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Show HN: FreePizza.io – free pizza for usergroups, meetups, hackathons, talks (freepizza.io)
221 points by andrewstuart 28 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 112 comments

Hi folks - OP here.

FreePizza.io connects those who want pizza for tech meetups, usergroups, hackathons and tech talks with those who wish to sponsor the pizza - typically recruiters, consulting firms and software companies. In return, the sponsor gets a promotional message opportunity at the event.

Background is I noticed that tech meetups, usergroups, hackathons and tech talks often have pizza and drinks for attendees for dinner.

And I thought "Who pays for the pizza?"

I'm both a programmer and a recruiter, and I know that recruiters want to connect with those tech communities. So I figured, hey maybe I should connect those who need pizza with those who want to sponsor the pizza.

FreePizza.io is the fully built implementation of an MVP idea I had previously https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18063747 - which was nothing more than a Google spreadsheet.

Andrew andrew.stuart@freepizza.io

This is a great idea.

I know most of the organizers for tech meetups in my area. They all tend to handle the case of food differently

- One takes donations through patreon, which has worked fairly well. They have an actual board of directors, so it's very legit. I'm not sure if other cities have anything remotely close to this though.

- For popular technology meetups (react, .NET, etc), usually a recruiting firm will sponsor the pizza. They contact the organizer generally. Usually they will do a 2 minute blurb at the start of the meeting

- For meetups that are part of a larger organization, they tend to get funds straight from corporate. E.g. CodeForAmerica, GoogleDeveloperGroups, etc.


As a side note, I kind of wish it wasn't only just pizza. Some healthier options would nice. Some meetups use jimmyjohns or chickfil-a instead, which are nice alternatives.

Chick-fil-a is an awful alternative - they fund LGBTQ oppression.


But they are delicious and a great alternative to pizza. So worth considering depending on how much you consider their political affiliation a detriment. When living in Atlanta I personally loved it when local meetups skipped pizza and got Chick-fil-A or something else instead. As to the GP’s goal of healthier, I’m not sure if Chick-fil-A really hits that goal, haha.

In the context of this site, I assume pizza is a placeholder, an MVP. If this turns out to actually be a useful service, non-pizza food is an obvious avenue to grow into.

That's an awfully dishonest way to describe and frame their donations.

If you've ever donated to the Salvation Army, you too "fund LGBTQ oppression".

I mean, that's true as well. How is it (in your eyes) dishonest?

To me, it’s dishonest because it presents a small aspect as a primary driver without giving proper context. So it was frustrating to me because I had to spend time researching the potential issue to learn it is a very insignificant aspect that I don’t think was worthy of my time.

It’s like posting “Don’t eat ground beef as it is full of rat feces.” any time someone posts about hamburgers.

It’s true that the FDA allows a small amount of fat feces in ground beef, and all food [0].

But it’s really insignificant and almost always irrelevant to the conversation.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Food_Defect_Action_Levels

Too bad there's no Chick-fil-a close to where I live.

Would be great to have this HN message in the About page (I.e. who's behind this site and why?)

This is a great idea!! Might be worth directly targeting the student population at local universities. I know I used to host a lot for UC San Diego's MBA programs and we were always short on cash. So, getting in front of the professional students that will be in the work force is never bad!

I really like the design, nicely done!!

I've been a restaurant owner for decades. It will be interesting to see if this works. Has it ever?

The reason I ask is because, at my places, we occasionally give free food to organizations in our neighborhood because they are in our neighborhood with the attendees also from my neighborhood and it's similar to advertising. They see our napkins and included flyers or coupons and, hopefully, we'll make some of them a regular customer. At these events, however, wouldn't most of the attendees not be from our neighborhood?

Most pizza joints are franchise or personally owned. That means this would be an out of pocket expense for the owner. You may find someone to do this once but I don't see how he would benefit once he finds out no one from his neighborhood is coming in.

This is just my initial reaction to seeing this.

The intent is for recruiters/vendors who want to market to the people at the event to pay the pizza place. But I totally agree that that's not very visible on the website right now.

Then that's even stranger. Why can't they just contact the event organizers and offer to do that? Then call a local pizza place and place the order.

