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20 Things You Didn’t Know About Chuck E. Cheese’s Slideshow

20 Things You Didn’t Know About Chuck E. Cheese’s Slideshow


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This famed chain is celebrating its 40th year in business

20 Things You Didn’t Know About Chuck E. Cheese’s

As a kid, an invite to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese’s was a cause for celebration in itself. Games, pizza, and those legendary animatronic characters awaited, as well as the promise of piles of tickets and a couple fun prizes. But we bet that there’s a lot you didn’t know about this popular chain, and if you haven’t visited in a while, you’ll find that a lot has changed.

It Was Founded by the Co-Founder of Atari

The concept for Chuck E. Cheese’s was created by Nolan Bushnell, who is perhaps more famous for co-founding pioneering video game company Atari.

The Mascot Was Originally Supposed to Be a Coyote

Bushnell originally wanted to name his concept Coyote Pizza, and purchased what he thought was a coyote costume for his first animatronic. But it was pointed out that he in fact had bought a mouse costume by mistake, and the rest is history.

Chuck E. Cheese Didn't Appear in the Logo Until 1980

DayOwl/Shutterstock.com

The company was called Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theatre for the first couple years of its life; it wasn’t until 1980 that Chuck E. was introduced as the face of the brand.

The First International Location Opened in 1986

It Was Called Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Until 1994

Wikimedia Commons/ Try to Love Again

The word “Pizza” was dropped from the name in that year, and since then it’s just been called Chuck E. Cheese’s.

It Was Called Charlie Cheese's in Australia

When locations opened in Australia in the 1980s, they were called Charlie Cheese’s Pizza Playhouse. “Chuck” was swapped out because in Australia it’s another word for throwing up.

It Recently Broke a Guinness Record

On May 19, 2017, it set the Guinness World Record for the most people blowing party blowers simultaneously for 10 seconds.

It Gave Nick Jonas His Big Break

Everett Collection/Shutterstock.com

It Goes Through 8.5 Million Pounds of Mozzarella Every Year

That’s a lot of (Chuck E.) cheese!

It's America's Eighth-Largest Pizza Chain

Some Locations Hold a Special Event for Autistic Children Every Month

It Distributes 6 Million Tickets Every Year

The company has dabbled with replacing them with a personalized card, but kids love winning those stacks of tickets!

A New Limited Time Offer Menu Item Is Released Every Quarter

In the past it’s included head-turners like spaghetti and meatball pizza, but it’s currently the Triple Pepperoni Pizza.

There Are No More Ballpits

If you remember playing in those big ballpits when you were a kid, you might be surprised to learn that those were phased out back in 1994 and replaced with Sky Tubes.

All the Animatronic Characters Have Names

Chuck E. Cheese is of course the frontman, but other band members include Helen Henny (vocals), Mr. Munch (vocals, keyboards), Jasper T. Jowls (vocals, guitar), and Pasqually E. Pieplate (vocals, percussion). Crusty the Cat was rolled out with the rest of the gang in 1977 but replaced with Mr. Munch a year later.

Two Different Costumed Shows Are Performed

Along with the animatronic characters, real costumed humans also put on a few shows. The “live” show is performed on stage during birthday parties, and the “road” show takes place throughout the venue.

There Are Several Different Styles of Animatronic Show in Use

Depending on the age of the location and whether it’s been recently renovated, guests can see a few different versions of the animatronic show these days. Since 1998, for example, Chuck E. has been the only animatronic figure at new locations, with the rest of the characters on TV screens.

There Are Plenty of Coupons and Deals on the Website

You can find them here; they’ll save you money on things like food and tokens, and there are also weekday specials and deals for military families.

It Offers Gluten-Free Pizza

The company offers a gluten-free crust with customizable toppings. The national rollout of the gluten-free crust will be complete late summer or early fall.

Every Location's Menu Is Slightly Different

New appetizers, wraps, thin and crispy pepperoni pizzas, and treats like churros are available at some locations.


5 Things You Didn't Know About Pizza

Buzzfeed once listed 19 versions of pizza from around the world, including a Syrian pizza with minced lamb and a Korean version with beef marinated in soy sauce. Yes, pizza is a pretty universal treat, but where did it start? Here are five things you probably didn't know about pizza.

1: Pizza's Origins Are Half-Baked.

The Neapolitans in Italy are proud of saying they invented pizza, but it's probably more accurate to say, they perfected it. The idea of putting toppings on a flatbread and baking it has been around forever: In the 6th century B.C.E., Persian soldiers ate flatbreads with cheese and dates. But the people of Naples were the first to put tomato on a flatbread in the 16th century. From its start, pizza was a food of the poor, as it was cheap, filling and easy to eat on the run. In Italian, the word "pizza" refers to anything that is made and then squashed flat.

2: Pizza Margherita Is Not Exactly a Symbol of Italy.

