Author Topic: Mobile pizza business dough help  (Read 4402 times)

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Offline bobwatts

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Mobile pizza business dough help
« on: April 20, 2011, 03:29:17 PM »
I am about to enter my first festival season with a wood fired pizza oven on a trailer. I am having to figure a lot out and am stressed about a couple of points.

1. Dough. I have successfully followed the Neapolitan dough recipes I have found on this site and am pleased with the results. I have also compared costs to pre-made frozen sheets and have noted that cost of my fresh dough is much lower. My concern is the logistics of it. How do I store enough dough balls to insure that I have enough for the event? If you are currently in the business or have experience in this area, I would appreciate your input.

2. How many pizzas can I expect to sell? I know there are 1000 possible answers to that question based on many different factors, but as an average, does anyone have a % of those in attendance who will likely purchase from me? Some of these have quite a large number of people attending. 5K, 12K, even 30K, some even more than that. I want to make sure I don't get caught with nothing to sell, but don't want to end up with a lot of extra either.

Any answers to these - or even educated guesses - would be greatly appreciated. I did a great amount of due diligence on the oven and many other "big" things, now these detail items are staring me in the face and the festival season is coming quickly upon me.

Thanks again.


Offline wheelman

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Re: Mobile pizza business dough help
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2011, 05:24:21 PM »
welcome Bob!  i'm no expert by any means but i'll take a stab at it: i would look for large proofing trays that stack for storage.  something like they offer here: http://restaurant-supplies.katom.com/cat/pizza-dough-proofing-pans.html

for the number of pizzas to plan on, i would look at it from an output standpoint. how many pies can you make in an hour?  how many hours you going to be there?  especially if there are that many folks there.  others will know more then i do....

best luck

Offline GotRocks

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Re: Mobile pizza business dough help
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2011, 10:38:50 AM »
vending at festivals is a total crapshoot. it depends on how many other vendors are there, how many vendors selling the same products, attendance, weather, booth placement, inspection fees, fuel, travel lodging. and then have large enough equipment to meet the volume needed to show a profit

The typical percentage I have learned is typically 5-7 percent of total attendance.
Where is your base of operations at compared to these festivals? You do have a licensed kitchen facility to work from, right? if not, where do you plan on doing prep, getting potable water and dumping grey water, taking deliveries, making dough?

What is your break-even point at? Choosing which events to vend at is key, if they do not have the potential to meet and exceed your break-even point, do not pay the real estate fees to attend. You may be better with catering private events to start, then work your way into vending.

I do catering, but I vend 1 event a year in the city I live in.

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Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Mobile pizza business dough help
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2011, 12:39:32 PM »
Bob, how many people are going to work at your pizza stand/trailer? Are you planning to do it alone or will you have help? Having to do everything yourself will cut down your maximum output.

I agree with Wheelman about figuring out your maximal output. For example, if you are able to do 40 pizzas an hour and the event lasts for, say, 4 hours, that would be 160 pizzas as the maximum amount of pies you could sell, regardless of whether there are 5000 people at the event or a million.

With the season upon you, I would spend as much time as possible doing dry runs...getting whatever staff you plan to have on hand and just pushing yourself to see where you are making pizzas as fast as possible without sacrificing quality and then do a few more dry runs to get your speed and consistency up.

With regards to the dough, temperature in summer is a huge concern. How will you mitigate this? Dough balls left out in 90 degree heat could result in pizzas made at the beginning of the event being quite different from those made towards then end (assuming consistency of quality is a concern). Keeping doughballs in a running vehicle with the AC turned on is one potential way (albeit inefficient and costly) to mitigate heat. Dittos for finding some type of container which is both large enough to hold doughballs and with enough room to maybe add a couple of frozen ice packs to keep the temperature moderate?
« Last Edit: April 27, 2011, 12:41:06 PM by pizzablogger »
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Offline thezaman

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Re: Mobile pizza business dough help
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2011, 08:33:08 PM »
 i purchased some cambro catering boxes .these are heavily insulated and hold heat or cold very well. they stay heated with minimal heat loss for three hours. they make inserts that you freeze to help if you are using them to keep food cold. i also have the small dough boxes which i hope will fit in the cambro, if they don't a half sheet pan will. for large events these may be cost prohibitive as they probably only hold 30 dough balls.

