Rebranding Your Pizza Sizes

SITUATION: We took over a 20 year old indie shop a little over a year ago that has a great reputation, but was recently poorly run because the owner lived out of state. Currently our reputation is very good, quality is great and operation is solid (we still need work on efficiency in the kitchen and delivery times when we get busy) but need to improve on volume (don’t we all?).

We currently offer a “large” 16" pizza with a 12" medium and 10" small. However, every competitor in town has a “large” at 14" and an XL at 16". Our pricing for a “large” is equal to my competitors but $1-$3 lower for a 16" pizza. We have a solid system and have grown a lot in our first year, I don’t want to start offering a 14" pizza, but I would like to rebrand our 16" “large” as an “XL” so when we get calls about our specials or offer deals on what we currently call a “large”, customers will be getting an honest comparison to our competitors pricing and specials.

Thoughts? Experiences? Opinions?

I’ve been thru this hoop a couple of times, with varying results…

We currently offer a 16" XL and brand it as an XL stating it is as 35% larger than the competitors large & saves you 20%…

Also, a 2nd size is a 12" medium, priced aggressively in our college market

So, you don’t think it would be easier to brand the 16" as an XL instead of saying it’s a large that is “35% bigger and 20% less”?

Also, how do you price your mediums? I’m in a college market but have almost no sales to that demo.

Wait…I confused myself. So, you’re saying your XL is 35% larger than your competitors “large” but you sell your XL for 20% less than their “large”?

Ouch…I still need to come see you on a vacation and learn what it’s like in a high volume shop like yours.

Well, our situation is quite unique - our rent structure allows me to be quite aggressive…plus we make our own dough, shred our cheese/sauce - we use Restaurant Depot & Sam’s for 99.9% of our goods…but Paul’s Five Star is the volume operation to visit…

Our cheese pie “lists” for $11.99 but can generally be had for $9.99…
24 oz. DB (All Trumps flour $14/50#), 12 oz. cheese blend (whole milk mozz & provolone, 50/50 @ $1.80#), Stanislaus tomato products ($23/cs)

We have similar issue with size labels. We do a 16" large, 14" medium and 12" small. The nationals in town call a 14" a large here as they do most places. We refer, on our menu and one the phone, to the sizes by the size in inches rather than small, medium and large. We call them 12, 14 and 16 as much as possible.

On another topic… I have been wondering about discontinuing the 14" size and doing only 12" and 16". I wonder two things:

  1. Will there be people that do not order at all as a result?
  2. Which size would the orders migrate too? If more went with 16 than with 12 we would end up ahead.

I am always a fan of simplicity. Not stocking a third size of boxes, screens and dough would be a plus!

This is interesting to me because I did something very radical a few months ago. I stopped putting diameters of my sizes on my advertising. I simple put how many people our Small, Medium and Large sizes would feed and pictures that had some references for the customer to have an “idea” of the size. So, we have pizzas for 1 person, for 2-3 people and for 3-4 people.

My Large volume increased by almost 20%, and no one has ever asked us on the phone what the diameters are.

To my bizarre way of thinking, it’s all about taste and how many people my customer wants to feed. Instead of them acting like size accountants, I want them thinking about toppings and side orders…

However, every market is different, and each of you have to do what you feel is best for your market.

Very smart idea, you have taken what I did a step further and I love it. I just got rid of my medium all together and call my large a 16" family size pizza and my small a 10" personal. I may want to eliminate my " reference all together in my next product roll out in January, excellent Pizza Garden, thanks for sharing.


I’m glad you didn’t scold me… :lol:

My wife thought that I’d lost my mind, but it turned out that our customers weren’t analyze the local pizza market as a hobby. They just wanted some hot, tasty pizza because they were hungry.

There’s a lesson in that somewhere.

I can understand how people get caught up in “doing it the same way that everyone has always done it.” But, sometimes it’s fun to trust your instincts and just do what you think is right. If you’re wrong, you’ll find out pretty quick.

I think you will find that your instincts will take over and they will be right most of the time, just ask here first lol. Thanks for sharing again Garden.


I am dropping my 18" Jumbo pizza from our new menu (due out next week - or slightly after) and sticking with our 15: Family, 13" large and 10" small. I don’t like the small because make time is about the same as a large for 36% less $ value. I would love to drop it but we sell heaps of them for personal orders. If we did drop it then people would have to go to the 13" large size - or heaven forbid stop ordering all together. The chains here only do one size large at either 11 1/2" or 12" so they might ick up those looking for a smaller size.

To answer bodegahwy I would drop the 12" and I think where yuo are and in your market they would go to the next size up.

Just my 2 cents , or 1.839 cents at the current exchange rate


I tend to think differently from most folks…so I’m told. However, why would you want to drop a smaller size instead of a larger one?

Years ago I used to really push the fact that I had a 17" xl pizza and the customers would buy one of those instead of 2 large or med. I quickly realized that I was hurting sales and profitablility.

I would get rid of the xl size and focus on pushing 2 pizzas, with a possible discount on the second one. Additionally, have several 2 pizzas specials with the med or lg being the chosen size.

Remember, in this day and time, it is all about the price point and perceived value.


I have our family size (16") and personal (10"), my 16" is 8.95, definitely lower than most, but I hardly ever sell plain cheese pizzas. They almost always opt for multiple toppings. Our personal pizza is 4.95 and I use exactly 1/3 the ingredients I use for my family size pizza. So it pays to sell my personals over my family size by a big margin and the are extremely popular.

Thanks to the Big 3 and their creative marketing, pizza sizes have become a pain.

We just use inches to describe their size and when people ask we tell them how many people they feed and which is the biggest, smallest or which is our middle size. Because personal, small, medium, large, XL Jumbo, Family etc don’t mean a thing when everyone has a different idea of what those names mean.

Do what works for you and don’t chase your competitors sizing, do what works for you, and stick to it! We haven’t changed a thing, size wise in 45 years and we don’t plan on any time soon.


We use all of the above… as in, on our menu:
X-Large Medium Personal
16" 12" 8"
serves 3-4 serves 2-3 serves 1

I use to have it as small-medium-large, but to many people thought the small was a 12" and on the other hand to many people thought the large was the 12" and the 16" was the XL… very confusing.
After getting menu’s from all my local shops, i see every has 16" as XL and 12" as Med, 14" as Large.

Thus I changed it to the “norm” and have not had any confusion :roll:

We offer 5 Pizzas
Personal 10 inches
Pizette 12 inches (the pizette is made on a flour tortilla in a deck oven. Its fantastic)
Pan Pizza 16 inches
Sicilian 16 inches
Traditional 16 inches

90% of our pizza eaters order the traditional. Our employees are trained to sell itover everything. Labeling the 10 inch pizza as a “small” hurt us when people got a small for two people and ended up with an appetizer.