Author Topic: Thinking of starting a pizza restaurant.  (Read 1781 times)

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Offline Janus

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Thinking of starting a pizza restaurant.
« on: August 25, 2014, 08:14:51 AM »
I studied hospitality management after completing high school, worked for 5 years in the industry in both restaurants and hotels, however I've been out for over a decade.  I've always had a passion for food, the idea of opening my own shop has been rattling around in my head for a few years now.  I'm concerned if i don't give it a crack, it might go down as a regret.
I do appreciate how difficult it is to open, run and manage a restaurant profitably though.


Whilst Neapolitan pizza is in my favourite, from a commercial perspective I'm looking for a pizza that's easier to produce, and i'm hoping folks here with some experience can offer thoughts, opinions and/or advice on the direction i'm leaning?

I'm looking for pizza which does not require a high degree of skill and training to produce.  Quality ingredients will be a focus, and implementation of recipe training and systems to hopefully result in consistently good pizza.  I'm looking at a business which i will run, but will not always require my direct supervision to ensure product quality and service are maintained at acceptable levels.
In my head there'd be a skilled person producing the dough, and prepping the ingredients, but the pizza could be made and cooked by regularly trained staff.

1. Conveyor ovens appear to offer the simplest method of cooking, and the greatest consistency without taking into account operator skill?  I've read that conveyor ovens don't reach the temperatures of deck ovens (and obviously not a WFO).  How good a conveyor oven can you get?  ie. max temp, floor temp etc?

2. Pizza press/roller - Is there an option which leaves some air in the crust around the edge?  I'm seeing a few options, there's the dual roller type which obviously leaves the base flat (i've eaten a pizza made with one of these before, it was good, but I would prefer to have air in the crust.  The press type appear to allow some room for dough to ooze out, which might leave some

The oven and the pizza roller to me seem a good solution which would allow anyone with appropriate training to produce pizza of a consistent quality.  I guess my question is, what quality can you produce with this equipment?

I'm really interested to hear thoughts on if a reasonably high quality of pizza can be produced using the equipment i've mentioned above, or is it necessary to have a trained pizza chef in the kitchen to ensure quality pizza?  Again, i'm not looking for Neapolitan quality here, more something that can appeal to the masses, and enough quality in the ingredients to stand out from the run of the mill..

Anyone with a spare moment to give me some thoughts, ideas or even questions, i'm more than happy to discuss.  Or just chime in to tell me i'm crazy! :D

Thanks in advance for your time.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Thinking of starting a pizza restaurant.
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2014, 08:58:11 AM »
Ok....you are crazy man!

You can`t create a money making pizza on paper.
For what you are proposing you would like to do you are either going to need access to a conveyor oven or purchase a used one to do many, many experiments on.
Good pizza can be made within the parameters you have mentioned.

Good luck.  :chef:
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Thinking of starting a pizza restaurant.
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2014, 09:14:37 AM »

The questions you raise are proper questions. But I think that you first have to decide on what kind or style of pizza you want to make, using whatever ingredients and equipment you have available to you where you are in Australia. I think you can safely rule out making Neapolitan style pizzas using a conveyor oven, although the importer of the Caputo 00 flours in the U.S. once told me that he received inquiries as to how to make pizzas with 00 flours using a conveyor oven. That was several years ago and I have yet to see a commercial use of conveyor ovens to make Neapolitan style pizzas. So, you should rule out that style.

In parallel with your post here, you might also want to go to the PMQ Think Tank forum at http://thinktank.pmq.com/forums/the-think-tank.6/ where professional pizza operators visit. If you register, you can post questions to the membership of that forum. If you decide to do this, you should tell the members where you are so that you don't get replies that are for U.S.-based businesses.


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Thinking of starting a pizza restaurant.
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2014, 10:26:38 AM »
My thoughts:

- The restaurant business is tough enough if you are making food you love. If you want to make Neapolitan, are you going to hate going to work every day to make something else? I understand your reasoning, but I would give this some long and hard thought.

- I know you didn't mention a partner, but if it's something you are considering, don't do it unless you would trust that person with your life, it's not your spouse, and you both think EXACTLY the same way about everything you are doing.

- What is your competition, it's one thing to go into business with your passion front and center (you should still study your market and competition first), but if you aren't going to go with your passion, the first thing you need to do is study your market and competition and see where the opportunities are.

- Great ingredients + lackluster technique (dough press, standard conveyor oven, etc.) = mediocre pizza at best. Consistent mediocre pizza is still mediocre pizza.

- There are some conveyor ovens that could give you a bit of differentiation such as the Picard stone conveyor ovens: http://www.picardovens.com/commercial-ovens/products/Pizza/lp-200-stone-conveyor-oven.aspx

- The idea of using a dough press/roller sends a shiver down my spine. I don't know how you would do this and consider your place a serious pizzeria. Opening dough by hand is pretty much a universally expected standard requirement of quality pizza (certain obvious styles excluded of course). I don't care how good your pizza is. If your customers see you using a dough press, it will negatively effect their perception of your pizza.
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Offline Dorkmeat

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Re: Thinking of starting a pizza restaurant.
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2014, 10:43:45 AM »
I think you might be a good candidate for a franchise.


Offline Janus

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Re: Thinking of starting a pizza restaurant.
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2014, 10:18:18 PM »
Thanks for the replies and comments all, when i can find a free moment, i'll be back on this thread :)

Offline stegosaurus!

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Re: Thinking of starting a pizza restaurant.
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2014, 10:45:32 AM »
This oven looks to be better than the picard in terms of the style you would like. from the video it looks like you can get faux Neapolitan and it gives some oven spring unlike the picard. I have no experience on either just going off videos of them
« Last Edit: September 24, 2014, 10:47:41 AM by stegosaurus! »
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