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Author Topic: New Member - Currently running WFO Neapolitan Shop  (Read 739 times)

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Offline RobertoD

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New Member - Currently running WFO Neapolitan Shop
« on: September 30, 2018, 02:48:53 PM »
Hi Guys, I am new to the group.   I have been running a Neapolitan Pizza shop for a year in October.   

I am seeing success with the business with sales annually finishing at $1.2MM I do want the volume to be higher.

I feel confident in the product I am selling.   We use Caputo 00 Flour, Acunto Ovens with ciao tomatoes we run through our hand food mills. Toppings are high quality as well.   Simple, basic but done right.   Italians and people who have traveled say I am right on the mark.   However I have a good portion of the population that wants a drier tougher pizza base.  More NY Style.   I get a fair amount of responses I don't like the soft crust associated with Neapolitan and want something firmer.

Current Offerings: Apps, Salads, Soups, Pasta, Pizza, calzones and desserts.

Knowing I need to cater to a larger portion of the population to increase sales I feel like I should add a 2nd Crust option Neapolitan or NY Style.  I have two WFO's so I can accommodate the 2nd lower temp required for the NY style.   

Am I crazy for thinking of offering two pizza styles in the same shop? 

Offline theppgcowboy

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Re: New Member - Currently running WFO Neapolitan Shop
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2018, 10:53:04 PM »
Hi have found that you are educating a certain facet as to what Neapolitan pizza is and a few actually get it and there are those that simply want something else. Kinda like selling wine to a beer crowd. I have had a restaurant for 25 years now, and if you try to be everything to everybody you will eventually start going backwards chasing your tail. Ask yourself how many of them customers are you losing and look to the ones want what you are selling and expand that base. I have those that look at my menu and ask where are the burgers? You will always have a few that want what's not on the menu, and you will make yourself crazy trying to satisfy them and in the end, they will give you a poor review. My audience is the ones jonesing for my pizza and the ones that have heard about it.
I do Neapolitan pizza only at events and mobile, and NY at the brick and mortar. Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2018, 07:00:02 PM by theppgcowboy »

Offline wotavidone

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Re: New Member - Currently running WFO Neapolitan Shop
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2018, 05:10:08 PM »
I agree with theppgcowboy.
This is a tough one.
You can't present every style.
It might sound patronising to use the word, but you will always get customers with "uneducated" tastes who don't know real pizza when they see it.
I've never run a business, well not a food business, but I think the cowboy is giving good advice.

The chain stores in my neck of the woods offer different styles for "limited time only".
If still you feel its worth the hassle, run a one month or 6 weeks trial, and make sure it's very well advertised as a limited time period.
i.e. don't create an expectation beyond the 4-6 weeks.
You'd be able to gauge potential and assess difficulty in that time?
« Last Edit: October 01, 2018, 05:25:40 PM by wotavidone »

Offline woodfiredandrew

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Re: New Member - Currently running WFO Neapolitan Shop
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2018, 01:21:33 PM »
Hi Guys, I am new to the group.   I have been running a Neapolitan Pizza shop for a year in October.   

I am seeing success with the business with sales annually finishing at $1.2MM I do want the volume to be higher.

I feel confident in the product I am selling.   We use Caputo 00 Flour, Acunto Ovens with ciao tomatoes we run through our hand food mills. Toppings are high quality as well.   Simple, basic but done right.   Italians and people who have traveled say I am right on the mark.   However I have a good portion of the population that wants a drier tougher pizza base.  More NY Style.   I get a fair amount of responses I don't like the soft crust associated with Neapolitan and want something firmer.

Current Offerings: Apps, Salads, Soups, Pasta, Pizza, calzones and desserts.

Knowing I need to cater to a larger portion of the population to increase sales I feel like I should add a 2nd Crust option Neapolitan or NY Style.  I have two WFO's so I can accommodate the 2nd lower temp required for the NY style.   

Am I crazy for thinking of offering two pizza styles in the same shop?

I think you are on right track in terms of staying true to your product,  I have managed a non Italian restaurant where i ran it based on my previous experience in running engineering business ( i was helping a very honest, very good cook/chef as a favor). I always thought business is a business is a business, if you have to deal with selling product to customers in crowded space then you have very parallel experience regardless of  what product you are creating and selling. I ran day to day for 2 years until he learned to managed himself. i applied all the same rule i applied in my business for years and we were profitable from day one ( for first month not a great profit but managed to keep our nose above water), i stayed true to quality of the product, high quality ingredient, great customer service, fair pricing and most important be honest to customers ( we messed up few times but owned up my mistake and was forgiven by customer), then i moved to managed WF pizzeria which was VPN, i experienced similar to yours but stay true to you vision and you will be in peace with yourself and build conviction in your thinking and vision. don't let anybody sway you from it, i think you will come out OK, Stay true to your product, don't cut corners, be fair to customers and pricing and you be fine,
hope it helps!
my two cents,         

Offline thezaman

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Re: New Member - Currently running WFO Neapolitan Shop
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2018, 07:50:34 PM »
Your volume is very impressive. i think educating customers is the way to approach growth. the neapolitan pizza is very profitable from the food cost side of the equation. Labor might be a little higher in that the skill level demands better people,which means higher wages to retain them.

