The Maths Equation That Explains Why You Should Always Buy Larger Pizzas

The Maths Equation That Explains Why You Should Always Buy Larger Pizzas

As the video above from ASAP Science illustrates the amount of extra pizza you get when you go up a size is almost always disproportionate to its price. For example, an 8″ pizza has around 50 square inches of pizza content (disregarding the ratio of pizza to crust, which is an important culinary factor). However, a 16″ pizza isn’t double the amount of pizza, like we might instinctively think. It’s actually four times as much, with 200 square inches of pizza. Yet you almost never find a pizza place where a small 8″ pizza is four times cheaper than a large 16″ pizza.

You can calculate your own pizza areas with a simple equation that you probably learned in middle school and have forgotten by now.


In other words, the area of a pizza is equal to the radius squared, times pi. Just plug in half of whatever size is listed on the menu into this equation and you’ll get your area. Then you can compare the price per unit to get the best deal. In almost all cases, you’ll find that the larger pizzas are better, but hey, it can’t hurt to double check the deal, right?

The Pizza Equation [ASAP Science]


  • maths is correct, for sure, but I wouldn’t go past the fact that the larger pizza is mostly twice the amount of ingredients. friend owned a pizza franchise and that was how it was done. eg, small pizza 250gm of dough, larger 500gm. same with the pepperoni slices in number.

  • food places really try and charge per customer more than anything else. This is why half’n’half is always an exorbitant surcharge (even though it can’t really cost them anything) and subway won’t let you by a footlong with half’n’half (note that 2 6inches is far more than 1 footlong)

    When eating out, if you can share a meal meant for one, you will make big savings. (even sharing a free refill drink etc)

    Its clear that food pricing is done based on how much they can get a person to pay for a meal, rather than what it actually costs them to make it.

  • I once had a choice between a large pizza + small pizza or three small pizza meal deals. I knew I would of felt guilty nailing the large pizza so I ordered the small pizza meal deal. Didn’t work. Ate all three. Doesn’t matter what size or shape, I come to realise they just get chomped down. Psychologically, I may of eaten less pizza ordering the large one and not finishing it. Oh well, even more shamefully, I had no regret nailing the three anyway!

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