I am a sucker for food dishes on steroids. In America, we have a thing for taking culinary favorites and blowing them up to sizes that could feed a small army. Except for those who practice portion control and self discipline, who doesn’t love seeing a 10 pound burrito, a 10 patty hamburger, or a 10 scoop ice cream sundae?
I enjoy outrageously sized food items.
I didn’t order this hot dog just for the heck of it. However, despite my fandom for big eats, I still look at value. Something that I recently saw on social media made me delve into deep thought.
My co-worker and friend Geoff Insch recently shared a video from a popular Facebook food page. The piece of content he shared showcased the largest deliverable pizza in the world, a 54″ by 54″ pie called “The Giant Sicilian.”
Now you must watch the video (click here) to really gain an appreciation for how mammoth this thing is. It takes multiple people to make it AND it takes multiple people to deliver it. The enormous size of the pizza was really put into perspective for me when I saw the box it is placed in.
Do you live in LA and want to order it? The Giant Sicilian can be cut into 200 medium-sized square slices and feed 50-70 people. The price tag? It starts at $249.99.
Before I criticize the product’s price based on volume of pizza, let me say this: I understand that Big Mama’s and Papa’s Pizzeria isn’t just selling 200 slices of pizza. Rather, the restaurant is selling a gimmick…oops…I mean experience.
When Geoff shared the video, he wrote “I know what I’m doing for my birthday party next year!” You see, this pizza isn’t just meant to fill stomachs. Rather, it is meant to draw laughs at family reunions, birthday celebrations, and overnighters. The surreal sight of seeing a giant pizza box taking up an entire room is memorable and outrageous, two things that can add character to any event. You could set up a hidden camera and make a video out of the reactions people will have when they walk in the room and see a pizza that has roughly 5,000 pieces (total guess on my part) of pepperoni on it. They will freak and it will be funny. I get it.
So make no mistake about it, the “wow factor” of the Giant Sicilian is part of what you are paying for.
How do I know?
Well, you can easily purchase a greater volume of pizza from any of the major mainstream pizza chains.
If I lived in Los Angeles and had to feed 50-70 people, I wouldn’t dial up Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizzeria. First off, I wouldn’t want the logistical nightmare of hungry humans circling around the giant box stabbing at square slices. Secondly, I would want to get the most value for my money.
So, depending on my mood, I would do one of the following…
1. I would buy 25 large $10 carryout pizzas from Pizza Hut. Not only would the total amount of slices be the exact same as the Great Sicilian (25 pizzas x 8 slices per pie = 200 slices) but the price ($250) would be identical as well. However, not only would the Pizza Hut individual slices be bigger than the Sicilian square slices, but the variety available would be much more diverse.
2. If I wanted to go under budget, I would dial up Papa John’s. The chain is famous for its $8 large 1-topping pizza with the promo code TXT8. I would buy 28 pizzas (26 pizzas x $8 = $208) and give the the hardworking delivery person a $15 tip and use the remaining $27 to buy soft drinks for everyone. The best part about this plan is that even with the tip and soft drinks, we would still have more pizza than if we opted for the Great Sicilian.
3. The final option would only occur if I was in a bad mood. I would go to Little Caesers and buy 40 of the $5 Hot-N-Ready pepperoni pizzas. Then, because of my despicable choice, I would take the $50 remaining and give it to charity to atone for my sin.
Again, I completely understand that the Great Sicilian is not 100% about the actual value. However, it is fun to every now and then explore what exactly we are paying for and what is most important to us as consumers. Don’t Blink.