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Offline corkd

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Re: New Member - Currently running WFO Neapolitan Shop
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2018, 02:20:55 PM »

Am I crazy for thinking of offering two pizza styles in the same shop?
Check out the instagram feed for jaysartisan in buffalo, ny. He is also a member on this forum. In addition to NP pies he seems to sell out of Detroit style every time he makes them.....I think hes even experimenting with offering other styles as well....

Offline RobertoD

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Re: New Member - Currently running WFO Neapolitan Shop
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2018, 01:58:20 PM »
Guys, thanks for all the replies.   I appreciate the highlight of jaysartisan I have been creeping on his facebook page and have to say I like where he is going.   Offer high quality NP based pizza (no cuts on takeout) I always recommend my customers to cut at home but I get half that want it cut anyway.     I like the popup offerings to keep new news to speak to customers about.   One thing I am wondering about is cooking temps etc.   I have the luxury of having two WFO's so I can run each at different temps if needed.   

Offline New Restaurant

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Re: New Member - Currently running WFO Neapolitan Shop
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2018, 12:44:45 PM »
Hi have found that you are educating a certain facet as to what Neapolitan pizza is and a few actually get it and there are those that simply want something else. Kinda like selling wine to a beer crowd. I have had a restaurant for 25 years now, and if you try to be everything to everybody you will eventually start going backwards chasing your tail. Ask yourself how many of them customers are you losing and look to the ones want what you are selling and expand that base. I have those that look at my menu and ask where are the burgers? You will always have a few that want what's not on the menu, and you will make yourself crazy trying to satisfy them and in the end, they will give you a poor review. My audience is the ones jonesing for my pizza and the ones that have heard about it.
I do Neapolitan pizza only at events and mobile, and NY at the brick and mortar. Hope this helps.

In my opinion, not just educating the customers, it depends on the client base and the region and several other things I think and like I said in my opinion.

You're from Montana, something in Missoula or Bozeman or Billings as compared to Miles City would be completely a different desire and potential for the clientele what the customers are and what they expect and what they really want.  Not what they're willing to try one time.

In Billings, say on King Avenue, a restaurant could be highly successful and be accepted and have a great future educating customers, when somewhere else say in the Northeast side of Billings would not be a successful venture for the restaurant.

A great Thai culinary chef with infusion techniques and creativity that would be jam packed at the restaurant nightly in the Twin Cities Minnesota or New York City suburbs of New Jersey or LA or San Diego suburbs, etc.,  would be a complete failure in Miles City, in most cases but may be highly successful in a college town where it's more hip and trendy like Missoula.

Side menus and side food such as Burgers, sub sandwiches, steak and potato plates and all that would be accepted almost anywhere in Montana and in the Upper Midwest. But in a College techie hip town or in a much more populated place or a different region, would fade away quickly because it's the same old stuff.

In one region of the United States versus another, the culture, expectations and what they are really used to plays a huge role in my opinion how successful the restaurant can be. More so, than what the chef or owner desires and wants to do or how he wants to educate the public and change them or confuse them with too many options.

Offline Andrew t

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Re: New Member - Currently running WFO Neapolitan Shop
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2018, 11:16:48 PM »
You could do Roman tonda or pala style, Nancy Silverton Mozza style or NY elite like Lucali. All work well in WFO at 600 to 800 degree range.

I'd be curious to see if a pan style like Detroit or teglia could be pulled off, I've had bad luck getting it to work consistently outside of deck, rack, or conveyor ovens.

In my 25 years running all kinds of restaurants loosing your identity chasing more is tricky challenge.

I'd cconsider pop up events and LTO(limited time offers), sticking with another niche style. I'd be looking to offer something that not only quiets the squeaky wheels but also variety for my core guests. Preventing menu fatigue and increasing return guest frequency are legit issues to address.

You can also look at developing a non pizza signature item to drive excitement. A Zuni Cafe style whole roast chicken while supplies last is a crowd pleaser  and a great up selling to a Togo order.

Good luck. 


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