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Pizza Calculator App May Be Game Changer

June 27, 2014

There are plenty of scenarios in the modern world that require seriously advanced math skills, intricate calculations, and complicated formulas—balancing the federal budget, building a skyscraper, or planning an orbital spaceflight, for example. But none of these situations compares with life’s ultimate numeric challenge: figuring out how many pizzas to order for a group.

Requesting too much or too little, getting the wrong size pizza, and spending too much money are all land mines waiting to blow up… and destroy the poor soul who volunteered to call in the order. But at long last, this problem may be solved: There’s now an app for that.

Enter Pizza Counter, a free iPhone app that allows people to figure out just how many pies to order in a matter of seconds. Invented by New Jersey native Rick Mendes (who owns a Web design firm where he’s often charged with ordering a pile of pizza for his employees working late nights), the app asks users to enter the number of eaters, the group’s collective hunger level (bird-like, human, or dinosaur-level) and the largest-size pie available at the pizzeria you’re ordering from (it also recommends local shops based on GPS). 

All stills credit: Pizza Counter

Then it runs its secret formula and spits out the magic number.

Does it work? Well, the next time you and two, 10, or 20 friends need to order enough pizza to make it through an “Orange is the New Black" binge-watching session, give it a try and find out. In the meantime, here are four randomly chosen scenarios and the number of pies Pizza Counter advises, to give you an idea of its level of pizza-ordering intelligence.

Situation: You and a team of colleagues are about to close that big deal at 2 a.m. and need food. Now.

Number of eaters: 9

Hunger Level: Human

City: New York

Local Pizzeria: John’s of Bleecker Street

Largest Pie Offered:  16”

Pizza Counter Says:  Four 16” pies 

Situation: Your brother-in-law’s entire adult recreational soccer team (including alternates, the water boy, and a few stragglers) have popped in to watch the World Cup game. They’re hot, sweaty, hungry, and happy you have AC.

Number of eaters: 17

Hunger Level: Dinosaur

City: Miami

Local Pizzeria: Pieducks

Largest Pie Offered: 16”

Pizza Counter Says: Nine 16” Pies

Situation: You and a few other aspiring actresses are rehearsing lines for an upcoming audition for a bit part on “Scandal.”

Number of eaters: 4

Hunger Level: Bird

City: Los Angeles

Local Pizzeria: Pizzeria Mozza

Largest Pie Offered: 10”

Pizza Counter says: Four 10” Pies

Situation: You’re hosting a birthday party for your 8-year-old son and every single kid has RSVP’d yes, each with an accompanying parent. It’s raining so you’ll have to leave the bouncy house and turn this into an indoor pizza party.

Number of eaters: 46

Hunger Level: Human

City: Seattle

Local Pizzeria: Flying Squirrel Pizza

Largest Pie Offered: 15” (that size isn’t an option on the app, so you enter 16” and leave it up to the pizza gods)

Pizza Counter says: Seventeen 16” Pizzas

Not bad, pizza counter, not bad. And here’s hoping you and your bank account never have to host 46 parents and their children for pizza. What do you think? Is the app out of whack, or right on? Let us know in the comments.