Companies don't usually go hunting for random events to deliver pizza to. Event organizers will run around to find sponsors (cash or otherwise), this site serves as a quick middleman for one specific kind of sponsorship.

But companies would go hunting this web site for random events to deliver pizza to? Again, why does someone need a middle man for this?

y, cool idea. When we have an event we are organizing we contact potential sponsors and they give us a check ahead of time or bring a check as they usually want to give a pitch at the event and we use it to purchase drinks, pay for the pizza or other food, plates, etc and sometimes give-a-ways. This could be easier, but usually we purchase more than just food with the sponsor's money and usually the sponsor is attending the event.

Isnt this how this website works?

It connects event organizators and sponsors, with an easy way for organizators to ask for sponsorship, and a nice list of places to sponsor if you're feeling generous

Maybe a better ("local") geo-filter would solve that problem? Find local meetups to fund.

I like the simplicity. It would be very tempting to make a more general-purpose "we need a sponsor for $X worth of Y", but by laser focusing on "we need pizza for N people," it makes things immediately understandable for everyone involved.

The downside is that there are probably lots of organizations left out by that, but for a really small tool looking for its first audience, that's probably a trade they're more than willing to make.

You are correct - this is exactly the thought process I went through.

In fact you can see here my original idea https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18063747

I called it "EatUp Sponsors" - a terrible name, but fine for the MVP.

When thinking about a better name I gave alot of thought to a more generalised brand, but then it came to me that every single meetup I ever went to only ever had pizza, and that there would be value in being, as you say, laser focused.

Nice innovation, but i do wish that junk food wasn’t the norm at tech events.

From what I have read, pizza is the most popular food on the planet. It is hardly limited to tech events.

So that may be a factor. In a world full of people who are either vegan and looking down their nose at you if you aren't or only eat keto or some other niche thing and where people complain about food allergies and yadda, pizza is the least worst option that will have the most universal appeal.

> pizza is the least worst option

On the contrary, it's makes almost every group unhappy for different reasons: keto, gluten-free, "paleo", vegan.

(Not that I dislike it personally)

The overwhelming majority of the population are not members of one of those groups, though.

Of course, but DoreenMichele was talking about niche selective eaters

I eat keto (well, at least most of the year, not on the run-up to christmas) and if I want to go to an event that provides food that isn't keto... I bring my own food from home. You can't expect everyone to accommodate your specific needs.

That's not contrary to what they said, since it still stands that most people like pizza.

I'm responding to DoreenMichele talking about niche selective eaters

Gluten free vegan pizzas exist.

It’s encouraging bad diets. Free pizza is a way to tempt people, and the consumer of said pizza incurs an opportunity cost since they could have used the time to eat something nutritionally appropriate.

I have a serious medical condition. I have gotten off of multiple drugs, in part by getting very picky about what I eat. I am willing to eat pizza sometimes.

I absolutely do not need a total stranger deciding for me what is nutritionally appropriate for me, all Big Brother style.

You don't have to eat it, you can always bring your own food or eat something before/after. You're not "missing out" in the same way you're not "missing out" when you don't go pick up all the free junk on Craigslist.

Comparison is not accurate, not picking up junk on craigslist takes 0 time, tech event takes >0 time.

A comparison that isn't quite the same on one dimension doesn't invalidate the comparison... The dimensions I was comparing were those of temptation and of "missing out" on some free stuff. Still, not eating free pizza at the tech event take 0 time too. Maybe you'd argue that you have to eat sooner or later and food is already there so you can multitask it but by the same argument for many free X on Craigslist, you'll have to get an X sooner or later, it's already there so you can multitask picking it up while you go do some other errand. Or hey, ignoring Craigslist, look at that decent-looking free chair you're about to drive past going home from work...

Comparison is very accurate, not picking up free junk on craigslist takes 0 time, not eating the free food at the tech event (that you are already going to) takes 0 time.

But you get a tech event out of it, which is presumably the primary reason you're there.

Pizza is not a bad diet (only eating pizza is bad, but we are not talking about that).

Has a decent mix of protein, fats and carbs in a tasty package. Not everyone wants dry lean chicken, or zero-calory veg/shrooms, even if any two people here could agree on what is “nutritionally appropriate”.

The linked site mentions the money can be spent on any kind of food or drink on the "about" page:

>Event organisers may spend the sponsorship money on any food and drink they deem appropriate according to local law and custom.

