When it comes to diet, my co-workers have a very different view of me than those who know me on the weekends. My fiance loves telling people about how I can eat as much as him. And it’s true. I have absolutely no problem setting aside my protein shakes and eating something insanely bad for me… come Friday night.
Sunday through Thursday I devote myself to eating right, working out, and staying hydrated. I put my healthy lifestyle at the top of the list. But come four o’clock on Friday, hand me a Bloody Mary and a slice of Dominos. I’ve said it before, I would love to give up dairy forever, but I am just not ready to give up pizza. My favorite cheat is pizza, and what makes it so good?
I don’t even have to leave my apartment to eat it.
According to an upcoming paper in the Journal Management Science, people tend to consume more calories and spend more money when ordering food online because they don’t have to deal with the embarrassment associated with ordering in person. Go figure, right?
Pizza ordering apps like TinyOwl and GrubHub allow a person to be true to their excessive desires — like ordering a macaroni/meatball/barbecue-chicken/extra,extra cheese… and maybe a few mushrooms for veggies? According to the study, a majority of the time the recipes become complicated and intricate, thus leading to the high calories usually associated with pizza.
Ryan McDevitt, an economics professor at Duke’s Fuqua Graduate School of Business came up with the idea for the study when he was talking to his buddy who owns a pizza chain. His friend commented that customers were requesting over-the-top pies online, at least twice a day, via the online ordering system.
From 2007-2011 McDevitt and fellow researchers analyzed data for roughly 160,000 orders, from 56,000 households (the East coast chain requested to remain anonymous to protect the privacy of the customers). McDevitt found that orders made online versus over the phone had 14 percent more special instructions, including toppings, and 3.5 percent more calories than phone orders.
The researchers established additional reasons why people would order more online, like the app or website making it easier to choose more items. They also considered the possibility of people being concerned their orders would become messed up if done over the phone. However, researchers felt that was not the driving factor for this particular chain, as the ordering system on the phone and online is almost identical.
Whatever the reasons maybe this particular research study bodes well for restaurants looking for a way to cut costs and increase sales — online ordering saves on labor.
As for my occasional indulgence of Domino’s cheese pizza, I will continue to enjoy my cheat meal without over-thinking why I choose to order online versus in person. Maybe I am just a classic introvert.