Large order help!!

Hey guys…I need a little guidance on a large order for this saturday. We don’t deliver (dine in-carryout only) so I’m not familiar with the technicalities of orders this size. I have a customer that is interested in getting 60 Large (14") pizzas, half of them cheese and half pepp for this saturday morning at 11:30. I’ve never done an order this large before and would like a little guidance on how to set everything up so all the food comes out nice.

I’m using a Y-600 dbl stack.

I’m assuming just pre-screening them, parbaking all of them and then finishing them all off together would be the trick but am open to advice.

Any help and insight is appreciated…thanks!

What kind, size/model oven(s) do you have ?
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

We do orders like that pretty often. There is NO REASON to parbake. Just make them up ahead on screens and run them through. if you parbake you just have handle everything an extra time, quality suffers a lot and you don’t save any time really.

Do the extra prep the day before so you don’t have to mess with it that day.

We would make and rack all the pies starting about an hour ahead by bringing in extra help. That way all the pies would be ready before we started cooking them.

Figure out how fast (often) the pies come out of your ovens plus cook time to see how many minutes ahead of pick-up you have to start feeding them in.

For example if your ovens put out a pie a minute each and the cook time is 7 minutes you would need to start feeging pies into the ovens about 37 minutes before the scheduled pickup.

Bakers Pride Deck Ovens…Double stack y-602’s…120000 btu/hr per stack. Not sure deck size off hand but I can fit 8 14" screens on each deck at a time, which is what size my larges are.

I live in Oklahoma, so my state is quite humid.

Parbaking here usually results in a stuck pizza on the screen when it’s time to lift off after full cooking.

Hi Pie Bar;

As you probably know, when you remove a baked pizza from a spot on your deck you should allow a period of time for that spot to come back up to optimum baking temperature.

You should have a grill thermometer, (a thermometer shaped like a hockey puck smooth on the side that goes down on the deck with a thermometer face on the top).Get a spot on your deck to optimum baking temperature by using the grill thermometer. Place a pizza on that spot. When the pizza is baked to perfection, remove it. Check the temperature at that spot and see how long it takes to return to optimum temperature.

Armed with the above information A) how long it takes a pizza to bake and B) how long it takes the oven to recover temperature. You should be able to come up with how much time it will take to prepare your order.

I would think also, that if you placed say six pizzas at a time in your oven the recovery time would be greater as there would not be the latent heat in the other five spots to help recovery of the recently vacated spot as there would be if just one pizza was used for the test.

I doubt if you would want to do the above test with 6 pizzas unless you had an order for them but i think that would be best.

George G Mills

Par-baked crusts are actually fully baked, with the exception of crust color. What this means is that a per-baked crust shouldn’t stick to the screen. If you allow the dough to proof or rise on a screen, that creates a different problem (one of the dough flowing into the screen openings), but if the screens are not seasoned, the par-bakes will always stick.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Thanks for the responses so far.

If it takes, for example, 12 minutes to cook 16 pizzas (which would be full capacity for my decks )…would those first pies to come out still be hot an hour to an hour and a half later if they were placed into delivery bags immediately upon coming out of the oven?

Again…I don’t have the delivery experience for orders this size and I want to make sure I deliver as fresh and good of a product as possible, as if they were dining in.

You might contact your customer to see if you can space the order out so you deliver them in groups of say, 15 or 20 pies at a time. This will allow you to deliver a fresher pie. Once you know the serving arrangement you can maybe suggest a delivery schedule for the pizzas to assure them of the freshest pizzas. For example, if they will be serving 60-people, 20 pizzas should be sufficient for the first delivery, then immediately follow up with the next delivery of 20, followed by the final delivery of 20. Tip: hold the first delivery back by about 5 or 10-minutes, this way the second delivery will come soon after the first. If necessary, you could break the last delivery into two deliveries so as to maintain a constant flow of fresh pizzas t the event.
If they will need all 60 at one time, place two boxes into a single bag (if you have the double box size bags) and accumulate your inventory. We have found that two boxes in a single insulated bag will maintain temperature much better than stacked boxes at room temperature, or single boxes in a bag.
Good luck,
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

My experience indicates that about the best you can hope for is to hold the pizzas for about 30-minutes in an insulated bag. This is why I would see if I could make multiple deliveries. Put a positive spin on it. “We can get you a much better pizza if you allow us to deliver the pizzas fresh as they come from the oven, rather than all at once. Will that work for you?”
Communication is the key to success here.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Tom is right, bring them 15 at a time in four runs if they will allow it. That way they come out piping hot. Second choice would be two runs of 30.

Sorry I did not realize you were dealing with deck ovens. That changes things a bit (lots slower). A couple of pies in a hot bag will stay pretty warm for 20 minutes or so.

I am assuming you don’t have a warming rack to hold them. Depending on your ovens external temp, you might consider stacking them on top of the ovens while you wait to leave with them.

All great advice…thanks everyone!!

Here’s what i do. Figure your going to need 45 minutes to bake everything if it takes 10 minutes to bake a pie in your oven. You will lose heat after the 2nd round because of the constant oven being open to tender it. I normally pull the pie off the screen a little earlier to crisp the bottoms when the heat loss starts. Also, don’t put them all in at one time. Its hard to pull the screens out and crisp the 16 pies all at one time.

Congrats on the order at an off peak time.

Ah, the joys of a double (or triple) stack conveyor… :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Registered Guest makes a good point. The shops we have set up with conveyors could bake 60 p1zzas in 12 min to 25 min dependingon on models.

George Mills

In the “olden days” when we had a deck oven we had a real hard time with large orders…We did get them from time to time, however, I aways said to my partner that we were losing opportunities because some groups would not put up with how we had to stagger deliveries…We put in a double stack and not only did it cost less to operate our large orders went way up because we could do production in a more timely manner…You need to considerer whether or not you are losing orders because of not having the most efficient equipment…

I just did a big order and the pizzas came off the conveyor at the rate of one every 30 seconds. No tending involve just catch and cut.

In the New York Market, the standard oven is a deck oven. No one uses them out here except for the chains. I would never use a conveyor oven, NEVER. You couldn’t compare the finished product.

Is this a conveyor vs. deck debate? My comment was soley based on the fact that conveyors can pump out pizzas much faster - nothing more.

Besides, in this specific case (large order), the oldest deck baked pizza is going to be, what, an hour older than the oldest conveyor baked pizza? How do those 2 pies compare?

Ahh good… this discussion again.

To the folks that think that chain pizza is representative of conveyor pizza, you don’t know what you are talking about. That pizza would be less than stellar from any oven.

Having worked in, managed or owned 10 different pizza stores since 1978, of which 8 used decks and 2 use conveyors, I can tell you that I would not even consider owning a store with deck ovens.

I know a buch of folks out there feel differently and I know the reasons.

Tell you what, to all, just keep doing what you are doing and you will get what you always got. This thread is a good example of only one of the advantages of higher production capacity.

Now back to the topic at hand, a couople of things to keep your focus on:

  1. Your product is your reputation. I know it is tempting to take a large order. Make sure you take it under terms that make it possible to deliver a product you are happy to have your name on. In other words, ask for what you need in terms of delivery plan to be sure the procuct is good or decline the order. A poor presentation will harm you more than the sale will benefit you.

  2. It sounds like this is your firts time with this kind of thing. Having your prep dialed and one more person thatn you think you need reaally helps make this go smoothly.

Good luck!