The story goes that pizza became famous outside of Naples in 1889 when a local baker named Raffaele Esposito created three pizzas for Queen Margherita who, along with her husband King Umberto I, was on a tour of Italy. The queen loved the version that had tomato, basil and mozzarella cheese — and just happened to match the colors of the Italian flag. So much so, Esposito named the pizza after her. (You can still get pizza Margherita today at the pizzeria in Naples where it was created, which is now called Pizzeria Brandi.)

Only problem is, the story is not true. Pizza historian (now, there's a job) Scott Wiener points out that Italy was unified in name only in 1889 so it was unlikely any Neapolitan baker would want to celebrate "the Northern conquerors." Further, the letter of gratitude for the pizza from the royal household that Pizzeria Brandi displays appears to be a fake and may just have been a marketing ploy.

3: Pizza in America Is Different from Pizza in Italy.

Italian migration to the U.S. in the late 1800s may have started the pizza trend in America but it really took off in the 1950s with the proliferation of fast food restaurants. Three of the world's largest fast food chains are American pizza restaurants (Pizza Hut, Domino's and the gas station favorite, Hunt Brothers). BTW, pizza in the U.S. is way different from the Italian kind. The Italian pizza crusts tend to be thinner and not so laden with toppings. The U.S. has invented tons of pizza styles including New York (big thin slices that are easy to fold), Chicago (thick deep-dish crust) and Detroit (square pizza baked in a blue steel pan that gives it a crisp crust).

4: Hawaiian Pizza Invented by a Canadian.

Not only that, he was from Greece originally. Sam Panopoulos moved to Canada at the age of 20. In 1962, he decided to put some ham and pineapple on a pizza at one of his restaurants in Ontario — the tiki trend was having a moment then.

"We just put it on, just for the fun of it, see how it was going to taste," he told the BBC in 2017. Panopoulos named it the Hawaiian pizza after the brand of canned pineapple he used. The mix of sweet and savory toppings caught on with a certain segment of the pizza-loving public. The innovator died in 2017.

5: Chuck E. Cheese's Was Really Founded as an Arcade Business.

Does that make you love or hate this kiddie-party favorite more? The founder of Chuck E. Cheese's, Nolan Bushnell, also started the video game console company Atari. But he soon realized the real money was not in selling the machines — it was in the retail side of the business.

"The original genesis was to create a big arcade with food as a support structure, almost as an ancillary service," Bushnell told the Atlantic in 2013.

And why did he go for pizza? "I chose pizza because of the wait time and the build schedule: very few components and not too many ways to screw it up. If the dough is good, the cheese is good, and the sauce is good, the pizza is good. I didn't have any preconceived idea that I knew how to run a restaurant, but I knew simple was better."


5 Things You Didn't Know About Pizza

Buzzfeed once listed 19 versions of pizza from around the world, including a Syrian pizza with minced lamb and a Korean version with beef marinated in soy sauce. Yes, pizza is a pretty universal treat, but where did it start? Here are five things you probably didn't know about pizza.

1: Pizza's Origins Are Half-Baked.

The Neapolitans in Italy are proud of saying they invented pizza, but it's probably more accurate to say, they perfected it. The idea of putting toppings on a flatbread and baking it has been around forever: In the 6th century B.C.E., Persian soldiers ate flatbreads with cheese and dates. But the people of Naples were the first to put tomato on a flatbread in the 16th century. From its start, pizza was a food of the poor, as it was cheap, filling and easy to eat on the run. In Italian, the word "pizza" refers to anything that is made and then squashed flat.

2: Pizza Margherita Is Not Exactly a Symbol of Italy.

The story goes that pizza became famous outside of Naples in 1889 when a local baker named Raffaele Esposito created three pizzas for Queen Margherita who, along with her husband King Umberto I, was on a tour of Italy. The queen loved the version that had tomato, basil and mozzarella cheese — and just happened to match the colors of the Italian flag. So much so, Esposito named the pizza after her. (You can still get pizza Margherita today at the pizzeria in Naples where it was created, which is now called Pizzeria Brandi.)

Only problem is, the story is not true. Pizza historian (now, there's a job) Scott Wiener points out that Italy was unified in name only in 1889 so it was unlikely any Neapolitan baker would want to celebrate "the Northern conquerors." Further, the letter of gratitude for the pizza from the royal household that Pizzeria Brandi displays appears to be a fake and may just have been a marketing ploy.

3: Pizza in America Is Different from Pizza in Italy.

Italian migration to the U.S. in the late 1800s may have started the pizza trend in America but it really took off in the 1950s with the proliferation of fast food restaurants. Three of the world's largest fast food chains are American pizza restaurants (Pizza Hut, Domino's and the gas station favorite, Hunt Brothers). BTW, pizza in the U.S. is way different from the Italian kind. The Italian pizza crusts tend to be thinner and not so laden with toppings. The U.S. has invented tons of pizza styles including New York (big thin slices that are easy to fold), Chicago (thick deep-dish crust) and Detroit (square pizza baked in a blue steel pan that gives it a crisp crust).

4: Hawaiian Pizza Invented by a Canadian.

