Study: Pizza Improves Productivity by 6.7 Percent

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Aug 30, 2016
Love Pizza

When using rewards to motivate workers, research has found that pizza and compliments work better than cash bonuses, according to New York Magazine. This was discovered after an experiment at an Israeli semiconductor factor that divided workers into four groups. One group was promised ₪100 (about$30) if they got all their work done by the end of the day; the other was promised a rare compliment; the third was promised a voucher for free pizza; and the last was promised nothing at all. What the researchers found was that pizza was the top motivator at work, increasing productivity by 6.7 percent over the control group, just slightly higher than the people who were promised a compliment instead, 6.6 percent. Those who were promised cash, however, increased their productivity by only 4.9 percent over the control group. 

This negative effect became more pronounced over the course of the week. Those who got the cash bonus actually started performing worse than the control group--13.2 percent worse. When factoring in the cost of the cash bonus in the first place, it turned out that it would have been better to offer no incentive at all. Meanwhile, those who got pizza or compliments reverted closer to normal as the week went on, though still functioned slightly higher than the control group (with compliments eventually overtaking pizza in terms of productivity gains), and much higher than the group that got the cash bonus. 

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