Are Pizza Buffets Really A Good Deal?

There are many benefits to opting for a pizza buffet when looking over dinner options. For one, buffets tend to appease the pickiest of eaters, so children who want plain cheese are satisfied as well as adults who may want a supreme or veggie pie. Buffets also ensure that you get a taste of everything without ordering add-ons such as cheese bread, wings, and salad. Another key benefit? You don't have to whip up a homemade pizza. Though, if you prefer, you can refer to our homemade pizza recipes.

Pizza buffets are seemingly everywhere today, but it wasn't that long ago that they were nonexistent. According to Pizza Today, CiCi's Pizza opened its first store in the 1980s. "It was not something that was normally done," says CiCi's President Craig Moore.

There are a few things that without a doubt have crossed your mind when indulging at a pizza buffet. One thought is probably about which slice you'll choose next, but if you're business-minded or curious you might think, "How does this place make any money?," or "Am I really getting the best deal here?" Some of you may start calculating in your head how many slices you should eat to cheat the system. You're not alone in those thoughts.

The business model breakdown

The Takeout reports that Street Pizza, Gordon Ramsay's all-you-can-eat pizza joint that's coming to the Washington, D.C. area this year. The eatery boasts four locations in London and charges approximately $20 per person. In an interview conducted by Washingtonian, Ramsay says, "We never count the slices in London. Most of the time guests are having a great time with friends and family and honestly forget how many they've consumed. But sometimes after a really long run or bike I can do four."

So, is Ramsay's restaurant turning a significant profit this way? The owner of Paulie Gee's Logan Square, Derrick Tung told The Takeout, "Pizzerias' cost of goods, from the food perspective, is around 20-25%," he continues, "I think you'll always have some heavy hitters come in and [the pizzeria will] not make a ton of money on it, but realistically, if [Ramsay] is charging $20, it's going to take about 3.5 to 4 pizzas' worth."

A video on Business Insider serves as a reminder that typical buffets still charge for beverages, and by getting a customer's foot in the door, they're more likely to come back in the future. These types of businesses are typically crowded, meaning there's no trouble staying afloat. Next time you're at a CiCi's Pizza and you think you're going to get your money's worth, keep in mind that you may have to eat a lot of food.