PIZZA MAGAZINE T H E W O R L D ' S A U T H O R I T Y O N P I Z Z A | P M Q . C O M | P I Z Z AT V. C O M
Very Vegan PASTAS 24
MARK “THE CHEESE DUDE” TODD 32
Drive more vegan traffic to your pizzeria with PMQ’s national promotion for World Vegan Month. P A G E 4 6 CONTACTLESS DELIVERY 40
THE BEST INGREDIENTS MAKE THE BEST PIZZA. PERIOD. YOU KNOW IT. I KNOW IT. AND YOU BETTER BELIEVE THE CUSTOMER KNOWS IT. What’s your declaration of independence? Grande is championing operators who have an independent spirit and shared passion for excellence. By providing the finest all natural, authentic Italian cheeses, along with an unwavering commitment to quality, we’ll continue to advocate for independents and their love of the craft.
grandecheese.com 1-800-8-GRANDE © 2019 Grande Cheese Company
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FEATURED STORY OUTDOOR DINING HAS BEEN MADE PERMANENT IN NEW YORK CITY Restaurant employment in New York is down by 45% since February, and a survey found that 87% of the city’s operators can’t afford to pay their rent. To give the industry a boost, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in late September that outdoor dining will be permitted year-round. Additionally, the city’s Open Streets program—in which designated blocks are closed to traffic to allow dining in the street—has also been made permanent. “I want us to go for the gold here,” the mayor told an interviewer. P M Q . C O M / O U TD O O R - D I N I N G - N YC
ALSO ON PMQ.COM
EMPLOYEE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY HAS FOLDED 2.5 MILLION PIZZA BOXES Wedgewood Pizza in Boardman, Ohio, has dispatched millions of pizzas to delivery and carryout customers over the past 25 years, and one employee folded virtually all of the boxes—Brian Allsop, described by his boss as a box folding “machine.” PMQ.COM/BRIAN-ALLSOP
A PAIR OF IMMIGRANTS PARTNER TO OPEN 1,000TH MARCO’S PIZZA STORE Kattya Barbaran, who grew up in Peru, and Rafi Vargas, a native of the Dominican Republic, met when they both worked in managerial positions at Burger King. Now they’ve teamed up for a milestone event in the brand’s history. PMQ.COM/MARCOS-PIZZA-1000TH-STORE
LOU MALNATI’S TAKES OFFENSE AT DEEP-DISH JAB IN NETFLIX SHOW
UNO WILLING TO PAY FOR VOTES IN PIZZA RECIPE ELECTION
The titular character in the Netflix series Emily in Paris might want to stay in Paris—or, at least, stay out of Chicago—for a while. Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria wasn’t amused by her wisecrack comparing its deep-dish pizza to “a quiche made of cement.”
A deep-dish crust stuffed with macaroni and cheese is one of the candidates on the ballot in UNO Pizzeria & Grill’s pizza recipe contest, in which customers receive a free pie just for casting their vote.
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IN THIS ISSUE
ON COVTHE ER
Be a Pizza Vegan
Just in time for World Vegan Day, sign up for PMQ’s nationwide vegan pizza promotion running through November and receive free point-of-sales materials to attract more vegan customers to your restaurant.
Q&A With Mark “The Cheese Dude” Todd
IN THIS ISSUE
A Publication of PMQ, Inc. 662-234-5481 Volume 24, Issue 9 November 2020 ISSN 1937-5263
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In Lehmann’s Terms: How to Achieve the Right Dough Temperature If you experience problems with your dough as the seasons change, the solution is to establish a targeted finished-dough temperature.
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Think Tank: How Many Pizzas Can You Make In An Hour? A new pizzeria operator seeks advice on staffing and productivity in the kitchen.
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Accounting For Your Money: Is It Time to Rethink Your POS System?
Today’s powerful POS technology can take your business from breakeven to profitability, even in the COVID-19 era.
