Deck to Conveyor & making the switch. Sort of. Advice?

Discussion in 'The Think Tank' started by noreason, Jul 3, 2017.

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  1. noreason

    noreason Active Member

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    Ok so I've been a deck guy on this forum for a while now, and I do love them very much so, but one of our locations just cannot keep up with the demand. We have two double stacks now with no room to add more. I think I've come to the crossroads that many ex-deck users have come to and I need some advice on which way to turn! Well, I guess I know which way to durn because decks are pretty much out of the question (zero room) and think everyone is on board (minus the customers) of trying conveyors.

    Anyhow, I'm looking at edge 60 ovens... I have a few questions though.

    1) How many stacks to get?
    The website states that they can do 100 16" pies per hour per stack @ a 4.5 minute - is this close to real world? We are currently physically capping ourselves out at about 430 pies in a day. This is probably a peak of 120-140 pizzas an hour, keeping all decks essentially full. My good friend math tells me that a double stack would be a smart place to start.

    2) A hard question to answer, I know, but for those who own them and have used other brands in the past, do you have any regrets?

    3) Buy directly from edge? Or is there a go to dealer they suggest that I could check out? I see "pizzasolutions" as far as a google search goes, but no clue if they are considered recommended or overpriced. I'll be calling edge regardless, just more curious about this than anything.

    3) Heat? For those who switched, do they run hotter? Seems like my friend science would tell me they would run cooler considering during peak hours I'm running my BP's at 600-625 just to keep them hot enough.

    4) Is a 4.5 minute cook time marketing nonsense or does this actually work out in the end? I love the idea of 4.5 minutes but it seems really "different" coming from an 8 minute (average) bake time

    5) Consistency: Is it really that easy? Does every pizza come out consistently cooked every time or is there a level of knowledge required? Like constantly pushing stuff back into the oven? Working deck ovens takes a lot of skill and I'd really like to have something that doesn't require mastery...

    I'm sure I'll have more questions, but honestly I think i'm just going to go all in. I'm just too tired of the training
    involved with our current setup. Finding guys around here to be able to handle are current system is impossible. Hiring a guy that has worked at dominos for 5 years and having him run out the back door because he was so overwhelmed is getting old.
     
  2. clownhair

    clownhair Member

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    More people will answer i'm sure, but ill start.
    I have 3 of the edge 60 ovens, they are really nice and the guys at edge have top notch customer service.

    1.) Based on your volume I would say minimum 2, possibly even a triple stack.

    2.) I have had middleby, lincolns, and xlt ovens. The middleby and lincolns were older ovens and the XLT was newer (about 7 years old now) The lincolns and middleby both made good pizzas. The XLT and Edge are very comparable and probably a step up in that they bake the food better than the previous ovens I had and at a faster speed. They also are much more efficient on gas and electricity. The edge oven is significantly quieter than the XLT oven.

    3.) I bought direct from edge, prices seemed a little cheaper than what was advertised online at other retailers.

    3.(again)) You are gonna run these way colder than 625, 500ish would probably be maxing it and high 400's not unheard of, I run mine at 470 degrees

    4.) I'm gonna say mostly nonsense, they cook faster than deck ovens but to get well baked pizzas at 4.5 minutes is gonna be rough in my opinion. I run about 6.5 minutes personally.

    5.) Yes, its really that easy. Literally 90% ( maybe more) of food comes out good to go. The only attention I find may even be needed is if I throw a breadstick or something similar in the side window (to set it at about halfway in the conveyor) can sometimes need to be pushed back in if you put it in the wrong place. Pizzas just stacked with toppings you may want to keep an eye on, sometimes they need a little longer bake. Other than that its pretty foolproof and even in the 2 scenarios I listed if I just pulled the food out they would still be pretty good.
     
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  3. d9phoenix

    d9phoenix Well-Known Member

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    I have never worked a deck oven professionally, so i can't comment on the switch. But clownhair said pretty much everything.

    I use an older Middleby double stack. I run a 7 min belt at 470ish, and most of the time pizza's come out good to go. Very unusual to have to push anything back (sometimes we rotate them 90 degrees before they come out, but that is because of the age of the oven). If your maxing at 140 pies per hour a double stack will do you fine, but if you think it will get busier (yeah!) then i would start with the double stack and make sure to get the version that expands to the third stack when you are ready for it.

    I am going to be buying new ovens in the next year, and was looking at the edge ovens also. The biggest factor for me is noise, i am starting to lose my hearing working next to these older ovens all the time.
     
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  4. Steve

    Steve Active Member

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    We run edge 40's and need to go to a triple stack. Had we foreseen the growth, we would've got edge 60 Wide Belts. As far as time and temp, we are 445 degrees for 5:55. This obviously is going to vary by which finger profile you go with


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  5. Daddio

    Daddio Well-Known Member Moderator

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    @George Mills is the best resource when it come to the Edge line up. I bought mine through him and would do so again if the need came up.
     
