March Madness: DIY Pizza Hut Pie Tops

Pizza Hut recently came out with a hilarious commercial about awesome shoes that can order pizza. You might’ve seen it:

Those shoes are real, and really do order pizza, but (unfortunately for everyone) they only made 64 pairs.

I know that not having access to Pie Tops made you sad because it made me sad. It made me so sad that I decided that I just couldn’t live without pizza shoes. So I made some.

Behold! The DIY Pie Tops:

And the result of pressing the button in the tongue of these glorious shoes:

Now that I’ve got you thinking about pizza, here’s the quick rundown on how you too can possess some cheesy sneaks:

  1. Get a Flic bluetooth button
  2. Use the Flic app to set button presses to trigger IFTTT
  3. Use IFTTT to chat with Pizza Hut’s Twitter chatbot
  4. Order some pizza from your shoes!

All for what’s got to be less than the price of priceless shoes: $50!

And as a bonus, I’ll even tell you how to make an depressing informative pizza dashboard!

Step 1: Get a Flic Button

The Flic is a bluetooth smart button that uses your phone to do whatever you program it to (like call an Uber! Uber shoes, anyone?). I chose to use this instead of, say, hacking an Amazon Dash button, because the Flic uses your phone to look for presses instead of a Raspberry Pi.

The Flic also has the benefit of being about the size of a quarter – the perfect size for a shoe tongue!

You can buy a Flic on Amazon for about $34. Buying a pack of 3 is cheaper (one shoe for pizza, one shoe for Uber?!).

Step 2: Use the Flic App to Trigger IFTTT

If This Then That (IFTTT) is an awesome service that let’s you codelessly connect and trigger actions. Flic happens to have an IFTTT channel and IFTTT happens to have a Twitter channel and Pizza Hut happens to have a Twitter chatbot. This use case was obviously meant to be.

Going to start.flic.io will walk you through setting up your button. Once it’s connected, click on the button in the app to add what your presses will trigger. Click the plus sign next to all three click types and add IFTTT.

Step 3: Use IFTTT to Chat on Twitter

Pizza Hut provides multiple ways to order pizza including through Facebook Messenger and Amazon Alexa. They call this Pizza Hut All Access (much like Domino’s Anyware). One of these ways is via chatbot on Twitter. All that “chatbot” really means is that you have a lot more flexibility with what you can ask to order.

So I decided to use IFTTT to post a predetermined chat on Twitter whenever I pressed the button sequence one click + double click + hold.

If you’ve never used IFTTT before, you can sign up here. Once you’re in, click on “My Applets” in the top menu bar. Select “New Applet” and click on “this”.

Search for “Flic” and select it.

Select your Flic and make sure the Click Type is “Click”.

Click “that” and search for/select Twitter. You will be prompted to connect your Twitter account (we’ll only be sending direct messages in this project). Select the “Post a Tweet” action and enter “DM @pizzahut order” as the Tweet text.

Click “Create action”.  Make sure to click “Finish” on the next step. And there you go!

Test to make sure your button’s working (make sure you have the Flic app open on your phone) by pressing it once and then checking your Twitter messages. I get text messages when things happen on Twitter, so I could see Pizza Hut’s chatbot respond with “Welcome _____. Sign in to your Pizza Hut account on to reorder your favorites or browse our most popular items.

All I had to do was sign in on the page that link sent me to and my Twitter was connected to my Pizza Hut account!

Now feel free to play around with Pizza Hut’s chatbot. It’ll let you do all sorts of things like view deals and reorder. I just wanted to order my favorite, the Dinner Box, so that’s what I set my button to do.

Follow the exact same steps above, but change Click Type to Double Click and enter “DM @pizzahut order Dinner Box” for the Tweet text. Obviously, change “Dinner Box” to whatever you have your favorites named. Creating favorites for Pizza Hut is easy too – just go through like you’re going to order and then select “Save as Favorite” before actually checking out. Make sure you have a payment method saved too (you can add one on your account page).

Test your double click and Pizza Hut should respond with the price, ETA, and where it will deliver to.

