Buy Pizza With Bitcoin

Journalist:
Evander Smart @EvanderSmart
September 29, 2014

This is my official, first-person review of the website PizzaForCoins.com, which allows you to buy pizza with Bitcoin from the three largest pizza chains worldwide, instead of using paper currency.

The thoughts and views expressed here are not necessarily shared by CryptoCoinsNews.com and are the opinions of the author, Evander Smart, alone.

Being a old boy from Brooklyn, NY, and therefore having ordered, I don’t know, a couple of thousand pizzas in my day, I think I’m a fair judge of how a pizza order should go down. From start to finish, I’m nothing if not experienced in the art, and now science, of the pizza order!  On Sundays, I don’t shave, I watch football, and I eat pizza.  Beautiful Sunday!  Or was it?

Buy pizza with Bitcoin?  What a country!

People all of the time ask me “Where can I buy things with Bitcoins?” or “What can I buy with Bitcoins?”. So this review helps answer that burning question. This website services the top three commercial pizza companies in the U.S., and most likely the world, and affords Bitcoin owners the ability to buy from them, indirectly. Pizza Hut (the brand I prefer and used in this example), Domino’s and Papa Johns are available on PizzaForCoins.com. They list countries available as the U.S., the U.K., and Austalia, but the U.K. option is disabled and has been for months, with some issue “on the backend”. Canada is listed as “Coming soon”.

The interface is very user-friendly and allows you to order their menu easily. From pizza to wings, to cookies, to the 2-liter drinks, everything is easy to find. When you order a pizza, you get drop-down menus to build your pizza the way you want, and the amount in BTC is listed next to each addition. Very well done. One key limitation is Pizza Hut does not allow the use of this service for carryout, only delivered orders. My Pizza Hut locally is notoriously slow and doesn’t have enough drivers, as they’re always advertising for new drivers. This came up as an issue later on.

The pricing is better than it initially appears. It is not listed how they make a profit or what their margins are up-front. And the delivery, which is undesirable in my area, is an extra charge of 0.006 BTC (about $2.25 USD at the time). A large hand-tossed pizza with extra cheese, pepperoni and Italian sausage cost 0.05070 BTC, or $19.35 in USD. If you ordered directly from the website, it would’ve been $15.14, with the option to pick-up at the store, the best way to go in my case. I figured I would call after the order was officially placed, and tell them I’d like to pick up the pizza instead. Little did I know this would be like asking a politician to take a polygraph test.

So the cost was $4.21 more than the Pizza Hut website, but the delivery charge is from Pizza Hut, so the difference is about $2 profit for PizzaForCoins.com. This is over 10%, but making $2 per pizza order doesn’t seem excessive to me at all. Now in contrast, you can buy an actual gift card for many merchants at sites like eGifter.com with Bitcoin, and save anything from 2-15% off of retail prices. Usually, you get a discount buying things in BTC, removing extraneous costs like merchang fees and chargeback protection when you normally buy with credit or debit. Anywho…..

Customer service from PizzaForCoins.com was an epic failure. I ordered at 1:12 PM, and immediately received two confirmation emails. Off to a fast start! But then I received an email at 1:30 form “Matt” that says they can’t find a Pizza Hut that delivers in my area (They all deliver. It’s Pizza Hut!). I then emailed them the address to my local store, so they can try again.

1:42 PM: I email Matt and ask “Hey, Matt. How’re we doing?”

No response. 15 minutes goes by. No response!

1:56 PM: 44 minutes after I sent in the initial order. Now I’m getting hot. Now I’m hungry, and halftime of my football game is over, and I don’t even have an order with Pizza Hut yet (Just with PizzaForCoins)!

I send a 3rd email.

“Ok, Matt. This is the 3rd email, and it’s been 45 minutes since I placed the order with you. Am I getting Pizza, or am I getting my BTC back?”

No response. Another 15 minutes go by. I start to write another email, canceling the order.

2:12 PM: one hour after I started this odyssey, to cance the order, and get my BTC back, when it finally happens…

Thank for your recent order from PizzaForCoins.com.

This email is your confirmation that your order has been scheduled for Delivery.

Your Pizza Hut Pizza Order # is A—————
Your order is expected to arrive/be ready in the next 50-60 minutes.
If you have any questions about your order feel free to contact the Pizza Hut store at (7–)——–.
PLEASE Remember, do not tip on your receipt unless prior arrangements have been made.

Your order was placed using a gift card. Sometimes the Pizza Hut employee will ask for a gift card and pin. Because of this we have provided that below:

Card 1#: ————-
Pin 1: —-
Thank you again for your order! We hope you enjoy your pizza!

-PizzaForCoins Staff

I leave the email in “Draft”, and head to the phone, to call ahead and say I’d like to pick-up this order. They say some mumbo-jumbo, but in the end they say yes, you can pick it up in about 15 minutes. I head out to the ride.

The place is packed, and they seem to be overwhelmed. The short version of it is after waiting there about 25 minutes, I left with no pizza and a cancelled order, as they needed to re-swipe the gift card there (The tried to enter the number in manually, and it didn’t work). I’ll assume some blame here because they clearly stated on the website that Pizza Hut is delivery only.

So I went home, hungry, put some spaghetti on the stove, and emailed PizzaForCoins.com to let them know the transaction was voided. Also that the money was sent back to them, and to send me a refund for my BTC.

And I never heard from “Matt” or PizzaForCoins.com again. No refund. No response at all.

Ratings:

Website – 4.5 stars out of 5

It would’ve been five stars, but my promo code didn’t work there, and the overall design is pretty bland.

Pricing – 3.5 stars out of 5

Looked worse at the time, but when you factor in delivery charges by Pizza Hut, the overall price is decent for the convenience. Didn’t like having to get delivered, but it seems not to be PizzaForCoins.com fault. And under $20 for a loaded delivered large pizza is very fair.

Customer Service – .5 stars out of 5

They said on their website I should GET the pizza, delivered, within 35-80 minutes, and it almost took that long just to place an order with Pizza Hut! If I had quit while I was behind, I would’ve had to wait a full two hours for a pizza delivery, and my football game would’ve been over. And I still have not received my BTC back!

Overall score – 1.5 stars out of 5

Not recommended

I would actually have recommend trying them if they had responded to ANY of my emails, and/or returned my BTC to me. A solid concept, if you don’t need pizza quickly, or if good customer service is not in any way important to you. Or if you don’t ever need your BTC back.

A good concept in need of better execution.  They seem to have cornered the market, but competition makes every business better, so… somebody else get in on this market, pronto!

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Images from PizzaForCoins and Shutterstock.

Last modified (UTC): September 29, 2014 15:58

Tags: pizza
Evander Smart @EvanderSmart

Evander Smart wants to get you talking, get you thinking, get you learning about Bitcoin, "The Future of Money". He has two Bitcoin video training courses on Udemy.com called "Bitcoin for Beginners". Go to EvanderSmart.com to get the latest on Evander and the latest Bitcoin news.