starting a pizza place

Commercial Pizza Ovens

Commercial Pizza Ovens

As far as Commercial Pizza Ovens go there seems to be a new sheriff in town.  In the past, most pizza places were content with the standard metal door deck oven and it’s 8-12 minute bake time. But commercial pizza ovens have changed quite a bit since then. Speed and quality have taken the foreground in the pizza game and unless your just a place with a slow pace or maybe limited delivery or competition you can see that the movement towards “a better pizza” has come full circle.

No longer is it enough to just open a can of sauce and dump it on a pre-made shell with some sort of cheap oily cheese and toss it in a deck oven and wait.  The pizza buying public has been educated and it has much higher expectations of it’s pizza makers.  Not only do they expect more but the recent trend in brick ovens has them demanding a truly “better pizza”.

CommercialPizza Oven NY Brick Oven Co.

NY Brick oven Co. Revolving Brick Oven

Back in the 90’s many people started moving into the artisan pizza market with its main tool of the trade-the brick oven. Unfortunately, this required skilled pizza makers and high $$$ salaries to keep them along with a very long training runway for that type of commercial pizza oven.

Pizza could be baked at a much higher temperature but fixed deck brick ovens did have several drawbacks. The main was was consistency due to hot and cold spots on the oven surface and proximity to the fire.  This was compounded by the dreaded “oven fade”  which happened when too many cold doughs were placed in the same spot on the cooking surface along with too hot of a surface from not monitoring the fire correctly.

Fortunately, all the drawbacks of commercial pizza ovens have been handled by the NY Brick oven Company’s Revolving Deck gas and wood-fired commercial brick ovens that are ETL approved for the US and Canada. These ovens have produced World Record 200 pizzas in 50 minutes at Pizza Expo.  Because the deck revolves there are virtually no hot spots or cold spots. Each pizza is consistent, it takes minutes to train your pizza maker as opposed to months on a fixed deck brick oven. to be skilled. Add to this the labor savings of a revolving brick oven and you can see why speed, consistency, ease of operation and labor savings make the revolving brick oven the only choice for commercial pizza ovens. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zI0dbX19U7U

