Makelines & Prep Tables

I never really understand why people seem to almost exclusively use prep tables vs the makelines that Domino’s, Pizza Hut & Papa Johns use.
I was w/ DP for 32 years so that is what I am used to, but the grates and pull out drawers for cheese/toppings that don’t make it onto the pie seem better than the flat, solid surface I see most local places use.
What am I missing?

Yes… that is the only pic I have and no, I’ve never been sued.

For starters, Randell and Delfield make the bulk of Domino’s makelines(or at least used to) and don’t make those available to the public. Dominos typically have makelines with refrigerated grates. At one point I had a franchisee offer to buy one for me, but they are meant for 14" pizzas. Our primary size is a 16" and we also sell a whole lot of 18" pies which would leave a whole lot of cheese on the ground.

Papa Johns, when I worked there many years ago, used a rather standard makeline with a half assed rack and a sheet pan underneath. Not sure what they use today.

I bought a plain jane Randell a few years back and paid a fortune for a rail and catch pans(not refrigerated). They were useless and wound up as scrap. We finally had a local welding shop make pans and grates which serve us reasonably well. I’d pay big money for a makeline with dominos like grates that would allow for an 18" pie. Every year at pizza expo I look and have yet to find one.

I see the DP ones all over the place for next to nothing- usually when stores are upgrading. Tons of stores are doing that now. I know a ton of people still in the system so… I may see more than others that are “just come get it” situations. It’s interesting you mention the depth issue as that was the main concern I had going forward- as I kind of assumed I’d find one with more depth. I, too, will be doing 18-19" pies.
The current DP ones are maxed at 16" pies, which is DP’s largest pie. Though you are correct, they are best for their 14". Matter of fact, the 16" barely fits through the auto-cheeser, though auto-cheesers are going away- ones currently in use are grandfathered (for now) but they are no longer available or allowed (new).
I’ve had both Randell and Delfield but was not aware they made exclusively for DP. I saw a Marsal makeline on their website yesterday- looked pretty cool with a marble (or corian) 30" deep surface.
Appreciate the reply, Paul.

Here’s an old Dominos model Delfield makeline thats missing the grates. Judging from the catch pans, I’m guessing this is newer than the ones I used to use and therefore probably meant for a max 16" pizza. If you think of how long it’s been since 16" pies were the norm for Dominos, the makelines that will handle up to 18" pizzas are pretty darn old. If you’re really looking for one, contact Northern Pizza Equipment as they used to restore and resell these. The last I spoke with them they were no longer actively restoring them, but for the right price they would. The ones I used had fans that blew refrigerated air to the bottom of the catch pans, keeping the food that dropped through the grates cold. More fans and refrigerator coils means more constant maintenance.

Sold my last store end of 2015- I never had ones where the pans (below the grates) were not cooled. I could probably get 5 for free in the next two months but will probably move in another direction. Not sure how I will like the flat prep surface but… we’ll see. The other issue- aside from depth (which is a big one) is that if you are using decks and making your pies on a peel, then much of the dynamic of not making your pie on a screen makes some of the grate/drawer benefit moot.

We sell prep tables with non refrigerated catch pans for 16 in pizzas.
George Mills