Considering Slices

We are located in a busy shopping plaza, and I want to take advantage of the foot traffic. How do you handle slices with a conveyor oven? Do you just start with a par baked cheese pizza? What is your process for baking, adding toppings and reheating? What size slice are you selling? Our largest pizza is a 16" however I do have a 20" screen I could use.

All of our stores vary, we have two locations that offer slices 11-2 and one that offers them all day. To start I recommend having a few slice pies in the cabinet (or however you’re going to house them) to entice customers, show them you’ve got a variety of offerings. If they come in one day and you have them and other days you don’t… they likely wont come back on a regular basis. We’ve had slow days after covid that we were just happy to sell two pieces to break even until our slice business picked back up.

We offer our 18” cut into 6 slices. We use a spice guide so the customers get good quality cuts from the cabinet. Have some simple window signage printed “hot slices daily” or whatever verbiage sounds good to your shop to draw some attention! Hope that helps!

Along the same lines as runforitzach, we par-bake our 15" size (I’d definitely use your 16"), score it, and then also cut it in sixths. We use both thin and thick crusts for options and have at least six varieties daily, displaying (six slices on one pan) them in our refrigerated display and listing them on our digital slice menu. We usually do not add toppings to slices as we’ve found it diminishes the product and doesn’t meet our standards. We sell slices daily but adjust volume based on expected sales. We drop each slice back on the conveyor, or under the best circumstances, we use our Turbo Chefs, which finish the slice in about a minute. From refrigeration, we usually minimally microwave and then finish off in the ovens. We have little foot traffic at our locations, which are more destination sites, so we do not do outside signage.

Do you have them just sitting on a pan? Or are they on some kind of resting rack so that the dough does not get soft from moisture?

We leave ours on pans. We let them cool a bit (sometimes a lot) on pans/screens, score, cut and transfer to pans. We bag whole pans and refrigerate them as needed.

For slices with a conveyor oven starting with a par baked cheese pizza is quick and works well. Prepping toppings ahead makes it efficient. Consider a standard 12 slice size for convenience. Give that 20 screen a shot.
but keep an eye on baking times.

What baking time would you suggest?

We used to sell Grab & Go slices at Lunchtime before the pandemic, but took that opportunity to stop - we priced them too low, had too much waste, and could not find staff to work lunch kitchen. Now we’re looking into restarting but wanting to set it up with as little effort needed by the staff as possible.

We used to wrap each slice individually with a piece of wax paper and foil to keep our packaging costs as low as possible. Our pan-style pizza is already “soft crust” and the way this method steamed the slices actually kept them great over the course of an hour + lunch service. Staff just had to grab the ordered slices, throw them in a bag, and hand them to the customer. It was a lot of work to wrap all of them before lunch started. Since it was a huge pain if we had to cook more during lunch the staff would always cook the maximum amount and this resulted in a lot of waste on slower-than-expected days.

We looked into par baking the pies in our conveyor oven set up half time for breadsticks then finishing individual slices with a 2nd pass through. Quality was great, but this method results in a 6 minute wait for each order. That might mean customers pile up in our small waiting area and the staff has to remember which slices coming out belong to which customer. On busy catering days, the cut table would be annoyed with handling the little orders as they’re trying to assembly line out the multi-pizza waves. This would be the way we’d have to do it if we wanted to sell slices all day instead of just 11 a.m to 1 p.m.

Now we’re thinking that investing a bit into slice display cabinets with humidity control for our front counters is the way to go. Slices will be on display and hot & ready. Customer can see what is available, point out which varieties they want, we throw the entire order in a clamshell, and they’re out the door. Cutting the occasional pizza into 8 for slices seems to flow better for the cut table during a lunch rush.

Now we just have to decide if we want to go back to wrapping slices, or invest in cabinets and running some high amp electricity to the counters.

Our repair guy had a pizza cabinet sitting in his shop, let us borrow it to try it out. Oh yeah, this is the way to go.

can I ask how many slices do you plan to sell on average per lunch and over what period of time? I may have some other suggestions

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