Centives decided to take a look at the mark-up on the toppings for a pizza. This isn’t an easy thing to do since it’s not clear how much of a topping is actually on a pizza. However pizza joints such as Dominos do publish nutritional information for their pizzas. Using the amount of calories in a topping Centives estimated how much of that topping was on the pizza. We then figured out how much it would cost you to buy the same topping and just put it on top of a basic cheese Pizza yourself.

Dominos only provides calorie information for small and extra-large pizzas. The calculator below works for XL pizzas. Just enter the type of sauce you’re planning to get on your pizza and the toppings you want. The calculator will provide an estimate of how much the pizza is likely to cost at Dominos (price estimates were taken from a Dominos store in Bethlehem, PA), how much it would cost for you to order a basic cheese pizza and add the toppings yourself instead, and the percentage of the mark-up on the toppings.

Dominos charges a flat rate for each additional topping regardless of what the topping is. On a standard XL Robust Inspired Tomato Sauce Pizza the first topping costs $5.74. The second topping costs $2.05, the third topping costs $1.85, and subsequent toppings cost $1.95 each thereafter. In contrast, according to our calculations, if you were to purchase the toppings yourself, then on average, each one would cost you $1.61.

That comes out to an average mark-up of ~260% for the first topping, 27% for the second topping, 15% for the third topping and 21% for all subsequent toppings.

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.

A few caveats are in order. First, the methodology that Centives used to calculate the amount of toppings that Dominos puts on a pizza is rough and inexact. The values given should be taken as a rough estimate rather than a precise value. Second, in calculating how much it would cost you to purchase the toppings yourself we used prices that we found on Amazon. These prices are likely to change over time and may not be available to everybody. Moreover the toppings might not be comparable in quality. Finally, while you might find that it’d be cheaper to order a pizza and add the toppings yourself, ask yourself – is it really worth it? The trouble of cutting up the ingredients and the flavour lost by reheating the pizza may well be worth the mark-up. Centives, for one, decided to order a Dominos pizza with all the works as a reward for finishing this article.

You might like some of our other editorials including a property value calculator for the board game Monopoly, a look at how many Zombies it would take to overthrow various armies including Napoleon and the Nazis, or just read about how much it would cost to go to Hogwarts. You might also want to take a look at our Greatest Hits. Follow us on twitter and stay up to date on the latest from Centives.

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