Pizza is piping hot, hearty, and capable of bringing people together with one bite of crispy, cheesy goodness. No matter how you slice it, pizza is a top pick to serve for any occasion. When it’s pizza night, you don’t want to come up shorthanded with your pies. We’ve put together the following guide to help you figure out how many pizzas you should order to satisfy the appetites of your family and friends.

Start With the Basics

Image via Unsplash by pinarimsi

Before you get into the details, you need to think about a few basics:

  • How many people will you be serving?
  • How many adults and children will be eating pizza?
  • Will pizza be the only item you’re serving, or will you have other food to eat?
  • Do you want to send a few slices home with guests or have enough for leftovers for yourself?

Once you have the answers to these questions, you can start digging into the delicious details as you calculate how many pizzas to order.

Figure Out the Slices Per Size

The size of the pizza you order will determine how many slices you can expect each pie to serve:

  • Small pizzas average between 8 and 10 inches in diameter and will yield about six slices.
  • Medium pizzas run 12 inches in diameter and will give you about eight slices.
  • Large pizzas are 14 inches in diameter and will offer approximately 10 slices.
  • Extra-large pizzas come in between 16 and 18 inches in diameter and will provide at least 12 slices.

Before placing your order, call and confirm the number of slices per size for your pizzas.

Don’t Underestimate Appetites

If Uncle Joe can knock out half of a medium pizza and still be hungry, then you know that a single pie alone won’t cut it for your get-together. While it can be tricky to estimate how many slices people will eat, you don’t want to underestimate anyone’s appetite, either.

Three slices per adult and two slices per child offer a good base to start from when you’re estimating how many pizzas to order. If you know in advance that you have guests with major pizza appetites, allow for one or two more slices per person, just to be safe. If your pizzas will be on the smaller size or have a very thin crust, account for an extra slice per person.

Here’s another way to think about how many pizzas you’ll need using a medium pizza size (eight slices) as an example:

  1. Multiply the number of guests you’ll be serving by three slices per adult or two slices per child.
  2. Divide this number by the number of slices you can expect to get from the pizza size you desire.

Using this formula, if you’re serving five adults who will eat three slices of pizza per person, you would need to order two medium pizzas.

Consider the Occasion

It’s important to think about the time of day and the meal itself. If you’re planning a pizza-only lunch for two to four people, one large pizza should be plenty. However, if you’re creating a Sunday sports day feast with chips, dips, wings, and other finger foods to feed eight people, then you may want to think about ordering two, three, or four pizzas to round out your spread, especially if the event will last a long time.

Children’s parties and pizzas go hand in hand. Medium pizzas work well for this type of gathering. When placing your order, ask for your medium pizzas to be cut into 10 slices instead of the traditional eight slices per pizza. While you’re primarily serving children, parents may want a slice or two when they’re picking up and dropping off their kids.

Top Off Your Planning With Toppings

No one wants an argument over pizza toppings. Nevertheless, pizza toppings remain a source of debate among pizza purists. A 2019 YouGov survey pinned down pepperoni as a favorite pizza topping among 52% of Americans, while 34% put sausage in their top three topping choices, and 31% favored mushrooms. Both bacon and plain cheese only came in as top-three picks among 20% of pizza consumers surveyed.

To avoid pizza wars in your household, get everyone to give you their topping preferences before you place your order. If plain cheese, pepperoni, sausage, and peppers are what you have to work with for feeding three people, then one pizza should give you plenty of real estate. For example, you could divide one large pizza into one-third plain cheese, one-third pepperoni, and one-third sausage and peppers.

Don’t forget the folks who love plain cheese pizzas. If you’re ordering multiple pizzas for your group, reserve about one-third or one-half of them as plain cheese.

Keep in mind the following points about pizza toppings:

  • Specialty pizzas featuring a combination or variety of toppings are best when you know what toppings your guests prefer. If you’re in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask. Otherwise, you may end up with a lot of leftovers.
  • Adding extra toppings, such as more than two toppings per pizza, will make your pizza slightly thicker than a single topping alone. When paired with specialty or thicker crusts, extra toppings on your pizza will give each slice more heft than a thin-crust pizza with a single topping.

Know How to Place Your Order for a Group

Family gatherings and parties with a dozen or more people call for some special considerations:

  • Go with the largest size pizza possible: While an extra-large pizza will be more expensive than a medium pizza, the cost per slice is actually less than pizzas of a smaller size. As a result, the price of your order will be less overall.
  • Round up for planned leftovers: Consider how many guests may ask for a slice or two to take home with them. After all, pizza still tastes great when you eat it the next day — even for breakfast. When placing your order, round up and order an extra pie.

One final word: Crafting the perfect pizza for your guests takes time. By ordering in advance of your party, you give your favorite pizza guys and gals the time they need to prepare your pizzas just the way you want them.

Still not sure how many pizzas you should get? Easy, order from Pequod’s Pizza the next time you’re having a gathering in the Chicago or Morton Grove area, and we’ll help you figure out exactly what you need!