Pizza Is A Better Workplace Motivator Than Money, Says World's Most Obvious Study

Photographed by Sara Haile.
Is there really anything on this planet better than pizza? The combo of melted cheese, customizable toppings, and variety of crust options is truly unbeatable. And for many of us — I'm looking at you, fellow millennial ladies — pizza is the key to our hearts. There's no denying its deliciousness, but did you know it's also a powerful motivational tool? If you're like me, then, yes. But now there's real evidence to prove what we've known all along.

A study presented in Dan Ariely's new book, Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations, revealed that pizza can unlock a person's full potential, First We Feast reported (probably feeling very vindicated in the process). The experiment presented in the book took place at a semiconductor factory in Israel. There, the workers were separated into four groups, and each group was promised a different reward for their work. The rewards included $30 bonuses, "well done" text messages from the boss, and, you guessed it, pizza. There was also a control group, which wasn't promised any sort of incentive. Must have been a bummer to be placed in that group.
So, you must know where this is going. At the end of the week, those who were promised they would receive the pizza reward performed 6.7% better overall than the control group. (That explains how I managed to perform so well in my third grade math-a-thon. The pizza party prize must have temporarily transformed me into a numerical genius.)

Even more surprising are the results from the $30 bonus group. On the second day of the study, these workers actually performed 13.2% worse than the control group. The employees who got the "attaboys" from their boss performed almost as well as the pizza peeps, at 6.6% better than the control.
The takeaway: If you're a boss, show your workers some love by treating them to a pizza party. It won't just improve morale, it will up their productivity, too.

More from Work & Money


R29 Original Series