Why are pizza boxes square if pizza is round? I don’t know, why does anything come in a square box? When have you ever ordered something that arrived in a container that was shaped perfectly to its contents? It just doesn’t happen. If I order sushi, it doesn’t come in a freaking tube.
Despite the complete idiocy of this prompt, there are still people out there on the quest for a round pizza box. You know, people who love gimmicks. The thing is, it just won’t catch on.
For starters, a square pizza box is actually better for transporting the pizza safely. It confines the pizza, but not entirely. Why, exactly, the pizza is round in the first place, is an entirely different question, but it’s mostly the result of how the dough is shaped when it’s spun. Pizza dough does not, in fact, need to be tossed way up in the air, but it does require some spinning in order to stretch. A li’l tossing is also thought to be good for activating gluten, yielding a better tasing crust. Mostly, though, it’s just some physics stuff. I cried weekly in my physics class freshman year of high school, so I’m probably not the right person to explain the actual mechanics of that.
Now, a pizza box is also square because it’s just way easier and cheaper to produce. Please, go find a big slab of cardboard and attempt to round it into a circle. You can’t. So there’s that. Surely, a robot could probably figure it out with some fresh cardboard, but that would cost money. I’m not sure if you’re aware, but pizza parlors don’t exactly have the highest profit margins. A single slice of pizza costs about 50 cents to produce, before labor. Factoring in the inflating cost of rent and rising livable wage, the remaining cash left over from your pizza order isn’t much.
With square pizza boxes doing the job just fine, why even desire a round box? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
As it turns out, round pizza boxes have indeed been developed before. In 2010, Apple filed a patent for a round pizza box with ventilation holes. Yet, we’ve heard nothing of it, probably because nobody actually wants it. In 2018, a compostable, tree-free round pizza box was developed by an eco-friendly food container company. While certainly a noble effort to reduce packaging and waste, they’re currently sold for $1.37 each in a pack of 100. Traditional square pizza boxes, meanwhile, cost around 50 cents apiece. Considering most cardboard manufacturing is already used to develop square boxes for other purposes, the infrastructure in place allows for square pizza boxes to be created affordably.
So, since most people aren’t complaining about the shape of their boxes, there’s no incentive for traditional pizza joints to up their costs by utilizing compostable round pizza boxes that would cost them nearly a dollar more each. Basically, if you’re demanding a round box, you’re demanding that pizza cost more.
Honestly, how dare you?