Not only that, he was from Greece originally. Sam Panopoulos moved to Canada at the age of 20. In 1962, he decided to put some ham and pineapple on a pizza at one of his restaurants in Ontario — the tiki trend was having a moment then.

"We just put it on, just for the fun of it, see how it was going to taste," he told the BBC in 2017. Panopoulos named it the Hawaiian pizza after the brand of canned pineapple he used. The mix of sweet and savory toppings caught on with a certain segment of the pizza-loving public. The innovator died in 2017.

5: Chuck E. Cheese's Was Really Founded as an Arcade Business.

Does that make you love or hate this kiddie-party favorite more? The founder of Chuck E. Cheese's, Nolan Bushnell, also started the video game console company Atari. But he soon realized the real money was not in selling the machines — it was in the retail side of the business.

"The original genesis was to create a big arcade with food as a support structure, almost as an ancillary service," Bushnell told the Atlantic in 2013.

And why did he go for pizza? "I chose pizza because of the wait time and the build schedule: very few components and not too many ways to screw it up. If the dough is good, the cheese is good, and the sauce is good, the pizza is good. I didn't have any preconceived idea that I knew how to run a restaurant, but I knew simple was better."


5 Things You Didn't Know About Pizza

Buzzfeed once listed 19 versions of pizza from around the world, including a Syrian pizza with minced lamb and a Korean version with beef marinated in soy sauce. Yes, pizza is a pretty universal treat, but where did it start? Here are five things you probably didn't know about pizza.

1: Pizza's Origins Are Half-Baked.

The Neapolitans in Italy are proud of saying they invented pizza, but it's probably more accurate to say, they perfected it. The idea of putting toppings on a flatbread and baking it has been around forever: In the 6th century B.C.E., Persian soldiers ate flatbreads with cheese and dates. But the people of Naples were the first to put tomato on a flatbread in the 16th century. From its start, pizza was a food of the poor, as it was cheap, filling and easy to eat on the run. In Italian, the word "pizza" refers to anything that is made and then squashed flat.

2: Pizza Margherita Is Not Exactly a Symbol of Italy.

The story goes that pizza became famous outside of Naples in 1889 when a local baker named Raffaele Esposito created three pizzas for Queen Margherita who, along with her husband King Umberto I, was on a tour of Italy. The queen loved the version that had tomato, basil and mozzarella cheese — and just happened to match the colors of the Italian flag. So much so, Esposito named the pizza after her. (You can still get pizza Margherita today at the pizzeria in Naples where it was created, which is now called Pizzeria Brandi.)

Only problem is, the story is not true. Pizza historian (now, there's a job) Scott Wiener points out that Italy was unified in name only in 1889 so it was unlikely any Neapolitan baker would want to celebrate "the Northern conquerors." Further, the letter of gratitude for the pizza from the royal household that Pizzeria Brandi displays appears to be a fake and may just have been a marketing ploy.

3: Pizza in America Is Different from Pizza in Italy.

Italian migration to the U.S. in the late 1800s may have started the pizza trend in America but it really took off in the 1950s with the proliferation of fast food restaurants. Three of the world's largest fast food chains are American pizza restaurants (Pizza Hut, Domino's and the gas station favorite, Hunt Brothers). BTW, pizza in the U.S. is way different from the Italian kind. The Italian pizza crusts tend to be thinner and not so laden with toppings. The U.S. has invented tons of pizza styles including New York (big thin slices that are easy to fold), Chicago (thick deep-dish crust) and Detroit (square pizza baked in a blue steel pan that gives it a crisp crust).

4: Hawaiian Pizza Invented by a Canadian.

Not only that, he was from Greece originally. Sam Panopoulos moved to Canada at the age of 20. In 1962, he decided to put some ham and pineapple on a pizza at one of his restaurants in Ontario — the tiki trend was having a moment then.

"We just put it on, just for the fun of it, see how it was going to taste," he told the BBC in 2017. Panopoulos named it the Hawaiian pizza after the brand of canned pineapple he used. The mix of sweet and savory toppings caught on with a certain segment of the pizza-loving public. The innovator died in 2017.

5: Chuck E. Cheese's Was Really Founded as an Arcade Business.

Does that make you love or hate this kiddie-party favorite more? The founder of Chuck E. Cheese's, Nolan Bushnell, also started the video game console company Atari. But he soon realized the real money was not in selling the machines — it was in the retail side of the business.

"The original genesis was to create a big arcade with food as a support structure, almost as an ancillary service," Bushnell told the Atlantic in 2013.

And why did he go for pizza? "I chose pizza because of the wait time and the build schedule: very few components and not too many ways to screw it up. If the dough is good, the cheese is good, and the sauce is good, the pizza is good. I didn't have any preconceived idea that I knew how to run a restaurant, but I knew simple was better."


5 Things You Didn't Know About Pizza

Buzzfeed once listed 19 versions of pizza from around the world, including a Syrian pizza with minced lamb and a Korean version with beef marinated in soy sauce. Yes, pizza is a pretty universal treat, but where did it start? Here are five things you probably didn't know about pizza.

