Low Volume Mixer

Hello Everyone,

I am putting together an independent pizza store (delivery\carry-out) with the primary design consideration that the store will have as low of a break even as possible. I expect to have low volume sales for a while, and when the lower volumes begin to trend upward I will have the cash to equip the store to do higher volumes.

With this in mind, I am trying to determine which mixer would be a good fit for a store that will be making only 75-250 dough balls per week. I would expect that my batches will be no more than twenty five pounds of flour - perhaps less if such a thing is practical. I am not interested in sacrificing quality, but I do not need quantity.

I know most folks here feel that the 60 & 80 Qt Hobart’s are pretty much the standard but this seems overkill for the volume I expect to have.

I see a number of 20 Qt mixers listed on EBay. Would something like that suffice to make low volume batches (perhaps even 12.5 pounds of flour batches)? Is there any sacrifice in using these smaller mixers in terms of quality? What else would you each consider in making this decision?

Thanks in advance for your input.

When we started out, we used a 20 quart Hobart mixer making dough with 12 1/2 lbs flour per batch. It worked the same as a larger mixer would and only became a pain when our volume really picked up and we had to make lots of batches of dough every day.

Only change we had to make when moving from the 20 quart up to the 80 quart was a longer mix time as the dough took longer to ball up and form in the bigger batches.

I’ve made dough for Vegas competitions in little table top models using our same percentages and it comes out the same as in the store.

My advice from a lower volume store is to get the best deal on the most flexible pieces of equipment you can get. We all plan to ‘upgrade’ when volume increases, but there are many growing pains along the way to when that is actually feasible. If you can get a good price on a good 40qt or 60qt, then it will give you more flexibility and capacity than the 20qt.

For example, the 20qt does not have a hub for the really useful money-saving attachments like a cheese shredder. That will pay for itself . . . really. A VCM would also pelletize cheese, but different dough making procedures. Make sure you have options, and don’t spend yourself into any corners that you will regret later. A coupple hundred extra bucks today could mean a huge relief later.

we used a 30 quart with a 10 quart extending ring. We put about 26 lbs of flour in it with no problems

i like it

I would go for a VCM/HCM. You can find them on Ebay cheap at times and they can grind your cheese as well as mix your dough. Make sure you have 3 phase electricity available and make sure it comes with the blades and a stirring arm and handle. Also if getting a VCM, make sure it is not 480 volts.

Thanks for all of the great feedback.

Nick made some interesting points about ways I might want to use the mixer besides making dough. My background is with Domino’s Pizza so very little had to be prepared on site.

I would like to move in the other direction and prepare as many items on site as possible if it helps to keep my food costs lower.

Besides dough what other preparation tasks do people use their mixers for? What kind of cost savings (especially cheese) could I expect over buying more prepackaged, preshredded, prediced items?

Check out the post from Jad135 about equipment to move. That Stefan VCM is the unit we use for dough and cheese.

To answer your question on cost savings, my experience is that buying block cheese rather than shredded or diced saves about 10-12 cents per pound.

Making dough will save you 50% even after labor cost compared to a ready to go product like Rich’s.

Yes, I am certainly going to make my own dough and I may shred cheese as well.

Thanks for the input!

I won a 30 qt Mixer at the Vegas pizza show a few months back. It’s too small for my volume and I’d like to sell it. PM me if you’re interested. It’s brand new, in the crate with SS bowl, hook, whip, & paddle. Univex brand.

Blend your sauce . . . mix bulk spice blends . . . all fillings with ricotta . . . Wing sauces . . . BBQ sauce . . . fresh baked cookies and cakes . . .