Author Topic: Automating Neapolitan Pizza Process  (Read 512 times)

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Offline ujanjua

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Automating Neapolitan Pizza Process
« on: April 17, 2014, 07:32:34 PM »
It actually quite saddens me to write this email because just over a year ago I opened a Authentic  Neapolitan pizzeria which has been very well received by the local community since we opened.

The issue I have however is with temperamental pizzaiolos. Sooner or later they actually start to believe that what they do is something extra ordinarily difficult and delusion of grandeur begins to manifest itself. Just a side note we do pay our chefs better than any other pizza chef gets paid in our area.

I am sick of dealing with egos and wish to automate the process as much as possible. That being said here are my questions.

Is there a dough press machine that presses the dough ball in such a method that the air is pushed to the edge, thus allowing the characteristic Neapolitan crust.

Secondly is there a oven which allows minimal turning of the pizza once it is in there. (I understand in order to get the charring and blistering you need a flame and the pizza needs to be turned with care).

If all that fails does anyone know what the best way to incentive's pizza chefs?

Thanks in anticipation


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Automating Neapolitan Pizza Process
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2014, 12:12:09 AM »
Why don't you fire one and go get your hands dirty making pizza yourself to show them you are serious?

You want to make "Authentic Neapolitan" pizza and you are considering a dough press and some sort of automatic oven? I'd lock the doors first.
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Online scott123

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Re: Automating Neapolitan Pizza Process
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2014, 02:15:14 AM »
The issue I have however is with temperamental pizzaiolos. Sooner or later they actually start to believe that what they do is something extra ordinarily difficult and delusion of grandeur begins to manifest itself. Just a side note we do pay our chefs better than any other pizza chef gets paid in our area.

You mention 'pizzaiolos'- plural.  Multiple employees are telling you that they're feeling underappreciated and undervalued. Is there any chance their concerns might be valid?

What they do IS extraordinarily difficult.  Mastering a Neapolitan oven, in a high volume setting- getting just the right amount of leoparding, without taking it too far and burning it, it's an art, not a job. People that do this truly well are few and far between.  What do other pizza chefs in the area get paid? Minimum wage? Saying you pay your chefs better than any other pizza chef gets paid in your area is like saying you pay your Ferrari repair technicians more than they pay employees at Jiffy Lube. Sure, they're both servicing cars, but we're talking about different skill level universes.

If you want conscientious workers, pay them more.  Double, maybe even triple what area pizza chefs are making.  Give them health benefits.  You don't have to pay them vast riches like they do in Naples, but you shouldn't be perceiving them as pizzeria workers, because they are far more. Your oven person should make the most, but your people forming pies shouldn't make that much less- just enough of a disparity so that the people forming pies really want the oven tending spot- and the oven tender knows it. Your buspeople should dream about the day they can one day make stretching/oven tending money.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2014, 03:25:08 AM by scott123 »

Offline kdefay

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Re: Automating Neapolitan Pizza Process
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2014, 03:56:33 AM »
There are no shortcuts to making proper Neapolitan pizza.  It requires skilled, dedicated people and the proper equipment to execute. 

I think Scott is right.  Coming from someone who is also running a commercial operation, if you are having problems with employee retention it's important to also look inward and make sure that they are feeling appreciated.  That doesn't simply mean that they are being paid better.  Many people will happily work for less if they love the environment that they are working in.  A supportive and encouraging work environment starts at the top first.  I have friends here who also have big retention problems and it's very clear why.  They don't treat their workers respectfully and encourage them.  I don't know you, so this may not be the case for you, but it's an important thing to consider.

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Automating Neapolitan Pizza Process
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2014, 09:28:23 AM »
Give me an 18 year old and a week and you will have a pizza maker.  It isn't rocket science or an art.  It is a skill, and not a very difficult one at that.

Offline JConk007

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Re: Automating Neapolitan Pizza Process
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2014, 10:20:16 AM »
Sure I taught a guy in 15 minutes to cook a pizza in my wood fired oven. Can be done yes. However as soon as the "heat" was on Burned sides, non melted cheese, no fire  .....Just sayin  In a Commercial environment its a whole different world ! Doing 140 pizzas  pizzas in 60-70 minutes, putting oout a consistent product and keeping the oven in the zone  is a very serious skill!and takes way more than a week?  to master. Do you do 4-5 at a time in your home oven ?? or a perfect onsey - twosey?  ;) Even people who own a home oven for 8 years just cant handle the pressure of "crunch time" I have been there, took me a while to manage 4 pies for 2-3 hous straight some days are better than others but its still a work in progress  :chef:
would I do it for $10-$15  and Hour
NOT
John
PS there are several rotating ovens out there that can help take most of the guess work out and give you something close to Neapolitan. Pavasi and Di fiore Both make a capable models . (google Locale Dever) These ovens Take most of the guess work out of the process and can come very close and can be run by a less skilled individual but the passion still needs to be there to make it right !  . But please No presses  or sheeters!!
« Last Edit: April 18, 2014, 10:28:00 AM by JConk007 »
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Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Automating Neapolitan Pizza Process
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2014, 10:50:38 AM »
I wasn't talking about my home oven.

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Automating Neapolitan Pizza Process
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2014, 11:36:52 AM »
But obviously, being a skill, it would take longer than a week for someone learn to be able to pump out pizzas at a fast rate.

Offline gabaghool

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Re: Automating Neapolitan Pizza Process
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2014, 07:15:12 PM »
Why don't you fire one and go get your hands dirty making pizza yourself to show them you are serious?

You want to make "Authentic Neapolitan" pizza and you are considering a dough press and some sort of automatic oven? I'd lock the doors first.

sorry....gotta agree.  If youre doing neapolitan...you probably arent that big.....sooooooo ...YOU can be the main pizza guy.  Im picking up what your putting down....restaurant employees are a drag....most suck ass....and lots of time, the good ones think they are gods.......so unless you have an extremely MATURE, TALENTED pizza guy on the sidelines.......throw an apron on.....you SAVE that salary......AND you get things done the way you want.........if you DONT HAVE THE TALENT.....then, Im afraid you are gonna have to go through a bunch of MAIN GUYS until you find one with the correct balance of talent and ego........AND THIS IS ABSOLUTELY DOABLE......but not easy.