Expert reveals ‘pizza equation’—how many pizzas to get based on guests you have

@mrs.allen.81/TikTok JOKE_PHATRAPONG/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘Round up to the next pizza’: Expert reveals ‘pizza equation’—how many pizzas to get based on guests you have

'Is this why there was never enough pizza?'


Jack Alban


Posted on Feb 17, 2024   Updated on Feb 17, 2024, 10:47 am CST

It’s a gastronomical quandary that has been addressed even outside of professional kitchens or reality TV cooking shows: how much food does one make for a group of people? Judging the correct amount can be difficult—on the one hand, you don’t want to make so much that you end up wasting food, but you also want to make sure that folks can grab seconds and thirds if they’d like.

Thankfully, a middle school band director named Mrs. Allen (@mrs.allen.81) posted a viral TikTok sharing what she calls a foolproof solution to get the right amount of food for a group of people.

Well, at least when it comes to ordering pizza pies. It’s a simple algorithm she deems the “pizza equation”—and Allen says it has never once failed her. There are some variables folks should consider with the implementation of this equation, however.

@mrs.allen.81 Pizza equation never fails! Have you ever had too much or too little pizza? #band #banddirectorsoftiktok #middleschoolband #banddirector #pizza #middleschoolboys ♬ Che La Luna – Louis Prima

To sum up the “pizza equation,” you take the number of people you’re going to have at your function and you divide that number by three. The number you’re left with is the number of pizzas you’re going to get.

Now you’re probably wondering to yourself, “Well what if it doesn’t evenly divide among three? What’s a person to do then?” When it comes to portioning out food for functions, it’s almost always better to err on the side of caution and get more than less, she says. So just order an extra pie on top of that. So if you’ve got 40 people, don’t cap it at 13 pies: get 14 large ones, or 13 large and a small to account for that one extra person on top of the pizza equation.

Allen says, “So say you have 30 people that you’re going to feed pizzas to, so we take 30, we divide that by three, and we get 10. So you need to order 10 pizzas.”

Allen does say, however, that the demographics of the folks you’re providing food to must also be considered. She explains how middle school boys are known for particularly voracious appetites, so she amends the pizza equation a bit by tossing an additional pie on there.

“But if you’ve got pretty even middle school boys and girls or just adults and kids this pizza equation works every single time,” she claims. “I highly recommend it ’cause it’s never done me wrong.”

She isn’t the only person to propose a pizza equation on the internet, however. Take & Bake Pizza proposed portioning out three slices per guest, so your equation would look something like 3(X)/8 = Pizza Amount. (Hungry Howie’s also echoes the 3 slices per guest rule as well.)

So if you’ve got 20 people at a party, that would be 60 slices, divided by 8 that gives us 7.5 pizza pies. So round that bad boy up to 8 and you’ll have a few extra slices to either put in your fridge or for those folks who are particularly hungry.

TikTokers who responded to Mrs. Allen’s video seemed to think that more schools should adhere to this algorithm.

“Nah schools be like ’25 students? 2 pizzas'” they quipped.

Another person said they’ve found themselves ordering way too much to ensure that everyone at their function could have as much pizza as their heart desires.

“Me: 30 people? Better order 33 pizzas to be safe,” they said.

It seems like other users also adopted this pizza-ordering strategy, with one sharing, “Had a hs baseball coach order 1 pizza per kid and handed it to them as they came through the door. freaking genius.”

Whereas someone else had their own formula that was a tad more generous.

“30 kids 15 pizzas,” they wrote. “Everyone gets 1/2 pizza in theory that way all get enough and probably a few pieces to share with other teacher.”

And then another said their own pizza equation has never failed them either.

“Our work is divide by 2, subtract 1 pizza,” they said. “Works perfect every time.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Mrs. Allen via TikTok comment for further information.

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*First Published: Feb 17, 2024, 1:00 pm CST