I love nifty Web applications almost as much as I love pizza. Naturally, curiosity got the best of me when I placed an online order at Domino's Pizza (NYSE: DPZ) last night, and was subsequently invited to follow my order with the company's new trademarked Pizza Tracker.

A new screen popped up, updating me on the creation process of my pie. Alberto began making my order at 6:32 p.m. Two minutes later, Alberto nudged it into the waiting oven. By 6:43 p.m, delivery expert Santos had left the pizzeria with my order, coming my way.

True to form, the pizza arrived just a few minutes later. When my wife greeted the delivery guy with a "Thank you, Santos," his eyes grew wide. How did she know his name? Surprise turned to Orwellian dread as we explained that we were following our pizza's creation online.

The pizza-delivery process has certainly grown up quickly. Papa John's (NYSE: PZZA) and Yum! Brands' (NYSE: YUM) Pizza Hut also offer online ordering. The fancier piesmiths at California Pizza Kitchen (Nasdaq: CPKI) don't, though the company's website will update your Microsoft Outlook program with your nearest location's contact information.

These are challenging times for pizza-tossers. Now that even non-pizza chains like Panera (Nasdaq: PNRA) and Subway (with its TurboChef (Nasdaq: OVEN) high-speed convection ovens) offer pizza, the chains need to stand out more than ever.

They offer the convenience of delivery, which Domino's is embracing by dusting off the "30-minute delivery" mantra that put it on the map. However, we live in a world of widgets and perpetually updating, AJAX-powered applications. I'd hate to think that Pizza Tracker is one step removed from in-store webcams, but I love the innovative spirit involved in making something as drab as ordering a pizza entertaining.

The world is changing, one Alberto-baked and Santos-delivered pizza at a time.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz did what he could to boost Domino's comps this past quarter, taking advantage of those generous online coupons. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. Panera Bread is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems Pay Dirt recommendation. The Fool's disclosure policy wants half ham and pineapple, half pepperoni and mushroom.