We’ve all been in a situation where we’ve got a crowd to feed. Maybe you’re hosting the entire extended family for a day. Maybe friends are visiting from out of town, and you have to come up with a way to feed them all. Or maybe you’re throwing a graduation party, baby shower or some other celebratory event that is going to require a lot of food.
In situations like this, you have a couple options. If you’re brave, you can attempt to cook for them all. If they’re all willing to pay for themselves, you can pile into a few cars and head to the nearest restaurant you can all agree on. But if neither of those options seems to be viable, what should you do?
The answer is simple — order pizza for the whole crowd. Few foods are as universally appealing as pizza or as easily customizable to fit wide ranges of tastes and preferences. No matter how many people you have to feed, pizza can usually be customized to suit everyone. Best of all, most pizza places will deliver straight to your door, meaning you don’t have to miss a moment of your party or get-together.
However, ordering pizza for a group can be a challenge if you’ve only ever ordered for yourself before. How much pizza do you need for a group? What type of toppings should you choose to please everyone? And how do you save money on pizza for a group?
We’re here to help you answer these questions and others with our list of tips for ordering pizza for a group of people.
How to Calculate How Much Pizza to Buy for a Group
This can seem like an extremely intimidating question. After all, aren’t there all kinds of variables? You have to consider:
- How many people there are in your group
- How many of those people are kids
- How many of them will only eat one piece
- How many can be counted upon to eat slice after slice after slice
All of these are factors when you order pizza for a group. The good news is there’s actually some pretty simple math that can help you figure out the answer to this question with a fair amount of accuracy.
Simple Math to Calculate How Much Pizza to Purchase
Most medium pizzas are cut into eight slices unless otherwise requested. Therefore, each slice comprises 1/8 of the pizza. Since the average hungry person eats three slices of pizza, it follows that you must simply multiply the number of guests by 3/8. The resulting number will be the number of pizzas you need to order.
If this does not work out to be a whole number, remember to round up. And if you ever find yourself in doubt, the best thing to do is to round up. It’s always better to have too much instead of too little. After all, it will still taste just as good the next day.
Of course, the equation can be changed slightly as necessary. If your party consists entirely of children, they will likely not eat three slices of pizza apiece. The average child will eat two slices. And if your party consists entirely of teenage boys or others with large appetites, expect them to eat four slices each on average. Adjust the equation as needed to fit your party.
And if math has never been your strong suit and you just want to make sure the math is correct, enter your numbers into this widget to help you out.
Note that this equation is intended to work with medium pizzas cut into eight slices. If you’re ordering small pizzas, these typically consist of six slices, while large pizzas consist of 10 and extra large consist of 12.
What Are the Best Toppings to Order for a Group?
If there’s one thing it seems like no ever agrees on, it’s pizza toppings. There seems to be no escaping the raging debate about pineapple on pizza, and even toppings as simple as mushrooms or olives can be a point of contention. So how can you make sure to order some variety of pizza that will please everyone?
The first thing to do is learn whether or not any of your guests have dietary restrictions. For example, is anyone allergic to certain foods? Is anyone on a special diet, such as vegetarian or gluten free? If this is the case, order a special pizza or half a pizza for this individual and make sure it is set aside for them. This way, it won’t be accidentally eaten by some other hungry guest.
After that’s been decided, here are several strategies to try when it comes to choosing pizza toppings.
- Try taking a general poll. Ask your guests what they would like. Most guests will be polite and say something like, “Anything is fine with me.” However, one or two guests are sure to announce their dislike of one or two toppings, and this can be helpful.
- While polling your guests is one strategy, another strategy is to order before the guests even arrive. This way, you avoid any potential arguments that may arise over pizza toppings. If you choose this route, try sticking with cheese, pepperoni and veggie pizzas in a ratio of 2:1:1.
- Another general tip is to avoid any controversial toppings. Steer away from things like pineapple, olives or anchovies. Avoid these ingredients especially if you’re feeding a party of children, unless they’ve expressed a desire for these ingredients.
- The top 10 most popular pizza toppings in the United States and Canada include pepperoni, extra cheese, onions, sausage, mushrooms and bacon. Keep in mind, however, that most popular doesn’t always mean most group-friendly.
- When you’re trying to decide what toppings are the most group friendly, your best bet is to go with boring but inoffensive toppings. Yes, a plain cheese or pepperoni pizza may not sound exciting, but they are acceptable to most people. And yes, a bacon and pineapple pizza sounds like a lot of fun, but you may be left with three bacon and pineapple pizzas because no one wanted to eat them — which means many people will go hungry. When it comes to trying to please everyone, stick to the basics.
