Fish Ovens


Let me say a good debate is great…We can hopefully learn from it. I would respectfully disagree with you. You are in fact opening up your market. If the battle for the customer is fought between price first shops they effectively shrink the market by all fighting for the same customer. Look at the study here 61% of people polled said they pay MORE for something that believed was of better quality. I would argue that service, convenience, store presentation all matter as much as price. Also if your in a market with all price point competition than for those people who want something better, if you can deliver that product to them, you will have a loyal following instead those who choice comes down to this weeks coupon. The list of industry leaders that promote themselves as being better not the low cost producer is endless, Nike, Tide laundry, Coke Cola, Chips ahoy. I am just rattling some names off that sell more than anyone else but at hardly a lower price. People want VALUE not price and the difference is huge. I would also add that this market dictated, I mean you know your local market and what you must do. To be honest I would be much the fool to jump into the price war as that’s all that’s around me already.

Let me add as an example: If there was a town where all tennis shoes sold for less than $35.00 a pair just no name shoes. And Nike said here you can be the only person in this town to sell our shoes but remember some will be over $100.00 or three times as much as what the others stores in town sell shoes for. I would be the first in line to take that store. I mean if the town was large enough. My point is cheaper is not only what people want… it is much more than just price. They want to feel good about what they bought and I think this holds true for just about any product.


If you read my past few posts, you’ll see that we agree about the value point. No disagreement there. I do still however contend that by having a higher price (regardless of value), you lower your potential pool of customers. Big Dave had a great post about this in one of his articles about accepting competitors coupons. Check out this article.


Interesting article. First I would say he speaks about more cheese and bigger pies…Not necessarily a better tasting product using better ingredients. Now however I think the strategy makes sense when you are taking money or cost from one area and using it another in this case, your bottom line is better. The thing that I am still surprised by how ever, is why would anyone ever think it makes sense to be like all of your competition unless there is room in the market. I mean look at Star Bucks…no one sells the coffee they do…they thrived like no one else…they did however over expand…in my town to give you a example there are 3 locations where 2 stores sit a a few hundred yards apart, this means there are actually 6 stores that you can stand in the middle and throw a rock and hit either one. Again I will say it more about market position than price. What you present yourself to be and then delivering on that promise.

We have REED Oven, which is also a rotating deck oven. We are very happy with it-very reliable(once you have it dialed in), great output( can cook 18 pizzas in 8 min at 540 degrees), and it’s a great conversation piece.

I was able to talk to the people from FISH at the EXPO and was very impressed. It has a smaller footprint than the REED, and supposedly better insulated.

I would see if there are any shops within driving distance that utilize any of the ovens you are considering and see them in ation.

Yes there are some I can see…The Fish does look promising…

Keep in mind that an oven is a lot more than a hot box that bakes a pizza.
Some of the things that must enter into your sdecision making process when buy an oven are:
*) Your store concept
*) Space constraints
*) Volume needed (how many pizzas during your busiest hour(s)
*) Product mix
*) Presentation (how much are you loading up your pizzas?)
*) Cost constraints
*) Local codes
*) Power available (gas/electric)
Are you taking all of these into acount?
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Hi Guys:

Interesting debate:

Just some observations: The most successful pizza groups abandon rotating and revolving ovens years ago. The exception being extremely thick pie type products that have to bake up to 20 minutes or so.

Also, Tom the Dough doctor has pretty much proven that about any oven used properly can produce an outstanding pizza not considering

Most all I think will agree, it is the ingredients and the technique involved in preparation that determines the quality of the pizza not the oven.

I would think that an operator when considering an oven would select a type that would require the least skill to opperate, can produce a high volume of product, is reasonably priced, easy to clean, Has very low gas and electrical consumption, and a great warranty.

George Mills


I would agree that the big chains have abandoned “pizza ovens” for ovens that make pizza with much less input from the operator. I do not think they did this in favor of making a better pizza but at the reduced cost of labor. I think there is a balance in today’s world with so many different industries embracing new technologies that make things less costly to produce but with trade-offs for quality. In some cases of course they have made for better products but in others it is a question of accepting something to be good or close enough that you will live with lesser quality in the finished product.
I had such a great meal last night in a hole in wall place, that is so old school old world…you would be amazed at at how the owner operates. My wife who I had to twist her arm to go as it was over an hour away was blown away… she has a much more discerning palate than I do. She commented as to why we do not have something like this near our home, I told that this is hard to find just about anywhere. He is somewhat of an old friend from a neighborhood I used to live in. He came from a small town in Italy about 20 years ago and only knows old world ways of doing things.

I have to accept that today’s ovens like a conveyor types are capable of putting out a good pie…but I still hear the voice that says to me…It is “almost” as good…or if you just will do this it will be “more” like…So for now I still trying to find the oven that is most comfortable and that I believe will produce the pie I am after.

But you bring up a great point…no matter the oven its only as good as what goes in as to what comes out…the recipe and quality of ingredients are key.

