Remember those rectangular pizzas you ate in the school cafeteria? They probably didn’t taste as good as the ones you ate at home or at your favorite pizza parlor. But you gobbled them down just as easily, because they were pizza.
Those pizzas had to be angular because that was the shape of the largest section of your cafeteria tray. It was inventive, but not because the cafeteria cooks were being creative or having fun. In the cost-effective environment of a school, square or rectangular pizzas were actually a way to save money.
Serving rectangular pies allows you to manage your food costs more easily than circular pies, because all you have to do is multiply the length times the width in order to figure out your ingredient costs.
The math for a circular pie is a bit more difficult because you have to go through the machinations of calculating out the area of a circle – which you may remember from algebra class after your pizza lunch: area = 3.14 (pi) x radius squared.
The funny thing is that when you got a pizza delivered at home, the box was a rectangle too, but inside was a circular pizza pie. Even as a child or teenager, you might have asked yourself why the food inside the square box was round.
Today, we are seeing more rectangular pizzas, which are often marketed, as flatbread. Fire baked in wood-fire ovens, these are crispy hand-held alternatives to the traditional pizza pie.
A growing number of mom-and-pop pizza operations pioneered the flatbread on their menu. Due to this success, they have been copied by the super-chains like Pizza Hut, which do not even have a brick oven.
Rectangular pizzas add some newness to any menu. By calling them flatbreads, you automatically tap into a popular trend, creating buzz and allowing you to introduce a new promotional campaign around this menu item.
Or you can forget the whole flatbread pizza idea, and just mold a rectangular pizza in your own way. Little Caesar’s joined the fray by offering a deep-dish rectangular pizza to its menu mix. In keeping with their philosophy and cooking style, theirs is nothing like the trendy flatbread. The “DEEPDEEP Dish” Pizza they offer was the biggest product promotion in its 54-year history.
Additionally, you can add customization to the flatbread making it more unique than other pizzas on your menu. For instance, a family can customize each rectangular flatbread in its own way without having to buy one pizza, which is segmented. Our choice, of course, is pepperoni.
Rectangular pizzas are fun and different. They add something new to your menu, which provides another selling point and profit center.
In school, we didn’t want to be square. We wanted to be cool. Now it’s hip to be square.