Liquid Gold: Sauces and Drizzles Make an Best Upsell

By Tracy Morin

Name it liquid gold: Sauces and drizzles will not be solely a good way so as to add depth of taste and eye enchantment in your pizzas—they’re a perfect upsell to accompany pies and different menu gadgets. “At the moment’s buyer expects the ‘wow’ issue once they order meals—everyone seems to be on social media today, the place meals is colourful, over-the-top and horny,” says Chuck Sillari, proprietor of Mortadella Head in Somerville, Massachusetts. “To remain related, restaurant house owners and cooks have to determine methods to excite the plenty. I’ve to have a look at the meals I function a chunk of art work, and my sauces and drizzles are the paint. After all, I need it to be scrumptious, however I additionally need it to be lovely sufficient for somebody to whip out their iPhone, snap a photograph and submit it on Instagram or TikTok.” 

Able to get your prospects sauced? In their very own phrases, these cooks and operators from across the nation provide some main inspiration.


Madison Avenue Pizza’s Flaming Sizzling Cheeto Mac Daddy pizza
Sean Ferraro, chef/proprietor, Madison Avenue Pizza, Dunedin, FL

Understand that generally cooking the sauces adjustments the flavour, and never each sauce is greatest when baked within the pizza oven. Raw sauces can have a vibrant, contemporary taste that could be higher for the flavour profile of sure pizzas. Apart from a domestically made scorching honey, we use many ending sauces on our pizzas:

  • Home made Calabrian chili oil on our Indignant Pepperoni pizza, with pink sauce, mozzarella, cupping pepperoni, roasted lengthy scorching peppers and Parmesan cheese. The chili oil brings a smoky spice taste that provides a bit of extra warmth to the pie with out overwhelming the opposite flavors. We make it by simmering Calabrian chilis in olive oil.
  • Home made sweet-and-sour sauce on our Crab Rangoon pizza, with a crab rangoon sauce base and topped with mozzarella, inexperienced onions and wonton strips. We make the sauce with crushed pineapple, teriyaki sauce, sriracha and candy Thai chili sauce.
  • Yellow mustard on each our Chili Glizzy (chili, sliced scorching canine, cheddar and pink onion) and our Pastrami and Pickle (pink sauce, mozz, pastrami and dill pickles).
  • Home made pistachio pesto for our Mortadella and Pistachio pizza, with mozzarella, ricotta, mortadella and contemporary garlic.
  • A do-it-yourself clone of Massive Mac sauce that we use on our Return of the Mac pizza, with mozzarella, yellow American cheese, floor beef, pickles, shredded iceberg and diced onion.
  • Home made mayo-mustard drizzle on our Cuban Pizza—it’s simply 50% mayo and 50% mustard—with mozzarella, Swiss, do-it-yourself mojo pork, salami, ham and pickles.
  • Our Flaming Sizzling Cheeto Mac Daddy is topped with each scorching buffalo sauce and ranch. It’s made with a mac-and-cheese base and topped with hen tenders breaded in crushed Flamin’ Sizzling Cheetos, inexperienced onions, ranch and buffalo sauce.

“I take a look at the meals I function a chunk of art work, and my sauces and drizzles are the paint. I need it to be scrumptious, however I additionally need it to be lovely sufficient for somebody to whip out their iPhone, snap a photograph and submit it on Instagram or TikTok.”
— Chuck Sillari, Mortadella Head


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Jon Courtroom provides honey in flavors like Calabrian chili and white truffle to his artistic signature pies.

Jon Courtroom, government chef, Fiore Pizzeria and Bakery, River Forest, IL

When eager about using a drizzle or ending sauce, the aim is to reinforce the product by including a taste or texture that may complement the remainder of the pizza or dish. Right here’s a listing of sauces I’ve used:

