Author Topic: New to pizza making and setting up pizza takeaway in the United Kingdom  (Read 2488 times)

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Offline bagsy

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Hi all,
I am after help and advice please. I am looking to set up my takeaway pizza business with no previous pizza knowledge. I have knowledge of running a successful fried food takeaway and am looking to this as a challenge I want take on as I have always been passionate about pizza when I have ordered out or eaten out. I visit North America quite a lot and find the pizza there is always better than what we have in the UK. Any help and advice is welcome. Thanks


Online scott123

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Re: New to pizza making and setting up pizza takeaway in the United Kingdom
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2012, 01:08:07 PM »
Bagsy, welcome to the forum.  From what I understand, a great deal of what passes for pizza in the UK is subpar, so a solidly made pizza can be highly profitable.

Whereabouts are you located?

Offline bagsy

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Re: New to pizza making and setting up pizza takeaway in the United Kingdom
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2012, 07:00:04 AM »
@Scott
Hi Scott- thanks for the reply. I notice sometimes newbies do not get many responses so appreciate yours.
I am on the south coast (central) in England. In my locality (5 mile radius) there is:
*one dedicated pizza delivery store (has been establishing itself for 2 years, family owned and run alongside staff, contributed to the closure of the second business, seems to be doing ok but not great)
*one closed pizza delivery store (was run by staff who had no real vested interest and was therefore always under threat, premises now closed)
*one food delivery outlet that has been set up for a year but is already struggling due to poor food quality (they set themselves up as pizza specialists but are having to extend their food range due to poor first impressions, family owned and run, I give them another year or two)
As you can tell there is risk involved for me but if I can get the main things right, I have a great chance of doing what I want to do (making great pizzas) and being successful. I will be relying on my taste buds and my experience of individual outlets in the US and Canada. I will be heavily promoting my pizza as homemade. In the UK many food outlets that do not solely concentrate on pizza buy in pre-made dough! A definate 'no no' for me.
As such, I will be seeking advice from members of this forum. I wonder how many of the members are located in the UK?

Online scott123

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Re: New to pizza making and setting up pizza takeaway in the United Kingdom
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2012, 07:49:34 AM »
Bagsy, I consulted for a pizzeria East of Brighton, so I have a really good idea of what you're dealing with. London has a few solid offerings, but, as you get down to the coast, it's pretty much a wasteland. There's a tremendous financial opportunity there- if you have the willingness to learn. I don't know what kind of skill set fried foods require, but pizza, at least the pizza that will generate substantial revenue, requires some serious baking skills.  It's incredibly easy to make mediocre pizza.  As you get into world class pizza, though, it takes quite a few months to master.

Are you baking pizza at home?
« Last Edit: October 16, 2012, 07:52:07 AM by scott123 »

Offline bagsy

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Re: New to pizza making and setting up pizza takeaway in the United Kingdom
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2012, 10:31:46 AM »
Agree about the surrounding mediocrity south of London. At the moment I am not baking at home but I have space in my current retail premises to start there. Skills that I can transfer over are limited as fried cooking involves very little actual prep work with ingredients. Main things will be time management, ability to think on my feet, good track record in food retail. I am currently looking at getting my equipment (should take another few weeks to source) and then I will do nothing but practise for 2 to 3 months. This will allow me to get feedback from existing customers by offering free samples (also provide free advertising as my pizza premises will be very close by). Getting my equipment should not prove to be difficult but I am struggling as to where to get my ingredients from.

Offline JBailey

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Re: New to pizza making and setting up pizza takeaway in the United Kingdom
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2012, 10:57:10 AM »
Bagsy, I consulted for a pizzeria East of Brighton, so I have a really good idea of what you're dealing with. London has a few solid offerings, but, as you get down to the coast, it's pretty much a wasteland. There's a tremendous financial opportunity there- if you have the willingness to learn. I don't know what kind of skill set fried foods require, but pizza, at least the pizza that will generate substantial revenue, requires some serious baking skills.  It's incredibly easy to make mediocre pizza.  As you get into world class pizza, though, it takes quite a few months to master.

