Ten Years of None Pizza with Left Beef

It's been ten years now since Steve Molaro tried the Great Pizza Orientation Test. We covered it on Neatorama, just like every other existing website at the time. When Dominoes began online ordering, you could specify topping on the left half or right half, so he tested the limits of the system and ended up with the famous "None Pizza with Left Beef," no cheese, no sauce, and beef on one side. The pizza became an amusingly sad icon of our modern automated world.

In the near-future, there will be no human interaction necessary when purchasing assembly-line food like Domino’s. There may not be any humans involved at all. “Someday,” Molaro writes, the silently judgmental delivery man “will be a robot with a bad mustache and my life will be perfect.” That reality is closer than you think. At the end of August, Ford announced it was partnering with Domino’s to test pizza delivery in self-driving cars, with customers unlocking warming containers in the vehicle using unique codes.

The good news is that this automation allows for creative freedom unrestrained by social custom. The bad news is, well, creative freedom unrestrained by social custom. Robots don’t judge, or caution, you; they give you the pizza you ask for, even if what you ask for is not, technically, pizza. The man who earlier this year ordered a cheeseburger with no onion, ketchup, mustard, pickles, bun, or beef patty from a McDonald’s automated kiosk — and received, naturally, a single slice of cheese — is a spiritual heir to Molaro, and his “cheeseburger” is the more refined child of None Pizza With Left Beef.

That still beats the person who ordered a burger with no everything, received nothing, but was still charged 99 cents. An article at New York magazine looks at Molaro's experiment, it's influence, and the state of automated food ordering ten years later.


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