info. Seems like you don't get to know what kind of results pop up until the pizza is physically at your door

Now if you are allergic to certain thing? There should be an option to opt out.

There is. It's called not ordering. No one is forcing you to use Random Pizza.

Ha! This means no one should take any user feedback! Ha! But nope, the parent comment was not meant for you anyway.

Dominos is available in dozens of countries around the world, since 2017, about half their shops are outside the US, and they even offer fully robotized deliveries in parts of Germany and the Netherlands[1].

And yet, roulette.pizza is US-only. I mean, you had to specifically go and restrict the location, compared to what the site you’re getting the pizzas from offers.


[1] https://venturebeat.com/2017/03/31/soon-your-pizza-will-be-o...

Dominos doesn't use the same web platform everywhere. Dominos Belgium for example shares a platform used by some other countries (FR, DE, NL, AU and more) which is completely different from the US one. And there are a few more codebases out there.

Same thing with Starbucks. Our Starbuckses are actually part of the Autogrill group and only share the products and branding with the "real" US Starbucks, none of the extra stuff/amenities carried over. (Starbucks in Belgium doesn't even have a website, let alone an app, for example.)

That sucks, honestly. So they managed to get consistent branding, but couldn't even offer a consistent API?

Care to share your 'stack'?


Sure! On the front end it's HTML, CSS, and jQuery - no hip JS frameworks nor complex build pipelines. Backend is node and express. The dominos API is https://github.com/RIAEvangelist/node-dominos-pizza-api, as mentioned below. Everything is hosted in AWS on Elastic Beanstalk on a few t2.micro instances.

I am going to guess they are using: https://github.com/RIAEvangelist/node-dominos-pizza-api to order. :)

Tried to order and got an error.

“Whoops - something didn't go right with the order, but you weren't charged.”

Please email me. I want to try this. Email is in my bio.

I got one with extra anchovies. Husband not happy.

Call them "free range Atlantic micro branzino" and see if that works!

Nooooo! It could be pineapple!!! :)

A whole thread on automated pizza with no Snow Crash jokes? I'm disappointed.

It should include a 'no anchovies' option

Anchovies are actually the only topping I don't include intentionally!

Needs the delivery guy shouting "Di Di Mau!" at you once he gives you the pen to sign your receipt.

Given the state of the world, hopefully we technologists will consider using our prodigious collective talents in meaningful ways in 2018.

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