I live in Germany, for a long time I have been into Neapolitan pizzas and wanted to open a small pizzeria. I’ve developed pizza making skills, read a lot of books about pizza making and restaurant management, perfected some Neapolitan pizza recipes with a high heat oven and I have saved up some money with a friend of mine to start a small pizzeria.
We accept we are noobs in this industry. We both have experience in engineering but managing a pizzeria is something that requires different expertise we hope to develop in time. I learnt a lot from this forum but questions about the first day after opening the pizzeria, first week or even the first month of operation, I can’t seem to find an answer anywhere on the web. Some of these questions may feel like no brainers to you but I genuinely don’t know things I’m asking about.
First of all, Perhaps you started in an established pizzeria but can you guys remember how your first day went? Can you give some advice on what to prepare for? Also any additional recommendations will be super helpful for me, if you guys have the time
We plan to sell around 50 pizzas a day and later go upto 100 if we are successful. It’ll be a small pizzeria with 2 people operating it. Our recipe requires us to proof our dough for 3 days in a dough box in a refrigerator. We will experiment with using biga to decrease proofing time to 1 day to be more dynamic but still currently we need 3 days. Question is should we always plan for the best sales scenario? Have you ever been out-sold / were out of dough balls or ingredients? Do you track your sales actively and if it’s a fast day, do you prepare some extra dough balls and proof it only for 6 hours, to have enough for the evening?
We want to be consistent with our taste. I think it’s one of the most important aspects of any successful restaurant. But I really don’t know what to do if I prepare 60 dough balls for the first day and have 100 orders I thought about preparing 150 dough balls not to send customers away if they show up and just throw the unsold extra away. Freezing them might decrease the quality. If I put the dough balls in the fridge again it’ll slow down the fermentation but still the dough balls overall will be over fermented and taste will be off… Do you think I am making sense here? Any advice on probably the fundamentals of pizzeria management is highly appreciated here.
Another thing is planning sales hourly. After taking the dough ball tray out of the fridge, I need about 6 hours until they are ready to stretch at room temperature. I would say 5 to 9 hours after taking them out is something I can work with. If we wait more it’s over fermented and I would throw them away.
I can’t figure out what I would do if for example we get 40 orders at a point in time but we just have 20 dough balls ready to go. It feels like I have to literally plan how many trays I take out every hour. Of course we’ll know more about the customer order patterns in time for sure but the first day,week or month feels really uncertain. Maybe using biga would help us since prep time decreases for the dough balls but still no dough ball is instantly ready and all of them have this time window to work with. How can I prepare for this? When you guys start a new pizzeria how do you approach these uncertainties?
I would also appreciate any advice or you writing about any memories from your very first day since I think I will also learn something reading them
Thanks a lot for your time