A Conversation Overheard: Teenagers Ordering Pizza For The First Time


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Working at the kitchen table, I had my back to my twelve year old daughter and her friends who were watching TV in the living room. It was the first day of Spring Break, and they were excited for a week without school. I tried to tune out the sounds of whatever teenage girls usually talk about, when suddenly one of them said something that made my ears perk up.

“We should order pizza!”

The suggestion was meant to be a joke, but I listened to them begin to discuss some details such as what kind of pizza they would want, and where to order it from. During their discussion one of the girls brought up a website to a popular pizza chain on their phone. As they explored the website, they came to the realization that an order could be initiated completely online, without having to call the store at all. At that point, they actually started filling out an order.

“Isn’t Travis going to stop us?” I heard from behind me.

I turned my head halfway to the right and replied, “Hey, you’re paying for it.”

The conversation suddenly took a very different tone. What had started as a joke, was turning into something that had a good chance of actually happening. I continued to work away on my computer pretending to not be paying attention, but I was hanging on every word fascinated to hear the girls’ thought process as they worked through completing the order.


They decide the pizza would be half cheese, half pepperoni. They were a little surprised that they would have to pay the same fee for the pepperoni topping whether they put it over the entire pizza, or only half.


They price compared a medium pizza with a large pizza. The pizza sizes were given in inches, and hearing them try to visualize how big the pizzas were was hilarious. At no point did they search out something that would show them exactly how big the pizzas would be. In the end, the price difference between the two was significant. They weren’t sure if they would eat an entire large pizza, so they decided a medium would suffice.

Bread Sticks

Someone suggested that they add an order of bread sticks. After a short pause, I heard my daughter quote how much an order of bread sticks would add to the total bill. She emphatically stated the additional item was too expensive, and that if anyone wanted bread sticks se would make some we had at our home.


My daughter told the group that she had earned baby sitting money the night before.  She would initially pay for the pizza, and her friends could chip in after the fact.

Delivery Fee

I could tell when they reached the “review your order” screen, as one of the girls read the entire order out loud, the total being $12.29. One of them noted that there was a fee for delivery included.

Suddenly, the room erupted in screams of excitement, “We did it, we did it, we actually ordered pizza!”


After things had calmed down a bit, I felt I needed to step in and remind them that they needed to tip their driver.

“Isn’t that the delivery fee?” one of them asked.

I explained the delivery fee was essentially paying for the gas that it takes for the restaurant to get the pizza to you. That money goes to the pizza place. The tip was to let the driver know how much you appreciate him bringing it to you, and goes to the driver.

“I was thinking of giving the driver $14, is that enough?” my daughter asked.

I told her to use the calculator on her phone, and calculate 20% of her $12.29 bill. She decided that $15 would be more appropriate.

I then had to leave to go pick up Vonnie from work. On the ride home, I told Vonnie about what I had witnessed. We called our daughter on the way home, and asked if her pizza had been delivered.

“Yes, we got our pizza. And it was delicious!”

If only every learning experience could taste so good.

About Travis

4 Responses to “A Conversation Overheard: Teenagers Ordering Pizza For The First Time”

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  1. What a good money lesson. Did your daughter’s friends chip in after the pizza arrived? We often play guess the bill total at restaurants when eating out. Our kids are amazed at the cost of the extras like drinks. They really can add up.

    • Travis says:

      I honestly don’t know….I let them completely handle it internally. I didn’t see any point in being involved at that point. If they did, great. If they didn’t…well, maybe that will teach my daughter not to volunteer to pay for it all herself next time. 🙂

  2. My daughter had a sleepover, and two of her three guests came upstairs (from the basement) and asked if they could order pizza. I said “Sure,” but explained that I wouldn’t pay for it. In their homes, Mom and Dad regularly pay for pizzas. My daughter later came upstairs to explain that she would pay for the pizza and that her friends would pay her back. In the end, only one friend paid her back. The other two (the ones who got this ball rolling in the first place) didn’t come through. They aren’t her friends anymore. Not as pleasant a story as yours, but a valuable lesson was learned. Some people are takers, and you have to be careful when you choose friends.

    • Travis says:

      As I mentioned above, I honestly don’t know if they paid her back or not. There are a lot of ways to learn a lesson…if she didn’t get paid back hopefully next time she’ll collect the money up front, right?

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