Best News Ever: Math Says You Should Always Order the Largest Pizza Possible

After the tortuous exercise of deciding which pizza we want (Hawaiian, duh), we’ve all suffered the same internal debate over how much pizza we’re actually going to get. About whom do we care more? The greedy pleasure centres of our brains or the fragile boundaries of our waistlines and hearts?

Well, if you’re a savvy, financially-conscious young professional, the right answer is neither.


From now on, thanks to invaluable research done by the folks at Planet Money, the pizza problem is going to be a whole lot easier; just get the biggest f***ing pie on the menu.


Because economically, it’s the only thing that makes sense. Assuming that you’re dealing with round pizzas, of course…

Through a collection of over 74,000 prices from almost 3,700 different pizza joints around the US, the numbers clearly show that on average, the price per square inch of pizza decreases in significant disproportion to an increase in its diameter.


(The interactive version is available at the link above)


One reason for this is the geometric nature of circles. The marginal increase in a circle’s surface area is actually the square of its marginal increase in diameter; so in pizza-land – a lovely, glorious land in which everyone is always covered in cheese, except for the few hipsters who are lightly sprinkled in pesto – a 16 inch pizza actually has four times the surface area of an 8 inch pizza.

In comparison, the pizza price curve is not nearly as steep.

The other reason for this is that as usual, pizza is the one area of life in which everything always makes sense. Well, that and Youtube “celebrity” salaries.

If you go to the Planet Money link above, you can play around with a fun interactive graph that lets you compare the average prices per square inch of any standard pizza size and then see how much extra it would cost to acquire any “large” surface area of ‘za in smaller denominations of 14 and 8 inch orders.

All that said, even if you don’t “need” the extra volume at the time, has anyone ever been disappointed to find day-old pizza leftovers in their fridge? Or on the kitchen counter? Or on the pillow next to them in bed?

Nope. Never.

So next time you’re ordering a pizza and you’re forced to choose between Smalls, Mediums, and Larges, use your econo-smarts and order the closest thing they have to “Crop Circle”. Anything else would be poor fiscal form.