Well we have been open a month, as some of you know. And it is time for another decision. We have a gourmet pizza shop doing mostly take-n-bake. This part is going quiet well. We also do baked personal sized pizza’s that we bake in a small conveyor oven. They take about 8 minutes to bake in this oven. We are losing customers during lunch hour because of the wait time. Should I go to slices? Now this may seem like a simple thing. But I have been afraid of lowering the perception of quality if I go to slices. I have really only been thinking in the realm of buck a slice because that is what my closest competitor does. And I do have alot of people who do come here and buy our 4 dollar personal pizza’s rather than eat a cardboard buck a slice. But…what if I did 4 dollar slices. Fully loaded pizza’s for more $. Still the same 4 bucks, but pre made. Will this fly? I am thinking yes, and why not try it. But as always I value the Tank…

If you have a good relationship with a few select customers, speak with them. Ask them how they would feel about getting the same pizza, same amount, and cost but it being a slice instead of a personal pan. I am sure others in the TT will have better ideas.

When you get into doing slices there are some things to think about. How will you hold the slices hot? Do you or will you have a heated display cabinet? How long will you hold them before they are not up to your standard?

Another way to go if you are going to make the hot and ready option is to make some of your personal pizzas. This may set you apart from the cheap slices by not being slices. The customer may see a better value at $4 for the personal compared to a slice.

I have my regulars customers call ahead to order their personal lunch pizzas and have them ready when they get here.

Another good thing about doing the personal pizza is you can do a faxback menu to the businesses around you.

There you go more things to think about. Good luck with what ever you decide to do.

I think since you have a demand for the small personal pizzas you should find a way to make them quicker rather than switch to an entirely different style of pizza.

Maybe your current customers don’t want slices. I mean if they did, they’d go to the guy that sells them for a buck, right ? They want your quality personal pizzas and they want them quick.

When I started with PH back in the early '90’s we used to have a 15 minute guarentee lunch. We’d run a certain amount of each kind of personal pizza(depending on the day) and then they’d keep on a warmer. If they didn’t sell in a certain amount of time, we’d toss them. But more than not they’d rarely stay on the warmer longer than 5 minutes.

My advice would be for you come up with an hour or two during lunch where you can have these personal pizzas ready for customers as soon as they walk in the door. If you’re willing to get a warmer for slices you might as well get warmer for something your customers are currently asking for.


we dont open for lunch but we do sell 6" pan pizzas i played with the slices vs 6" pan for a while i went with pan heres why. 1,there the freshest 2, thats what i like i hate reheated slices 3, ican sell 6" cheese for 3.99 i sell 6" loaded for 4.95 they are great hit with kids and the eldery folks. i would look for a counter top conveyoer oven ive been looking for myself to put in my concession trailer . i would try real hard to do little pans they are great and i think more percived value.

one other thing when i opened my shop i wanted to be different i looked at all the places around me selling pizza they were all alike cheap frozen pizzas you could get a hunt brothers pizza loaded for 9.45 my 12 " pizza loaded sells for 12.75 could i get more cust. selling cheap pizza probally yes but this is how i look at it the guy that buys the cheap pizza most likely is buying for being cheap and something to fill the hole he most likely wont buy wings, sticks, soda , desert id rather have the guy thats going to spend a few bucks cater to him keep him happy and know that we are different from all the rest. so i try not to worry about what the other guys doing what special they got i just focus on our shop and keeping my cust. happy and out working , out servicing , and out cooking the other guys.

you have about convinced me to go with the 6 or 7 inch personal pizzas instead of the slices…
one consideration, I hand toss, and is it practical to hand toss such a small pizza…or should I form them differently…?
thanks Think Tankers,


I have a ten year old pizzeria in Long Island, NY and 60% of my business is SLICES. This market is all about slices so for me not to do slices, people curse you and say, “what kind of pizzeria doesn’t do slices!”

Anyway, for me, making larger pies for slices is more efficient. I can bake 10 assorted pies in 15 minutes which gives me 80 slices ready to go. Board of health is tough around here so I have to refrigerate the special pies immediately but let me tell you this, quality is still very high and these crazy NYorkers don’t mind! I also do 12" thin crust personal pies for those people who want it.

The market pretty much dictates what you should do. So, if your place of business is in an area where slices are the norm, I would say do it. If not, I would do what some THINK TANKERS have said already, have some personals in a warmer or refrigerator, ready for reheat to meet demand. Good luck. :slight_smile:

The lunch business is about speed and convenience. People want to walk up, hand you five dollars and get food across the counter NOW. Don’t worry about the idiot selling $1 slices. He is cutting his own throat. Any good quality lunch item that is pretty filling is worth a lot more than a dollar.