  • Calabrian chili honey, drizzled over an ’nduja and roasted garlic pizza. The candy honey mixed with the spicy chilies enhances the slight spice of the ’nduja.
  • White truffle honey, drizzled over a pizza topped with Fontina and Parmigiano-Reggiano, confit garlic, caramelized onions and rosemary. The earthiness of the truffle mixed with the candy honey goes properly with the sturdy cheeses and savory garlic and onion.
  • Chile Crunch (a mix of olive oil, dry chilies, and a crispy garlic-shallot mix) is scrumptious drizzled over roasted greens. I’ve additionally used it on a zucchini pizza with ricotta cheese and spring onions. 
  • Citrus Yogurt, drizzled over a Lamb Sausage Pizza. The acidic yogurt balances out the wealthy taste of lamb sausage very properly. I make the sauce by combining Greek yogurt with olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice.
  • Smoked Pecorino cream, drizzled over a broccolini pizza. The smoky, creamy sauce enhances the contemporary crunch of broccolini.
  • Apple cider French dressing, drizzled over a butternut squash pizza. The candy and acidic sauce enhances the savory taste of the roasted squash.
  • Lemon Agrumato, made when entire lemons are pressed with olives. This offers a pleasant, vibrant lemon taste to a chunk of roasted cauliflower or grilled fish.


Mattenga’s Pizzeria presents two housemade takes on a standard favourite: Contemporary Basil and Garlic Ranch Dip, and The Texas Ranch, with jalapeño and cilantro.
Hengam Stanfield, co-founder, Mattenga’s Pizzeria, San Antonio, TX

Ranch is basic for pizza dipping right here in Texas, so we took it up a notch by including two flavored ranch dips to our menu this yr and have seen nice success. They’re excellent for drizzling, dipping and at the same time as a base as an alternative of basic pink pizza sauce. We promote 1,000 to 1,200 of those month-to-month—with pizzas, wings and our pizza rolls, and as a salad dressing.

Our two distinctive dips are Mattenga’s Ranch: Contemporary Basil and Garlic Ranch Dip, and The Texas Ranch: Jalapeño Cilantro Ranch. For the primary, we merely purée contemporary garlic cloves and basil leaves in a meals processor with a bit of olive oil mix, then combine it with our ranch. The depth of taste makes each chunk completely pizza-licious. For the Texas Ranch, we purée pickled jalapeño peppers and contemporary cilantro in a meals processor, then combine it with our common ranch dressing. There’s the gentle kick from the jalapeño, a slight trace of cilantro and the creaminess of ranch. They’re so in style!

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We cost 75 cents per 2-ounce Ranch Dip, so they’re the right upsell to extend common ticket with minimal effort. They’re simple to prep and make in batches, since all of us have ranch and these components available. The dips give our meals a singular and memorable taste that brings visitors again time and again—a taste they gained’t get at one other pizza place.

“We cost 75 cents per 2-ounce Ranch Dip, so they’re the right upsell to extend common ticket with minimal effort.”
— Hengam Stanfield, Mattenga’s Pizzeria


Pop Up Pizza stands out within the aggressive Las Vegas restaurant scene by jazzing up spicy and savory pies with a drizzle of scorching honey.

Michael Vakneen, pizzaiolo, Pop Up Pizza on the Plaza Lodge & On line casino, Las Vegas, NV

I drizzle Mike’s Sizzling Honey on the Mike’s Spicy Supreme pizza proper when it comes out of the oven. The candy sauce towards the salty pepperoni and sausage will get intensified by the mix of the pickled jalapeños and spiciness of the honey. The roasted mushrooms deliver an earthiness that retains the flavors of this pizza grounded and complicated, including layers of flavors with out being too over-the-top.

Prospects additionally like to make use of the honey dip cups to dunk hen tenders and the packets to drizzle on pizzas. The spicy honey combo—an preliminary candy taste with an extra-hot kick on the again finish—shouldn’t be solely enjoyable for purchasers however helps spherical out an ideal umami taste explosion, placing our slices on the innovative versus the competitors. Because the post-oven drizzle turns into one other staple to distinguish pizzas, we are going to proceed to search for new and inventive methods to maintain our prospects enthusiastic about what we’re doing.


At Sfera Sicilian Avenue Meals, providing dipping and drizzling sauces for retail has been a good way to create add-on gross sales.

Steven Jarczyk, chef/co-owner, Sfera Sicilian Avenue Meals, Chicago, IL

We take a look at drizzling and dipping sauces as the right accompaniment and upselling choice for our sfincione, a Sicilian-style pizza. Sfincione has a better crust-to-sauce ratio than most pizzas, and a 2-ounce aspect of our housemade marinara is a superb addition to a slice—it presents an added worth to our visitors and makes the eating expertise extra customized and interactive. We additionally provide a aspect of housemade chili oil and truffle aioli to our visitors as an add-on sale. This presents one thing scrumptious that enhances our sfincione whereas including to the examine.


