If you’ve ever ordered takeout or delivery from a pizzeria (who hasn’t?), then you know the pizza comes in a square box. That box shape is iconic. But wait… if pizza is round, why’s the box square? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have a round box for round pizza? The answer is no. Not so much.
Square boxes are efficient.
The first reason for this strange mismatch is efficiency. Square boxes can be assembled easily and quickly, whereas assembling a round pizza box is rather difficult. A round box requires specialized pieces and even a machine to assemble, which isn’t particularly efficient if the goal is to have boxes prepared as the pizzas become ready.
Square boxes store nicely. Round boxes take longer to assemble.
The second reason is storage. Square pizza boxes stack uniformly once assembled and don’t leave empty space in between stacks. Picture a round box with numerous edges and folds – if round boxes are stored flat, they’ll take longer to assemble, which then cuts into the restaurant’s ability to prepare pizza orders quickly.
Space, the final pizza frontier.
Third on the list is the space inside the box. The most efficient round box would satisfyingly fit the shape of the pizza, but you might have a hard time getting your hand in there to grab a slice between the box edges and crust. Pizza restaurants can use the corner spaces in square boxes for extra toppings or sauces. If a round box is made that’s bigger than the pizza, thereby making it easier to grab a slice, extra material is required. This leads to the fourth point: cost.
Square boxes use one sheet of cardboard.
Material can be expensive when it comes to quantities that a pizza restaurant needs. It’s more cost-effective to use square boxes that only require one sheet of cardboard than to use round pizza boxes that require several pieces and more material. Who doesn’t want to save money?
Next time you order your pizza and it comes in a square box, remember this Slice article and impress your friends with the logistics of pizza boxes!