Commercial Pizza Oven

see you at pizza expo

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Pizza Place Start Up

Pizza Place Top 10 List for Starting Your Own

Top 10 reasons to  Open a Pizza Place? Now is the best time for a Start Up Pizza Place and this is why:
#1 Recipes. There is an infinite amount of recipes available on the internet to choose from with sources like Google, Facebook, Youtube and celebrity chef TV and the food network. Anyone with basic skills and desire can get online, look for the hottest trends, find a recipe and get busy. Why reinvent the wheel when you can easily what is popular in the food world and duplicate it?
#2  Restaurant type. You can easily take a look at all the different types of locations and layouts such as a slice joint, fast casual or sit-down waiter service. You can also do some research and see if delivery and take out or even a brew pub-bar will fit in with your plans. Size of Piza Place and type of pizza will be a factor in determining  if you do sit down, fast casual pizza with an assembly line or just slices.
#3  Equipment. It has never been easier to see the different types of Pizza Place equipment being used in successful places than it is now. Currently the hottest trend is hand assembled brick oven style pizza with places like Revolve, Spin Neapolitan and Pie Craft leading the way with Revolving Brick Ovens and gourmet pizza. Pizza stations, walk-in boxes, and mixers such as the old reliable Hobart mixers are available new and used for the budget minded along with tons of information on sizes, capacities along with industry comparisons.
#4 Finance. Today you can basically call up a company like Lease Corp Of America(LCA) fill out your application online and know virtually the same day if you are qualified for a loan. Those of us who remember having to make an appointment with loan officer, fill out endless paperwork while being scrutinized within an in inch of your life under a microscope will attest that the process is light years from where it has been and tell you how lucky you are.
#5 Printing. This may seem like something too little to mention but with today’s digital media and the ability to do it all virtually on line there is an amazing amount of time, effort and money saved. In the old days you would have to consult with a printer to make your deal on printing. Then you would have to consult with a graphic designer to do your layout and maybe even a specialized menu designee to  help you. This took time, from appointments to initial design to a rough sketch. Then you would have to go back and forth on corrections as you finalized your idea. Once that was done you have to have it proofread and hope you and your proofreader caught all the errors. One error I fondly remember was at the First Goodfella’s Brick Oven Pizza on Staten Island. We were all set and made our first huge purchase of several hundred thousand menus for in house, mailing and door to door delivery but we all missed the “Ground Bee” instead of ground beef on the pizza menu. We laughed about it for a long time since we had to print so many menus to save a few dollars. Fortunately you don’t have to got through that incredibly time consuming operation today. Not only that but you can do it all from the comfort of your home and with computers, digital design, limited run printing options, cheap online graphic designers and still save time without taking the big risk of large runs.
#6 Staff. Hiring and finding employees is easier than ever. You don’t have hand a sign in the window and hope someone sees it or spend ridiculous amounts of money on classified ads in the local papers. Graig’s list will get you more applicants than you can shake a stick at in most areas.
#7 Promotion. Getting yourself known is easy and the internet makes it simple. Social media, websites, blogs and press releases will get you known and open the door to customers. If you do a great job with your product, service and presentation people will talk. Your signage, uniforms and design have a lot to do with this.  Yes people will talk so make sure you do it right from the start with all your ducks in a row and a great pizza. You can call the Pizza School of New York if you are not certain of your product.
#8 Marketing. Yes this is different from promoting yourself or your place. This is actually offering your product for sale by way of Newspaper, social media, TV, Radio, mailings, door hangers and however else you can get your product in front of a potential customer and tell them to buy it.
#9 Location.
Pizza Place Pizza Start Up

Marc and Scot Cosentino standing in front oof the first Goodfella’s Brick Oven Pizza Start Up on Hylan Blvd. Staten Island

Location scouting for a Pizza Place can be done via many outlets now with many realtors competing for business. With the internet, emails and google earth you can even see a place from a street view and decide if it is even worth looking at before wasting your precious time.
#10 Training. With video, internet, Youtube, DropBox etc. there are so many ways to present data to your staff, update recipes and procedures and keep everyone on the same page that even multiple locations become easier to manage when you get to that point.
Bonus Reason- Computerization. Point of sale order taking, inventory, ticket printing, and display have made management a great deal more organized. The systems can track best sellers integrate promotional items and sales while even tracking deliveries and scheduling orders of food or reminding you of upcoming catering or previously scheduled deliveries.
Of course, all these wonderful reasons for it being easier still require the entrepreneur to step into the ring and make his purpose known. My respect and admiration go to you my friends that make the attempt. I wish you the best of luck. Marc Cosentino
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Fresh Pizza

