Today, CNN Money's Laurie Segall reports on 4food, a new New York City restaurant that's fueling its customer base with the use of social media. The restaurateurs claim to offer 96 billion burger combos available as orders. Stacy Cowley crunches the numbers.
New Manhattan burger joint 4food lets eaters customize their creations with an extensive ingredient menu, and news reports have put the range of options at anywhere from "more than a million" to "140 million" burger combinations.
"There can't possibly be 140 million combinations," I said to my statistician spouse.
"Let's find out," he said, firing up Excel.
5 buns [breakfast bagel, brioche, multigrain, pressed rice, pumpernickle]: Have to have 1
Using that, we ran two formulas. The first calculated how many choices you'd have if you stuck with "should have" - no more than two cheese slices, three condiments, etc. That gave us this:
5 * (2^4) * (12C3 + 12C2 + 12C1 + 12C0) * (7C2 + 7C1 +7C0) * (2^4) * 18 * 8 = 1,598,238,720
... which is 1.6 billion combos.
But if you take off all sane restraints - want 12 toppings and 7 cheese slices? Sure! - and allow all theoretically possible combos, you get this:
5 * (2^4) * (2^12) * (2^7) * (2^4) * 18 * 8 = 96,639,764,160
... which results in more than 96 billion combos. Jam that on your leaderboard.
Read CNN Money's 4food report