IN EVERY ISSUE 6 Online @ PMQ 20 Moneymakers 22 Eye on the Chains 51 Idea Zone
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54 Product Spotlight 55 The Pizza Exchange 66 Pizza Hall of Fame
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IN LEHMANN’S TERMS
HOW TO ACHIEVE THE RIGHT DOUGH TEMPERATURE If you experience problems with your dough as the seasons change, the solution is to establish a targeted finished-dough temperature. BY TOM LEHMANN
How do I deal with seasonal dough problems? Most seasonal dough issues can be traced back to lack of temperature control or, more precisely, a failure to monitor temperature when making the dough. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: You cannot have effective dough management without temperature control. Temperature is the No. 1 driver of fermentation. Higher temperatures speed up the rate of fermentation, and lower temperatures slow it down. Too many operators do not monitor the dough temperature during the dough management procedure, which leaves them vulnerable to changes in the dough that can create handling problems and, in a worst-case scenario, dough failure. The easiest way to reduce or eliminate seasonal changes in the dough—or whenever the dough seems to have a mind of its own—is to establish a desired mixed-dough temperature
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(or targeted finished-dough temperature). You will use this temperature year-round to set the stage for dough fermentation. You will also need to measure the temperature of each dough after mixing to confirm that it’s within your target temperature range. For most pizzerias, the targeted temperature range will be 75°F to 80°F if you have a walk-in cooler or 70°F to 75°F if you have a reach-in cooler. But the targeted temperature can vary depending on your specific shop conditions, the type of pizzas being made and your dough management procedures. The idea is to be consistent. To adjust the actual temperature of the dough, the dough water temperature should be adjusted up or down. If your tap water isn’t cold enough to provide the desired finished dough temperature, you may need to add some ice to the water or keep water stored in the cooler. In severe conditions, ice may need to be added to the dough. Be sure to use only crushed
ice or flake ice; ice cubes and tube ice will likely end up in your finished dough, creating localized wet spots as the ice melts and large bubbles in the crust during the baking process. There are two methods for determining the right water temperature. One method calls for subtracting the flour temperature from 145; the number you get is the water temperature needed for a finished dough temperature in the 80°F to 85°F range. This can easily be manipulated to provide the water temperature needed for other finished dough temperature ranges. For example, if you subtract the flour temperature from 135, it will provide the water temperature needed for a finished dough temperature in the 75°F to 80°F range. Just remember that the numbers arrived at by this method will only be approximate and may require further adjustment, but they’ll get you reasonably close. With the second method for finding the desired water temperature, multiply the desired finished dough temperature by three, then subtract the sum of the flour temperature, the room temperature and the friction factor. The friction factor is a number used to correct for the temperature gain resulting from friction between the dough and the bowl during the mixing process. For most pizza doughs, you can use a value of 20 for the friction factor if you’re using a planetary or spiral type of mixer. For a different type of mixer, here is how to determine the
friction factor: Multiply the actual dough temperature by three and subtract the sum of the flour temperature, room temperature and water temperature. This will give you the friction factor for any type of mixer. But if you change the dough absorption, mixing time or dough size, the friction factor will also change, so it will need to be recalculated if you want to be exact.
Tom Lehmann was the longtime director of bakery assistance for the American Institute of Baking (AIB) and is now a pizza industry consultant. TH E DOU GH DOC TOR@H OTM A I L. C OM
NOVEMBER 2020 | PMQ.COM
T H E T H I N K TA N K
HOW MANY PIZZAS CAN YOU MAKE IN AN HOUR? nzpizzeria: We are finally getting into the pizza business in New Zealand. I’ve been trying to work out how many New York-style pizzas we can make per hour. I’m looking for anyone willing to share how many pizzas they make per hour and how many employees you’ve assigned to make the pizzas. j_r0kk: When I used to schedule in-store personnel in a DELCO atmosphere, the formula we used was one person for every 15 products we made. Of course, that number can go higher or lower based on your product mix, staff experience and ratio of phone orders to online sales, but that’s a good start. The process should become more efficient as you get busier. Rico: Your limiting factor will be your ovens. Staff size won’t matter if your ovens can’t cook the pizzas fast enough. Contact your oven’s manufacturer and ask for any information they can provide. Then, it will depend on the number of employees you’ve got on hand to make the pizzas; their experience level; workflow and obstacles in your kitchen; your level of
A new pizzeria operator seeks advice on staffing and productivity in the kitchen.
