Researchers: Buy The Large Pizza For The Super Bowl, Get Better Value Per Square Inch

There are three things you should never do in life: lay up when there’s trouble ahead, marry the stripper or buy a small/medium pizza on Super Bowl Sunday. Research, going all the way back to a 2014 report for NPR, shows that most pizza joints are trying to rip you off with the price of their small/medium pizzas.

Quoctrung Bui used 74,476 prices from 3,678 pizza joints spread across the country and determined that the larger the diameter of the pizza, the lower price per square inch. The lesson here from Bui’s research is that, especially on Super Bowl Sunday, you better not be ordering a small pepperoni when those $8 large two-topping pies are being offered up by the pizza shops battling it out for your dollars.

Always buy the large pizza

Maybe you don’t believe Bui’s research because it’s from 2014, and you think pizza places have started giving you better value for a small or medium pie. The University of Delaware has you covered. Researchers there came up with a handy pizza-per-square-inch calculator, if you don’t believe Bui.

Here’s the formula if you want to really nerd out before Super Bowl LV kicks off in Tampa. (C), and the width of the pizza in inches (W):

P = ((W/2)x(W/2)xπ)/C 

According to CNBC:

• Super Bowl Sunday is the second-largest eating holiday; Thanksgiving is first

• Domino’s will deliver roughly 2 million pizzas today

• Super Bowl Sunday is the busiest day of the year for Pizza Hut

If you’re looking to go super cheap for the Super Bowl, 7-Eleven will sell you a large, hot or ready-to-bake, for $1 if you use the company’s 7NOW app.

“With 7NOW delivery, nobody has to leave the game – whether home-gating with a group or a party of one. Just open the 7NOW app, tap, shop and wait for 7-Eleven to bring everything you need to your doorstep in about 30 minutes. You’ll feel like a winner, even if your team loses,” 7-Eleven Senior Vice President and Head of Digital Raghu Mahadevan said in a news release.

Whatever you do today, do not order the small or medium pizza. Make the value play.

Written by Joe Kinsey

I'm an Ohio guy, born in Dayton, who roots for Ohio State and can handle you guys destroying the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer and everything associated with Columbus.

11 Comments

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  1. Now along with Joe promoting male courage and avoiding marrying a bad investment of a woman, he looking out for our financial interests.

    He’s quickly becoming my favorite OK writer.

  2. The value conclusions are obviously correct, but I think the “rip you off” comment is misguided. The pro-rated fixed costs (rent, utilities, equipment amortization, etc.) for producing a small and a large pizza are identical, and the incremental costs are likely only marginally more – how much longer does it take a cook who knows what he/she is doing to make a large vs a small? A minute tops? Even at $15/hr that is $0.25 more in labor costs. In other words they charge you less per square inch of pizza for larges than they do for smalls because it costs pizza shops less per square inch to produce larges than smalls. What else are you buying where the unit cost doesn’t go down with larger quantity? Because of economies of scale they would be “ripping you off” if they charged the same per square inch for larges as they do for smalls.

  3. Fair points, but I still believe pizza shops love to see people like my Missus coming, she’ll order a medium with 6 toppings (3 different on each side) and drop $32 on a pizza that cost them $3 to produce.

    Get the Large Cheese. Side of wings for the protein.

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