World’s Best Pizza Secret

Slug: Pizza  /  Staten Island, NY– 10/22/2013 :     A survey  of pizza establishments on Staten Island. Here: Goodfella's Quatro Cantone pie has 4 toppings: alla vodka, smoking Goodfella, Sally pie (lemon chicken) , and margarita      NYTCredit: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Slug: Pizza / Staten Island, NY– 10/22/2013 : A survey of pizza establishments on Staten Island. Here: Goodfella’s Quatro Cantone pie has 4 toppings: alla vodka, smoking Goodfella, Sally pie (lemon chicken) , and margarita NYTCredit: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Pizza Secret, what is the secret to making the “World’s Best Pizza”. Well, I have been lucky enough to be part of the Goodfella’s Brick oven Pizza crew fo over 25 years and I think I finally understand the pizza secret. As Sally Russo used to say “It’s love, love of what you do”. That may seem silly but in the long run, pizza is a very basic food that has an infinite number of combinations, variables, and possibilities. Once you have mastered the ability to make the dough, roll the dough, stretch the dough, and bake the dough in an oven(which requires practice to develop the skill) then you can start assembling the ingredients to begin your own personal pizza journey. Many people are not aware of the fact that it requires the same amount of time to make a good pizza as it does to make a bad pizza. What I mean by this is that you can get good ingredients or bad, you can mix and assemble those ingredients correctly or not, then you can bake your pizza evenly at the correct temperature or not. Seems simple enough but you would be surprised. Once people start skimping on quality ingredients it’s all over. A good cheese or flour may be a little more expensive but that is the cost of making a good pie. Actually checking precise measurements and dough temperatures will determine both taste and consistency. This is the only true Pizza SECRET I have ever learned: You have to be consistent! Always! You do it correctly every day, you follow the correct procedure and recipes every day. You mix, prep and store your dough the same way every day. You use the same ingredients from reputable sources. This is the only secret. You don’t skimp on quality, you don’t shortcut time in letting the dough rise. You bake your pies the same way every time. This is your secret to success. Anybody can make one pizza hat is great but it takes a team of dedicated individual all working in coordination to produce a consistent pizza that you can be proud of. The pizza secret begins with food ordering and storage to the preparation and portioning and then to cooking. It is a progression with each step completely dependent on each prior step to achieve the result. Everybody in the line depends on everybody else. Your vendors are a key part of your success too and should be made aware that their success is based on your success so that they too have a vested interest in making sure you always get a fresh consistent delivery and this includes the delivery time also. There is nothing worse than coming in on a hot day and finding your dairy products have been sitting out in the hot sun for hours or conversely on a freezing day your produce has become a solid block. Then of course, there is the inopportune delivery times such as during the Friday rush when you don’t even have enough time to check it all in much less check quality and quantity against your order. All these things add up to the secret of great pizza so get busy and be consistent in delivering a great product and you will be that much closer to the “secret”.

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Promote

5 Things to Avoid When Starting a Pizza Place

The Beatles of Brick ovens

Top 5 Mistakes When Starting a Pizza Place by NY Brick Oven Co.

Pizza Start-Up mistakes to avoid are many but here are 5 things to avoid when starting a pizza place, to begin with.

5 Things to Avoid When Starting Aa Pizza Place number 1.

First and foremost is Do Not Go Into A Business Under Capitalized.

Simply put make sure you have enough money to handle unforeseen circumstances, working capital and emergencies.  At first, this seems like common sense but when you are starting a business and don’t have the benefit of past experience it is very hard to predict what you just don’t know exists.  Here are some things new entrepreneurs may not think of. Marketing campaigns, insurance, salaries and the fees associated with them like worker’s comp and payroll, maintenance, natural disasters and the like. Although I personally feel that necessity  will drive you to handle most of these things and figure out clever ways to survive  them but why add the burden to managing your  place? Start out with as much cash in the bank as possible and 20% of your total start-up is a good number to think with.

2.  No Clear Direction.

This is responsible for a lot of failures. If you are making pizza for the first time then go to a legitimate pizza school that can both show you how to make a good pie and give you an idea on how a pizza place is run.  If you are doing a slice joint on a busy foot traffic city street then set the place up with a front counter and a window for easy access. Have the oven and pizza easy to get to fast. Have your most purchased items on display, prepped and easy to heat and go. Have your menu board and prices up. large and easy to read. Have your staff organize all the paper goods and condiments so that they are handy and flow. Next, if it is fast casual concept you after then make sure you have the long counter area, refrigerated toppings, and a high production

Next, if it is a fast casual concept you are after,  then make sure you have the long counter area, too small of a waiting area,  enough refrigerated toppings on display, and a high production revolving brick oven  to handle the demands of in and out gourmet pizza.

If you are creating a destination location then make it one that people are going to talk about. Have a comfortable stylish atmosphere designed specifically for your intended audience and not generic. Have your staff look a certain way to set the tone  and all your decorations, promo and marketing align with it.