1: Pizza's Origins Are Half-Baked.

The Neapolitans in Italy are proud of saying they invented pizza, but it's probably more accurate to say, they perfected it. The idea of putting toppings on a flatbread and baking it has been around forever: In the 6th century B.C.E., Persian soldiers ate flatbreads with cheese and dates. But the people of Naples were the first to put tomato on a flatbread in the 16th century. From its start, pizza was a food of the poor, as it was cheap, filling and easy to eat on the run. In Italian, the word "pizza" refers to anything that is made and then squashed flat.

2: Pizza Margherita Is Not Exactly a Symbol of Italy.

The story goes that pizza became famous outside of Naples in 1889 when a local baker named Raffaele Esposito created three pizzas for Queen Margherita who, along with her husband King Umberto I, was on a tour of Italy. The queen loved the version that had tomato, basil and mozzarella cheese — and just happened to match the colors of the Italian flag. So much so, Esposito named the pizza after her. (You can still get pizza Margherita today at the pizzeria in Naples where it was created, which is now called Pizzeria Brandi.)

Only problem is, the story is not true. Pizza historian (now, there's a job) Scott Wiener points out that Italy was unified in name only in 1889 so it was unlikely any Neapolitan baker would want to celebrate "the Northern conquerors." Further, the letter of gratitude for the pizza from the royal household that Pizzeria Brandi displays appears to be a fake and may just have been a marketing ploy.

3: Pizza in America Is Different from Pizza in Italy.

Italian migration to the U.S. in the late 1800s may have started the pizza trend in America but it really took off in the 1950s with the proliferation of fast food restaurants. Three of the world's largest fast food chains are American pizza restaurants (Pizza Hut, Domino's and the gas station favorite, Hunt Brothers). BTW, pizza in the U.S. is way different from the Italian kind. The Italian pizza crusts tend to be thinner and not so laden with toppings. The U.S. has invented tons of pizza styles including New York (big thin slices that are easy to fold), Chicago (thick deep-dish crust) and Detroit (square pizza baked in a blue steel pan that gives it a crisp crust).

4: Hawaiian Pizza Invented by a Canadian.

Not only that, he was from Greece originally. Sam Panopoulos moved to Canada at the age of 20. In 1962, he decided to put some ham and pineapple on a pizza at one of his restaurants in Ontario — the tiki trend was having a moment then.

"We just put it on, just for the fun of it, see how it was going to taste," he told the BBC in 2017. Panopoulos named it the Hawaiian pizza after the brand of canned pineapple he used. The mix of sweet and savory toppings caught on with a certain segment of the pizza-loving public. The innovator died in 2017.

5: Chuck E. Cheese's Was Really Founded as an Arcade Business.

Does that make you love or hate this kiddie-party favorite more? The founder of Chuck E. Cheese's, Nolan Bushnell, also started the video game console company Atari. But he soon realized the real money was not in selling the machines — it was in the retail side of the business.

"The original genesis was to create a big arcade with food as a support structure, almost as an ancillary service," Bushnell told the Atlantic in 2013.

And why did he go for pizza? "I chose pizza because of the wait time and the build schedule: very few components and not too many ways to screw it up. If the dough is good, the cheese is good, and the sauce is good, the pizza is good. I didn't have any preconceived idea that I knew how to run a restaurant, but I knew simple was better."


5 Things You Didn't Know About Pizza

Buzzfeed once listed 19 versions of pizza from around the world, including a Syrian pizza with minced lamb and a Korean version with beef marinated in soy sauce. Yes, pizza is a pretty universal treat, but where did it start? Here are five things you probably didn't know about pizza.

1: Pizza's Origins Are Half-Baked.

The Neapolitans in Italy are proud of saying they invented pizza, but it's probably more accurate to say, they perfected it. The idea of putting toppings on a flatbread and baking it has been around forever: In the 6th century B.C.E., Persian soldiers ate flatbreads with cheese and dates. But the people of Naples were the first to put tomato on a flatbread in the 16th century. From its start, pizza was a food of the poor, as it was cheap, filling and easy to eat on the run. In Italian, the word "pizza" refers to anything that is made and then squashed flat.

2: Pizza Margherita Is Not Exactly a Symbol of Italy.

The story goes that pizza became famous outside of Naples in 1889 when a local baker named Raffaele Esposito created three pizzas for Queen Margherita who, along with her husband King Umberto I, was on a tour of Italy. The queen loved the version that had tomato, basil and mozzarella cheese — and just happened to match the colors of the Italian flag. So much so, Esposito named the pizza after her. (You can still get pizza Margherita today at the pizzeria in Naples where it was created, which is now called Pizzeria Brandi.)

Only problem is, the story is not true. Pizza historian (now, there's a job) Scott Wiener points out that Italy was unified in name only in 1889 so it was unlikely any Neapolitan baker would want to celebrate "the Northern conquerors." Further, the letter of gratitude for the pizza from the royal household that Pizzeria Brandi displays appears to be a fake and may just have been a marketing ploy.

