Mathematics: delicious and useful.
Good news! Mathematics has confirmed what we already suspected: You should most definitely be ordering a larger pizza.
But “I’m not hungry for that much pizza”, you say? Allow me to refute your argument with two simple words: Cold. Pizza.
Also, if you’re trying to make your dollar stretch as far as it can, your best bet is to just order the biggest one you can buy. Why? The increase in size to cost always comes out in your favor.
Check out this graph that Quoctrung Bui over at NPR made by crunching the pizza price data from over 74,000 pizzas from 3,678 different pizza joints:
Over at NPR’s Planet Money blog, Quoctrung Bui explains:
One day last year, an engineer and I went to a pizza place for lunch. The engineer told me he wasn’t very hungry, but he said he was going to get the 12-inch medium instead of the 8-inch small — because the medium was more than twice as big as the small, and it cost only a little bit more. This sort of blew my mind.
…The math of why bigger pizzas are such a good deal is simple: A pizza is a circle, and the area of a circle increases with the square of the radius.
So, for example, a 16-inch pizza is actually four times as big as an 8-inch pizza.
And when you look at thousands of pizza prices from around the U.S., you see that you almost always get a much, much better deal when you buy a bigger pizza.
Here’s what happens when you look at a 16-inch pizza, and how the smaller sizes stack up:
One 18-inch pizza has roughly the same area as 1.7 14-inch pizzas or 5.1 8-inch pizza, To get the same amount of pizza you get in an $18.68 18-inch pizza, you’d have to spend an extra $5.29 on 14-inch pizzas, or an extra $23.09 on 8-inch pizzas. See how the numbers add up? It’s almost universally a better deal—mathematically, mind you—to just get the bigger pizza.
Less pizza for more money? NOT ON MY WATCH, AMERICA. I’ll take the 16-inch pizza, please!
And keep in mind that there are arguably two right ways to eat a slice of pizza.
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Watch the video on how to get the most out of pizza with some simple math!