3.Bad Location

This can make or break any business but food can be critical. Do a slice joint off the main path or avenue and you could starve. Put a very trendy hipster looking place in the middle American suburbs with no audience and you may starve. Put a sit-down waiter service destination location in a working class, industrial, short lunch break area and you may starve.  And the opposite will at least give you a fighting chance if you have a decent product.  And don’t forget to consider seasonal locations and the fluctuation of visitors in your financial planning.

4. Bad or unwanted product.

This is number 4 but can easily be number 1 of the 5 things to avoid when starting a pizza place. Many would-be entrepreneurs make the fatal mistake of not surveying or at looking at what is needed and wanted in their geographical location. A good pizza example is trying to open a Chicago deep-dish place on a busy New York street in a tiny place where people would have to carry out an impossible to eat deep-dish pizza instead of a slice on a paper plate. Or trying sell vegan pizza in a meat and potatoes neighborhood. See eat the locals are looking for and consider working that into your menu like; pineapple pizza in Hawaii, meat lovers pizza in the midwest or a gourmet truffle oil pizza in a high-end travel destination.

5. Poor Service

Unless you are in  a location with a captive audience and limited choices such as Disney, Six Flags or the only game in town you had better pay attention to service. What is good service?

Good service starts with clean quarters. Is your storefront and parking lot clean? Are the windows clean and streak free? Is the parking lot swept? Is the building painted? Are your signs straight and in good order? Are your bathrooms clean and stocked with paper goods? How about your staff? Are their hands clean? Uniforms? Hair groomed? Are your customers warmly greeted and shown interest? Are the tables off balance? Is your staff rude?

In closing, these are not the only 5 Things to Avoid When Starting Aa Pizza Place or any business for that matter, but avoiding these at all costs will help hedge your bet and give you a better shot at success.

 

 

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Starting a pizza place

Starting a pizza business

So you are thinking about  Starting a pizza business?  Becoming a pizza entrepreneur and joining the ranks of pizza makers around the country engaged in keeping Americans well fed and happy? Fantastic idea and as always easier said than done.  but with today’s opportunities and the internet,  it is a whole lot easier  than it used to be. In fact, it’s night day when you compare opening a place today with opening a place 20 years ago. “How can that be ?” you may ask. Well, consider a few of the following thing.

Starting a pizza business

Starting a great pizza place

1. Recipes. There is an infinite amount of recipes now  available on the internet to choose from with sources like Google, Facebook, Youtube and celebrity chef TV and the food network. Anyone with basic skills and desire can get online, look for the hottest trends, find a recipe and get busy. And now there is even an incredible  pizza school.  http://pizzaschoolnewyork.com/

2. Restaurant type. You can easily take a look at the different types of locations and layouts such as a slice joint, fast casual or sit-down full service or a hybrid of fast casual and full-service combination  . You can also do some research and see if delivery and take out or even a brew pub-bar will fit in with your plans.  you can find places for rent online and understand the market with much more detail.

3. Equipment. It has never been easier to see the different types of equipment being used in successful places than it is now. Currently, the hottest trend is hand assembled brick oven style pizza with places like Revolve, Spin Neapolitan and Pie Craft leading the way with Revolving Brick Ovens and gourmet pizza. Pizza stations, walk-in boxes, and mixers such as the old reliable Hobart are available new and used for the budget minded along with tons of information on sizes, capacities along with many other  industry comparisons.

4.Finance. Today you can basically call up a company like Lease Corp Of America(LCA) fill out your application online and know virtually the same day if you are qualified for a loan. Those of us who remember having to make an appointment with the loan officer, fill out endless paperwork while being scrutinized within an inch of your life under a microscope will attest that the process is light years from where it has been and tell you how lucky you are.