Are you baking pizza at home?

Hey Scott, I'm in the UK atm. What pizzeria is it you consulted for? I'd love to check em out.

Online scott123

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Re: New to pizza making and setting up pizza takeaway in the United Kingdom
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2012, 03:37:03 PM »
Paul's Pizza in Peacehaven. It's closed presently due to a family emergency, but will hopefully be re-opening soon.

Online scott123

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Re: New to pizza making and setting up pizza takeaway in the United Kingdom
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2012, 03:40:57 PM »
I am currently looking at getting my equipment (should take another few weeks to source) and then I will do nothing but practise for 2 to 3 months. This will allow me to get feedback from existing customers by offering free samples (also provide free advertising as my pizza premises will be very close by). Getting my equipment should not prove to be difficult but I am struggling as to where to get my ingredients from.

I hope you're choosing your oven carefully, as the oven is the lynchpin for your business.  If you choose the wrong oven (and there are countless bad ovens out there), then there's nothing you'll be able do to make up for it.

This is why baking at home is so important, as it allows you to get a chance of the kind of temperatures you need, which, in turn, helps you to make a more informed oven choice.  It's practically impossible to buy a good oven if you've never baked before.

Offline bagsy

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Re: New to pizza making and setting up pizza takeaway in the United Kingdom
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2012, 06:46:24 PM »
I hope you're choosing your oven carefully, as the oven is the lynchpin for your business.  If you choose the wrong oven (and there are countless bad ovens out there), then there's nothing you'll be able do to make up for it.

This is why baking at home is so important, as it allows you to get a chance of the kind of temperatures you need, which, in turn, helps you to make a more informed oven choice.  It's practically impossible to buy a good oven if you've never baked before.

Thanks for this advice Scott. I have the option of running a deck style oven alongside a conveyor oven for a few months before I commit to purchase but I understand the emphasis you are placing on this and the initial baking at home. However, although I do not have the inital baking experience, I do have a great passion for what I want to achieve, the willingness to learn, and great work ethic. I know it will be hard but I am hoping that with the help from people such as yourself, I can get the taste I am after.

I have checked out the website of 'Paul's Pizza' and can say it is very impressive what they are doing there.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: New to pizza making and setting up pizza takeaway in the United Kingdom
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2012, 07:13:02 PM »
Bagsy, which Paul's Pizza...there are many. Can you just post a pic of the type of pizza you are interested in selling...
Better yet, start a thread on this topic...post here which topic/style section you decide to choose.  :chef:
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"


Online scott123

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Re: New to pizza making and setting up pizza takeaway in the United Kingdom
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2012, 08:00:33 PM »
Thanks for this advice Scott. I have the option of running a deck style oven alongside a conveyor oven for a few months before I commit to purchase but I understand the emphasis you are placing on this and the initial baking at home. However, although I do not have the inital baking experience, I do have a great passion for what I want to achieve, the willingness to learn, and great work ethic. I know it will be hard but I am hoping that with the help from people such as yourself, I can get the taste I am after.

I have checked out the website of 'Paul's Pizza' and can say it is very impressive what they are doing there.

Bagsy, it's a shame you can't pop over and try a slice of Paul's wares, because, for NY style pizza in the South of England (and perhaps all of the UK), nothing can touch it. Paul is the perfect example of what someone with vision and a good work ethic can achieve.  He came here, learned everything he possibly could (and then some), put in his dues mastering pizza at home over the course of a year, opened shop, and, within about 3 months, with zero advertising budget, was tripling the number of pizzas in his business plan. I'm not saying you have to put in a year at home, but it will take time.

It depends on the style of pizza you're making, but conveyors generally make pretty mediocre pizza. This is why they're so favored by the chains (such as Dominos). Decks are harder to use, harder to train people on, and have less output, but, for the pizza purist, they put out a better product- at least, some decks do. The right deck, as I said before, is critical.

