You Should Always Get The Bigger Pizza
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.
So I went big on the pizza-value question. The graph is based on 74,476 prices from 3,678 pizza places around the country. To see how the price of pizzas changes with size — and how much more pizza you get when you get a large — drag the slider at the bottom the graph.
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,
One 16-inch pizza is actually four times as big as an 8-inch pizza. To get the same amount of pizza you get in a 16-inch pizza, you'd have to spend an extra $2.35 on 14-inch pizzas, or an extra $16.41 on 8-inch pizzas.
One 20-inch pizza has roughly the same area as 2 14-inch pizzas or 6.3 8-inch pizzas. To get the same amount of pizza you get in a 20-inch pizza, you'd have to spend an extra $8.82 on 14-inch pizzas, or an extra $30.79 on 8-inch pizzas.
One 24-inch pizza has roughly the same area as 2.9 14-inch pizzas or 9 8-inch pizzas. To get the same amount of pizza you get in a 24-inch pizza, you'd have to spend an extra $17.68 on 14-inch pizzas, or an extra $49.32 on 8-inch pizzas.