Independent Pizzerias Have a New Guardian Angel

New York-style. Neapolitan. Neo-Neapolitan. Stuffed crust. The deeply provocative deep dish pie. There are plenty of ways to enjoy a slice of pizza in the United States, but it’s a safe bet that there’s a place on the map that’s special to all of us, a spot we personally believe in serving up the Holy Grail of cheesy, tomato-y goodness.

Maybe you discovered it while vacationing across the country and spend many a daydream mulling over the worth of a plane ticket just to treat yourself again, or perhaps it’s your late night alcohol soakage go-to. Near or far, your favorite mom-and-pop pizzeria will always have a spot in your heart – and thanks to a new app called Slice, you can finally start showing them the love they deserve.

Slice is on a mission to make authentic, handcrafted pizza more easily accessible to people all over the country who love nothing more than chowing down on a big piece of the good stuff. The Slice team understands that while local pizzerias will always trump the big chain pizza delivery companies in terms of taste (it comes down to a secret ingredient, by the way, and if you guessed that it’s love, you’re right on the money), ordering from your favorite spot can often be a big challenge.

Supposing they offer delivery at all, delivery fees and shockingly big order minimums can create barriers between pizza-maker and pizza-chomper, and very often end in a subpar experience for all involved. Food delivery behemoths like Seamless or GrubHub can complicate the situation further, and take up to 22 percent of every order’s profits in exchange for even listing a restaurant in their app. This makes it incredibly difficult for independent businesses to turn a profit – but signing up with Slice effectively brings that problem to an end.

By equipping little, independent pizzerias with the tools and technology they need on their side to face off with the big pizza chains, Slice is making it easier than ever before to access good pizza, and in turn, helps these restaurants to get the business their high-quality fare warrants.

To date, over 8,000 pizzerias in 2,000 cities nationwide have partnered with Slice and are listed conveniently on the app, for which there is no charge. The benefits have been immense: orders made via the Slice app are on average 40 percent larger than those placed over the phone or in person, and what’s more, since Slice charges a flat $1.95 to the represented pizzeria per order rather than employing a percentage rate, the ones that rolled the dough actually get to reap the rewards.

"I work with Slice because they’re a great partner to my business and fantastic to my customers," says Anthony of Billy’s Pizza and Pasta in Brooklyn, New York. "They support my business, are there for me 24/7, and don’t cut into my profits. Since joining Slice five years ago, I have switched all of my online ordering over to them. The best part is, they keep getting better!"

Slice is the brainchild of founder and CEO Ilir Sela, who, having plenty of family and friends in the pizza business, was moved to begin a passion project based on a philosophy of loyalty and the importance of good food. Sela wanted to simplify the process of online ordering so his loved ones could focus on doing what they do best: making delicious pizza. Sela’s vision, he says, "has always been to connect people through local pizza and empower pizzas in the digital age."

If you ever see him around and feel inclined to show your gratitude – and I can’t see why you wouldn’t – his favorite slice is classic cheese. Readers, tech junkies, and pizza fanatics, you know what to do.