90% of a pizza is the oven. If you buy the wrong oven, there's almost nothing we can do to help you make great pizza.

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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: New to pizza making and setting up pizza takeaway in the United Kingdom
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2012, 08:34:56 PM »
From their site.......

 "Our dough is freshly-made daily and comprises of only four ingredients. The light crust is contrived through slow dough fermentation over a period of days."      ;D

I see what you mean bagsy. Scott and others here will be able to get you right propah mate.... :chef:
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline La Sera

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Re: New to pizza making and setting up pizza takeaway in the United Kingdom
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2012, 06:20:42 AM »
I'm an independent operator (soon to be a franchiser), and I would agree with scott123's comments about a deck vs. conveyor. You can use that leap in quality from a conveyor to have a higher price point than chain stores running conveyors.

Remember that you can't compete with them in price so I would advise you not to try. They'll kill you. Focus on a great dough, some original toppings in addition to the classics and be relentless in putting out a great pizza every single time. Nothing short of great leaves the store!

You must test and test again how your product tastes 15 minutes out of the oven in a box.

If you're going to deliver, you'll be in the flyer business first; the pizza business second. I'm an old geezer, but I appreciate the value of the internet and social media to a pizza business. I suggest you get savvy about about it or have someone who is.

Good luck. A good business head and other fast food experience you had will serve you well.


Online scott123

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Re: New to pizza making and setting up pizza takeaway in the United Kingdom
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2012, 06:44:34 AM »
Remember that you can't compete with them in price so I would advise you not to try. They'll kill you. Focus on a great dough, some original toppings in addition to the classics and be relentless in putting out a great pizza every single time. Nothing short of great leaves the store!

I agree, to an extent. Truly great pizza sells itself. That being said, you're going to have slow days, such as Tuesday, and, imo, there's nothing wrong with running promotions that are similar to the ones that the chains are running on those days in an attempt to compete. If you're doing great pizza at 12 a pop and the chains are doing something like a 2 for 8 Tuesday special, then that's something you might want to be concerned about.  People will pay more for your pizza, but they may not pay that much more.

It's important to remember that, for many people, the choice to go with pizza for dinner is an economic one. You have to always be aware of the financial psychology involved.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2012, 06:48:12 AM by scott123 »

Offline bagsy

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Re: New to pizza making and setting up pizza takeaway in the United Kingdom
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2012, 08:09:48 AM »
From their site.......

 "Our dough is freshly-made daily and comprises of only four ingredients. The light crust is contrived through slow dough fermentation over a period of days."      ;D

I see what you mean bagsy. Scott and others here will be able to get you right propah mate.... :chef:

This is what I am hoping Bob. I will report back when I get started with the dough.

Offline bagsy

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Re: New to pizza making and setting up pizza takeaway in the United Kingdom
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2012, 08:26:45 AM »
@Scott
@La Sera

Thanks for your comments.  Eyes opened  W I D E  when reading that it is important to know what the pizza tastes like from a box 15 minutes after being cooked- obvious and true.  I hope to keep in touch with members on the forum throughout this process whilst I am learning and creating.

buceriasdon

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Re: New to pizza making and setting up pizza takeaway in the United Kingdom
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2012, 08:36:34 AM »
How do you have dough made fresh daily but also contrived through slow dough fermentation over a period of days? :-\ Which is it?
Don

Online scott123

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Re: New to pizza making and setting up pizza takeaway in the United Kingdom
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2012, 10:00:03 AM »
I hope to keep in touch with members on the forum throughout this process whilst I am learning and creating.

Please, before you pull the trigger on any oven, post the specs here. My knowledge of European ovens is not as extensive as American ones, but I should still be able to lead you in the right direction.

Online scott123

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Re: New to pizza making and setting up pizza takeaway in the United Kingdom
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2012, 10:18:09 AM »
How do you have dough made fresh daily but also contrived through slow dough fermentation over a period of days? :-\ Which is it?

I think he's using the term 'fresh' to mean 'from scratch'/'unprocessed' rather than 'new'


 

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