It was about 10:30 pm on Monday when the pilot of the Frontier Airlines flight called in, said Ritchie, manager at the pizza chain in the western US city of Cheyenne, Wyoming.
The pilot wanted to feed all 160 passengers and crew to make up for the delay, so Ritchie and his two employees whipped up around 35 pizzas and sent them to the plane.
"We took them up to the front desk at the airport and they escorted our driver to the back and they handed the pizzas directly to the flight attendants," Ritchie told AFP.
The plane was en route from Washington when it was diverted to Cheyenne while it waited for bad weather to clear in Denver, US media said.
The plane, which was already hours behind schedule, sat on the ground at the small airport for about two hours, and there was no food on board.
Eventually, one passenger told a Denver affiliate of Fox, the pilot made an announcement.
"He said, 'Ladies and gentlemen, Frontier Airlines is known for being one of the cheapest airlines in the US, but your captain is not cheap,'" Logan Marie Torres recounted to the news station.
"'I just ordered pizza for the entire plane.'"
Ritchie confirmed that it was the pilot who paid by credit card for the order, which was several hundred dollars, though he could not specify whose card it was.