How Many Pizzas for 20 People

How Many Pizzas for 20 People: The Ultimate Guide

Hosting a gathering for 20 people is a common scenario that many of us encounter, whether it’s for parties, game nights, or other events. Ordering pizza to accommodate the crowd is a popular choice due to its convenience and crowd-pleasing nature. After all, who doesn’t love a slice (or two, or three) of delicious, hot, and cheesy pizza?

Understanding Pizza Sizes and Servings

Before diving into the nitty-gritty of pizza quantity calculations, it’s essential to understand the industry standard for pizza sizes and servings. Typically, a large pizza measures 16 inches in diameter and is sliced into eight equal portions. However, different pizza chains have varying estimations of how many people a large pie can feed.

For instance, Hungry Howie’s suggests that a large pizza can feed six people, while Domino’s estimates three to five servings per large pizza. This variation in serving estimations can make it challenging to determine the exact number of pizzas needed for a group of 20.

The Challenge of Determining Quantity

Unfortunately, there is no universal pizza calculator that can provide a one-size-fits-all solution. The reason for this is simple: everyone’s appetite and preferences are different. Some guests may eat more slices than others, while some may prefer different toppings or crust styles. This variation in tastes and hunger levels makes it challenging to predict the exact quantity needed to satisfy everyone.

The ⅜ Rule

While there is no perfect formula, many pizza enthusiasts swear by the “⅜ Rule.” This rule suggests anticipating three slices of pizza per person and eight slices per pie. To calculate the number of pizzas needed for a crowd of 20 people, simply multiply the crowd size by ⅜.

For example, 20 people x ⅜ = 7.5, which means you would need approximately eight large pizzas to feed your 20 guests comfortably.

Considerations and Caveats

However, the ⅜ Rule is not a one-size-fits-all solution. There are several factors that can influence the number of pizzas needed for 20 people:

  1. Appetite levels of guests: If you know that your group consists of particularly hearty eaters, you may want to adjust the serving size upwards. On the other hand, if most of your guests have smaller appetites, you could potentially order fewer pizzas.
  2. Age of attendees: If your gathering includes a significant number of children, you may need to account for their typically smaller appetites. Conversely, if the majority of your guests are adults, you may need to increase your pizza order to accommodate larger portions.
  3. Accompaniments: Are you planning on serving sides or drinks along with the pizza? If so, you may be able to scale back the number of pizzas needed, as guests will likely consume fewer slices when there are additional food and beverage options available.

Additional Factors to Keep in Mind

Beyond the basic considerations mentioned above, there are a few other factors that can impact the number of pizzas required for your 20-person gathering:

  1. Toppings and crust: The type of toppings and crust can influence how filling a pizza is. For instance, a pizza loaded with hearty toppings like sausage and pepperoni may be more filling than a veggie-topped pie. Similarly, a thick, stuffed-crust pizza may be more satisfying than a thin-crust option.
  2. Food waste vs. leftovers: As a host, you’ll need to strike a balance between avoiding excessive food waste and ensuring that you have enough leftovers for your guests to enjoy. While no one wants to see perfectly good pizza go to waste, having a few extra slices can be a welcome treat for those who want to take some home or enjoy a late-night snack.


As you can see, determining how many pizzas to order for 20 people is not an exact science. It requires careful consideration of various factors, including the appetites of your guests, the age range of attendees, and the types of toppings and crusts you plan to offer.

While the ⅜ Rule can serve as a helpful starting point, it’s essential to adjust your order based on the specific circumstances of your gathering. If you’re erring on the side of caution, it’s generally better to over-order than to risk running out of food. After all, there’s nothing worse than leaving your guests hungry and disappointed.

By taking the time to plan and consider all the variables, you can ensure that your 20-person gathering is a delicious success, with enough pizza to go around and maybe even a few slices left over for a tasty midnight snack.

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