5.Printing. This may seem like something too little to mention but with today’s digital media and the ability to do it all virtually online is incredible.  There is an amazing amount of time, effort and money saved. In the old days, you would have to consult with a printer to make your deal on printing . Then you would have to consult with a graphic designer to do your layout and maybe even a specialized menu designer  to  help you. This took time, from appointments to initial design to a rough sketch. Then you would have to go back and forth on corrections as you finalized your idea. Once that was done you have to have it proofread and hope you and your proofreader caught all the errors. One error I fondly remember was at the First Goodfella’s Brick Oven Pizza on Staten Island. We were all set and made our first huge purchase of several hundred thousand menus for in-house, mailing and door to door delivery but we all missed the “Ground Bee” instead of ground beef on the pizza menu. We laughed about it for a long time since we had to print so many menus to save a few dollars. Fortunately, you don’t have to go through that incredibly time-consuming operation today. Not only that but you can do it all from the comfort of your home.  With computers, digital design, limited run printing options, cheap online graphic designers and still save time without taking the big risk of large runs.

6.Staff. Hiring and finding employees is easier than ever. You don’t have to put a hand a sign in the window and hope someone sees it or spend ridiculous amounts of money on classified ads in the local papers. Graig’s list will get you more applicants than you can shake a stick at in most areas.

7.Promotion. Getting yourself known with the internet makes it simple. Social media, websites, blogs and press releases will get you known and open the door to customers. If you do a great job with your product, service and presentation people will talk. Your signage, uniforms, and design have a lot to do with this.  Yes, people will talk so make sure you do it right from the start with all your ducks in a row and a great pizza. You can call the Pizza School of New York if you are not certain of your product.

7. Marketing. Yes this is different from promoting yourself or your place. This is actually offering your product for sale by way of Newspaper, social media, TV, Radio, mailings, door hangers and however else you can get your product in front of a potential customer and tell them to buy it.

8.Location. Location scouting can be done via many outlets now with many realtors competing for business. With the internet, emails and google earth you can even see a place from a street view and decide if it is even worth looking at before wasting your precious time.

9.Training. With video, internet, Youtube, DropBox etc. there are so many ways to present data to your staff, update recipes and procedures and keep everyone on the same page that even multiple locations become easier to manage when you get to that point.

10.Computerization. The point of sale order taking, inventory, ticket printing, and display have made management a great deal more organized. The systems can track best sellers integrate promotional items and sales while even tracking deliveries and scheduling orders of food or reminding you of upcoming catering or previously scheduled deliveries.

Of course, all these wonderful reasons for it being easier still require the entrepreneur to step into the ring  when  starting a pizza business., and make his purpose known.

My respect and admiration go to you my friends that make the attempt.

I wish you the best of luck.

Marc Cosentino

 

 

 

 

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Revolving Brick Oven

Who will be the King of fast Casual Pizza

The Race is on to see who  will be the king of fast casual pizza .

The Fast Casual Pizza is happening and the players just keep on coming: Spin Neapolitan, Revolve, Pie Craft, Pizza Fire, Cucinova, Blaze, Chipotle, and Fuel just to name a few. But every day a new concept joins the ranks determined to make its mark. Fast sustainable growth with good ROR(return on investment) is the goal. Simple enough in theory but how to go about it is the rub. Most of the big players are coming in with big guns a blazing- like former CEOs from other successful chains, while some concepts are counting on celebrity power or very deep pockets. Then there are others that are making the move one place at a time and bankrolling each additional store with funds from the last success.

Other are just raising funds with initial offerings while still others are selling franchises at an alarming rate with the hopes of delivering.

Many roads lead to Rome  and there is more than one way to skin a cat as the sayings go. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out. Speed of expansion is always a problem for the guys looking to dominate the market.  The first guys to market seem to  always have an advantage, but in this day and age of social media, instant celebrity, polarized politics, hipsters and Donald Trump, it’s going to be interesting to see who can navigate the waters with success, and who will be just another player in the big game.

Speed, image, ability to connect with customers, a great product, and ultimately smart  management will prevail.

T

This is truly an  exciting time  to be on the frontier of  the  Fast Casual Pizza race. May the best team and all others have success as well!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zI0dbX19U7U

 

 

 

 

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