A new report from marketing agency TOP Data reveals that America’s most popular post-pandemic pizzeria is... Little Caesars. Now, before everyone gets their panties all in a bunch about this, you should know that TOP Data didn’t gather this information from a silly internet poll, or by cold calling a few hundred people in hopes they’d be open to answering some personal pizza-related questions. No, TOP Data figured out that Little Caesars is the most popular spot to grab a pizza in 24 states by analyzing a more reliable metric. What data, exactly, is the agency working with? Yours, of course.
“TOP Data analyzed offline GPS data of millions of Americans to 12 of the largest pizza chains across 48 states in the US to determine the top 5 chains in each state,” the report explains under its “Methodology” section.
That’s right: it’s evident that the American public has been flocking to Little Caesars because our cell phones alert data analysis firms to this fact, even if we’ve turned off GPS tracking. You don’t need to have downloaded the Little Caesars mobile app, visited its website, or have any sort of paper-trail relationship with Little Ceasars whatsoever. If data firms want to know where you are, they will find you.
Of course, everybody already knew about this... right? It’s what we all agreed on when we purchased smartphones and pretended to read the Terms & Conditions. Still, I always assumed the people spying on us are trying to, I don’t know, protect national security or something consequential like that, but it’s wild to think that for every government agent up in our business, there are dozens if not hundreds of agencies trying to find out how often we’re going to Little Caesars.
But aside from the privacy implications of TOP Data’s pizza report, the results reveal what I believe to be a glaring miscalculation that has very likely skewed the results in Little Caesars’ favor: most of Little Caesars’ major competitors, like Papa John’s and Domino’s, do most of their business via delivery, and most of their customers never end up setting foot in the physical restaurants. Little Caesars, on the other hand, only began offering delivery last year, and remains a primarily pick-up pizzeria. So location-based data will naturally skew in Little Caesars’ favor when we’re talking about visits, if not overall orders.
If you’re picking up a pizza at Little Caesars and don’t want anyone to know about it, leave your phone at home. Maybe bury it deep in the ground. Maybe run away to the middle of the woods and never come back.