Whenever you order a pizza, you already know, deep down, that you're kind of getting screwed over. I mean, paying $15 for ingredients that cost about $3 isn't the one.
But when you're desperately hungover, starving hungry, or it's just been a really long day at the office, then it's hard to care. Give me the grease, give me the cheese, give me a delicious BBQ sauce to dip it all in - let's be real here, everything is better after pizza.
But while the bosses at the big pizza companies may be only too keen to jump on your desperation and charge you exorbitant amounts for a slice of their tasty goodness, the people making your pizza have a little more heart.
Now, one friendly Imgur user has taken to the site to spill the secrets that they learned during a stint at a top US pizza chain, in order to help you save a buck or two.
Posting under the name MommaElle, the employee - who did not name the chain in question - explained that the first people to get ripped off are actually the employees themselves, saying that: “I get paid $0.55 per completed order – no commission.” They also explained the good-samaritan reason they were sharing her insider info: "I hate watching people [lose] money just because they don’t know there are options."
That said, they don't appear to love the job too much either, saying: "My job is sh*t – I take pizza orders for the top US chain", adding that they found it "embarrassing as hell" but that they wanted to make something good out of it.
I kind of want to hug them already.
First things first, there's a rule that you should probably live by anyway: be nice to the staff, because they're people too.
C'mon guys, it's not that hard, even if you are hungover as hell. And as a former call-centre girl, I can tell you wholeheartedly that this works on complaints lines too.
Now it's time to move onto the (financially) important bit of how to bag the best bargains.
According to our insider, it's all about refusing to take the menu at face value and having the confidence to ask what's on special offer; there's normally a few at each store and quite often they're pretty good deals.
Next up, you're going to have to channel you're 'inner shameless dad mode', and play the pizza companies at their own game - yes, it's time to get your haggle on.
Look online and arm yourself with all of the deals you can, because they're likely to be different to and better that the ones that the staff will be allowed to offer you when you call. In fact, if they do offer you them, they're liable to be fired - but if you ask for them, they're allowed to match them.
You know when the person taking your order asks if you would "like extra cheese", and you look at them like they've just read into your cheese-soaked soul? Well, it turns out they're not asking out of kindness, but out of obligation.
It is, in fact, a clever ploy by bosses that's designed to deprive you of up to an extra $2 a time. So listen to your server, because as the writer points out, some will take care to add in the "for an additional charge" line. Also, the cheese will never count as an "additional topping" - it'll always be an extra cost.
Everyone has their preferred choice of crust, but the type the pizza-giants want you to dine on is the one that pretty much has the biggest make-to-plate ratio: the thin and crispy.
As such, this is what the menu price will always be for, while the deep pan is usually an additional $1 and a stuffed crust is $2.
The next pearl of wisdom is about those tempting specialty pizzas, the ones you only ever order when you've had a really, really bad day and you decide that you're gonna treat yo'selffff.
It turns out they're really not worth it. For example, a Pepperoni Lovers pizza (and a quick Google search confirms that this pizza joint is Pizza Hut) is just double pepperoni, which you could just do yourself by asking for a second topping.
Basically, there's no such thing as a free lunch. Or a free pizza topping. Or a free side order. But we all know you'll go back there anyway, next time you find yourself Googling the words "can I die from a hangover?"