Now for the final step – Follow the exact same steps for IFTTT, but change Click Type to Hold and enter “DM @pizzahut place order” for the Tweet text.

Don’t test this step unless you actually want pizza! Or test it “on accident”. You’ll get pizza.

Step 4: Order Pizza from your Shoes

The last order of business (pun intended) is to put the Flic button in your shoes. I went and got the cheapest coolest shoes I could find at Walmart (so, no, they don’t have cheese pattern-stamped leather) and used my Cricut machine to cut vinyl decals out to make them as Pizza Hut-y as possible (if I was in it for the long haul I would’ve used iron-on).

I cut a little slit in one of the tongues and used fabric glue to attach velcro on either side so I could open and close it. Then I removed the film covering the sticky backing on the Flic and stuck the Flic right in there!

If you’re looking to keep your shoes more intact or for a more versatile pizza button, the Flic also comes with a clip!

Now, all you have to do to summon a pizza to your door is click (the Flic app will ding)…wait a few seconds (I just waited till I heard my phone buzz with the Twitter notification text)…double click…wait a few seconds…hold…wait a few seconds…aaaaaand boom! Now you gotta wait 50 minutes for a pizza. 😉

Note: Apparently Domino’s has a deal with Flic that also orders pizza (that I didn’t know about before making this project), but I found Domino’s “easy order” process to actually be pretty restrictive and frustrating. Pizza Hut definitely owns the customer experience with their chatbots.

BONUS: Pizza Dashboard

Generate so much pizza data that you just have to put it in a dashboard? Really want to see how much all that happiness pizza is costing you? No?

Well I’m going to show you anyways. You can automatically stream to an Initial State dashboard every time you order pizza.

As you’ve probably guessed, IFTTT is going to have a part in this. This time we’re using the Gmail trigger’s “If new email in inbox labeled” and the Google Drive’s action “Add row to spreadsheet”.

Connect your accounts and enter the gmail label you used for your Pizza Hut confirmation emails. I get emails from Twitter when I receive tweets, so I created a label from the filter “total is” “pizza hut”.

Next name the spreadsheet you want rows added to – I named mine “Pizza Time”. I entered {{ReceivedAt}} ||| {{BodyPlain}} as my formatted row. Save and finish the recipe. You can test it by forwarding yourself an old confirmation email.

Now head over to Google Sheets and find that spreadsheet we created (Pizza Time). You should see the time the email was sent and the body of the email in adjacent cells.

Create a new sheet and enter the following formulas

  • In A1: =IFERROR(Sheet1!A1)
  • In B1: =IFERROR(REGEXEXTRACT(Sheet1!B1,“[\$\£\€](\d+(?:\.\d{1,2})?)”))
  • In C1: =IFERROR(REGEXEXTRACT(REGEXEXTRACT(Sheet1!B1, “ETA:.*minutes”),“([0-9]+)”))

You should see the following output in cells A1:C1:

In order to get this data into a dashboard, we are going to stream it to Initial State using Google Apps Script. I am not going to go over much about these, but you can read more in this blog post. The basics are:

  1. Create an Initial State account
  2. Go to Tools -> Script editor… inside of your Pizza Time Google sheet
  3. Copy-paste this script into the editor
  4. Create a bucket inside of Initial State (I named mine 🍕👟 Pie Tops and gave it the bucket key “pietops”)
  5. Put your Initial State access key into line 32 and your bucket key on line 33 if you didn’t specify it in #4
  6. Set a time-driven trigger for how often you want your Apps Script to check for updates in the spreadsheet

Head on over to Initial State and check out your dashboard! After a little magicking around, it might just be as 🍕-fied as mine. 😜

2 comments On March Madness: DIY Pizza Hut Pie Tops

  • This is just awesome.. well done! You really created the same shoes.

    Pizza Hut must have used Flic just as you did. Flic is such a cool gadget and I just bought the 4-pack from their site. Everyone should have a Flic button in my opinion. I will use it for my music, snooze my alarm in the morning, order my morning uber to work and now also ordering some nice pizzas thanks to you. 🙂

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