preparation for a busy night; your team’s organization and whether they know exactly which tasks they’re responsible for; and your managers’ ability to step in and help catch up if someone falls behind or to correct issues that come up. Daddio: With two [conveyor] ovens and the right four people working in the kitchen, our best production has been 120 pizzas per hour. We have an assembly line that consists of myself and my three daughters, who have been working here for 15 or more years. We have one person working on dough and sauce, another works on the meat side of the table, and the veggies-and-cheese person finishes the pizza and puts it into the oven. The fourth person cuts the pizza and passes it to the front of the house (usually my wife or one of our granddaughters works out front). Mike: We can make 120 large (16”) pies per hour using our four deck ovens. Each oven holds six 16” pies. We sell smaller sizes, too, so we can do a little bit more than 120 per hour if you count the smaller ones. We do that with four people—two pizza makers, one oven tender and one cutter.
Get answers to your most perplexing problems and swap tips and ideas with the experts in PMQ’s Think Tank, the pizza industry’s oldest and most popular online forum. Register for free at thinktank.pmq.com. (Member posts have been edited here for clarity.) T H I N K TAN K.P MQ .C O M
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ACCOUNTING FOR YOUR MONEY
IS IT TIME TO RETHINK YOUR POS SYSTEM? Q A
What should I look for in a POS system? Whether you have one store or hundreds, now might be the time to take a closer look at your pizza ordering management solution—which can span from highspeed, contactless in-store or tableside ordering to online ordering, third-party ordering and even kitchen management systems with sticker printers for optimized throughput, not to mention easy-to-use in-house delivery and dispatch. Today’s powerful new technology can take your business from break-even to profitability! To build trust, increase efficiency and boost sales growth, a contactless customer journey is highly desirable in this pandemic. Since terminals can spread germs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that restaurants eliminate shared-payment terminals and switch to 100% contactless methods. Further guidelines suggest that hardware should not be touched or shared between customer and guest.
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Today’s powerful POS technology can take your business from break-even to profitability, even in the COVID-19 era. BY MICHAEL RASMUSSEN
So consider looking for a POS innovator specializing in contactless and off-premise dining, because the pandemic isn’t going away soon. For accepting payment, try to eliminate the need to ask the customer for his 16-digit credit-card number over the phone. Create contactless curbside pickup and bar service for open tabs. The end goal is to never touch a credit card or a shared payment terminal again. Guests and staff see cutting-edge technology as protecting their health while adding speed and convenience. Some QSR, table-service and general-purpose POS systems cannot handle the ordering complexity of pizza, but settling for less functionality limits your full potential. I recommend a system that includes options and prices for halves, thirds and quarters. Yes, this can be a math nightmare on the back end, but for the user it should be transparent and effortless. Consider a system that will let you instantly publish your online ordering menu on social media outlets, including images, and allow automatic
integration with third-party systems for customers using their cell phones. Many customers are nervous about using static printed menus these days. Look for a point-and-click web menu setup with the ability to define toppings, quantity of toppings per pizza, and price of toppings by size, along with instructions for the line crew, images for the cashier, and images of toppings for your online store. The menu should be centrally managed from a browser, especially with disruptions in our supply chain affecting the ordering of ingredients. An operator must have the tools to modify pricing and ingredients immediately to ensure a solid profitability mix. Cheese and flour are commodities, and pricing changes daily. A COVID19 outbreak in a sausage manufacturing facility could mean you can’t buy sausage for a while, so you must be able to offer alternatives. The ability to modify your menu online and on social media is critical. Customers expect these modifications as the new normal. Your online store should offer a better experience than third-party delivery apps. When it’s easy to use, with special offers, rewards and an order tracker, you’ll generate more sales. You must also be able to own the customer record with their order-history data. And a delivery-tracking method for the
customer—from “ordered” to “making” to “baking” to “ready” to “out for delivery”—elevates the customer experience. Additionally, make sure your online store is optimized for phones, tablets and desktop computers. (Ask millennials on your staff to help you if necessary.) Strive to ensure that all interaction on your online store is 100% contained so you can track customer “clicks” for analytics and management reporting. This enhances your brand and its street value. Finally, engaging your back-office staff is as important as engaging your customers. They can provide valuable feedback on the front-of-the-house customer experience. Your number crunchers matter and can summarize the brand value for your pizzeria operation!
