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Starting A Pizza Shop?

What you need to open a pizza shop...

We often get calls from customers asking questions like “What equipment do I need to open a pizza store?” or “How do I start a pizza shop?” With our collective experience and some key questions about a customer’s specific circumstances we can usually work out exactly what equipment and smallwares are needed to get the new pizza business going.

But what if you don’t have a lease yet or you’re only in the beginning stages of your research before jumping in the deep end? Well the following list may help.

Here you’ll find a list of the basics that you’ll definitely need to get a pizza store open and then some. I’ve also added a few nice to have’s that can make your life easier, save you money and increase your profits, but you can certainly cope without them.

Pizza Oven (essential)

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The commercial pizza oven is the cornerstone of any profitable pizza shop. The capacity of the oven in your pizza store will be one the biggest factors in determining how much business you do and how profitable you’ll be. You simply cannot leave oven choice to chance.  

 

Customers often make initial enquiries on ovens based on feedback from someone else who has a pizza store or on price. While price and budget constraints are always a factor, production rates, footprints, belt and tray sizes absolutely have to be considered as well. The oven that suits someone else’s circumstances is not always the oven that will suit yours.

At Aussie Pizza Supplies we have access to ovens from the top 6 commercial pizza oven brands in the world and with a range of around 40 different ovens, we’re sure to match you to the right one. We also have an active list of used pizza ovens that might just be the answer to getting the oven you need whilst staying within a tighter budget.

Canopy (generally essential)

pizza-shop-canopy.jpg                                       There are a couple of electric pizza ovens that may not require a canopy. These include some countertop conveyor ovens and small deck ovens with modest production rates and power consumption that falls below certain State regulations. Any electric pizza ovens above these specs will all need a canopy. If you’re unsure if the oven you’re after requires a canopy, give us a call.

Gas ovens, however, will all require a canopy regardless of their size or gas consumption. Gas ovens tend to run for around 5-10 hours a day, with residual gas and emissions slowly filtering out of the oven cavity and into the kitchen. A canopy that is larger than the chamber openings of the oven is sufficient to remove these gases and provide a safe working environment.

Pizza Prep Fridge (essential)

pizza-prep-fridge-a.jpg                                                 A good pizza prep fridge, otherwise known as a make bench or prep bench, will enable you to top a pizza quickly while ensuring your ingredients are kept within safe temperature ranges. One of the worst mistakes a new pizza store owner can make is buying the wrong type of pizza prep fridge. The costs can stack up quickly if you’re throwing food out or worse still, making pizzas with unsafe ingredients.

As a rule of thumb, you only want a unit with blown-air. Anything else simply can't keep your food cold in a hot commercial pizza kitchen.

If budget constraints are stopping you from buying a decent prep fridge, talk to us. We can supply good quality used models or assist with financing. We can help you work something out.

Dough Mixer (essential)

The dough mixer is key in the prep of your dough and generally you want to get one with a 25kg capacity. While there are many models available in smaller sizes, the 25kg mixer will take a 12kg bag of flour with your wet ingredients in one mix. Don’t waste your time measuring smaller amounts of flour etc. You’ve got better things to do, and the dough just gets better with age if you don’t use it all first go!

Dough Rounder (optional)

A solid dough rounder is generally considered a luxury item, although I’d personally consider it as optional when starting and an essential once established. The dough rounder takes a lump of dough and moulds it, smoothing out the sides and producing an even dough ball ready for rolling.

There’s nothing overly technical about a dough rounder, but the laborious and time consuming task of rounding 100+ dough balls every morning is the bain of every pizza shop owner’s existence. If you calculated the dollar value of the time taken to round dough every day, you could easily halve that by renting a dough rounder. And who knows what you might do with all the extra time up your sleeve.

Dough Roller (essential)

pizza-dough-roller.jpg           Dough rollers, or dough sheeters as they are sometimes known, are used to roll your dough balls into bases. By using dough balls of different weights you can use the one dough roller to produce different sized pizza bases.

Vegetable Cutter (optional)

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Vegetable prep machines are considered optional only because you can purchase packs of prepared vegetables and grated cheeses quite easily from your food suppliers. However, if you do a quick calculation of the cost of ready-to-use ingredients vs preparing raw product yourself, you’d be amazed. There are plenty of profits to be gained here, even considering the wages required when doing it yourself. 

Pizza Delivery System (essential if you’re doing deliveries)

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There are a few things to consider when adding delivery to your pizza business. Not least of which is whether to use standard pizza delivery bags or a dedicated pizza delivery system, like Cooktek. Although pizza delivery systems are considerably more expensive than individual bags, the benefits far outweigh the expense.

Consider home delivery from a customer’s perspective. Sure, they order for the convenience of not having to leave the house. But if your pizza's soggy and cold, you can bet they'll be getting that convenience somewhere else next time.

Remember, you're competing not only with other pizza stores, but with every other fastfood outlet and restaurant in your area. So when a consumer starts to entertain the idea of having dinner delivered their mouth should start watering at the though of your food. Your pizzas need to be memorable. Your pizzas need to arrive hot and fresh.

Keep in mind that Pizza Delivery Systems aren’t just about delivering delicious pizza. If you can’t ensure that you’re maintaining minimum temperatures on your hot food deliveries you’re eventually going to have issues with the health inspectors as well.

Assorted Pizza Trays (essential)

Before you even open you’ll need to decide what pizzas you’re going to offer and what sizes they’ll be. When talking to customers about pizza trays and pans we usually take them through a range factors including oven size, demographic, menu style and price points to help determine what size pizza trays to get.

You’ll also need to consider the type of metal and function of the trays you want which will be related more to oven capacity, desired cook times and cooking style. There's a full range of aluminium, black steel or aluminised steel trays to choose from, as well deciding between plain pizza trays, perforated or mesh screens. And yes we also have deep pans and square and rectangle trays too.

Sometimes it can take trial and error to determine the right trays for you and often our customers change pizza trays at different times to accommodate menu changes and seasonal differences.

Utensils and Accessories (essential)

Rather than re-write the bible of pizza here, you’d be best to have a look through our website at the range available. As well as the basics required for any kitchen you might want to look at a Pan Gripper, Dough Docker, Pizza Knives & Cutters, Dough Boxes or Dough Ball Trays, some Kitchen Scales, Pizza Tray Racks, Stainless benching, and Spoodles. There’s plenty more available, but these are a good start.

And of course, if you need any info or just want to be pointed in the right direction, feel free to contact us any time.