Gary Chaglasyan, CEO of RestoGPT AI, a marketing and sales platform company, knows what it’s like to run an independent restaurant. He runs one himself, Flintridge Pizza Restaurant in California. He understands the hours, the migraines, the margins. And the website. What to do with the website? How is an indie operator supposed to compete with the chains, who have greater resources to adapt to new restaurant technology?

Gary and Vincent Chaglasyan

Chaglasyan’s offer: let him take care of it. He and his son Vincent launched RestoGPT AI, formerly Orderbyte, in 2022, with the aspiration of giving a hand up to small and mid-size operators. His site converts menu and store information into operational digital storefronts, all in a matter of minutes, thanks to AI-driven software. It has POS, sales, and delivery integration capabilities. The company takes no upfront fee, but a cut of traffic-generated sales.

And now Chaglasyan is targeting a sub-category of the restaurant industry, those perennial stalwarts the pizza places, with a platform called PizzaBox AI. It launched on Monday and already boasts a database of more than 80,000 pizza restaurant menus and addresses.

His strategy this time is to be relentlessly local.

“This is for pizza lovers to interact with their favorite neighborhood joints,” he said in an interview. “Our goal is to help connect communities.”

When RestoGPT launched, Chaglasyan was diplomatic about third-party delivery partners. After all, the platform collaborates with many of them. But this time is different.

“PizzaBox AI is the complete opposite of those classic third-party marketplaces. We will provide direct ordering, no unclear charges or surcharges, no 30 percent commission fees, and no hijacked data,” he said.

Along with a customized website and online ordering system, PizzaBox AI also offers digital marketing tools, customer loyalty programs and connections to local delivery drivers.

If one were to bet on any one food category, pizza is still the way to go. In 2023, U.S. consumers spent $41.3 billion on pizza within the quick-service restaurant industry, according to Statista Research Department. That’s up from $40.7 billion in 2022 and second only to hamburgers.