Michael Rasmussen has been contributing to PMQ for more than 15 years. You can visit his website, hitechcpa.com, for additional insight into restaurant-specific tax strategies, accounting and technology programs. H I TE C H C PA . C OM
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MOOBY’S STRIKES BACK A fictional burger joint came to life when Gianni’s Pizzeria, located in Red Bank, New Jersey, hosted a pop-up event for Mooby’s, an eatery featured in director Kevin Smith’s Clerks II and referenced in other Smith films like Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. The menu featured $28 meal deals for carryout or patio dining, with Mooby’s items like Hater Totz and the Cow Tippers Burger—both a beef version and a plantbased Beyond Beef version—as well as a Messy Vegan Lasagna Sandwich. The pop-up, which ran from September 18 to 25, also featured Jay and Silent Bob merchandise and photo ops with lifesize cutouts of the two characters. Actor Jay Mewes, who plays Jay opposite Smith’s Silent Bob character, delivered pizza for Gianni’s when he was younger. Smith is a Red Bank native, and he and Mewes were best friends as kids in New Jersey’s Highlands borough before Smith launched his moviemaking career. “This is where we come from,” Smith told NJ.com. “If we hadn’t both grown up in the Highlands, none of this ever would have happened, man. So Jersey is super-close to my heart [and] always will be.”
A sign for Mooby’s draped over the Gianni’s Pizzeria sign let customers know the once-fictional burger joint was open for business.
Kevin Smith (left) and Jay Mewes posted photos like this one on Instagram to publicize the Mooby’s pop-up.
OLD GREG’S PIZZA GROWS FAST Greg Tetzner and Jackie Richie, the brains behind Old Greg’s Pizza in Miami, know you should never underestimate the power of a tweet. Twitter brought them together with restaurateur Brad Kilgore of Kilgore Culinary Group and turned their Instagram pizza brand into a real-deal pop-up in Kilgore’s Japanese-inspired cocktail lounge, Kaido. Tetzner initially sold his sourdough-crust pizzas only to friends and family while perfecting his dough recipe at home and working on plans for a restaurant. His Instagram posts, highlighting his mouthwatering pies, caught fire, and soon Old Greg’s was the hottest pizza ticket in town, even though Tetzner could only produce pies in limited quantities. After Kilgore, a James Beard-nominated chef, tweeted that he wanted an Old Greg’s pizza for his birthday, calls were made, and a partnership was born. Kilgore helped Tetzner and Richie expand their carryoutonly menu for the pop-up, and fawning media coverage spread the word far and wide. The only problem: Tetzner and Richie still can’t keep up with the demand for their pies. Customers can place orders and schedule a pickup date on Wednesdays only, with limited time slots available—and those slots fill up fast.
Old Greg’s used Instagram as a marketing tool, leading to a partnership between Miami restaurateur Brad Kilgore (right) and partners Greg Tetzner (pictured, left) and Jackie Richie.
Logoed T-shirts, promoted on Instagram, are an important part of the Old Greg’s marketing strategy.
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General Assembly founder and CEO Ali Khan Lalani launched the pizzeria in Toronto’s Entertainment District in 2017.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY OFFERS PIZZA SUBSCRIPTIONS General Assembly (GA), a pizzeria in Toronto, has launched a pizza subscription service, offering monthly contact-free delivery of stacks of 10” pies for as little as $39 per order. Subscribers can sign up to receive stacks of four, six, eight or 10 pizzas from a limited menu. They can change, pause or cancel their subscription at any time. Made with naturally leavened dough from a sourdough starter, the frozen pizzas arrive in a temperature-controlled, recyclable box and can be stored in a freezer and cooked in a home oven in five to seven minutes. GA already markets a line of frozen pizzas in grocery stores in Ontario, so the subscription-based model seemed a logical next step as the demand for food delivery continues to soar. “In 2020, providing the best guest experience means GA has to be more than a restaurant,” said founder and CEO Ali Khan Lalani. “I’m proud to say that, after almost six months of planning, many roadblocks and countless pivots…we have done it.” GA executive chef Curt Martin said subscribers can expect new options in the future, including more vegetarian, plant-based and pork-free pies.
Subscribers to General Assembly’s pizza delivery service receive their frozen pies in a temperature-controlled, recyclable box.
