Care for a side of algebra with your wings?
It’s not uncommon to get paralysis by analysis looking at all of the food choices on a large menu. But one restaurant has managed to confuse everyone with only one item.
Welcome to Danny’s Wok, a Chinese restaurant in Philadelphia that serves chicken wings. No, a Chinese restaurant is probably not the first place you would think of when you think wings, but that isn’t the weirdest part of this tale.
A Twitter user named @seanposting went into the restaurant recently and found the menu to be very odd. Here, have a look for yourself:
theres gotta be a better way to convey this information pic.twitter.com/pHEswDU0TC
— sean (@seanposting) October 21, 2018
That seems … unnecessarily complicated. Why not just be like most places and price them in groups of five or six? Why is there no discernible pattern to the wing prices? Why are you able to get any individual number of wings up to 30 but then are forced into increments of five wings? Who is the hero among us who regularly orders 200 WINGS???
Needless to say, the internet had thoughts and the menu has gone viral with more than 5,000 retweets since Oct. 21. Some tried to figure out the best combination of wing groupings to get the best discount. Others tried to solve the pattern of how the restaurant came up with these prices.
The algebra involved quickly advanced well beyond my understanding:
ERRATA: Formula 1.1 of our preprint contained a typographical error. the intermediate result of the computation should be rounded up to the nearest integer, instead of down (https://t.co/qb1t5qDxEB) pic.twitter.com/Mw5XXHh4bW
— Lynn (@chordbug) October 21, 2018
Why is it 1.10/1.15 for each additional wing, but wing number 25 is only 55 cents?! pic.twitter.com/WvcxvIyTtS
— Josh (@icecreamhead10) October 23, 2018
Somewhere, my high school math teacher is laughing manically. “See, I told you that you would use this in real life!”
Oh, and then Twitter called in the big guns. That’s right: bar graphs and spreadsheets. Because nothing whets my appetite like data visualization.
— dilski 📐 (@dilski) October 21, 2018
Here’s a spreadsheet where I extrapolated the prices of 1-3 wings, then tracked the difference by subtracting the price of the last multiple of 25 (in column C). You can see the deviation when it hits 75 compared to 50, then continue tracking the deviations as I laid them out. pic.twitter.com/Se7RrypOym
— DragonFucker9000 (@CyclopsDragon) October 23, 2018
Dangit, all I wanted was some chicken!!
At this point, only the folks at Danny’s Wok know the reasoning behind their pricing. And I’m not even certain they do. I’m fairly sure an actual chicken randomly pecking at feed on a calculator came up with these prices.
You know what? The heck with this. I’m making my own wings.