We run our Pizza Club the way we run our business – customer-centric, data-driven, and review-based.

Fridays at Shift are known for Pizza Club. Once the smell of fresh pizza hits, Pizza Club members come together to enjoy slices from a chosen pizzeria around San Francisco. Lively debate centers around life and pizza – what people think about the pizza, whether calzones count as pizzas (unclear), or whether we’ll ever gain enough consensus to order a Hawaiian pizza again (unlikely).

Today was our 34th meeting since our first gathering on 4/21/2017. In honor of National Pizza Day, we wanted to share our journey across 27 different pizzerias and counting.


The Pizza Selection Process

Employees vote on the pizzeria nominations for the week, and then we get a headcount of who’s in. This drives the decision of how many pizzas to order and at what size, based on our handy pizza-inches-to-people conversion calculator. Everyone has the opportunity to rank the pizza options: Can’t Eat, No, Maybe, Yes, and Top. We weigh and sum the results to determine the top-rated pizzas, while taking into account any dietary restrictions. Afterwards, everyone evaluates the pizzeria on each of multiple dimensions: overall, flavor, crust, sauce, aroma, and value.


Pizza Club logistics are organized in our dedicated #pizza Slack channel by Kosta Psaltis, Pizza Club founder. We also share interesting pizza knowledge, such as why every Papa John’s pizza comes with a pepper or why pepperoni curls. Pizza analytics have dedicated sheets tracking participation, ordering, and evaluations.

Top Ten San Francisco Pizza Rankings

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for. These are the top ten San Francisco pizzerias as rated by Shift employees:


Up to 19 people participate each week (and growing!), with 38 unique employees across 34 meetings. The Quality rating is a weighted mix of crust, flavor, sauce, aroma and other unique categories. Overall, people really like Patxi’s Pizza. It ranked 1st in the categories of crust, sauce, and overall, 2nd in flavor, and 4th in value. It is the only place we have ordered from three times, and it has been highly-rated every single time.


Pizza Data & Analytics

Diving deeper into the data, we found some interesting trends and tidbits. For example, the value and warmth of the pizza affect people’s assessment of the pizza quality more than it should. The data shows we think pizza from Costco is actually pretty good. It ranked 10th in terms of overall quality and 1st for value. We also saw that some people rated pizza that arrived hot higher than some of the best pizza in the city (like Tony’s) that arrived lukewarm. Delivery speed matters.

We collected a lot of data, segmented, and analyzed in a variety of ways. Keep an eye out for a follow-up post that will go more in-depth on pizza analytics.

Our ratings are limited to places that are open for lunch and deliver to the Castro, so there are many places that we would love to try but can’t. If you would like to nominate a pizzeria, get involved, or send us free pizza (value matters!), please leave a comment below or contact us!