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The New Papa John’s Shaq Pizza Has Maybe the Silliest Gimmick Ever

Papa John’s is launching a new Shaq-a-Roni pizza today. As someone with a strong interest in chain restaurants, of course I wanted to check out what that would be when I saw the headline. Essentially, it’s a 16-inch XL pizza with extra cheese and extra pepperoni. But there was an extra gimmick in there that made me actually laugh out loud: Papa John’s is saying that this pizza will have the biggest slices they’ve ever served.

Bear in mind this is not because the pizza is bigger than one they’ve ever served, but the distinction is that they will be cutting the 16-inch pizza into eight slices instead of 10. Here’s how it was marketed in USA Today:

The Shaq-a-Roni launches Monday at Papa John’s Pizza with the pizza giant’s largest slices to date, officials shared exclusively with USA TODAY. NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, a Papa John’s board member and franchise owner, came up with the idea for the 16-inch extra-large pizza that’s topped with extra cheese and has 66 pepperoni. It’s cut into eight slices versus the 10 in Papa John’s standard XL pie.

That slice gimmick is very funny. The pizza description also makes me wonder if someone actually has to count out 66 pepperoni slices every time this special is ordered.

As an aside, I also want to know when standard pizza sizes changed. I delivered pizza in high school, and a large was 16 inches and a medium was 14 inches. Now, a large is 14 inches and 16 inches is extra large. Was there a moment in history where this was decided?

Back to Shaq: He came on as a Papa John’s investor, board member, and ambassador last year. For every one of these pizzas that is sold, the company will donate $1 to their charitable foundation that focuses on social justice causes.

Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

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