An exposition on the mathematics of pizza ordering

So Gier wanted pizza for late lunch. Since we are regular devourers of Domino’s, we used a discount coupon that they freely distributed. The choice was between Offer 1 (50% off on your 2nd pizza purchase) and Offer 2 (RM 45 for 3 regular pizzas).

Gier wanted 2 large pizzas, i.e. Offer 1. I asked, why not Offer 2 since you get 3 regulars instead of 2 large? And so he began:

“So we want to find out if 2 large pizzas are equal to 3 regular pizzas. The surface of a circle; i.e. our pizza is calculated by:

Area= TTr2
= TT x r x r

We know that a regular pizza is 9-inches, and a large pizza is 12-inches. For a regular pizza, its radius is 4.5 inches. 22/7 x 4.5 x 4.5 = 63.6 sq inches per regular pizza. Multiply it by 3 pizzas = 190.8 sq inches.

For a large pizza, its radius being 6 inches means 22/7 x 6 x 6 = 113.1 sq inches. Multiply it by 2 = 226.2 sq inches.

Now, anyone would know that 226.2 is bigger than 190.8! 2 large pizzas are bigger than 3 regular pizzas by 35.4 square inches!

So Domino’s is selling a thin-crust large pizza at RM 29.80. Offer 1 = RM 44.70 for 226.2 sq inches of pizza. Offer 2 is RM 45 for 190.8 sq inches of pizza. It’s less pizza and more expensive by RM 0.30! The choice is so obvious!!”

He ordered a ‘Classified Chicken’ and a ‘Beef Suspense’. They were nice. He also gave this blog post its final title.



  1. it’s true!
    i caught on back in school when the waitress at pizza hut told us they’ve no regulars left and offered us two small instead.
    without thinking, we said ok.
    then after that, think-think-think, did the math exposition thing and realised we were cheated.
    also, take into account that you lose out in terms of isi cos taking the assumption that 1cm of the edge has not isi, 2 small pizza would have more 1cm edge compared to 1 large pizza.

  2. That’s weird as the Engineers at University back in 1984 did a similar thing in our University Paper [of course, the pizza was pizza hut and the large and regular pizzas were at 1984 prices and sizes].

    It’s like Deja Vu!!! OMGoodness!!!

  3. consumers these days! counting every single penny! lol~

  4. i like your boss.

  5. Regular tends to have a higher topping density and with 3 regular you are getting the bonus of more variety for a premium of price.

    You can get 2 large for RM40 sometimes as well..

    Anyway sometimes we have 2 large, sometimes 3 regular.

    And I like Beef Suspense, but not Chicken Confidental. And the downside of the creamy sauced based pizzas is you HAVE to eat them fast while they are hot…if you let them cool down they taste plain bad…unlike good old tomato base which is fine cold.

    Pizza dynamics, it should be a degree.

  6. At first glance, I somehow thought that the title wasn’t quite you… and I was right..

  7. Wah Liu!!!

  8. to be more specific, you should weigh the pizza and take the densities. divide out the volume against it you shall get pure mass. then take a ratio of price / mass that gives u the ringgit value worth of the piece.

    after u had the figure, try to compare it with the shitty campbell soup, then u can tell if ordering pizza is more worth it than ordering soup alone.

  9. My dear, it is a call market segmentation.

    You have a choice of 3 regular pizzza with 3 flavors.

    35.4 square inches is around 6×6 inches in square. And don’t forget, the extra 6×6 inches also spell for extra body weight!

  10. Yeah, but Dominos sucks.

  11. nice reasoning…..if you look at it from the cost/area perspective….but still doesnt change the fact that it lack the most important ingredient…

    also…with that money…can get plenty of laksa, pan mee, char kway teow..etc etc

  12. Wow!! to that extend, thats either brilliant or weird.

    I would go for 3 regular. At least I get 3 different flavors πŸ˜‰

    Food is not about being full, its about yummy~

  13. i’m so glad i know this.

  14. ur boss is crazy LOL i hate maths!

  15. Hahahaha, I like your boss too!

  16. Notty Gurl says:

    I have always wanted to know but too lazy to go work it out… afterall, I only order pizza when I am at home… AT HOME MEANS NO NEED TO DO WORK!!! Thanks Suanie.. or was it her boss… whatever la!

  17. The only discussions I have with MY boss most of the time is over which picture of the hot chick I just interviewed we should put on the cover (I like the smiley ones, he prefers pouty pictures. go figure).

  18. Wah, your boss is very serious when it comes to ordering pizzas. I’ll remember the maths when I order pizzas next time!

  19. Haha… now i will order 2 large pizza with 50% off on 2nd piece! Smart=) Thanks Suanie! Mwahhh

  20. why is your boss cooler than my boss! my boss only order ppl around wtf

  21. Now that’s one way of how math help in our normal daily life.

  22. Suan, pls email me yr h/p number (lost yr card ;(
    I think Yasmin especially wants to call you!! :)

  23. However, if you want to estimate the volume of a pizza, v, you can treat the pizza as a cylinder with radius z and height a.
    Then the volume of the pizza, v = pizza.

    or pi * z * z * a

  24. you lost me there at numb3rs…

  25. update ur damn blog

  26. that’s so complicated.. all that for pizzas.. hurmmmm.

  27. I second Paul Tan above. I also think Yasmin wants to thank you.

  28. lulu: nyeh i don’t like pizza hut anymore πŸ˜› (except for the wings)

    Dabs: duno, I didn’t have pizza in 1984 πŸ˜›

    amy: but of course! everything also naik harga πŸ˜€

    lainie: me too

    ST: oO the creamy sauce for Beef Suspense (with the thin tomato slices) were nice. I didn’t mind eating them cold, hehe

    Suertes: doesn’t sound like me at all πŸ˜‰

    Mingsy: πŸ˜‰

    aeroplane: everything is better than campbell soup la. no offense against campbell soup, but i think now i can afford real soup πŸ˜›

    moo_t: no one needs that many choices in life!!

    mad: they are good here πŸ˜€

    ront: what most important ingredient? it’s ok, he paid mah

    noktahhitam: how about a bit of brilliant and a bit of weird?

    bibliobibuli: it’s the little things! πŸ˜€

    slowcatchupkuan: me too! i don’t understand any of it πŸ˜›

    crysV: hehe got vacancies in my company… πŸ˜›

    NottyGurl: thank my boss for being so insistent πŸ˜›

    eyeris: family newspaper, oi! πŸ˜›

    leongsoon: have fun πŸ˜‰

    Rachel: you walk out and buy food, can?!

    pinkpau: then he laughs maniacally

    simon: i’d never have guessed

    grant: heh she emailed me :) why did you lose my number?! no wonder you didn’t answer my call last week

    Tan Yee Wei: LMAO

    reta: well i’m not the genius here

    paul: paul ffk me

    bongkersz: pizzas are important

    davidlian: she did :)

  29. One more factor: The crust lining the edges of the pizza is considered stomach fillers.

    So for 2 large pizzas, you have (2TTr)*2 = (2 * 3.141 * 6) * 2 = 75 inches worth of fluff.
    while 3 medium pizzas have (2 * 3.141 * 4.5) * 3 = 84 inches worth thats 12% more naked dough! What a waste.

    So the 2 large pizzas has less crust to eat. Unless of course they have those cheesy filler crust, and thats when you change strategy.


  30. YK : no wonder u 2 are friends. birds of a feather…

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