COMFORT FOOD WITH WORDS OF COMFORT
A simple addition to a Seamless menu spurred national media coverage for Vinnie’s Pizzeria in Brooklyn.
Brooklyners know Sean Berthiaume, co-owner of Vinnie’s Pizzeria, as the cheeky inventor of the pizza box made of pizza and the pizza topped with a pizza. Now Vinnie’s, with locations in the Williamsburg and Greenpoint neighborhoods, is the pizza joint they turn to for words of comfort as well as comfort food in the COVID-19 era—and it costs only an extra buck. Vinnie’s virtual menu on Seamless features a side item of sorts under the category of “Positive Reinforcement.” The description reads, “Comforting Words: For $1, our delivery driver will look you straight in the eyes and tell you, ‘EVERYTHING’S GONNA BE OK AND YOU’RE DOING THE BEST YOU CAN.’” Vinnie’s tweeted about the new add-on in late September, spurring coverage from the New York Post, Fox News, and other local and national media outlets.
As COVID-19 began spreading back in late March, Vinnie’s kept the mood light with a pickup window staffed by a pair of puppets.
NOVEMBER 2020 | PMQ.COM
EYE ON THE CHAINS
The new Domino’s Village will offer a home away from home for the families of children undergoing treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.
A Domino’s executive teaches a young patient at St. Jude to stretch dough.
DOMINO’S PLEDGES $100 MILLION TO ST. JUDE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL Domino’s is putting its famous name to work for a good cause: raising $100 million in the next 10 years to support Memphis, Tennessee-based St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a world-renowned medical facility for kids with life-threatening diseases and illnesses. It’s the largest commitment in St. Jude’s history, and, as a thank-you, the hospital will name its newest family-housing complex The Domino’s Village. Families of hospitalized kids will be able to stay in the facility, which will boast 140 fully furnished apartments. Domino’s named St. Jude its national charity partner in 2004 and has raised more than $68 million for the hospital, primarily through its annual St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign. Customers can also round up their order total and donate the extra change to St. Jude when they purchase food on the Domino’s website. “The Domino’s Village will provide a home away from home for the thousands of kids and families who come to St. Jude from around the world,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., president and CEO of St. Jude’s fundraising arm. “They will forever be transformed by the generosity of Domino’s in their greatest time of need.”
PAPA JOHN’S ON THE MOVE TO ATLANTA
New menu items are driving record-breaking sales as Papa John’s gets ready to open a second headquarters in Atlanta.
With sales and profits booming and new menu items like the Shaq-aRoni and the Papadia creating buzz, Papa John’s plans to restructure its operations and open a second global headquarters in Atlanta while maintaining its current location in Louisville, Kentucky. “With strong momentum and our potential expanding every day, we are investing in capabilities for future innovation and global growth, improving efficiencies and better aligning our organization around the strategies that are driving our near- and long-term success,” said Rob Lynch, the chain’s president and CEO. “Metro Atlanta’s deep talent pool and its world-class airport— connecting us to the domestic and international markets that are key to our brand’s future—will accelerate our long-term growth.” According to Marvin Boakye, chief people and diversity officer for Papa John’s, the corporate changes “mark another milestone in Papa John’s ongoing transformation into a more innovative brand with a culture that is focused on diversity, inclusion and winning.”
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PIZZA HUT REINVENTS THE CALENDAR
Pizza Hut’s promotional calendar covers 680 days and features artwork inspired by overused calendar tropes.
Pizza Hut marketed a new value deal, called the Tastemaker, with a free calendar covering 680 days and featuring brand-themed artwork “inspired by the funniest, most absurd and overused calendar tropes…reimagined through the eyes of a pizza lover.” Launched in September, the Tastemaker deal offers a large pizza with three toppings for $10. Pizza Hut emphasized its selection of “more than 17 toppings,” which makes for a total of 680 topping combinations—or a different pizza every day for 680 days. Accordingly, the first 680 customers who ordered the deal for delivery were promised the free calendar, to be mailed separately to the delivery address at a later date. The limited-run calendar boasts eye-popping original artwork, “from an astronaut eating pizza floating in space…to a slice exploding with toppings radiating within the Northern Lights, to a delivery ‘driver’ riding alongside wild horses to his next destination.”