3: Pizza in America Is Different from Pizza in Italy.

Italian migration to the U.S. in the late 1800s may have started the pizza trend in America but it really took off in the 1950s with the proliferation of fast food restaurants. Three of the world's largest fast food chains are American pizza restaurants (Pizza Hut, Domino's and the gas station favorite, Hunt Brothers). BTW, pizza in the U.S. is way different from the Italian kind. The Italian pizza crusts tend to be thinner and not so laden with toppings. The U.S. has invented tons of pizza styles including New York (big thin slices that are easy to fold), Chicago (thick deep-dish crust) and Detroit (square pizza baked in a blue steel pan that gives it a crisp crust).

4: Hawaiian Pizza Invented by a Canadian.

Not only that, he was from Greece originally. Sam Panopoulos moved to Canada at the age of 20. In 1962, he decided to put some ham and pineapple on a pizza at one of his restaurants in Ontario — the tiki trend was having a moment then.

"We just put it on, just for the fun of it, see how it was going to taste," he told the BBC in 2017. Panopoulos named it the Hawaiian pizza after the brand of canned pineapple he used. The mix of sweet and savory toppings caught on with a certain segment of the pizza-loving public. The innovator died in 2017.

5: Chuck E. Cheese's Was Really Founded as an Arcade Business.

Does that make you love or hate this kiddie-party favorite more? The founder of Chuck E. Cheese's, Nolan Bushnell, also started the video game console company Atari. But he soon realized the real money was not in selling the machines — it was in the retail side of the business.

"The original genesis was to create a big arcade with food as a support structure, almost as an ancillary service," Bushnell told the Atlantic in 2013.

And why did he go for pizza? "I chose pizza because of the wait time and the build schedule: very few components and not too many ways to screw it up. If the dough is good, the cheese is good, and the sauce is good, the pizza is good. I didn't have any preconceived idea that I knew how to run a restaurant, but I knew simple was better."


5 Things You Didn't Know About Pizza

Buzzfeed once listed 19 versions of pizza from around the world, including a Syrian pizza with minced lamb and a Korean version with beef marinated in soy sauce. Yes, pizza is a pretty universal treat, but where did it start? Here are five things you probably didn't know about pizza.

1: Pizza's Origins Are Half-Baked.

The Neapolitans in Italy are proud of saying they invented pizza, but it's probably more accurate to say, they perfected it. The idea of putting toppings on a flatbread and baking it has been around forever: In the 6th century B.C.E., Persian soldiers ate flatbreads with cheese and dates. But the people of Naples were the first to put tomato on a flatbread in the 16th century. From its start, pizza was a food of the poor, as it was cheap, filling and easy to eat on the run. In Italian, the word "pizza" refers to anything that is made and then squashed flat.

2: Pizza Margherita Is Not Exactly a Symbol of Italy.

The story goes that pizza became famous outside of Naples in 1889 when a local baker named Raffaele Esposito created three pizzas for Queen Margherita who, along with her husband King Umberto I, was on a tour of Italy. The queen loved the version that had tomato, basil and mozzarella cheese — and just happened to match the colors of the Italian flag. So much so, Esposito named the pizza after her. (You can still get pizza Margherita today at the pizzeria in Naples where it was created, which is now called Pizzeria Brandi.)

Only problem is, the story is not true. Pizza historian (now, there's a job) Scott Wiener points out that Italy was unified in name only in 1889 so it was unlikely any Neapolitan baker would want to celebrate "the Northern conquerors." Further, the letter of gratitude for the pizza from the royal household that Pizzeria Brandi displays appears to be a fake and may just have been a marketing ploy.

3: Pizza in America Is Different from Pizza in Italy.

Italian migration to the U.S. in the late 1800s may have started the pizza trend in America but it really took off in the 1950s with the proliferation of fast food restaurants. Three of the world's largest fast food chains are American pizza restaurants (Pizza Hut, Domino's and the gas station favorite, Hunt Brothers). BTW, pizza in the U.S. is way different from the Italian kind. The Italian pizza crusts tend to be thinner and not so laden with toppings. The U.S. has invented tons of pizza styles including New York (big thin slices that are easy to fold), Chicago (thick deep-dish crust) and Detroit (square pizza baked in a blue steel pan that gives it a crisp crust).

4: Hawaiian Pizza Invented by a Canadian.

Not only that, he was from Greece originally. Sam Panopoulos moved to Canada at the age of 20. In 1962, he decided to put some ham and pineapple on a pizza at one of his restaurants in Ontario — the tiki trend was having a moment then.

"We just put it on, just for the fun of it, see how it was going to taste," he told the BBC in 2017. Panopoulos named it the Hawaiian pizza after the brand of canned pineapple he used. The mix of sweet and savory toppings caught on with a certain segment of the pizza-loving public. The innovator died in 2017.

5: Chuck E. Cheese's Was Really Founded as an Arcade Business.

Does that make you love or hate this kiddie-party favorite more? The founder of Chuck E. Cheese's, Nolan Bushnell, also started the video game console company Atari. But he soon realized the real money was not in selling the machines — it was in the retail side of the business.

