Pizza Boosts Productivity at Work More than Cash Bonuses

We all thought giving cash bonuses is the best way to motivate employees, but a new research claims that a mouth-watering slice of pizza boosts productivity at the workplace better than crisp dollar bills.

Duke University psychology professor Dan Ariely made this shocking conclusion in his new book titled “Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations”.


To arrive at this conclusion, Ariely conducted a study involving Intel factory employees in Israel. Workers were promised they would receive either pizza, cash or compliments if they assembled a certain amount of computer chips throughout the day. A separate group, who were not promised any bonus, served as the control group of the experiment.

On the first day of the experiment, pizza proved to be the top motivator increasing productivity by 6.7% over the control group. Surprisingly, those who were promised compliments came close behind at 6.6%, while those promised cash bonus came in at a distant third at 4.9%.

Interestingly, employees who were promised cash bonus performed 13.2% worse than the control group on the second day.

Although the study suggests that compliments are the best motivator among the three, Ariely believes that pizza would have won the contest if it was delivered right at the employee’s doorstep instead of giving them a voucher.

Wharton professor Adam Grant said people appreciate praises and compliments more than tangible rewards.

“Extrinsic motivators can stop having much meaning — your raise in pay feels like your just due, your bonus gets spent, your new title doesn’t sound so important once you have it,” Grant told The Wall Street Journal.

“But the sense that other people appreciate what you do sticks with you,” he added.

Fun Facts About Pizza

Here are some interesting things you need to know about your favorite comfort food:

  • About 350 slices of pizza are consumed each second in the US.
  • Americans consume an average of 46 pizza slices in a year.
  • Pepperoni is the favorite topping in the US.
  • More than five billion pizzas are sold all over the world annually.