Previous Chicago Pizza & Taproom not too long ago partnered with Mike’s Sizzling Honey for limited-time menu gadgets just like the Nashville Sizzling Honey Pizza.

Lisa Lee, senior VP of promoting, SPB Hospitality (Previous Chicago Pizza & Taproom), Katy, TX

From November by way of January 1, we served a limited-time menu that includes the Nashville Sizzling Honey Pizza, created in partnership with Mike’s Sizzling Honey. It featured Previous Chicago’s signature dough with mozzarella cheese, Nashville scorching hen, pickles and inexperienced onion, with a zigzag drizzle of Mike’s Sizzling Honey. This previous fall, Previous Chicago additionally launched its Sizzling Honey Thriller pizza for a restricted time. Who can say no to crispy bacon, Italian sausage, pepperoni, pink pepper, melted mozzarella and a drizzle of Mike’s Sizzling Honey?

“This previous fall, Previous Chicago launched its Sizzling Honey Thriller pizza for a restricted time. Who can say no to crispy bacon, Italian sausage, pepperoni, pink pepper, melted mozzarella and a drizzle of Mike’s Sizzling Honey?”
— Lisa Lee, SPB Hospitality


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Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co. makes use of sauces to accentuate flavors on its distinctive pies, which characteristic Chicano influences on an artisan sourdough crust.

Jorge Sandoval, chef/pizzaiolo, Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co., Los Angeles, CA

We serve an artisan sourdough crust imbued with Chicano flavors and break pizza boundaries with artistic twists on classics. Put up-bake is enjoyable time for us! A drizzle provides our visitors one thing new, thrilling and really eye-appealing.

A few our pies and specials characteristic a drizzle, and we’re very considerate on what we end with earlier than a pie lands on the desk. The Mole pie is a singular standout on the menu—the mole is complicated, candy and earthy, with a gentle warmth from the spices and chili used. We begin with a mix of mozzarella and queso Oaxaca, then, post-bake, we prime it with curtido, contemporary cilantro, a drizzle of home crema and, most significantly, extra mole sauce. The mix of candy, spicy and pickled, plus the visible enchantment, hits the mark, which in flip creates a enjoyable environment for the visitors and encourages them to be daring and take a look at the remainder of our menu and our specials—such because the Birria pizza, with queso fresco, birria, shaved radishes, a drizzle of habanero jalapeño crema and, in fact, a aspect of consommé.


Chuck Sillari, proprietor, Mortadella Head, Somerville, MA 

I make all of my sauces and drizzles in-house. A few my hottest sauces are the Calabrian Chili aioli and the Creamy Gorgonzola Dressing. Each are used as a end to my hottest pizzas:

  • The Calabrian Chili aioli goes on my Gomorrah Pizza, a Roman-style crust with white cream sauce, fried hen cutlets and garlicky roasted broccoli rabe, and on the Pepperoni Particular, with contemporary mozzarella and grated Pecorino.
  • The Creamy Gorgonzola Dressing stripes my hottest pie, the Buffalo Hen, when it comes out of the oven. This dressing is an elevated play on the everyday blue cheese dressing that goes with buffalo sauce. Gorgonzola, an Italian type of blue cheese, provides a whole lot of taste.

It’s been fascinating to see how utilizing these drizzles on pizza and sandwiches has developed into providing new dipping sauces. I’ve so many purchasers asking for further sides of those sauces to dunk their hen wings and French fries!

Recipe: Calabrian Chili Aioli

Courtesy of Chuck Sillari, Mortadella Head

  • 2 c. mayonnaise
  • ½ c. Calabrian chili peppers
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. contemporary lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to style

Add all components to a big bowl and whisk collectively till utterly blended. Retailer in an hermetic container within the fridge for as much as one week.


Web site Unique: Dip, Dump, Drizzle

Desire a take a look at the wonderful ranch dips supplied at Mattenga’s Pizzeria? Take a look at their enjoyable, snappy video under!