Leveraging the power of Microsoft… for Pizza!

047d1d4aa748d2936b4956445b59cc06We received a tip yesterday about a very fun website, Centives.net,  run by a group of economics students at Lehigh University, who blog about interesting tidbits from around the web in their Daily Bulletins, and produce some fun and interesting content of their own in the form of what they term Editorials (not the usual rantings and ravings you get around here, don’t worry).

In their latest project, these students have focused their energies, and some Microsoft technologies, on a subject near and dear to most (if not all) college students anywhere.  Using the Office Excel Web App, they’ve created the “Pizza Topping Markup Calculator”, which, thanks to Office Web Apps, we can embed here:

Using some impressive analysis, the Centives team was able to deduce quite a bit about the cost of pizza:

While Dominos charges a flat rate for each topping, in reality there is wide variation among the various toppings and according to our calculations, there are certain toppings that are cheaper to purchase from Dominos rather than the grocery store, leading to a negative mark-up. For example, the amount of beef that you get on an XL Dominos pizza would cost you $4.47 at the local grocery store, but could cost you as little as $1.85 on your Dominos pizza.

In fact, if you take a look at the meat toppings then on average each meat topping would cost you $2.13 if you were to buy it yourself. In contrast on average cheese and vegetable toppings would cost you just $1.25 at the local grocery store. What this means is that Dominos makes more money if you add vegetarian toppings rather than non-vegetarian ones.

In their note to us, they mention that Centives used more than just the Excel Web App, too:

We thought you might be interested in the power of leveraging Microsoft’s Office, SkyDrive, Embedded Web Apps, and Windows Phone. We created this calculator that looks up the markup on a pizza using all of these technologies: http://www.centives.net/S/2012/pizza-topping-markup-calculator/

If you’re a college student and need to get the most pizza bang for the buck, or if you need a Monopoly Property Value Calculator or want to know how much it costs to go to Hogwarts, check out our new friends at Centives.net.  Good job, guys!