Which of America's biggest pizza chains has the best value? A deep dive

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2021/01/14/which-of-americas-biggest-pizza-chains-has-the-best-value-a-deep-dive.html

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The answer is NONE. You should never get pizza from a chain if you have a local pizza maker to choose from.

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If you’re going to go as far as getting a cheese pizza and then adding toppings then why not get a frozen pizza in the first place? I used to do this myself, i’d get a basic DiGiorno or another decent frozen pizza brand and i would add my own toppings before baking. The end result was always a pretty good pizza :smiley:

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Depends on where you live but my experience has been that local places have pretty expensive pizza, if someone (or a family) doesn’t have the means they’ll spring for a pizza chain most of the time because of the cheaper value.

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I get that, but if money is the issue you can get a decent 16" bake at home pizza at Aldi for $5.

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Yeah, i did as much myself as i posted above. It’s a pretty low effort hack with great results, doesn’t take a lot to improve frozen pizza.

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his jagbag has one of the worst cases of YouTube voice

But it’s not as bad as Serious Network News Anchor voice, at least to me. They make every segment sound like the apocalypse is here.

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12 seconds.

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yes! some fresh peppers, mushrooms –– do it all the time, prefer it to chain pizza

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I get people dislike chains, but, just in case you ever need to get pizza from Dominos.

I think this is nationwide, but I am not 100% sure. Here, anyway, there’s an online coupon for a large, three-topping, non-delivery pizza for $7.99 at Dominos. You can get as many as you want, you just have to order it online, choose the coupon, and pick it up.

This is awesome for buying pizzas for your work crew, etc. I get three pizzas for ~$26, grab them on the way to work (cubside pickup), and save more money on the deal that I spend. I think last time it said I saved $27 on the receipt.

Not a commercial, I don’t work for Dominos, but a lot of people just order delivery and end up paying twice as much, figured if was not inconvenient to drive and get it yourself, you could save a lot of money.

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Easy home made made pizza is a weekly item here. Trader Joe’s pizza dough has a great flavor, easy to work with even when cold. Bases might be homemade olive tapenade, artichoke pesto, eggplant-tomato, anything really. Smoked mozzarella, toppings.

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I worked at Little Caesars as a yout. The sauce was not bad at the time and the cheese was actually quite good.

What surprised me most was the meat toppings. The sausage and ground beef nuggets both came out of big plastic bags that were stored in the walk-in. Now, I’d have bet you dollars to doughnuts that if one of those items were greasy it’d be the sausage, but it was the opposite. It was unpleasant to reload the ground beef on the toppings station. You ended up with an oil slick all over your hands.
Same thing was true with the ham and the Canadian bacon. The ham was fine while the Canadian bacon covered in oily fluid. To this day, I never get ground beef or Canadian bacon on a pizza.

Big ups to the people who are recommending you buy from a local shop or make your own.

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Dough is easy enough to make from scratch, too (if you have a stand mixer - this would be a lot less easy by hand).

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We’ll make a corn meal dough by hand on occasion, but my standard quick dough just can’t compete on yeasty flavor.

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Great homemade pizza is really easy to make!

All you need is a stand mixer, a pizza oven, a pizza peel, and all the ingredients!

Oh, and two hours to make the dough, to let it proof, and all that.

And a large enough work space to work the dough into shape. And the ability to do so.

And all the toppings and such.

Yeah, I can’t imagine why anyone would ever just flip $5 or $10 to a chain pizzeria to get a pizza when they could just spend two or three hours making pizza and cleaning up afterwards…

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I take your point, but…

Most people have an oven. You don’t need a peel. You need a workspace the size of a pizza.
Some equipment definitely helps, and you do need ingredients.

Making spaghetti is very cost ineffective too if you factor in the costs of the stove, pot, water hook up, etc.
I think more relevant is that sometimes you are just too damn tired and pizza is easy and predictable.

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Some people prefer to put in the work because they can verify the quality/safety of the ingredients. Maybe you don’t have food allergies or sensitivities, other people do.

The ancient stand mixer is the only fancy equipment we have.

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Bingo. Where I am Little Ceasars wants $7 for a smallish pepperoni pizza. No discounts. The large Dominos three topping for a buck more is just so obviously a better deal all around.

Living in San Francisco I never ate Dominos since there were always better options. But moving to a smaller town I tried Dominos and realized they reformulated the recipe since my college days. It’s actually quite edible now, significantly better than Costco pizza.

Little Caesars on the other hand remains horrible. I was with an organization that ordered it regularly and can say it is consistently inedible. It reminds me of the cardboard “pizza” that my high school cafeteria sold back when ketchup was their healthiest vegetable.

So yes Dominos for the value win. Carrying out for $8 you get more than any frozen pizza at that price. But even better is frozen Home Run Inn pizza, when Sprouts has them at half price.