Late nights and pizza pies: Get the most out of delivery
Consider the following: It’s 10 p.m. You haven’t eaten anything since noon. The only food in your vicinity is a raw potato and two cans of Natural Light beer. It’s too cold to consider leaving your apartment or dorm room. You’re painfully hungry. What do you do? Order a pizza.
Apps like Postmates and GrubHub have opened up the food-delivery world to previously unfamiliar levels of choice and convenience, but pizza is the original and most steadfast of delivery options: Long before Postmates was even a glimmer in its inventor’s eye, people—including a large proportion of college students—have been remotely ordering pizzas by phone and, later, by Internet. Pizza is also the great equalizer of foods: You can order an elevated, artisanal burger or a classed-up salad, but when it comes to the doughy, saucy disk that is the centerpiece of the whole food-delivery industry, pizza is pizza is pizza. It doesn’t get more classic than that.
Once you’ve decided to order a pizza, you must choose where to order it from. The Delmar Loop offers a few local options, like Doughocracy and Pi Pizza, if you’re interested in sampling that St. Louis flavor. (But don’t actually sample St. Louis-flavored pizza, aka Imo’s, because it’s—well, let’s just say I wouldn’t recommend it.) These independent pizza shops are perfectly pleasant places to partake in a pie, but for the sake of concision, I’ll narrow my scope in this piece to the Big Three of pizza delivery: Domino’s, Papa John’s, and Pizza Hut.
Domino’s is the cheapest of these three chains, and the one most obviously catering to college students. It’s also, in my opinion, the purveyor of the most disgusting pizza, but disgusting in a delicious way, like the way I feel when I read tabloid stories about celebrity pregnancy rumors. Pizza Hut is a bit classier, with its in-house salad bar (of course, you won’t be partaking in that in your delivery order) and some pretty delicious breadsticks. Personally, though, I am loyal to Papa John’s. I live by the adage of “Better Ingredients. Better Pizza,” plus there are some pretty great vegan options. Surprising—I would’ve thought Papa was more of a traditionalist.
With the source of your pizza locked in, it’s time to move on to the most integral part of your delivery process: coupons. You may have an image of “couponing” as a hobby of stay-at-home moms with nothing better to do, but let me assure you that a) it’s just as easy as typing, for example, “dominos coupon code november 2017” into Google, and b) you shouldn’t have such a negative perception of stay-at-home moms. The Internet has revolutionized coupons, especially if you’ll be ordering pizza online or through an app. Websites like Coupons.com, RetailMeNot and even browser extensions like Honey compile potential coupon codes into a handy list. In print, though, the options still abound: Keep your eyes peeled for offers on billboards, in magazines and even in the very pages of your dear copy of Student Life. You should never, ever pay full menu price for a pie. There is always some sort of coupon or offer to take advantage of—your job is just to find it.
When you’re ready to take your dedication to pizza delivery to the next level, it’s time to commit to one pizza chain and stick with it because you’ll start accumulating rewards. Each of the Big Three has its own rewards system, and all that’s required of you is to sign up for an account and use it when you order pizzas. Keep an eye out for special deals, like double rewards points on certain items, and explore ordering extra items—like Papa John’s special garlic dipping sauce—to reach price thresholds for points.
By using these strategies, I’ve earned at least three free pizzas from Papa John’s this semester alone. There’s basically nothing more satisfying than getting home after a long day, putting on sweatpants and tapping a few times on my phone to order a piping-hot circle of carb-y goodness delivered straight to my door. If you implement my tips, you, too, can experience the immense satisfaction—nay, joy—of receiving a phone call from an unknown 314-area-code number and answering it to hear those fateful words: “I’m outside with your pizza.”