Author Topic: Substitutions  (Read 705 times)

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Offline Thart

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Substitutions
« on: June 24, 2015, 04:08:17 PM »
I would like to hear how other pizza places feel about substitutions on their menus?

We do not allow substitutions on our specialty pizzas and have been getting lots of feedback saying how crazy of a rule it is to not allow them.  We allow anyone to build a pizza a la carte, or add any toppings to our specialty pies for an added price. I am just wondering if most other places allow substitutions, and if so how far they allow that to go.


Offline Iowamcnabb

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Re: Substitutions
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2015, 09:41:30 PM »
I own a cafe not a pizza shop but I feel your pain on substitutions.  Unfortunately Subway and all these create your own chains have made it difficult for mom and pops to just design a menu and stick to it.  The create your own mentality is here to stay and if your customers are demanding it you might as well just roll with it.  Maybe up charge for subs to make up for the lack of efficiency? Or if only a few customers are asking for it leave your policy in place.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Substitutions
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2015, 09:55:23 PM »
A very famous pizzeria, Apizza Scholl's, has for years limited what diners can do to their pizzas. That is one of the question posed in the FAQ section of the pizzeria's website at:

http://apizzascholls.com/FAQ/index.html

Peter

Offline Obsauced

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Re: Substitutions
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2015, 10:20:46 AM »
No Substitutions or Additions ever unless it is a or rosso or Bianca

I work hard on creating my menu, i spend various taste tests and waste my money on ingredients to have it ruined by red chili flakes doused on my pizzas. i try to cater to everyone so that's just my 2 cents. will i survive if i open up? maybe. my pop up patrons know of my militant ways and those are the people i want in my shop
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Offline Thart

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Re: Substitutions
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2015, 11:49:23 AM »
Thanks for the replies. We hold firm that we do not offer substitutions on our specialty pies. Seems most people understand, I think we may add a section to our menu explaining some of our rules better like pizza scholls does.

Offline GotRocks

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Re: Substitutions
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2015, 02:55:10 PM »
We do not do substitutions on our specialty pizzas, it is just too much of a hassle on the make line.

But what we do is clarify with the customer exactly what they want, and enter it into the POS system as a "Build your own pizza"
So, we do not tell them that they cannot substitute, we just build it the way they want it, they are happy, my pizza line is happy, so no big deal.

But! When someone order something ridiculous, and wants it on our super-thin crust, We do try to guide them and let them know it will suck, then let them decide if they still want to try it
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Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Substitutions
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2015, 09:17:36 PM »
Be that as it may, I know better than you what I want on my pizza.  Not that I would ever substitute on a named pizza, but I reserve the right to have the pizza made the way I want.  If that does not work for you, I hope you have achieved the status that will allow you to narrow the field to sycophants and live on that alone.

The customer is not always right, but he damn well knows what he wants.

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Substitutions
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2015, 09:37:09 PM »
Wow, that is some mean talk there.

Let me rephrase it in a polite manner:

You should always allow people to build the pizza they want.  Unicorns and kittens!

Offline waltertore

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Re: Substitutions
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2015, 10:46:02 PM »
We are modeled after the small mom/pop pizzerias I grew up/worked in back in NJ.  Thus we offer none of these new specialty pie concepts and this will be continued when I leave the school bakery/pizzeria and open our own shop in Reno, NV hopefully this fall.  We sell a cheese pie/ricotta pie and people can add toppings as they like from our limited options.  For me the simple cheese pizza is the true test of a great pie and as the toppings get added it can get out of balance real fast regardless of if it is a good crust/sauce . When people come in and ask what slice should they try I always say the cheese and explain why.  We go light on all toppings and if people ask for more I tell the crust will not support heavy loading of toppings.  I was taught the dough is the focus of the pie and the sauce and topping compliment it.  Walter
« Last Edit: June 25, 2015, 11:00:40 PM by waltertore »


Offline Thart

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Re: Substitutions
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2015, 12:57:57 PM »
we definitely offer lots of different pies than the places I grew up working at in NJ.  The pies sell great and offer something different allowing some of our customers to eat pizza more frequently. Also every Saturday I create a special pie for the week, mostly focused on fresh local ingredients purchased at Saturday farmers market. I grew up eating at DeLorenzos in Trenton and appreciate the basics, but in a small market in Northern California where I choose to live that is just not possible.



