Which ovens are recommended for startup operators?

Hi all, tried to search for info on ovens but search says its too common a word and returns nothing :expressionless: and the FAQ does not have a topic listed…

so - what are the most popular ovens used by new operators? Is it advisable to invest in clay/brick ovens to start with, or are conveyor/deck ovens preferred? The operation is a food court unit and takeaway/delivery

thx for any help!

what kind of pizza are you trying to serve? and how much of it?..My answer will probably be a used bakers pride. Good luck

thx for the reply… what kind of pizza - well thin-crust mainly and some thicker to sell by the slice

Hi Pizza JR.

I would add to Pakula’s Pizza’s question>

How many pizzas of what size do you hope to sell during your busiest hour of your busiest Evening?

Also, are you experience in baking on a deck oven?

George Mills

Conveyor, hands down. EASY - no comp here.

OK… so I would expect to sell about 10 12" pizzas at the busiest hour, rising to maybe 20 once business is established (with deliveries)

the thing with conveyors is they give you zero scope for branding eg creating a ‘design frame’ around the oven… and no, I have no experience with deck ovens :o but I will get a chef. Also, with decks and conveyors, there’s no theatre element, as you cant see the pizza baking… (these are not ‘absolute essential’, I have to add)

what about these clay ovens etc, like Clayburn, WoodStone, Kronus…? Do most people on here not use these type of ovens? Or are you not allowed to discuss specific manufacturers?

by PizzaJunior » Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:12 am
OK… so I would expect to sell about 10 12" pizzas at the busiest hour, rising to maybe 20 once business is established (with deliveries)

That is not much pizza. Do you intend to offer a full range of menu items? Will you offer beer, wine, liquor? What will be your seating capacity?

Obviously you intend to have the oven close to your seating. Do you intend to have your pizzas formed and topped in view of the customers also? Will you have display cooking of your other menu items?

by PizzaJunior** What about these clay ovens etc, like Clayburn, WoodStone, Kronus…? Do most people on here not use these type of ovens? Or are you not allowed to discuss specific manufacturers?

Manufacturers are open for discussion.

I do not bake pizzas, I equip pizza shops. I report here what our clients prefer and what their reports on various makes of equipment are.

Our clients overwhelming preference is for conveyor ovens. We have placed thousands of them nation wide.

We equip most shops with the capacity to bake 200 pizzas per hour, some even more. Its not that they need that capacity every hour but the nature of the pizza business is that the majority of the orders occur between 6 and 9 in the evening. If you do not have the capacity to handle large volumes you will miss much business, customers will go elsewhere. Many of our clients supply several hundred pizzas for school lunches and must provide them within a limited time.

We have many clients using deck ovens some using revolving or rotating ovens, none using the brands you indicate.

I will be eager to see what response you get from users of that type of oven.

George Mills

I wrote an article adressing this very topic some time ago. In a nutshell here are some of the things to consider when selecting an oven:

  1. Anviance of your store.
    2)Type of store (delivery, carry-out, dine-in, slices only)
    3)Type of pizzas to be served (slices, thick crust, thin crust, etc.)
  2. Product mix (pizza, wings, breadsticks, pasta, etc.)
  3. Projected production during the busiest time(s)
  4. Space available (for example, wood fired ovens can require a LOT of space)
  5. Zoning
  6. Your skill level as an oven tender.
  7. The name of your store (Sammy’s Grab and Go Pizza, Tony’s Old World Pizza)
  8. $$$$$$$$$$ (how much do you want to, can you pay for your oven(s)?)
  9. Type and cost of utility available at your store (gas, electric, and I’ll toss wood in the pot too)

If you’re interested in a different slant on pizza by the slice, (also makes a great whole pizza) dig out my article (about 2-years ago) on a new approach to pizza by the slice. The method described in the article produces what might be the best pizza slice you have ever had.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Thx George, I might have been too conservative on those estimates. Its a food court unit in a new mall, which will take time to establish itself. I mainly want to focus on pizza, but might have to add in some pasta and a few starters. Not sure about wine in a food court, but maybe… The unit is only 400 sq ft, so by default everything will happen within view of customers… hence I’d prefer to have an oven type that you can brand/market. Seems like few operators seem to go for the dome/open-type ovens…

200 pizza an hour… wow

Thanks Tom. Problem is, a search for ovens returns nothing. I will try and dig out that article.

Hi Pizza Jr:

400 sq ft is an extremely small space in which to do pizza:

We design many pizza shops an generally devote 1200 sq ft to the average carry out unit. Of course that includes a walk in lobby and rest rooms.

Will you be buying your dough? You will need a three compartment sink and at least one hand sink. A refrigerated prep table and some reserve refrigerated and freezer space will be needed. A counter will use space and some dry storage space will be required. I do not think you will be able to use a very large oven.

Have you laid out a floor plan?

George Mills

we use the Betty Crocker easy bake ovens, only thing is got to keep changing the bulbs

unfortunately thats the space, I know its tight :expressionless:
No floor plan yet, and I will be making my own dough, so a spiral mixer to output 25kg dough is what I’m looking at. A small gas range will be needed too. Yeah this all constricts the oven space…

Hi PizzaJunior

One of my associates reminded me that there is a very successful 400 sq ft pizza slice shop in Steamboat Springs Co. He has a triple stack of Lincoln II ovens. The major difference is that the owner apparently has a large pizzeria near by from which he supplies his slice operation… And it helps that he is at the base of the ski slopes.

George Mills

400 square feet is tight. I’m also located in a food court and have 720 square feet plus a 150 sq ft storage room, and I can barely fit everything I need in. I know that in my mall the total square footage includes one half of the wall that separates you from the other tenants, so I’m effectively reduced to about 680 sq ft. I use a double stack Middleby Marshall PS360 for my operation.

How many stores and total square feet is the mall? How many food court operators and how many seats? You need to be careful that you have enough oven capacity and slice holding ability for the holiday shopping season. Our daily sales are double or triple between Thanksgiving and Christmas compared to the rest of the year. On Saturday lunches during that time of year we can do $1800 worth of food and beverage per hour. The mall we’re in is about 1 million square feet.

Have you operated in a mall before? If you have any questions about pizza operations in a food court I would be happy to help.

1 million sq ft. Yikes, everythings big in the US :slight_smile: I should state that I’m here in Nairobi, Kenya. This mall is 190,000 sq ft and has 6 food ct units in total. Only two are bigger than mine, at 500 sq ft. The other 3 are actually smaller (~330 sq ft). Even at other malls here, food ct space is basically 3-500 sq ft. And somehow they manage to survive, dont know how! I hear what you say though, will have to consider the floor plan carefully