HOW TO CLICK WITH THE KINDERGARTEN CROWD How do you get a new generation of customers hooked on Chuck E. Cheese’s pizza? Start ’em out young. At least, that seems to be the idea behind the chain’s Kindergarten Kickoff program offered this fall. The company, which has been going through Chapter 11 bankruptcy, provided free educational video resources and 30-minute “All You Can Play” cards to more than 70,000 students in 14 school districts in Atlanta, St. Louis and Orange County, Florida. The videos, described as “entertaining and enriching,” feature Chuck E. and his friends and cover topics from art tutorials and music exploration to silly songs and age-appropriate Spanish lessons. “As we’re planning to make sure our virtual learning is effective and our school buildings are safe, we also want to make sure the year feels special for our students, particularly those who are going to school for the very first time,” said Rachel Sprecher, the executive director of partnerships for Atlanta Public Schools. “Chuck E. Cheese has helped us deliver moments of fun and celebration, and we appreciate their commitment to our kids.” As Chuck E. Cheese works its way out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the company is developing new marketing strategies aimed at its core audience, including kindergartners.
NOVEMBER 2020 | PMQ.COM
Whether for dine-in or the new norm of delivery/ carryout, pasta dishes continue to be comfort-food favorites—and highly profitable for operators. Here’s how to sell them with savvy. BY TRACY MORIN
Pasta For many pizzeria and restaurant operators,
a menu simply wouldn’t be complete without at least a few carb-licious alternatives in the form of pasta dishes. “Pasta rounds out our menu and elevates us so that we’re not ‘just a pizzeria,’” says Jeff Gosnear, vice president of Grotto Pizza, based in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, with 23 locations. “With pasta, we’re a casual dining restaurant that features pizza—and, though it’s a really easy option for kids, every age group or demographic loves pasta. If they don’t want pizza, that’s usually their go-to!”
However, in today’s COVID-19 landscape—which prioritizes takeout and delivery—it’s also important to ensure customers have the same great at-home experience as they enjoyed when they dined in at your restaurant. Here, we present myriad ways in which operators can sell pastas with savvy, especially for today’s to-go demands.
EDIT YOUR SELECTIONS...
Whether you’re crafting a menu for dine-in or takeaway, it’s smart to build a solid pasta mix—without overreaching. For example, Grotto Pizza’s pasta menu has been greatly edited in pandemic times (along with its more limited staff and dining room capacity), to two selections: spaghetti and meatballs and chicken Parmigiana over pasta. Gosnear and his team evaluated what dishes would work best for carryout and delivery, but the pizzeria previously offered a wider range, including linguine with white clam sauce, ravioli, baked pastas, and a rotating seasonal-menu special. “We have ravioli with marinara on the menu, but ravioli specials always tend to do well, such as spinach-stuffed or mushroom,” Gosnear says.
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Perfect For Napoli Pizza Group, based in Vallejo, California, its third-party delivery menu was simplified to meet this year’s hefty increase in volume. (The pizzeria has three locations, and its smallest outpost has been traditionally delivery-based, even prior to COVID-19.) “Our lasagna definitely travels the best, since we cook it the night before, let it cool, and cut it up,” notes Anthony Guerrera, the company’s president. “It forms a square that’s a compact, solid piece. It looks great when you get it home, and it’s our best value, for $10.95 with garlic bread. It’s a lot of food!” While menu editing, Guerrera also kept in mind the difference in expectations of dine-in vs. takeout and delivery customers. “When people dine in, they’ll order a beer or wine and appetizer, so time can go by [before it arrives at the table] and they accept that,” he says. “But now, post-dine-in, they want it as quickly as they can get it, so we removed some menu items.”
…BUT OFFER SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE.