Offline apizza

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Re: Mobile pizza business dough help
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2011, 09:39:58 PM »
Just want to give you a method that a local mobile pizza guy uses. I was talking to him at a farmer's market. He partially bakes the crusts before the event. All he had to do was add toppings and bake. They weren't too bad.

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Mobile pizza business dough help
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2011, 09:28:03 AM »
i purchased some cambro catering boxes .these are heavily insulated and hold heat or cold very well. they stay heated with minimal heat loss for three hours. they make inserts that you freeze to help if you are using them to keep food cold. i also have the small dough boxes which i hope will fit in the cambro, if they don't a half sheet pan will. for large events these may be cost prohibitive as they probably only hold 30 dough balls.

Zaman, when looking at dough proofing trays, remember that the tray dimensions listed on websites are the interior diameter of the tray (not including the walls)

I had previously contacted Medan Plastics, makers of the popular Dough Mate trays, to confirm the true dimensions of their regular sized trays, which are as follows:

Interior Diameter (usable space of tray, listed on websites): 24 x 16 x 3
Exterior Diameter (total space of tray): 26 x 18 x 3

I was dealing with this very issue when I submitted an application to do a pizza stand at a local farmers market, but got beaten to the punch (early bird gets the worm!). I thought I would be able to fit the trays into a couple of large marine coolers, but when including the exterior walls surrounding the usable area, most proofing trays I have looked at are just a tad too wide for nearly every marine type cooler I have looked at.

I too looked at a Cambro food tray holder, the UPC400 model (http://www.centralrestaurant.com/Camcarrier-Food-Pan-Carrier---Ultra-Carrier-c64p4231.html?cid=wscsamDNR250-150-DK-BRO&utm_source=amazon&utm_medium=cse), but the interior space is 18" wide, the same as the dough trays. So I'm not certain if it would fit proofing trays.

I was noodling how to construct a wooden, insulated box which would hold the proofing trays as well, since I personally wanted to avoid placing dough balls in plastic and maintain the dough balls in as close an environment as possible to a brick and mortar location for optimal quality.

Whatever you do, good luck! --K
« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 09:32:20 AM by pizzablogger »
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Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Mobile pizza business dough help
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2011, 11:32:47 AM »

I was noodling how to construct a wooden, insulated box which would hold the proofing trays as well, since I personally wanted to avoid placing dough balls in plastic and maintain the dough balls in as close an environment as possible to a brick and mortar location for optimal quality.

[/quote]

Alot of the home brew guys convert an inexpensive chest freezer to a kegerator (icebox).  Even if there was no power on site, I would think it would stay cool for several hours if it was "loaded" with dough trays.

http://www.oregonbrewcrew.com/freezer/freezer.html

Or google kegerator build.
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Offline GotRocks

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Re: Mobile pizza business dough help
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2011, 06:21:12 PM »
I was noodling how to construct a wooden, insulated box which would hold the proofing trays as well, since I personally wanted to avoid placing dough balls in plastic and maintain the dough balls in as close an environment as possible to a brick and mortar location for optimal quality.

Alot of the home brew guys convert an inexpensive chest freezer to a kegerator (icebox).  Even if there was no power on site, I would think it would stay cool for several hours if it was "loaded" with dough trays.

http://www.oregonbrewcrew.com/freezer/freezer.html
Or google kegerator build.
You need to remember you'll be dealing with health department regulations and regular inspections too, the words "Easily Cleanable" typically mean fully sealed so nothing can soak in, no little nooks or cranny's for stuff to build up in, and other smooth easily cleanable surfaces, Some states (MN in particular) have a requirement that anything used for commercial food cooking, storing, and prep along with utensils must also have NSF engraved into them. I have heard of one MN inspector who tagged a guy for his Henckels 4-star knives because they are not NSF listed. If my local inspector went that insane, I would need to give him a boot in the butt!!
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Offline thezaman

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Re: Mobile pizza business dough help
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2011, 06:50:41 AM »
the maden plastics artisan style trays fit nicely inside the cambro containers. you can fit four of them with a slot for a cambro ice tray. you can get six balls per tray. so 24 balls in each cambro.


Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Mobile pizza business dough help
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2011, 08:53:30 AM »
the maden plastics artisan style trays fit nicely inside the cambro containers. you can fit four of them with a slot for a cambro ice tray. you can get six balls per tray. so 24 balls in each cambro.

Excellent!
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell


 

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