Also, good luck Walter in Reno. My memory of Reno is that everyone puts ranch on everything.

Offline Mmmph

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Re: Substitutions
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2015, 01:27:13 PM »
Sono venuto, ho visto, ho mangiato

Offline waltertore

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Re: Substitutions
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2015, 03:13:16 PM »
we definitely offer lots of different pies than the places I grew up working at in NJ.  The pies sell great and offer something different allowing some of our customers to eat pizza more frequently. Also every Saturday I create a special pie for the week, mostly focused on fresh local ingredients purchased at Saturday farmers market. I grew up eating at DeLorenzos in Trenton and appreciate the basics, but in a small market in Northern California where I choose to live that is just not possible.



Also, good luck Walter in Reno. My memory of Reno is that everyone puts ranch on everything.

Thart:  I never made it down to south Jersey except to Ortley Beach every summer as a kid. Where do you live/have your shop?  We lived 2x's in Sonoma County for a total of 15 years.  I met my wife there in 1979.  She is a bay area native and was living the hippie life in Sebastopol.   I know most CA folks go for lots of exotic toppings.  I never found a good NY style pie in all those years.  It is a lovely place but too crowded and expensive for us to stay.  We first left in 82 and returned in 96.  Man, did things change and we barely survived making the lovely geography/weather not worth the stress.   Reno is about as close as we can get to CA and the town is changing rapidly with all the CA transplants moving there.  Thanks for the good luck. I will not offer a ranch dressing pie :-D  Walter
« Last Edit: June 26, 2015, 03:24:17 PM by waltertore »

Offline frannyD

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Re: Substitutions
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2015, 05:26:49 PM »
I allow substitutions for our specialty pies, of which we have a few basic ones like meat, Hawaiian, veggie, etc.  I also grew up in NJ Walter.  I often think about changing to the old school model of 1st topping, 2nd topping, 3rd topping, etc. and have different prices for each.  Is that what you are going to do?  Also, as far as toppings go, the east coast and west coast are worlds apart as far as expectations.  Folks in California like a lot of toppings, just the way it is.  I need to raise my prices soon to accommodate ;)

Offline waltertore

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Re: Substitutions
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2015, 06:19:12 PM »
I allow substitutions for our specialty pies, of which we have a few basic ones like meat, Hawaiian, veggie, etc.  I also grew up in NJ Walter.  I often think about changing to the old school model of 1st topping, 2nd topping, 3rd topping, etc. and have different prices for each.  Is that what you are going to do?  Also, as far as toppings go, the east coast and west coast are worlds apart as far as expectations.  Folks in California like a lot of toppings, just the way it is.  I need to raise my prices soon to accommodate ;)

FrannyD:  Where did you grow up in NJ? Yes we will do a basic NY cheese or Ricotta and NY Sicilian or Ricotta and then customers can pick toppings and pay for each one.  I lived in Sonoma County and know the toppings were heavy there.  I currently live in Ohio and they love tons of toppings and lots of each piled high.  We make a thin crust and it won't support that so we will keep the toppings like back home and we can charge a whole lot more than what we could get for pizzas in NYC/NJ.  Our menu prices are right in the middle of the 2 shops claiming to be NY style in Reno. Here is a couple shots of our pies with toppings.  Here in OH people have come around to our pies.  I feel if one makes a really good NY pie it will sell anywhere.  To join the crowd with mega toppings, thicker crust, makes it much  harder to stand out IMO and to be honest I don't like making pies like that.  Also IMO NY/NJ deck oven pizza that I grew up with  is darn near extinct so there isn't any real competition and billing the shop as classic NY style pizza of 50 years ago will attract a lot of people that have tried NY pizza or are curious about it.  I checked out the Reno pizza scene and have a few friends that have lived there for a long time and nobody can cite a place doing pies like ours.  We shall see but our main thing is the social cause with pizza as the vehicle to bring it attention.  So I am not another NJ Italian spinning pies for the pie sake.  The social cause will always be bigger than our pies.  Walter
« Last Edit: June 26, 2015, 06:25:33 PM by waltertore »