In what regards is pizza a junk food?

It depends on how you make it and how much you eat of it (calories).

It also depends if you reguraly workout and how many calories you burn.

It's starch, dairy and processed/cured meat regardless how you make it. Usually meetups serve from counter takeout chains which makes it even worse. There is no argument for pizza not being a junk food.

> It's starch, dairy and processed/cured meat regardless how you make it.

Not to be too much of a devils advocate, but I usually eat pizza in the form of a pesto pizza loaded up with veggies. There's definitely an argument that could be made that pizza doesn't have to be unhealthy.

If that's your definition of junk food, then so is half of the stuff you can order in regular, expensive restaurants.

It's possible to make very healthy pizza but the big chains make it pumped full of oil, sugar and meat.

Again, if your definition of "unhealthy" contains "meat", then half+ of the regular food is out.

Also, "healthy" pizzas and tasty pizzas as sets have little to no intersection. Which is fine for food you don't eat day in, day out.

Or, I suppose, bread, cheese, salami and tomato sauce. That sounds a lot better ;-) Probably shouldn't make a diet of it, but it's healthy enough in moderation.

>processed/cured meat regardless how you make it.

Have you heard of ordering pizzas without meat?

Which still just leaves the highly-processed carbs and high-calorie dairy overload.

Order a whole wheat crust.

>highly-processed carbs

What kind of godawful pizzas are you eating that use processed bread as a base...

All dough is highly processed. Milling, separation, other processes applies to the original plant product to make flour, then fermentation usually with highly refined sugar.

That depends on what you mean by processed. By your definition even milling your own flour is "processed". Places that make their own dough are far from the classic definition of processed.

you know the "processed" in "processed foods" doesn't mean milling grains, right? It's processes like freeze-drying, adding preservatives and various chemical agents to provide consistency, taste, texture, longevity. Processes that introduce weird effects and ingredients that may have a negative impact on your health.

How much you eat, whether or not you work out, and how many calories you burn has nothing to do with whether or not pizza is a junk food.

In the sense that it’s cheap, quick and carb heavy.

Nutritionally, pizza is the last thing that an office worker needs. Free pizza at an event is another salad / gym session that the worker needs to organise on their own time. Or not.

Or don't eat the pizza? Unless you are trying to stick to a very restrictive diet, a slice of pizza isn't going to ruin your health. Keep going to gym, eating healthy, and either eat before the event or just stick to one slice of cheese pizza if you must munch with everyone else. It would be nice if there were other options for events like that but there really isn't a healthy, cheap alternative to pizza that fits the same role and has the same universal appeal.

In nearly every regard.

Look up how much sugar is in the average pizza sauce/dough.

A normal pizza dough should have a tiny tiny amount of sugar - 2 grammes per pizza maybe, just enough to feed the yeast. It’s usually all flour and water with only tiny bits of sugar, salt and olive oil...

Same goes for the pomodoro - it’s not ketchup, for dog’s sake, it should be just tomato, garlic, herbs (and onions and olive oil maybe). If your pizzeria puts heaps of sugar into the pomodoro, you might want to consider switching.

Well thanks, I actually used to manage a pizza restaurant in Palo Alto. All I can really say is if you think pizza is a healthy meal try eating it once a day and tell me what happens to your waistline.

NY-style pizza, lots of sugar and oil. Not the norm in the rest of the world.

I actually watched a fancy pizzeria in Palo Alto prepare my pizza and then pick up a bottle of oil and dump it liberally over the finished pizza. That was pretty shocking.

I never had pizza at a meetup that wasn't made in the "junk food way".

Agreed. A slice or two of pizza (depending on size and heartiness) should be enough to fill up a healthy belly, without containing enough of any one ingredient for it to be unhealthy (provided it's made without any processed crap). Unfortunately for me, pizza is one of two foods that I have a hard time not eating until it's gone, with ice cream being the other.

Two slices of pizza is not a well rounded meal or particularly filling.