We use Hatco warmers. They have good temp and humidity controls and will keep pizza in good salable condition for 40-60 minutes. In our seasonal lunch location, we make 16" pizzas, slice them into 6 slices and sell slices for $2.75 to $4.50 including tax, depending on how many toppings they have. We make cheese, pepperoni, sausage, pepperoni/sausage, canadian bacon/pineapple, and three different five topping combos. We try to keep them all ready to serve.

Have an assortment of things like chips, candy bars, interesting drinks in addition to soda, brownies, cookies etc to bring your average ticket up to $5-$7 and lunch will be a profit center. If people want their own special combination and little better deal they can order the personal pizza. I think you will find that most customers at lunch are looking for convenience.

As td said above, I think you may want to try to speed up the cook time and continue the personal pizzas. What we do is par bake our personal doughs. This dramatically reduces the time it takes to bake. Our personal pizzas bake for 2 minutes which no one minds waiting for.

As far as slices, we do offer cheese and pepperoni only, that we keep in a warmer and sell quite well. For the specialty pies, or if they want something other than cheese or pepperoni, people need to order the personal pizzas.

It really works out well for us and our customers.

With par baking…ive tried that and my dough ends up tough, what am i doing wrong? cooking to long the first time? the second time? What do i do with the parbaked crust, wrap them in plastic, let them sit and dry on counter???
Thanx muchly tankers

When you par bake them it is only half way then as soon as they cool put in plastic bags. Put 4 or so in a 8x4x18 polybag. then they will stay fresh and soft for 2 days.

Don’t precook, keep doing what your doing just bring your oven temp up .
I can cook my 10 " pies in 4 min in my deck oven. so you should be able to do this consistantly with a conveyor.
If you need to you can throw your skins on screens and dress them up to 3 hours ahead of time (do them all cheese or a few cheese and the rest pepperoni) and put them in walk in till needed–but beware this will eliminate your preperation time but due to coldness of pie will certainly add to your cook time(shouldn’t be much with a conveyor).

Anyway I do slices (only because my shop is in my c-store and is a good draw for register) and they do not work out well for me at all, I only keep because I will lose some customers and i can’t do that but you can before you start

Reasons not to switch:

  1. Biggest and most important reason being they should only have a life of 40 min. and if you don’t watch this close customers will see or worse taste this inferior slice and now they don’t want to buy a whole pie from you later :frowning:
  2. they are messy and require more labor to serve (customer has to wait in line longer instead of waiting area thus making your pay line SLOWER)
  3. You will need to purchase a hopper to keep warm. I got mine for 600 each brand new, can tell you where if interested

anyway good luck either way you go

Sorry I almost forgot I do my 16" pies and 8 cut them and get $1.25 slice.
Hope this helps

“you have about convinced me to go with the 6 or 7 inch personal pizzas instead of the slices…
one consideration, I hand toss, and is it practical to hand toss such a small pizza…or should I form them differently…?
thanks Think Tankers,

…since that post, I decided to go with an 8" pizza instead of slices, like I did before…
the 8" pizza is 50 square inches, same size as 2 medium, 25 square inch slices, when people ask for slices I refer to the 8" pizza as a “2 slice pizza”, we usually cut 4 ways and people seem to be takeing to it, and they can get whatever pizza they want and it is fresh and hot…they call ahead if they are on the go…
dough balls fo 8" is 160 grams or about 5 2/3 oz., same per square inch thickness as my 14" and 20"…been selling lots of 20", go figure !?!

it is a little trickier hand tossing it, and I am getting the hang of it, so not a problem…I sell it for $3.39 for cheese, toppings at $.40 and $.60, for meats, except pepperoni is $.40
hope that helps,
Otis :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

I have gone with parbaked 8" personal sized pizza’s. They are only slightly cooked and only take 3-4 minutes to bake when loaded. It has worked out very well. Lunch is still a slow time for me, sigh. I dont know if I should be adding to my menu choices or what? People do love the pizza’s but dont want pizza everyday…I dont know. I have had a bit of a slow week and a little bummed out. But advertising started yesterday. I will see if picks things up with it.

Just a thought for you.

If you bought a case of lettuce and a case of really good dressing you have all the makings of a great salad. Fast, easy inexpensive to make.

Don’t be afraid to try things…make them limited time only and if they work keep them if they don’t try something else.