Im more than a little nervous about it though. We’ve used deck ovens since we opened,although people tell us we have great pizza we don’t sell enough of it to make me say Im never changing what we do (pizza is 30%of sales we sell subs,salads,burgers and apps too)
I want to go to conveyors for the common reasons, consistency, ease of training, speed, and I actually think conveyor pizza tastes better than deck oven.
My problems are space (I’m not sure if I have enough).
Change in taste and texture (will I lose customers?)
The whole “artisan deck oven” marketing angle (will people immediately think “oh they use a conveyor I don’t like it”)
The abbreviations eveyone throws out on the forum( finger configuration, MM wide body,etc)
Sounds scary if there are problems, Are there a lot of problems?
Whats a good upkeep schedule? does a pro do it or can I?What do you pay a pro to keep it running in tip top shape?
I would recommend Edge ovens as you won’t beat the service and in my opinion, they cook better than the others. George Mills distributes them and you can also buy them direct from the manufacturer. I would recommend you only consider a doublestack of ovens in case one does break. As reliable as any conveyor might be, things do break eventually and you sure don’t want to be telling people that you can’t cook pizzas because you are waiting for a part to arrive via fed ex. Depending on your space and volume needs, they make ovens in different sizes. Maintenance is easy and you can do most repairs yourself.
[SIZE=14px]First Thanks to the members who recommended me.
Change in taste and texture (will I lose customers?) I have converted thousands of deck oven users to conveyors. All gained customers none lost them
The whole “artisan deck oven” marketing angle (will people immediately think “oh they use a conveyor I don’t like it”). Pizza buyers don’t care what kind of oven you use they only care about the quality of your product.
The abbreviations everyone throws out on the forum( finger configuration, MM wide body,etc)
Sounds scary if there are problems, Are there a lot of problems?Don’t be scared of that most instillation require just adjustments to time and temperature.
What’s a good upkeep schedule? does a pro do it or can I? These units require little up keep. Light daily cleaning and a good cleaning every 6 months or longer depending on volume. You can do the cleaning your self .What do you pay a pro to keep it running in tip top shape? You don’t need a pro except if there is a rare breakdown. The fact that you get a 5 year warranty evidences the equipments reliability.
I switched recently from deck oven to conveyor. I worked at a place in college that had a conveyor, then I opened a place 20+ blocks from my current location with a deck oven that came with the kitchen. Good deck oven too but too much work and it gets backed up quickly on busy nights. Opened my new place 9 months ago and went back to conveyor. Takes time to change your dough recipes and order of toppings distribution. Lots of trial and error but once you get it, you’re all good. Conveyors are nearly idiot proof and glad I made the switch!
@Joe – what kind of changes did you make to the toppings distribution? I am also switching from a deck to a conveyor in the next few weeks and I’m a little worried since my staff and I have ONLY cooked in a deck oven before. Any other changes I need to worry about? Thanks for the advice!!
When using a conveyor oven, the blowers will dry out toppings. Sausage, chicken, ground beef, and mushrooms are the biggest culprits as well as spinach if you offer that. If you pre-cook bulk sausage like I do, then I prefer to put it under the cheese so it doesn’t dry out, same with the other toppings I mentioned. Cheese also browns much faster in a conveyor so you’ll have to make adjustments there and also if you use whole milk mozz conveyors will bring out the oils more than a conveyor so you may need to switch to part-skim. These are some of the things I did and of course everyone is different. I don’t like oily pizzas, super browned cheese, or dried out toppings so that’s why I made these adjustments out of preference.
Side tip for conveyors: The blowers will bring out the oils from pepperoni. I have my staff dust the pepperoni on any pie with parmesan bring to baking. Parm will help absorb the oils a bit and give your pepperoni an enhanced flavor.
Depends on how long your belt time is in my opinion George. If you’re using 4-5 min belt times like the chains do then the toppings may not dry out. My thin crust is a crispy cracker crust so I am doing over 7 mins belt time and the toppings I listed above definitely dry out and I’ve done it in several different types of conveyors. Like I said, everyone is different just like pizzas and these are the adjustments I chose to make based off product quality when I switched from deck to conveyor.