> Two slices (1/4) of a typical, 13-inch cheese and meat pizza have been shown to provide almost 1/3 of the daily recommended allowance for protein, 12-15% for vitamin A, 30-45% for thiamin, 25-30% for riboflavin, 20-30% for niacin, 40-50% for calcium, and 18-25% for iron

Each slice has:

- 12-15g protein

- 16g fat (11g polyunsaturated)

- sodium 500mg

- carbohydrates 30g

- 2 to 5mg lycopene

Not bad unless you go crazy with a 'BBQ-sauce meatlovers' american pizza.

Considering that a healthy belly is filled by approximately two fists worth of food, two slices will always fill a healthy belly. And it doesn't have to be well rounded to be healthy, just devoid of processed foods and limited to a healthy portion (see two fists rule above). Of course, YMMV if you're not a particularly healthy person to begin with.

Also note that not being "a healthy person" may not be your fault. Some people's digestive systems weaken over time, causing them to often feel less full when eating (and thus eat more without realizing it).

2 new slices and a can of Pepsi was my go to lunch for years in NYC. I am now 80 pounds heavier than I was when I started working in NYC.

What else surrounded that? What was breakfast and dinner? There's a lot more than lunch in a day. 2 slices and a can of pepsi is probably around 700-800 Calories.

Bacon egg and cheese on a buttered roll for breakfast. A cheeseburger deluxe for dinner. Oh... and 2-5 pints with everyone after work before I ate dinner on my walk home.

I doubt your lunch was the problem ;)

This is not accurate, you probably meant to make a different point. Whether or not something is junk food has nothing to do with how much of it you eat or how much you work out. Doritos does not magically stop becoming junk food because you only eat a one chip, or because you run for 10 miles after every chip. Junk food is junk food, the contents of the food is the only thing that goes into the definition.

If there's an appropriate time for unhealthy food, this is it. Eating tasty food, regardless of healthiness, seems to be part of the appeal of these events. It's a social event, and should be fun and casual. I don't eat pizza very often, and having the opportunity to have some makes an event ever so slightly more appealing.

This is a demand issue, I think. Easy to fix. Just sponsor lots of healthy food for events. Also, FreeHummus.io is still available for you to go to town.

Pizza's not health food, but neither would I call it junk food.

Cool! Signed up. A couple notes:

• Seems weird to use Google Authenticator as a single factor for authentication

• I found it annoying to have to do a captcha to fill out my profile details

• I probably won't think to check back. Can you set up alerts to e.g. email me when a sponsorship opportunity comes up in SF or NYC?

• Your verification email went to spam. I marked as not spam - hope that helps!

Hi there.

I like your idea to get notifications for sponsorship opportunities in your city - I'll implement that.

You can currently get notification of new events for any given group (a group is the equivalent of a meetup or usergroup) - for example on this page https://www.freepizza.io/group/melbourne-prolog-users-group/... push the "follow group" button.

I'll switch off captcha for profile details.

>> Seems weird to use Google Authenticator as a single factor for authentication

Yeah there's historical somewhat uninteresting reasons I did that, probably I should have gone with straight username/passwords.

thanks for the feedback.

Tried to sign up but I'm not a Google Authenticator fan. You should consider other auth methods... like good ol' passwords.

Yeah I hear you.

Here's what got me to this point:

The framework that I started out on had a zero password system. But that's not secure enough, so I thought "do I go traditional usernames/passwords"? I then decided to go with the Google Authenticator instead of passwords because so many systems get hacked these days that it seems maybe its a better idea to have no passwords.

But then I launched, a little hesitant about my decision, and of course your email backs up the idea I should have just stuck with usernames and passwords. I'll have to think about what to do about it.

thanks for the feedback.

I've had success with the "password less" approach of sending a magic link in an email.

Question: When you implement this, at what point (if any) do you have a user create a password?

There are companies so freaked out by the idea of leaking user passwords that they just don't use any auth method other than a link sent to the user's email address.

A couple major considerations if you're using that approach:

- When do those links expire?

- Do you keep logs of the pages that people request from your server?

An unexpired link compromises the user just as much as a password leak would have, since those links _are_ the user passwords. But server logs generally aren't tied down as tightly as a more obviously sensitive password database would be.

The nightmare scenario here is "every time the user needs to log in, we generate a new password for them, and every password stays valid forever. Whenever anyone actually does log in, we record their password in our server logs, available at www.ourcompany.com/debug/ . Then we send it to a dozen different third-party analytics providers."

