Casa Italiana’s Pizzeria sells out in eight seconds

March 3, 2013, 11:41 p.m.
All 340 seats for the upcoming Pizzeria event were sold out in eight seconds on Sunday night. (ALISA ROYER/The Stanford Daily)
All 340 seats for the upcoming Pizzeria event were sold out in eight seconds on Sunday night. (ALISA ROYER/The Stanford Daily)

It took a mere eight seconds for students to snap up all 340 available spots at Casa Italiana’s March 9 Pizzeria event, cutting in half the previous record for fastest sell-out time in Pizzeria history, Casa Financial Manager Mak Klein ’14  said on Sunday night.

The link went live on the Pizzeria Facebook page at 9 p.m. Sunday night, and demand was so high that in the roughly two-second gap between when Klein clicked to deactivate the online application (when all 340 seats had been requested) and when Google registered his command, 140 more seats had been requested.

“I posted the link just after 9 o’clock,” Klein said, “and all of the requests [up until the point when no more seats were available] came in between 9:00:20 and 9:00:28.”

The miniscule window for reserving spaces was made even more incredible by the fact that students had several fields to fill out: they had to enter their full name, the size of their party, their email address and also select between two seatings (5 and 7:30 p.m.).

Students were allowed to make reservations for up to 15 people for next Saturday’s event, with each ticket sold for $15. According to Klein, most reservations were for groups of 10 to 15.

“[Pizzeria] is different from an event like a frat party, but it’s still a really social scene,” Klein said. “Much like popular events at theme houses, French House’s Crepe Night or Haus Mitt’s Beer and Pretzels, [Pizzeria] appeals to a different population of people.”

Originally a semi-weekly dinner for the Casa Italiana residents, Pizzeria has undergone a rapid transformation from a popular quarterly event offering salad, pizza, gelato and wine (for the over-21 crowd) into the toughest ticket on campus.

The event sold out in four hours last spring and 22 seconds for the most recent Pizzeria in the fall.

Several students who did not manage to reserve a slot posted their incredulity at the tight opening to grab a ticket. Their comments on the event’s Facebook page ranged from shock (“I clicked on it the second you posted it HOW DID THIS HAPPEN”) to disbelief (“right…two seconds…gone”) to sadness (“I love pizza 🙁 and wine”). Klein said that with such high demand it was all but impossible to avoid turning away students who were waiting to sign up immediately after the link was posted. He also noted that the staff at Casa Italiana is always looking for ways to improve the event and might consider other models to take reservations in the future.

Students who received confirmation of their reservation for Saturday’s upcoming Pizzeria must pay for their entire party before Wednesday at 8 p.m. or risk losing their seats.


Miles Bennett-Smith is Chief Operating Officer at The Daily. An avid sports fan from Penryn, Calif., Miles graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor's degree in American Studies. He has previously served as the Editor in Chief and President at The Daily. He has also worked as a reporter for The Sacramento Bee. Email him at [email protected]

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