dealing with crazy rush's on weekends, not getting backed up

We are having some trouble getting not over whelmed on the make line we have a delfield 114 inch make line for pizzas and a 66" salad/wing/pasta line.

And you cant get more then 3 people on it durning a rush and tickets get backed up and we cant maintain our 30-35min delivery times like we try to do.

From 5-745 tonight we had 133 orders a mix of take out dine-in and deliverys, my guys on the line were about to pass out after the rush was over and we did it with very few mistakes but there has to be a way to get more people helping to make food faster. We almost need 2 pizza lines to run 5-6 pizza makers. Our ovens handle the volume no problem we run PS360-WBs and they just crank out the pies. But like i said we cant make them any faster with out mass confusion if you have more then 3ppl on the pizza line. The 3rd food maker goes back and forth from salad line and pizza line as needed.

Just looking for input from the other heavy hitters on here. I run ovens and get phones and help customers as needed. I tell ya what, running a fully loaded WB is a workout by your self. After 3 hours your beat

Any advice would be great

Re: dealing with crazy rush’s on weekends, not getting backe


While my current situation is not the same as yours, when I used to run two Papa John’s we would do 100+ product hours on an average Friday, here is how I handled it.

My assistant manager was on the “dough” portion of the make table. From the start of her shift until the end her job was to keep our speed rack up with pre-slapped skins of 14" pizzas (our most common). A second employee, my main dough instore, was responsible for slapping them out (takes less than 5 seconds a pie at that point) and saucing them, and preparing any off items (breadsticks, cheese sticks, mediums, etc).

I there was then a third instore on the actual make line in charge of the crumbles meats and veggies (1st half) of the makeline. A fourth and final instore was on the end of the makeline to handle the sliced meats (pepperoni and ham) along with cheese. Each employee moved to the left if they were free to ensure no one section was bogged down.

I, like you, manned the ovens (also two MM360WB set at 6:30 bake). And had a final two instores on the front counter dedicated for order taking, and had drivers in between runs man additional phones.

Not sure if any of that info helps you, but I hope it does!

Re: dealing with crazy rush’s on weekends, not getting backe

There are a ton of things you could do here, but it is hard to give any advice with the info you provided. Look at your operations and find the bottle necks. What is slowing you down?

I would start with grabbing a timer, and doing pepperoni times. Your goal should be making a 14 inch pepperoni from dough to done in 30 seconds. You don’t need to be Waheed Asim, but your problem is probably in your pizza making speeds. Three people should easily be able to handle a 300 pie hour.

Re: dealing with crazy rush’s on weekends, not getting backe


I used to work in a store that did 150 pie hours, both as dough guy in high school and as the manager. From how you described your setup i would have to agree with Pizzamancer. Seems you have a bottleneck (my guess is the third guy switching between pizza and pasta’s). It could also be your makelike guys/girls are just not used to it yet. Learning how to handle 100 pie hours is hard the first few times it happens. But as long as they keep working together they should learn pretty quickly what they need to do to speed things up.

In my store, we just have two people on the makelike, and one person on the ovens. We average 80 pie hours on my busy nights. We can burst to 100 pie hours on occassion, and our bottle neck at that point is not having enough drivers.

Also one thing that might help, take alook at your items setup inside the makelike. When i bought my store i rearranged some of the items so that the flow kept a pizza going in one direction. I also had to adjust the makelike display so that we weren’t moving forward and backwards when reading toppings.

Hope this helps

Re: dealing with crazy rush’s on weekends, not getting backe

We do around 80 per hour on Friday & Sat with only 2 on the bench and all our pizzas are “named pizza i.e. meat lovers (ham pepperoni, bacon) or house special (7 toppings) etc. We have 36 different variants across 3 sizes. We have an oven guy and myself between helping on the oven or front counter. Drivers do pastas and other sides while not on delivery and I pick it up if they are out.
We run a double MMPS360 32”. Orders are always under 20 minutes except if we have a bank of large orders at once where times may go out a few minutes
Have to agree at looking at pizza making timings

Re: dealing with crazy rush’s on weekends, not getting backe

Thats a good problem to have! I am dealing with the same thing. Haloween I was running 1 hour delivery and 45 min pickup. At 1 point 3-4 drivers can be waiting for deliveries to come out. On a positive note- if people think they are going to have a harder time getting pizza from you, it prob means you’re the place to be and they will wait for you. Good luck with that.

Re: dealing with crazy rush’s on weekends, not getting backe

Three rock stars can handle 100 pies per hour if your prep is done and you use an assembly line like Uncle Nick described. We do it exactly the same way. Dough guy fills racks. go into the rush with three or four speed racks full of skins ready to go and the job of the dough person is to keep them full. They do not have to look at the order screen, just try to keep the racks stocked. Next person is sauce and cheese. They have to spot what kind of sauce and notice toppings that go under the cheese like fresh spinach and sundried toms. Third person completes pizzas and puts them in the oven.

We might have bit more room to work it sounds like. We have a 93" make line but we have 12’ of steel counter before that to handle the dough.

Absolutely crucial that prep takes some of the load off the production line. Salads are done in advance and ready in the reach-in cooler for drivers to grab. Side sauce is ready to go in solo cups. Cooks in the rush should not have to slice veggies or meats and we have trays of cheese, buckets of sauce, 1/3 pans of meats and mushrooms and tomatoes and 1/6th pans of the other veggies already to drop into the line so no one is opening boxes or cans etc during rush.

Re: dealing with crazy rush’s on weekends, not getting backe

Our dough is pre pushed out right in the stacking pans we keep in prep table. No need for a dough person.Two people on table, sauce plus anything under cheese then cheese and on top. When we know the slam is coming will pre sauce a stack of each size and make up some known sellers, medium Hawaiin etc etc.
Have a two door cooler fully inventoried with pre filled inserts right next to pep table for cooks to restock table from.
Original location runs XLT 3270 split belt double stack. Only reason we can keep up with build is because we run a 9:30 bake. Our bottleneck is always getting the orders delivered during the slam. Part of the location though, we are in a smaller town and have some deliveries that are a 20 minute round trip away.
It would be nice to have six vs three drivers for just “that” hour …
Avg out the door time for delivery during a slam is about 40-45 min. Our customers all know that and we call them back if looks like it will hit an hour. More than an hour and they start to get pissy. Our competition runs very much the same delivery times so guess the town is “trained”?
Trained?, we work on training our customers. Even if theirs is the only order up they will still be told 45 min
for a delivery. No matter the day or time. Will make it up, cook it so as to get it there hot and fresh in 45. They know before they call delivery is about 45 min.

Re: dealing with crazy rush’s on weekends, not getting backe

Thursday we did a 110 pie hour followed by a 95 pie hour and then a 85 pie hour not to mention salads wings and pastas.
We got threw it and never had deliverys past 45 min

we are adjusting quickly to the rushes, I can’t imagine a 300 pie hour. Omg I would cry

Re: dealing with crazy rush’s on weekends, not getting backe

Hi Joker:

Its difficult to do large volumes unless your equipment and lay out are designed for volume operations.

We Have accounts we design and equip to do up to 300 pizza in an hour.They use, a sheeting station, where pizzas are formed, a refrigerated saucing station where pizzas are sauced, a 4 door 112 in topping Table and triple stack ovens.

George Mills