Offline Thart

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Re: Substitutions
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2015, 09:31:29 PM »
Thart:  I never made it down to south Jersey except to Ortley Beach every summer as a kid. Where do you live/have your shop?  We lived 2x's in Sonoma County for a total of 15 years.  I met my wife there in 1979.  She is a bay area native and was living the hippie life in Sebastopol.   I know most CA folks go for lots of exotic toppings.  I never found a good NY style pie in all those years.  It is a lovely place but too crowded and expensive for us to stay.  We first left in 82 and returned in 96.  Man, did things change and we barely survived making the lovely geography/weather not worth the stress.   Reno is about as close as we can get to CA and the town is changing rapidly with all the CA transplants moving there.  Thanks for the good luck. I will not offer a ranch dressing pie :-D  Walter
I would never offer a ranch dressing pizza, but have given in and offer folks ranch on the side since we serve salads. I was saying everyone I know from Reno dips everything in ranch.
I live in Arcata, Ca, about five hours north of San Fran on the 101 in the middle of the Redwood National Forest. My pizza place is Dutchys Pizza  http://dutchyspizza.com/ and we try our best of mixing NJ with some Calif

Offline waltertore

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Re: Substitutions
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2015, 06:44:28 AM »
I would never offer a ranch dressing pizza, but have given in and offer folks ranch on the side since we serve salads. I was saying everyone I know from Reno dips everything in ranch.
I live in Arcata, Ca, about five hours north of San Fran on the 101 in the middle of the Redwood National Forest. My pizza place is Dutchys Pizza ( dutchyspizza.com)and we try our best of mixing NJ with some Calif

Thart:  We know Arcata well and were on the fence between Eureka/Arcata and Reno for this move as it is the only coastal area we could afford.  We were almost neighbors :)   I checked your menu and see you do offer a blend of styles.  I would like to order a meatball parm sandwich-can't find a decent one around here :)  Do you use deck ovens and cook on the stone (saw your pies are on perforated pans)?  If I get up that way I will stop in for a  couple slices.  Walter
« Last Edit: June 27, 2015, 07:46:09 AM by waltertore »

Offline GotRocks

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Re: Substitutions
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2015, 11:08:42 AM »
Specialty pizzas;

We have a list of suggested combinations, but we really like to see people build from scratch and get crazy with it

We are mainly known for our BBQ, We started doing pizza 2 years back, so our specialty pies have meats on them that most pizza places would not have.
Our biggest specialty seller right now is our "Moo & Oink" it has Beef Brisket, Italian Sausage, Bacon, Whole-Milk mozz, and white cheddar cheese curds.

Our "Chopping block" pizza is gaining in popularity lately, we named it that because any meat that goes across our cutting board for BBQ ends up on the pizza.
Brisket, Pulled pork, smoked chicken, Chopped rib meat, and Bacon. Everything is wonderful until someone decides they want it on our "Super-Thin" crust, and wants to add veggies and extra cheese to it.
Our super thin is a 12 ounce dough ball stretched out to 18" by using our seldom used sheeter
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Offline frannyD

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Re: Substitutions
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2015, 12:46:58 PM »
I grew up in Brick, in Ocean County, not far from Ortley Beach.  Pies look awesome Walter.  I'd say that more than half of my regulars are transplants from the east coast, so they truly appreciate the pizza I'm doing.    Sometimes the place is filled with people from NJ.  That's pretty cool.  You'd be surprised, I'm sure Reno will be similar.  The fact my pizzas are basic is a huge selling point.  I, like you, focus on the crust, I have nothing to hide, lol.  I have a white, which is one of my top sellers, but I do BBQ chicken, and I offer pineapple.  I know lots of people from the east coast won't do pineapple, but people love it.  Fresh of course.

