Cost of an ounce of dough

I’ve been buying my dough now but was told today that dough costs about$.006 an ounce to make or less then a penny per ounce.I actually have the recipe to the T of the place that makes my dough as a buddy of mine worked there for 5yrs and knows by heart.
If this is true I may really consider buying a mixer.

Flour is way up in price, but my foodcost on dough is still just under a penny an ounce.

I’m hovering @ .01 an ounce of dough.

We use honey instead of suger which raises the cost, but the food is still only about 1.2 cents per ounce. Labor is about 7/10s of a cent, so the total cost is under 2 cents. It is important to ad that production labor into the equation when you compare. To the extent you have downtime during prep the labor expense may be less, but it does not work that way for me.

Bottom line, making dough is about half the cost of buying it. The other good news is that if you buy the machine, it will also grind/dice cheese. Buying your cheese in block form will often save you 10-15 cents a pound.

Between those two savings, I figure my machine paid for itself in about two weeks of our high season.

buy the mixer and save money from auction or used equp store…
your dough cost should be in line with penny an ounce

A penny an ounce is right if you only count the food, but figure your labor will be up some too.

Maybe a basic calculation like your labor will be up by $100 for every 1000 pies you sell will be close.

to figure out the cost of one ounce of dough, find a recepie figure out the yeild. Then figure out what each ingredient costs and then you can go from there and figure out your cost per ounce. For instance…

fifty pounds of flour costs A
three cups of oil costs B
two cups of sugar costs C
one cup of salt costs D
three oz of IDY costs E

Your yield = X pounds so you add A thru E to find out what that costs you to make. Then you multiply X pounds by 16 to get the number of ounces, then divide the number oz by the total cost to get the cost per ounce.

on top of the cost of the ingredients you will also need to consider:

  • cost of labour (making and cleaning)
  • cost of purchasing equipment
  • cost of servicing the equipment
  • cost of power for the equipment
  • make sure you have enough cold room space to cross stack the dough and to store the ‘extra’ dough you will have (depending on what stage you normally get your bough in dough you will probably need an extra day’s supplies)
  • Anyone producing the dough for you will certainly be able to able to buy the flour at discount than you.
  • oh and don’t forget to factor in the cost when who every makes the dough can’t come in because they got flu/holiday/don’t set the alarm/want a sick day

The cost to a supplier producing volume will be a fraction of what you can make it for. Making you own dough may save you $$, it will give you get flexibility but there are obviously some trade-off’s - make sure you consider everything as sometimes it can be a real pain.

Baker’s Percent Conversion Tool[/url] from the [url=]Pizza Manager’s Toolbox

Change Cell A24 to read : Labor
Change Cell B24 to your “helps” Hourly Wage
Change Cell C24 for however many hours it takes your people to do dough
Change Cell D24 to : =SUM(B24C24)
Change Cell E24 to : =SUM(B24

If you are using this already you simply need to add in another row for calculations.

If you have issues you can PM me. I can help with adding in other known factors to your dough cost rundown.

If you have 3 people doing your dough and it takes 45 minutes.

Then add up all 3 employees wages and enter it into cell B24. Enter .75 into C24 and it will tell you what you are paying per ounce for those 3 people to work 45 minutes making your dough. If you enter in all the variable above what I told you to add it will break down your costs to the ounce/pound.

If you are having troubles with this spreadsheet or you arent familiar with editing a spreadsheet (look in the help menu or ask me in a PM)

Hopefully that might help someone.

I take NO CREDIT for the spreadsheet. PMQ hosts the Spreadsheet. (Thank you!) Someone had either supplied it to them or they created it for us. In either case all credit for the original goes to the rightful owner.

Labor cost for making our own dough is basically non existant. I would schedule the same hours for dayshift instore staff with or without dough to make, because I want two instore employees working at all times to keep up with rush periods throughout the afternoon.

Cost for equipment calculates to less than one tenth of a penny per ounce for the three A and M dough rounders and the 2 hobart mixers I have purchased in ten years(not even counting what these sold for when I was done). I have paid less than $300 to service this eqipment over ten years. Cost to power the eqipment is there, but is it really significant?