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  6. noreason

    noreason Active Member

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    Excellent information - I appreciate any advice I can get!
     
  7. George Mills

    George Mills Well-Known Member

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    To Quote Papa John. When I switched him from decks to conveyors he states they went from doing $1000,00 per mite to doing $1000.00 per hour.Our clients have found that the edge ovens cost a bit less to buy, burn less gas then the competitors, are quieter and expell less heat into the kitchen.

    George Mills
     
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  8. paul7979

    paul7979 Well-Known Member

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    Start with a doublestack and add a third oven when needed. I'm doing $8000 Friday nights with two ovens. We only turn our third on for our few biggest days of the year or for orders of 75 pizzas or more.

    I bought directly from Edge and one of the owners came and delivered them himself(this was almost 10 years ago, I have some of their earliest 60" ovens). I can't think of a better company customer service wise.

    I have absolutely no regrets with going with Edge Ovens. I've used Blodgetts, Lincolns, Middlebys and XLT's and my Edge ovens are far quieter and cook better than any of my previous ovens. They put out significantly less heat than the XLT's I replaced with them(although I'm not sure that can be said of the widebody Edges).

    You will likely not cook at 4:30. I'm cooking at 6:10 in one deck and 6:30 in the other two.

    They really are that consistent. A heavily topped 16" deluxe and a 12" cheese pizza can cook side by side with them both being equally cooked. The only thing we push back at all is an everything pizza with 15 toppings.
     
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  9. Steve

    Steve Active Member

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    Our times are also slightly off between the two ovens we have. This isn't good for my OCD.

    I'd say it also depends on your entire operation? Are you oven baked for everything or do you use fryers too? We are all oven baked and have a rather extensive menu. We're at almost 5k Friday's and are ready for a third oven


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  10. Steve

    Steve Active Member

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    Just thought I'd add, if you're looking for consistency, it's a conveyor. I don't know how you deck guys do it to be honest, let alone do volume. If you keep up with your oven and finger cleanings, everything will be consistent Day in and day out, especially with an edge


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  11. George Mills

    George Mills Well-Known Member

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    Our times are also slightly off between the two ovens we have. This isn't good for my OCD.

    What make & Model ovens are you using?
    George Mills
     
  12. Steve

    Steve Active Member

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    Edge 40


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  13. pizzapiratespp

    pizzapiratespp Well-Known Member

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    We have triple stack middlebys. 55 inch. 6 minute bake time. We can do 12 to 13 k pretty easily. 15k and higher will back us up. I'm upgrading to either a middleby 3270 triple wow or, a 3870 triple xlt soon. Just haven't decided which one yet.


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  14. Steve

    Steve Active Member

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    How many people do you have on your oven? Sheesh lol


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  15. pizzapiratespp

    pizzapiratespp Well-Known Member

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    They do with 2 people and a third steps in to help here and there


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  16. noreason

    noreason Active Member

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    I'll be honest, even after 50 years I couldn't claim consistency during peak hours. I don't think anyone who runs deck ovens could, unless you are low volume or run at a low temp.

    When you have 4 ovens full at all times it just takes a large amount of skill. Hell, I might even say it's completely impossible for most. You may have a really lucky shift one day but it's only a matter of time before you're going to over-bake one side from not turning a pizza, under cook or over cook a bottom, or just flat out burn a pizza. Some say it adds to the charm of deck oven pizzas, like wood or coal baked, but who knows.
     
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  17. noreason

    noreason Active Member

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    This specific location has a limited menu versus our main location which is a full blown Italian restaurant, but we still have a full kitchen. Fryers, ovens(convection), grills, etc
     
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  18. XLT Inc

    XLT Inc New Member

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    I am happy to see you are interested in converting to conveyor ovens. Your concerns are no different than most deck oven users we have converted over the years. As far as how many pies you can produce per hour this of course will depend on the model of oven, single – double or triple stacked, the size of your pizza and the determined bake time. We have a Pizza Baking Calculator on our website, here’s a link http://xltovens.net/PizzaCalculator.htm The biggest perk to using conveyor ovens is the quality and consistency of your product without the required oven training. This can save you the headache of training and retraining employees to tend the ovens as well as save you on labor and ensure you’re providing a quality product to your customers every time! XLT would be happy to help you through the conversion process as well as dialing in the bake. We do offer in house test baking. If you would like to have a further discussion on how XLT could provide solutions to your current constraints please feel free to give us a call 888-443-2751 (you can ask for Matt) or reply to this comment or send me a private message with any questions or how you would like to be contacted. Looking forward to hearing from you.
     
  19. Steve

    Steve Active Member

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    You guys should update your calculator for up to a 20" pizza. It's becoming more and more common


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  20. XLT Inc

    XLT Inc New Member

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    Thank you for the feedback Steve! You make a great point and really we should go larger than 20", I will submit the improvement idea.