"The original genesis was to create a big arcade with food as a support structure, almost as an ancillary service," Bushnell told the Atlantic in 2013.

And why did he go for pizza? "I chose pizza because of the wait time and the build schedule: very few components and not too many ways to screw it up. If the dough is good, the cheese is good, and the sauce is good, the pizza is good. I didn't have any preconceived idea that I knew how to run a restaurant, but I knew simple was better."


5 Things You Didn't Know About Pizza

Buzzfeed once listed 19 versions of pizza from around the world, including a Syrian pizza with minced lamb and a Korean version with beef marinated in soy sauce. Yes, pizza is a pretty universal treat, but where did it start? Here are five things you probably didn't know about pizza.

1: Pizza's Origins Are Half-Baked.

The Neapolitans in Italy are proud of saying they invented pizza, but it's probably more accurate to say, they perfected it. The idea of putting toppings on a flatbread and baking it has been around forever: In the 6th century B.C.E., Persian soldiers ate flatbreads with cheese and dates. But the people of Naples were the first to put tomato on a flatbread in the 16th century. From its start, pizza was a food of the poor, as it was cheap, filling and easy to eat on the run. In Italian, the word "pizza" refers to anything that is made and then squashed flat.

2: Pizza Margherita Is Not Exactly a Symbol of Italy.

The story goes that pizza became famous outside of Naples in 1889 when a local baker named Raffaele Esposito created three pizzas for Queen Margherita who, along with her husband King Umberto I, was on a tour of Italy. The queen loved the version that had tomato, basil and mozzarella cheese — and just happened to match the colors of the Italian flag. So much so, Esposito named the pizza after her. (You can still get pizza Margherita today at the pizzeria in Naples where it was created, which is now called Pizzeria Brandi.)

Only problem is, the story is not true. Pizza historian (now, there's a job) Scott Wiener points out that Italy was unified in name only in 1889 so it was unlikely any Neapolitan baker would want to celebrate "the Northern conquerors." Further, the letter of gratitude for the pizza from the royal household that Pizzeria Brandi displays appears to be a fake and may just have been a marketing ploy.

3: Pizza in America Is Different from Pizza in Italy.

Italian migration to the U.S. in the late 1800s may have started the pizza trend in America but it really took off in the 1950s with the proliferation of fast food restaurants. Three of the world's largest fast food chains are American pizza restaurants (Pizza Hut, Domino's and the gas station favorite, Hunt Brothers). BTW, pizza in the U.S. is way different from the Italian kind. The Italian pizza crusts tend to be thinner and not so laden with toppings. The U.S. has invented tons of pizza styles including New York (big thin slices that are easy to fold), Chicago (thick deep-dish crust) and Detroit (square pizza baked in a blue steel pan that gives it a crisp crust).

4: Hawaiian Pizza Invented by a Canadian.

Not only that, he was from Greece originally. Sam Panopoulos moved to Canada at the age of 20. In 1962, he decided to put some ham and pineapple on a pizza at one of his restaurants in Ontario — the tiki trend was having a moment then.

"We just put it on, just for the fun of it, see how it was going to taste," he told the BBC in 2017. Panopoulos named it the Hawaiian pizza after the brand of canned pineapple he used. The mix of sweet and savory toppings caught on with a certain segment of the pizza-loving public. The innovator died in 2017.

5: Chuck E. Cheese's Was Really Founded as an Arcade Business.

Does that make you love or hate this kiddie-party favorite more? The founder of Chuck E. Cheese's, Nolan Bushnell, also started the video game console company Atari. But he soon realized the real money was not in selling the machines — it was in the retail side of the business.

"The original genesis was to create a big arcade with food as a support structure, almost as an ancillary service," Bushnell told the Atlantic in 2013.

And why did he go for pizza? "I chose pizza because of the wait time and the build schedule: very few components and not too many ways to screw it up. If the dough is good, the cheese is good, and the sauce is good, the pizza is good. I didn't have any preconceived idea that I knew how to run a restaurant, but I knew simple was better."


5 Things You Didn't Know About Pizza

Buzzfeed once listed 19 versions of pizza from around the world, including a Syrian pizza with minced lamb and a Korean version with beef marinated in soy sauce. Yes, pizza is a pretty universal treat, but where did it start? Here are five things you probably didn't know about pizza.

1: Pizza's Origins Are Half-Baked.

The Neapolitans in Italy are proud of saying they invented pizza, but it's probably more accurate to say, they perfected it. The idea of putting toppings on a flatbread and baking it has been around forever: In the 6th century B.C.E., Persian soldiers ate flatbreads with cheese and dates. But the people of Naples were the first to put tomato on a flatbread in the 16th century. From its start, pizza was a food of the poor, as it was cheap, filling and easy to eat on the run. In Italian, the word "pizza" refers to anything that is made and then squashed flat.

2: Pizza Margherita Is Not Exactly a Symbol of Italy.

