Since Buddy's has been using conveyor ovens for over 30 years, and absent any information or photos of how Buddy's applied the sauce on its pizzas when it used deck ovens, we will most likely never know the answer to the question of whether Buddy's put the sauce on its pizzas before or after baking. It would take one of the old timers who worked for Buddy's or knew their methods, such as someone like Loui Tourtois, to tell us. However, after noting that the the three pizza operators Via 313, the Detroit Style Pizza Co and Klausie's put down the sauce on their pizzas after baking the pizzas, and also noting Craig's comment that Via 313 puts the sauce on later to avoid the sinking crust problem (among other possible reasons, including freshness of flavor), I got to wondering whether it is possible that Buddy's does the same thing even with its conveyor ovens, and possibly for the same reason. It then dawned on me that I couldn't recall anything from my research on when Buddy's puts the sauce down on its pizzas. You might also recall that member steel_baker, who is no slouch when it comes to making pan style pizzas, insisted after sampling one of Buddy's pizzas that the sauce (and also the cheese) was placed on the pizza after baking. See, for example, the series of posts starting with Reply 186 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3783.msg92474/topicseen.html#msg92474. It seems to me that it would be a simple matter for Buddy's to put the sauce down on its pizzas once they come out of the conveyor oven. Mind you, I am not suggesting that this is the case. I am only raising the possibility. It may well be that their conveyor ovens avoid any problems with sinking crusts. We really don't have much information on the use of conveyor ovens to make a Detroit stlye pizza since only Buddy's and Jet's among the majors seem to be using conveyor ovens.
In your case, you may have to go back to the examples you provided where you made Buddy's clone pizzas that did not have the sinking crust problem. Since you made Buddy's clone pizzas with both shredded and diced cheeses without experiencing the sinking crust problem, that perhaps rules out the form (diced vs. shredded) of the cheese as the cause of the sinking crusts. Maybe you could try again to adapt to market the Buddy's clone dough formulation that you discussed starting at Reply 906 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,21559.msg229345.html#msg229345. Your last Buddy's clone dough was subjected to more fermentation because of all of the elevated temperatures and an extended warm-up time before refrigerating and possibly those factors had an adverse effect on the final dough and crust.
As alternatives to the above, you can also play around with using Steve's cheese method or warmed/cooked sauces as Craig suggested even though those methods are not used by Buddy's to the best of my knowledge.
Since I am curious about why the crusts sink in some of my Buddy’s clone and why some don’t, I think I will email Buddy’s pizza again to see if they put the sauce down before the bake, or if they did put the sauce down before the bake when they used deck ovens. I might not get an answer, but it is at least worth a try to see if I might be doing something wrong. Also the sauce on the half baked pizza I purchased from Buddy’s must have been put on before the bake, because I did see that.
I can understand why Via 313, the Detroit Style Pizza Co. and Klausie’s put down the sauce on their pizzas after baking of the pizzas, because some of the time I still have the same problems of the crust sinking under the sauce.
steel_baker also posted at Reply 189 that he thought there was first a bake with some of the cheese and then a bake with some soft cheese and sauce and that was a more runny cheese.
PizzaHog even posted at Reply 191 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3783.msg92508.html#msg92508
that he was starting to believe there are some significant difference between Buddy’s locations in how they build and bake the pizzas. PizzaHogs attempt in that post did look like a winner. PizzaHog also says in post 196 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3783.msg92741.html#msg92741
that he did use a light sauce for his pizza tester. PizzaHog also posted in Reply 199 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3783.msg92963.html#msg92963
that he only used 6 ounces of sauce for a 10”x14” Buddy’s clone pizza. His sauce looked very thin. How much sauce would that relate to a 8”x10” steel pan? Maybe I am putting too much and too heavy of a sauce on my Buddy’s clones. PizzaHog posted at Reply 203 he didn’t parbake the crust. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3783.msg93082.html#msg93082
PizzaHog’s TF is also lower than mine. Do your Nutrition numbers show maybe less sauce is used?
What do you suggest for me to do in my next attempt. Just try to get a lower final dough temperature, or also decrease the yeast amount since no salt is being used in my formulation?
I can also play around with using Steve’s method or warmed/cooked sauces as Craig suggested. I just need some kind of plug adapter to be able to plug another appliance in at market, because all of my receptacle spaces are full. I also need to create a space to put the warming device for the sauce.