Somebody is beginning to sound a lot like PJ’s. LOL
Think of it like this, a brick mason starts with a pile of the best bricks in the world, he then gets the best morter in the world. What can he make from all of this? Nothing, unless he has the right technology. Then he can build a castle if he wants to. Knowledge reigns supreme, its what sets us apart from our furry cousins.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

hummmmm… :roll: …I have no idea who PJ’s is…or what it means…

Tom I do know you expressed that today’s conveyors can produce a good pie…more so when married to the right pan…and yes almost anyone operate one…but I still cannot fully embrace them as cooking as good or with the same type of bake that you can get from a deck or some of the rotating ovens…

This is a great conversation…

Easygoer I do not think this conversation is saying that a conveyor oven is as “good as” or the “same type of bake as” a deck oven…I think it is saying that for most folks it is close enough…And a more realistic approach to business these days…

You are absolutely correct, conveyor/air impingement ovens are not for everyone, but do recognize that different oven types do have certain limitations, and we must design our pizzas around those limitations. This is why I always suggest that the type of pizza, and all of it’s unique characteristics (what will set this pizza apart from others in your area) be written down first, and then an oven selected based on it’s proven ability to bake quality pizzas with those characteristics. Case in point. A few years ago I was called out to work in a store to help them make a selection for new ovens to replace their old ovens, which were deck ovens, and oh, while you’re at it, could you also tell us what we can do to make a drier pizza? As it turns out, their claim t fame was that they used more toppings than anyone else in town. In their deck ovens, all those veggies were releasing copious amounts of water, creating what I fondly refer to as a “swamp” pizza. For a while, someone even marketed a “pizza blotter” to remove all that water from the top of the pizza (excuse me while I just mop this up and wring this little thing out). Not very pretty. We got around the problem by going to an air impingement oven. The top fingers were adjusted to give sufficient air flow to the top of the pizza, thus drying off the water as it was released, and al lthe pies came out with a dry top. Therer was nothing wrong with the deck oven, just a bad match between concept and oven. The air impingement oven was a much better match, and it also gave him the increased production capacity he was looking for in a new oven. With the oven he was originally looking at he would get theproduction capacity, but he would still be plagued with wet, soggy pizzas.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor


Thank you…I am torn…I think in my market for me to stand out…I need to do the little things that make it better…I have checked all my competitors and all but one are using a conveyor…I want to make a better pizza…I am thinking that a rotating oven gives the best of both…I thought the Marsals might be a good fit also but after hearing that in the real world you still need to rotate the pies and the output is limited…It brought me back to a rotator. I am being open…I just cannot just yet embrace a conveyor.


That is a great example of someone taking today’s technology and improving a product. You comment made me think of something …A few weeks ago I ordered from Domino’s had not done so for at least 8 years. I was amazed at how bad the pizza was…IT WAS DRY…would this be a example of someone who is not using the conveyor properly…I mean it was a long time but I never remembered Domino’s making such a dry pie.

by the way who is PJ…?.. :lol:

PJ is Papa Johns…

As far as making a pizza that stands out…That is great if your market has enough folks that will pay your price…But reality these days is that too many consumers put price and speed of service high on their lists…And often there is not enough “other” folks left willing to buy pizza that “stands out” to keep a business profitable…

PS…I was down in Spokane over the weekend and I saw many signs that the chain restaurant were just trying to hang on…So many price deals I lost count…This kind of “price war” is hard for an independent to keep up with…

Its tough all over…I am in business that is quickly vanishing…Pools and Spas…talk about having someone pay high dollars …

I am looking at the demos for my area…92 K Median household income…it sounds somewhat strong…but it is just working class families raising kids…there 50,000 people in my area (5-7 minute drive) over 25 thousand households. 80,000 daily traffic count on my corner…The people here are mixed there are those who only want the cheap of the cheap…but there are enough hard workers who want to spend a few bucks more on something better…right now there is just no stand out pizza…if there were I would not consider doing this as there would be no need…The price Pizza market is covered here no need to jump into that pond…The thing from an outsiders point of view I see going on with the board is that it appears to me and I can be wrong that people seem to be turning a blind eye to the fact the some people do want something better…its proven again and again with end less products…It is more than just saying its better it is a mix of many things…no need to repeat them…Funny no one commented on this but I mentioned Pinks Hot Dogs in LA…no matter the time of day its always at least 20 minutes of standing in line for a three dollar hot-dog with some over 6 bucks…funny but I don’t see no line at Weinersnichels for dollar hot dogs…When something stands out as being special and you deliver on it…It can work…I am not suggesting that this is the case for everyone everywhere…you have to know your local target market and see what it is lacking in…or is there room to compete if you feel you can with the current players…

just one more thing and again I think some are missing it…I happily pay for Pinks…I regretfully go Weinersnichels …If its going to be good and I know it…it works for …if due to time or location…or lack of dollars and have to go to a belly-filler no matter the place…I will do it…but not feel good about it…

We have used a rotating deck oven for 22 years, as a matter of fact I have never cooked in a conveyor oven. But it is my experience that a rotating deck takes more skill to operate. I do know that bakerys use them because of the superior bake that they produce. I have people come in all the time that want to check out my oven, adults and kids think it’s great.

Which one are you using…?.. :slight_smile:

I think I saw Pinks on the Food Network. That place has been around for over 60 years. Not exactly a good example of quality bringing people in. That place is an institution. You have multiple generations of families who visit the touristy area of Hollywood.

Again, I’m not telling you to NOT make a better pizza.

I think I saw Pinks on the Food Network. That place has been around for over 60 years. Not exactly a good example of quality bringing people in. That place is an institution. You have multiple generations of families who visit the touristy area of Hollywood.

Again, I’m not telling you to NOT make a better pizza.