Offline waltertore

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Re: Substitutions
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2015, 06:58:23 PM »
I grew up in Brick, in Ocean County, not far from Ortley Beach.  Pies look awesome Walter.  I'd say that more than half of my regulars are transplants from the east coast, so they truly appreciate the pizza I'm doing.    Sometimes the place is filled with people from NJ.  That's pretty cool.  You'd be surprised, I'm sure Reno will be similar.  The fact my pizzas are basic is a huge selling point.  I, like you, focus on the crust, I have nothing to hide, lol.  I have a white, which is one of my top sellers, but I do BBQ chicken, and I offer pineapple.  I know lots of people from the east coast won't do pineapple, but people love it.  Fresh of course.

I am glad to hear you have some lovers for the basic pie with the crust as the focus.  That is how I was taught to build a pie and the toppings have to compliment, but never overpower, the crust.  In all of Reno/Sparks there are only 2 pizzerias claiming NY style and I went to both of them last summer. Neither could stand toe to toe with a good NY/NJ pie.  I skated at the Brick Ice Arena during the summers and my parents retired to Toms River.  My grandfather owned a small bungalow at Ortley and we spent our summers there and nights at Seaside Hts boardwalk (some good pies there back then).  Do you remember Tino's at Ortley Beach?  IMO it was the best pie on the shore.  I studied him making pies everyday and tried for years to get a job there- never did- said I was too young to work. They retired and closed it up/moved to Florida and opened a hot dog stand.  He told me it was way easier than pizza and made a lot of $ to boot.  Thanks for the compliment on my pies.  I hope Reno feels the same way. Walter
« Last Edit: June 27, 2015, 07:01:22 PM by waltertore »

Offline frannyD

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Re: Substitutions
« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2015, 09:52:40 AM »
Great pic!  I heard of Tino's but never went.  Pie looks delicious.  I delivered for a small place in Brick called Pizza Charlies when I was 17.  That's the extent of my experience, lol.  One of my favorite places ever was Cici's on Point Boardwalk.  My grandparents, then my Aunt and uncle owned Park Bakery in Seaside Park. 

Offline waltertore

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Re: Substitutions
« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2015, 10:47:31 AM »
Great pic!  I heard of Tino's but never went.  Pie looks delicious.  I delivered for a small place in Brick called Pizza Charlies when I was 17.  That's the extent of my experience, lol.  One of my favorite places ever was Cici's on Point Boardwalk.  My grandparents, then my Aunt and uncle owned Park Bakery in Seaside Park.

FrannyD: That picture is my youngest brother(also a pizza maker), my wife, and me.  I don't remember Park Bakery.  As you know each little shore town has at least a bakery or three and we got ours at Ortley Beach.  I can't remember the names of the pizzerias I ate in Brick during the hockey camps (early 70's)   Your  pies sure look like you were born into it and not a delivery driver.  You should be proud.  Walter

Offline theppgcowboy

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Re: Substitutions
« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2015, 09:40:09 PM »
I would never offer a ranch dressing pizza, but have given in and offer folks ranch on the side since we serve salads. I was saying everyone I know from Reno dips everything in ranch.
I live in Arcata, Ca, about five hours north of San Fran on the 101 in the middle of the Redwood National Forest. My pizza place is Dutchys Pizza  http://dutchyspizza.com/ and we try our best of mixing NJ with some Calif

My customers would revolt if ranch was not a sauce option.  Ranch, ital. meatball, mushroom, bacon, a hint of blue cheese and mozz.  They go crazy over this combination.