The story goes that pizza became famous outside of Naples in 1889 when a local baker named Raffaele Esposito created three pizzas for Queen Margherita who, along with her husband King Umberto I, was on a tour of Italy. The queen loved the version that had tomato, basil and mozzarella cheese — and just happened to match the colors of the Italian flag. So much so, Esposito named the pizza after her. (You can still get pizza Margherita today at the pizzeria in Naples where it was created, which is now called Pizzeria Brandi.)

Only problem is, the story is not true. Pizza historian (now, there's a job) Scott Wiener points out that Italy was unified in name only in 1889 so it was unlikely any Neapolitan baker would want to celebrate "the Northern conquerors." Further, the letter of gratitude for the pizza from the royal household that Pizzeria Brandi displays appears to be a fake and may just have been a marketing ploy.

3: Pizza in America Is Different from Pizza in Italy.

Italian migration to the U.S. in the late 1800s may have started the pizza trend in America but it really took off in the 1950s with the proliferation of fast food restaurants. Three of the world's largest fast food chains are American pizza restaurants (Pizza Hut, Domino's and the gas station favorite, Hunt Brothers). BTW, pizza in the U.S. is way different from the Italian kind. The Italian pizza crusts tend to be thinner and not so laden with toppings. The U.S. has invented tons of pizza styles including New York (big thin slices that are easy to fold), Chicago (thick deep-dish crust) and Detroit (square pizza baked in a blue steel pan that gives it a crisp crust).

4: Hawaiian Pizza Invented by a Canadian.

Not only that, he was from Greece originally. Sam Panopoulos moved to Canada at the age of 20. In 1962, he decided to put some ham and pineapple on a pizza at one of his restaurants in Ontario — the tiki trend was having a moment then.

"We just put it on, just for the fun of it, see how it was going to taste," he told the BBC in 2017. Panopoulos named it the Hawaiian pizza after the brand of canned pineapple he used. The mix of sweet and savory toppings caught on with a certain segment of the pizza-loving public. The innovator died in 2017.

5: Chuck E. Cheese's Was Really Founded as an Arcade Business.

Does that make you love or hate this kiddie-party favorite more? The founder of Chuck E. Cheese's, Nolan Bushnell, also started the video game console company Atari. But he soon realized the real money was not in selling the machines — it was in the retail side of the business.

"The original genesis was to create a big arcade with food as a support structure, almost as an ancillary service," Bushnell told the Atlantic in 2013.

And why did he go for pizza? "I chose pizza because of the wait time and the build schedule: very few components and not too many ways to screw it up. If the dough is good, the cheese is good, and the sauce is good, the pizza is good. I didn't have any preconceived idea that I knew how to run a restaurant, but I knew simple was better."


5 Things You Didn't Know About Pizza

Buzzfeed once listed 19 versions of pizza from around the world, including a Syrian pizza with minced lamb and a Korean version with beef marinated in soy sauce. Yes, pizza is a pretty universal treat, but where did it start? Here are five things you probably didn't know about pizza.

1: Pizza's Origins Are Half-Baked.

The Neapolitans in Italy are proud of saying they invented pizza, but it's probably more accurate to say, they perfected it. The idea of putting toppings on a flatbread and baking it has been around forever: In the 6th century B.C.E., Persian soldiers ate flatbreads with cheese and dates. But the people of Naples were the first to put tomato on a flatbread in the 16th century. From its start, pizza was a food of the poor, as it was cheap, filling and easy to eat on the run. In Italian, the word "pizza" refers to anything that is made and then squashed flat.

2: Pizza Margherita Is Not Exactly a Symbol of Italy.

The story goes that pizza became famous outside of Naples in 1889 when a local baker named Raffaele Esposito created three pizzas for Queen Margherita who, along with her husband King Umberto I, was on a tour of Italy. The queen loved the version that had tomato, basil and mozzarella cheese — and just happened to match the colors of the Italian flag. So much so, Esposito named the pizza after her. (You can still get pizza Margherita today at the pizzeria in Naples where it was created, which is now called Pizzeria Brandi.)

Only problem is, the story is not true. Pizza historian (now, there's a job) Scott Wiener points out that Italy was unified in name only in 1889 so it was unlikely any Neapolitan baker would want to celebrate "the Northern conquerors." Further, the letter of gratitude for the pizza from the royal household that Pizzeria Brandi displays appears to be a fake and may just have been a marketing ploy.

3: Pizza in America Is Different from Pizza in Italy.

Italian migration to the U.S. in the late 1800s may have started the pizza trend in America but it really took off in the 1950s with the proliferation of fast food restaurants. Three of the world's largest fast food chains are American pizza restaurants (Pizza Hut, Domino's and the gas station favorite, Hunt Brothers). BTW, pizza in the U.S. is way different from the Italian kind. The Italian pizza crusts tend to be thinner and not so laden with toppings. The U.S. has invented tons of pizza styles including New York (big thin slices that are easy to fold), Chicago (thick deep-dish crust) and Detroit (square pizza baked in a blue steel pan that gives it a crisp crust).

