- Your pizzeria’s gear ought to be sturdy sufficient to final for years whereas appropriate to your distinctive firm and buyer profile.
- The pizza station is the place you’ll spend nearly all of your time, so that you need it to be simply as you prefer it.
By Billy Manzo Jr.
Over the previous 12 months or so, now we have talked on this column about all types of issues which can be essential to your small business, from correct toilet upkeep to location to advertising and marketing. This month, we’re going to give attention to one thing extra fundamental to the pizzeria proprietor: the equipment that makes your pizzeria a pizzeria and separates it from different eating places.
The gear you select not solely has to climate the day-to-day stresses of your small business, however it additionally should cater to your distinctive firm and buyer profile. After I put money into a chunk of apparatus, I preserve 5 issues in thoughts:
- 1. Utilization: How am I going to make use of this factor? What do I count on of it? What sort of pizza do I would like it to make?
- 2. Quantity: What number of pizzas do I count on to make every day? Will it’s as much as the job?
- 3. Electrical necessities: What’s my enterprise able to dealing with by way of electrical energy? You don’t wish to purchase the Ferrari of mixers for those who don’t have the juice to deal with a Ferrari.
- 4. House necessities: What’s the scale of my restaurant? What can I fairly match within the area?
- 5. Service: How shortly can somebody get right here when wanted?
With these questions in thoughts, listed here are 4 fundamental items of apparatus which can be very important for pizza eating places:
The Pizza Oven
Ah, the queen of the pizzeria! There are usually three varieties of ovens accessible to us: gasoline, electrical and wood-burning. However earlier than we step into any business equipment warehouse or browse merchandise on-line, we should first decide what sort of pizza we’re going to make, as a result of that may assist us resolve what oven to decide on.
Gasoline ovens are common, however they don’t go over 550°F. That may very well be a deal breaker for those who supply many kinds of pizza. Wooden’s cool, however are you able to get sufficient of it recurrently to maintain your small business? (Yard wooden gained’t reduce it.) Electrical ovens are probably the most versatile, principally as a result of they will get highly regarded. With electrical, you are able to do Chicago, Neapolitan, Detroit—any model of pizza. With the opposite two, you’re pigeonholed. Electrical is handy and safer and offers a cleaner burn. Plus, there’s the matter of value. After I switched from gasoline to electrical, I saved a median of greater than $400 a month!
The Pizza Station
That is the place you’re going to spend nearly all of your time, so that you need it to be simply as you prefer it—with sturdy reducing boards and counter tops the place you possibly can assemble pizzas and sandwiches, in addition to refrigerated compartments for storing components. My recommendation: In the event you’re going to do hand-stretched dough, you need to benefit from the objects that include both a soapstone, granite or marble countertop—they’re powerful and stain-resistant, and for those who place a sizzling pan on them, they gained’t scorch. A few of the greatest pizza stations come out of Italy and are very environment friendly, permitting you to carry the refrigerated dough within the beneath cabinetry. This manner, you don’t must preserve your dough within the basement and whack your head on the ceiling whereas operating up and down the steps—you guys in New York, Windfall and Boston know what I’m speaking about.
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And right here’s a pizza station hack: You realize that flour completely annihilates the condenser. You undergo a condenser each three years with the buildup of flour! I got here up with a bit of trick years in the past that modified my life. Go to House Depot or an AC/heating firm and decide up a kind of blue and white (or inexperienced and white, relying on the thickness) filters—you understand, the sort you used to see in outdated AC window items as a child. I purchase a roll of that stuff and preserve it within the basement of my restaurant. I reduce a bit of piece the scale of the condenser—10” by 10” or 8” by 8”—and put it within the entrance of the condenser. When it will get stuffed with flour, I throw it away and reduce one other little tiny piece. Works like a allure.
Dividers and rounders: For critical pizza quantity, a dough divider and rounder can optimize the method of creating a dough ball and save lots of time and labor prices. There are some actually good ones on the market, so select one which meets your wants. In the event you’re unsure your quantity warrants a serious funding in a divider and rounder, contemplate the countertop-size and guide fashions.
The dough mixer: That is the piece of apparatus I get most enthusiastic about. Mixers are particular items of apparatus, totally different from normal mixers as a result of they’re heavy-duty and should be capable to deal with dense product. Lots of you employ a Hobart mixer and, relying in your electrical capabilities, you in all probability use a three-phase so you’ve got sufficient juice to run the ball. A bit science: The rotation of the mixer—the dough hook towards the bowl—creates friction, which means the temperature of your dough will go up. Hobarts work the gluten net twice as a lot, twice as quick, and extra aggressively than, say, Italian mixers, which deal with the dough extra sensitively, pulling it away from the bowl. I’m a fan of Italian spiral or double-arm mixers, and doubtless one of the best I’ve ever used is a Sottoriva. Their mixers are unbelievable: They weigh two to two-and-a-half occasions greater than most mixers I’ve seen. However no matter model you choose, it’s necessary to get a heavy, cast-iron-based mixer so it may well deal with the torque while you’re mixing 60, 80 or 100 kilos of flour. No nuts or belts ought to get unfastened. No ribbon ought to must be modified. You wish to get 30 to 40 years out of your mixer—in actual fact, you wish to put that mixer in your will. That’s how lengthy it ought to final. No joke.
Your oven, pizza station, divider and rounder, and mixer are what make you you. They’re key to operating your small business, so do your homework before you purchase. And verify, double-check and triple-check the service plan! Make sure that there’s a licensed service particular person inside one hour of your small business, as a result of when your mixer breaks on Friday evening, you need someone there inside 12 to 24 hours so that you’re not mixing 50 kilos of flour by hand!
Billy Manzo Jr. is a veteran restaurant operator and the proprietor/chef of Federal Hill Pizza in Warren, Rhode Island.