Does it really take more room in a walk in to cross stack 1.5 days of dough as opposed to freezing 1.5 weeks worth of dough(assuming once a week delivery).

Maybe someone making your dough can buy ingredients cheaper, but will they pass that savings on to you? You can controll your recipe and procedures at your place, but what happens when the person used to making your dough somewhere else calls in sick. You no longer have any control or knowledge of how the procedures are being followed.

To me, the dough making procedure is as much a part of our business as making pizzas and no more of a pain. In many ways it’s easier than the pizza making portion of my business and much easier to train someone to do.

For us, making dough is about half the price of buying it. That includes the labor.

Paul, on slow days or in low volume shops there is very little added labor as you point out; the regular crew can knock out a couple of batches. But overall, making dough adds to labor cost. If it means that our afternoon prep guy comes in at 2 rather four that is two hours. During our high volume season we hire a guy just to make dough. He comes in every morning at about 5AM and makes dough. Some days he only has to make 250-300 lbs, but when we are cranking he is making 800 lbs a day. We pay him piece rate so the cost is fixed.

I would estimate that our blended labor rate for dough, counting the time of year when the labor is “free”, the times when we pay labor for all dough making and the times in between at about 10 cents per pizza.

at 1.2 cents per pound for materials plus 10 cents labor our large doughball costs 40 cents all in, which is about half what the frozen doughball of the same size from Rich’s costs.

On 40,000 pizzas per year the difference would be about $15,000 even when you inlcude $4,000 in added labor so making your own dough is a great money saver.

Assuming that you also use the machine to grind block cheese and you save another 10 cents a pound compared to buying shredded which amounts to another several thousand dollars.

Combined, these amount to a 3 point drop in food cost overall. Pretty hard to ignore.

Paul - talk to me, you have 3 A & M rounders. Are they cutting the dough for you also? Those machines cost $22k a piece new!

I am seriously considering buying it because of its efficiency benefit.
Any feedback is appreciated.

This is why you are not factoring in labor :wink:

I sure don’t have the need or space for three divider/rounders. I currently have one A and M R900C dough rounder. We cut the doughball to weight, drop in rounder and it spits out tightly rounded dough ball. We mix 2 50LB bags of flour at a time in our 140QT hobart. Using the dough rounder, one person can easily cut the 160+ Lbs of dough while the next batch mixes.

I have purchased 3 A and M rounders over the years, because I buy them used, and have sold the first two for more than I paid and now have one that was only 6 months old when I purchased it. I went from an old beat to crap machine for $1000 to a practically new machine for $4000. Even if a warrenty is important to you, don’t buy “new”. Save a bundle and buy from A and M at pizza expo, or they will sometimes sell parts with visual blemishes that for about half price. They may sell machines this same way.


I wasn’t discounting the benefits of making your own dough as it has many many benefits but its not fair to give only half the story i.e. ‘buy a mixer and that’s it’ - there are some draw backs - that’s why I posted.

Sure it may cost you less in straight $'s but it does have draw backs.

You say it labour is non existant yet someone else says 3 people at 45minutes each. It DOES take someone time to make and therefore THERE IS a labour cost. If you are using people who otherwise are ‘standing around’ well thats another argument (I’m sure you don’t really employ anyone who has nothing to do) but someone doing something is a cost to the business full stop if they are making dough then there is a labour cost for making dough.

In terms of cross stacking etc it depends on how you get your dough some get it fresh and some frozen - if you get it fresh you will need more space as fresh dough normally comes in on day 2 so you will need 1 day extra space and yes cross stacking does take more physical space and if space is tight in your walkin it might be a problem.

In terms of equipment, yes over 10 years the cost may be minimal but there is an upfront cost which needs to be considered. However you do have additional costs (electric, servicing, space etc) and I know from experience that when your mixer breaks down on a Friday its a real bad headache (regardless of the fact the kitchen equipment was serviced twice a year)!

So in summary yes you may be right about the overall cost BUT in answer the original question NO its not just a case of the cost of a mixer.

I’m sure we are both trying to give good advice - I’m trying to make sure there is a balance to the answer.