Shutterstock

Poor, too.

When you're just too tired to cook, ordering food to be delivered can be a welcome treat. But according to a new study, it has some significant drawbacks.

An assistant professor at the University of Rochester tracked 160,000 orders placed at a North Carolina pizza chain. He discovered that online orders were 15 percent more complex, 4 percent pricier and 6 percent more calorific then orders placed by the same people in person or for pick-up. One example: people quadrupled their bacon toppings when ordering online.

The researcher told the Wall Street Journal that he suspects ordering online makes people feel less inhibited. "They have the same choices as before, but they're removing the social transaction costs," he told The Journal. "From my own personal experience, I feel more comfortable ordering something online than at the counter."

His research could have an impact beyond calorie-loaded pizzas. According to NPR:

"Because the potential embarrassment experienced from purchasing a pizza is comparatively limited, an even more dramatic shift in the sales distribution seems likely for more sensitive products when consumers become able to transact anonymously," the paper says.

Photo credit: TonyV3112/Shutterstock.com

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Design

    The Rivers of the U.S., Collected Into a Nifty Subway Map

    A designer who spent his youth floating on rafts has conjured up a delightful transit guide to America’s waterways.

  2. Transportation

    5 Reasons to Be Wary of Elon Musk's Hyperloop

    High-speed vactrains might be the ticket for a Martian colony. As a practical transit investment for Earth, the technology has a long way to go.

  3. An illustration of a grid of canned food
    Equity

    What's the Matter With Little Free Food Pantries?

    They highlight food insecurity, without doing much to take a bite out of it.

  4. A woman works in a store that has a sign indicating it is going out of business, in Nogales, Arizona
    Life

    How Cities Can Save Small Shops

    Some places are already taking action, but New York City is lagging behind. Here’s a blueprint for keeping local retail healthy.

  5. The Salk Institute, near San Diego
    Design

    This Is Your Brain on Architecture

    In her new book, Sarah Williams Goldhagen presents scientific evidence for why some buildings delight us and others—too many of them—disappoint.