Pizza Party: How Much to Order

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Tis the season: Pizza Party season.  Whether you are having friends over to watch the NFL playoffs or an awards ceremony, there will be pizza!  Your team might not win the big game and your favorite actor may be snubbed yet again, but having the right amount of pizza delivered will ensure the most important thing of all: the success of your Pizza Party.

I celebrate “National Pizza Month” (which occurs every October) by eating at least a slice a day with at least one guest in my annual “Quest for the 31 Days of Pizza.”  As you can imagine, pretty much every day is a pizza party and, more often than not, the task of what my guest(s) and I should order falls on me.  So, with over a decade of pizza parties under my [ever-expanding] belt, here are a few guidelines to help you hone your skills in the art of pizza-ordering:

1.  Get a Headcount Ahead of Time: Having a rough estimate of the number of mouths to feed will enable you to schedule a “future order” with your local pizzeria, allowing a piping hot pizza to be delivered to your door at the perfect time.

2.  Respect Dietary Restrictions:  When you’re getting your headcount, don’t forget to check with your guests about topping preferences or any dietary restrictions that they might have so you can guarantee that everyone has enough that they can eat.

3.  Choose Your Style:  There are a number of pizza styles out there so you could mix and match, but I recommend sticking with one pizzeria per pizza party.  The most common styles  are franchise favorites, New York style (aka “the street slice”), coal-fired Neapolitan, traditional Neapolitan, and Sicilian.

4.  Order accordingly: Err on the side of over-ordering since there’s nothing wrong with going back for seconds and thirds.  Please note that the numbers below assume no other side dishes, appetizers, or snacks are provided.  And don’t forget to ensure that at least half of your order adheres to the dietary restrictions of your guests!

  • Franchise Favorites: Papa John’s, Domino’s, etc.
    ORDER: 2 large pizzas for every 5 people
    TOPPINGS: the more the merrier – it’s all about the toppings

  • Coal-fired Neapolitan: Patsy’s, Harry’s Italian
    ORDER: 1 large pizza for every 2 people
    TOPPINGS: Keep it simple – no more than two toppings! (with no more than one meat topping to ensure the pies cook evenly)

  • New York Style: NY Pizza Suprema, Artichoke, Famiglia
    ORDER: 1 large pizza for every 3 people
    TOPPINGS: Two toppings max.

  • Traditional Neapolitan: Don Antonio, Numero 28, Forcella
    ORDER: 1 pizza for every person since they are personal sized
    TOPPINGS: Stick with the signature pies listed on the menu – over-order if you want to be experimental.  I suggest ordering a number of different pies and trying a slice of each

  • Sicilian: NY Pizza Suprema, Rizzo’s, Artichoke
    ORDER: Check for thickness
    – A 10 slice pie of Rizzo’s signature extra thin square pie will feed just over 2 people
    – The slightly thicker grandma pie at Artichoke will serve 3 people
    – A full size upside down pie at NY Pizza Suprema will serve at least 4 people
    TOPPINGS: Simpler is better – no more than one topping

5.  Invite me.

Find out who’s delivering pizza in your neighborhood at

large_seantaylorSean Taylor has been blogging about pizza since he began his annual Quest for the 31 Days of Pizza in 2002.  He also teaches and performs improv comedy at the Magnet Theater. You can follow him on Twitter @seantaylor or visit him at



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