- Still, keep in mind that it is very easy for guests to pick off toppings they don’t like. So don’t sweat this detail too much.
How to Save Money on Pizza for a Large Group
If you’re hosting a pizza party, you should consider ways to decrease your costs. Most of us aren’t made of money, and we’re always looking for ways to save a few dollars. Here are a few of our favorite tips that can help you cut back on some of your pizza expenses.
Order the Largest Size of Pizza
This is simple math. The rate at which the size of a pizza increases is greater than the rate at which the price increases. In other words, one extra-large pizza will certainly cost more than one small pizza. But ordering enough small pizzas to feed thirty people will cost much more than ordering enough extra-large pizzas to feed thirty people. It’s almost always more cost-effective to choose the largest option available.
Shop Around for the Best Pizza Deals
Maybe you’re used to always going to the pizza shop just around the corner. It’s delicious, and it might be a bit pricey, but you usually buy only for yourself, so what does it matter?
However, it can get very expensive to suddenly order a whole stack of pizzas from this place. Instead, search the internet for pizza restaurants near you and look at their prices. Ask friends for their recommendations, making sure to clarify that you’re looking for affordable prices. If you ask your friends for recommendations, always take their advice with a grain of salt — their idea of affordable might be different than yours.
Look for Bargains
When it comes to shopping for options, this doesn’t just apply to the restaurants themselves. Search for the best deals as well:
- Browse pizza shop websites for specials and coupons.
- See if they offer group discounts or deals. Browse the internet for coupons.
You never know what you might find simply because you took the time to look for it. Who knows what might turn up if you poke around a little?
Ask Everyone to Chip In for the Cost of the Pizza
This is a matter of preference. It’s possible you’re hosting this party and you would never dream of asking for help in paying for the food. But in many situations, it’s entirely acceptable and even expected to ask for some help. Ask your guests to all chip in a few dollars or whatever they can afford. This allows everyone to share in the cost and prevents the burden of paying from falling directly on any one individual.
Opt for Pick-Up Instead of Delivery
Every pizzeria and pizza shop will have its own policy on this, so be sure to do your research before you commit to anything. In most cases, however, delivery costs extra. To cut costs a bit, drive to the pizza shop to pick up your food instead of having it delivered to you. If you do decide to have it delivered, don’t forget to calculate money for a tip into your final tally.
Compare Pricing Options to Catering
Some pizza restaurants offer catering options. While this option isn’t the right one for everyone, it can be the perfect solution for some parties. Some restaurants and pizza shops may offer special group deals or packages that make catering more attractive and affordable. You can also set out your parameters with the pizza caterer ahead of time, meaning you have less to worry about on the day of the party.
Other Tips for Ordering Pizza for a Group of People
A few more pizza ordering tips that don’t necessarily fall into any category we’ve discussed so far include:
- If you plan to order the pizza the day before the party and have it scheduled to be delivered at a certain time the next day, get an exact guest list. There will always be a few people who say they “might” come. See if you can get them to give you a straight answer. If there is any doubt, assume they will come. Order your pizza based on this guest list. Remember that it’s better to have too much than too little.
- Pay close attention to who you’re serving. Your guest list might include 50 people, but notice who these people are. How many are children who get distracted by the fun of the party and won’t sit still to eat? How many are vegans who won’t eat pizza? All of these things will affect how many pizzas you need to order.
- Figure things out ahead of time. If you’re going to ask your guests to chip in for the pizza, ask them beforehand. Don’t simply pass a hat around at the party, since few people are likely to have cash on them. Furthermore, people may be flustered to be put on the spot.
- If you’re getting your pizza delivered, it can be helpful to calculate the cost ahead of time. This allows you the time to add up how much a proper tip should be.
Let Giordano’s Cater Your Pizza Party
Looking for a pizza place to serve up the delicious, mouth-watering taste that will have your guests coming back for more slices? Try Giordano’s stuffed deep-dish Chicago-style pizza. We consistently top “best pizza” lists in and around the Chicago area and have been dazzling guests with our authentic taste for years.
We offer a wide variety of toppings that will provide something for all of your guests. Not only that, but we also offer a menu that extends beyond pizza and includes sandwiches, salads, pasta and other Italian dishes. We’re best known for our sit-down restaurant experience, but that’s not all we offer. We also provide pickup or delivery for your convenience, and we have a catering option as well.
If you’re in the Chicago area and looking to host a fabulous pizza party, we want to be a part of it. Learn more about our catering service and see if it might be right for your party. And if catering isn’t a part of your plan, don’t forget that our tasty pizzas are also available for delivery and make a great choice for keeping your guests happy and well-fed. Search for a Giordano’s location near you today.