Ideally, you'd want those links to expire after one use or after a few minutes, and you'd have some means of preventing replay-attacks. (a temporary token stored on the client that gets sent to the server during the email dispatch) Assuming every channel is encrypted, an unexpired link isn't as easily compromised as a password.

> I'm not a Google Authenticator fan. You should consider other auth methods... like good ol' passwords

But Google Authenticator IS a password system. You're just not expected to memorize the password.

What's the issue with OATH? It's a standard with widely available tools, and it offers additional security compared to a password.

FWIW, Authy has worked for me anywhere Google Authenticator has been asked for, and is better, it seems to me (multi device, online backups, etc.).

You appear to need a moderation function.

Simple and clever. I hope it works. Also; how about FreeSalad, you know, something for the health conscious? ;)

Found a bug: If you select a country from the drop-down, then navigate to a different back, and then go back to the events list, the country is still selected, but all events are listed.

Thanks for the pickup. Would you believe it's the only bug I had on my list and you've found it! I'll attend to it.

Interesting Idea! , but i have a couple of feedback :

- Don't restrict meetup to only cities. (For example, i used to run a Javascript community in Bali, called BaliJS and limiting our presence to only 1 city is limiting our impact, since Bali is relatively small and we have initiate activity not only in Denpasar)

- Using Google Authenticator is a little bit annoying, i think you can offer some other auth method like using Github or FB OAuth for example


Fun idea, but I suggest I would be much more inclined to go to meetups if there were free salad instead of free pizza. :-)

For the record, it's the exact reverse for me - I avoid (and complain about) events that decide to ditch pizza and start serving "healthy food".

Not saying it (just) to be opposite, just to highlight that there are (at least) two populations with strong and incompatible preferences :). Or in other words, a space for products catering to each individually.

For me, pizza's biggest strength in the context of a meetup is its ease to eat, especially with one hand.

Salad can't compete with that.

Thanks for this. Trying to create an event but won't accept the location. Keeps coming up with an error that location is entered in a wrong way and should use the drop-down menu instead, even though that's what I was trying to do.

Motion to update your site copy to : "this site uses cookies (and pizza)"

Why is everyone saying pizza is junk food? Are you taking about American pizza which is loaded with fake cheese, monsanto soy flour, and tomato sauce fortified with acid? Then may be I aggree.

Even with real ingredients, a pizza is primarily flour, tomato, and cheese. Add some cured meats, and maybe some vegetables. It is nutritionally lacking, ergo - junk food.

Soo, how about individual OpenBSD hackers who just really like free pizza? :]



Ohio State University used to have a student group that organized to go to events with free pizza :-)

There was some proselytizing group at my school that skipped the middle man by giving out spaghetti and pie weekly in various locations. Your spaghetti just came with some literature about whatever their religion was. I showed up several times. The oreo pie was amazing.

As all junk food, pizza is pretty cheap, so there is little point in this.

Also, offering free junk food should be restricted in the same way that offering free cigarettes is restricted.

> As all junk food, pizza is pretty cheap, so there is little point in this.

Great, since it's so cheap, can I send you my address and you'll pay for my pizza please?

> Also, offering free junk food should be restricted in the same way that offering free cigarettes is restricted.

Junk food is only "bad" because it's calorie dense and most people 1) are sedentary and 2) don't properly portion food. Otherwise, aside from extreme nutrient imbalance or vitamin deficiency, it's just calories in calories out. It's possible to live off pizza and be very healthy. This is very different from cigarettes which are unhealthy in any quantity irrespective of lifestyle.

I love this UI

I agree. It appears to be completely usable with exactly 0 javascripts enabled.

Edit: Nope, recaptcha requires JS. Oh well, at least browsing the rest of the site doesn't require it AFAIK.

There's a little bit of JavaScript for certain things like location identification, recaptcha, country selection.

What's with the "Incels 4 Trump" event??

Trolls rolling in

Trying to get pizza from Papa John's?

Do you offer Branded Pizza? for example, we want to add our logo on the pizza or piza box.

Interesting idea.

Really all we are doing is connecting community with sponsors. You can negotiate with the community to do any sort of sponsorship that makes sense.

Might want to consider branding the actual plate instead to get the effect through the entire talk.

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