4: Hawaiian Pizza Invented by a Canadian.

Not only that, he was from Greece originally. Sam Panopoulos moved to Canada at the age of 20. In 1962, he decided to put some ham and pineapple on a pizza at one of his restaurants in Ontario — the tiki trend was having a moment then.

"We just put it on, just for the fun of it, see how it was going to taste," he told the BBC in 2017. Panopoulos named it the Hawaiian pizza after the brand of canned pineapple he used. The mix of sweet and savory toppings caught on with a certain segment of the pizza-loving public. The innovator died in 2017.

5: Chuck E. Cheese's Was Really Founded as an Arcade Business.

Does that make you love or hate this kiddie-party favorite more? The founder of Chuck E. Cheese's, Nolan Bushnell, also started the video game console company Atari. But he soon realized the real money was not in selling the machines — it was in the retail side of the business.

"The original genesis was to create a big arcade with food as a support structure, almost as an ancillary service," Bushnell told the Atlantic in 2013.

And why did he go for pizza? "I chose pizza because of the wait time and the build schedule: very few components and not too many ways to screw it up. If the dough is good, the cheese is good, and the sauce is good, the pizza is good. I didn't have any preconceived idea that I knew how to run a restaurant, but I knew simple was better."


5 Things You Didn't Know About Pizza

Buzzfeed once listed 19 versions of pizza from around the world, including a Syrian pizza with minced lamb and a Korean version with beef marinated in soy sauce. Yes, pizza is a pretty universal treat, but where did it start? Here are five things you probably didn't know about pizza.

1: Pizza's Origins Are Half-Baked.

The Neapolitans in Italy are proud of saying they invented pizza, but it's probably more accurate to say, they perfected it. The idea of putting toppings on a flatbread and baking it has been around forever: In the 6th century B.C.E., Persian soldiers ate flatbreads with cheese and dates. But the people of Naples were the first to put tomato on a flatbread in the 16th century. From its start, pizza was a food of the poor, as it was cheap, filling and easy to eat on the run. In Italian, the word "pizza" refers to anything that is made and then squashed flat.

2: Pizza Margherita Is Not Exactly a Symbol of Italy.

The story goes that pizza became famous outside of Naples in 1889 when a local baker named Raffaele Esposito created three pizzas for Queen Margherita who, along with her husband King Umberto I, was on a tour of Italy. The queen loved the version that had tomato, basil and mozzarella cheese — and just happened to match the colors of the Italian flag. So much so, Esposito named the pizza after her. (You can still get pizza Margherita today at the pizzeria in Naples where it was created, which is now called Pizzeria Brandi.)

Only problem is, the story is not true. Pizza historian (now, there's a job) Scott Wiener points out that Italy was unified in name only in 1889 so it was unlikely any Neapolitan baker would want to celebrate "the Northern conquerors." Further, the letter of gratitude for the pizza from the royal household that Pizzeria Brandi displays appears to be a fake and may just have been a marketing ploy.

3: Pizza in America Is Different from Pizza in Italy.

Italian migration to the U.S. in the late 1800s may have started the pizza trend in America but it really took off in the 1950s with the proliferation of fast food restaurants. Three of the world's largest fast food chains are American pizza restaurants (Pizza Hut, Domino's and the gas station favorite, Hunt Brothers). BTW, pizza in the U.S. is way different from the Italian kind. The Italian pizza crusts tend to be thinner and not so laden with toppings. The U.S. has invented tons of pizza styles including New York (big thin slices that are easy to fold), Chicago (thick deep-dish crust) and Detroit (square pizza baked in a blue steel pan that gives it a crisp crust).

4: Hawaiian Pizza Invented by a Canadian.

Not only that, he was from Greece originally. Sam Panopoulos moved to Canada at the age of 20. In 1962, he decided to put some ham and pineapple on a pizza at one of his restaurants in Ontario — the tiki trend was having a moment then.

"We just put it on, just for the fun of it, see how it was going to taste," he told the BBC in 2017. Panopoulos named it the Hawaiian pizza after the brand of canned pineapple he used. The mix of sweet and savory toppings caught on with a certain segment of the pizza-loving public. The innovator died in 2017.

5: Chuck E. Cheese's Was Really Founded as an Arcade Business.

Does that make you love or hate this kiddie-party favorite more? The founder of Chuck E. Cheese's, Nolan Bushnell, also started the video game console company Atari. But he soon realized the real money was not in selling the machines — it was in the retail side of the business.

"The original genesis was to create a big arcade with food as a support structure, almost as an ancillary service," Bushnell told the Atlantic in 2013.

And why did he go for pizza? "I chose pizza because of the wait time and the build schedule: very few components and not too many ways to screw it up. If the dough is good, the cheese is good, and the sauce is good, the pizza is good. I didn't have any preconceived idea that I knew how to run a restaurant, but I knew simple was better."


Watch the video: ASMR Measuring you for your Chuck E. Cheese Mascot Costume face exam, personal attention (May 2022).