Food Math: Counter to Infinity

Earlier today we went a little ballistic about the introduction to our fair city of The Counter, a build-your-own burger place that touts their “312,120+ different burger combinations.”

Whenever we see a number that precise, our ears perk up (we are secretly a hunting dog). 312,120? How did they arrive at that number? So we decided to do some math of our own.

Counter’s menu is broken down into the various choices you get to make about your burger. There are four types of “burger”: beef, turkey, chicken, veggie. Each comes in three weights: 1/3lb, 2/3lb, and a hefty 1lb. You can get your burger on one of three types of roll (English muffin, burger bun, honey wheat) or without a bowl on your choice of two kinds of leaves: mixed lettuce, or baby greens.

Right there we have: 4 options, times 3 weights, times 5 platforms = 60 basic options.

Then you choose a cheese. There are ten types, and (if you are like a certain insane friend of ours) you might not want any cheese at all. 60 basic options times 11 cheese options = 660 burger + cheese options.

Now things get crazy. Twenty-nine topping choices, of which four are included in your purchase price. Even assuming you don’t double — or quadruple — up on your toppings (“I’ll have bacon, bacon, bacon, and bacon”), this enters us into the stratosphere of possibility. For the sake of those who might want zero, one, two, or three toppings rather than four, let’s add a thirtieth option: null.

So 660 burger+cheese options times (30x29x28x27) = 434,095,200 burger + cheese + topping options.

BUT WE’RE NOT DONE. There is still the sauce. There are 18 sauces, plus one for null.

434,095,200 burger + cheese + topping times 19 sauces = 8,247,808,800.

Eight billion. Two hundred forty-seven million. Eight hundred and eight thousand. Eight hundred. Possible. Burger. Options.

We’re drained. Happy weekend, y’all.

The Counter: Custom Built Burgers: Menu [The Counter Official Site]

[Photo: Fractal, via jornobniano’s Flickr]


Food Math: Counter to Infinity