“Something for everyone” can take various forms, from feeding a family to accommodating individual dietary restrictions. For example, Napoli offers a variety of housemade sauces and, although servers discourage substitutions, happily accommodates dietary requests. Its meat sauce contains pork, so staff can suggest adding beef to marinara instead or an alternative, like pesto cream, Alfredo, or butter and herb. At Pizza Factory, based in Oakhurst, California, with 104 locations, a vegetarian customer can create his own pasta dish by requesting Italian dressing instead of meat sauce on spaghetti or choosing particular vegetables, like only carrots and broccoli. “We try to make sure we have menu items that will fit for anybody,” says Mary Jane Riva, CEO and president. Meanwhile, family-style meals have also taken off this year, like at Mia’s Italian Kitchen, with two locations in Orlando, Florida, and Alexandria, Virginia. As customers sought easy takeout options during shutdowns, Mia’s in Alexandria NOVEMBER 2020 | PMQ.COM
— ANTHONY GUERRERA, NAPOLI PIZZA GROUP repurposed its location to offer a walk-up window to sell pizzas and pastas. “We thought people would be spending time at home and have the challenge of getting dinner for four or five, so we expanded our family-style offerings—things that travel well and offer great value, as well as top dine-in sellers,” says Brandon Whitestone, corporate chef and partner at Alexandria Restaurant Partners, which owns and operates Mia’s. “We took away some of the longer pastas, like spaghetti and fettuccine (which can clump together), and focused more on rigatoni and penne for better travel. These dishes don’t lose quality from the restaurant to the house.” The biggest seller at Mia’s is the rigatoni Bolognese, but the restaurant also offers zucchini noodles and recently added a gluten-free pasta imported from Italy. That’s Mia’s vegan option as well (since the regular housemade pasta contains eggs), and vegan mozzarella is always in stock.
ACE YOUR PACKAGING AND PRESENTATION.
No customer wants to get his food home and find it a jostled mess—or, worse, barely lukewarm—so packaging is a key piece of the pasta puzzle. In what turned out to be a blessing in disguise, COVID-related interruptions in the springtime forced Guerrera to seek out new packaging for to-go orders. “We focused on a quality packaging replacement, and we found paper bags with handles that were heavy-duty, sturdier and easier to carry,” he says. “And we put our logo on them. The bags cost more, but I think it’s worth it—it makes for a better experience.” Whitestone, too, played around with packaging, as the concept formerly used high-end aluminum containers that became unavailable due to supply issues. “With the portions we give (feeding four people, with leftovers), we use heavy-duty half and full hotel pans, which are reheatable,” he explains.
MIA’S ITA L IA N K IT CHE N
“We focused on quality [carryout] packaging, and we found paper bags with handles that were heavy-duty, sturdier and easier to carry. And we put our logo on them.” BAKED RIGATONI BOLOGNESE
Recipe provided by Mia’s Italian Kitchen, Alexandria, VA, and created by chef Brandon Whitestone, Alexandria Restaurant Partners • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
3.5 oz. Spanish onion, medium dice 3.5 oz. carrots, peeled, medium dice 1.5 oz. celery, medium dice 1 lb. ground beef 10 oz. red wine 3 3-kg cans Italian tomatoes, peeled and pureed 8 oz. tomato paste 1 bay leaf 1 oz. garlic, minced 2 tsp. dry oregano ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes 1.5 oz. fresh basil 0.5 oz. fresh oregano 1 oz. kosher salt 1.5 lb. fresh rigatoni 8 oz. fina-style ricotta 2 lb. whole-milk mozzarella, shredded
In a large pot, cook the ground beef until it renders out. Remove the beef from the pot and drain half the fat. Cook the celery, onion, carrots and garlic until translucent. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring with a rubber spatula. Add the beef back in, as well as the red wine. Cook until reduced by half. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, dry oregano, crushed red pepper and salt. Cook for approximately 45 minutes, until thickened. Add fresh basil and oregano. Check the salt level and adjust as necessary. Cook fresh rigatoni until less than al dente (time varies based on pasta). Toss with 2 qt. of Bolognese and put into a half hotel pan. Divide ricotta over the top and add the mozzarella. Bake for 10 minutes until the cheese melts.
26 PMQ PIZZA MAGAZINE | THE WORLD’S AUTHORITY ON PIZZA
“At least once or twice per month, we highlight a pasta as a pairing with pizza or other items. With so much delivery right now, people will order both, so they have two meals for the day—pasta for lunch and pizza for dinner.” — MARY JANE RIVA, PIZZA FACTORY
GROT T O P IZ Z A
“We take just as much care plating for to-go orders as we do in the restaurant. We also do a test order occasionally to see how it arrives.” Riva adds that pastas generally hold up well, but they’re also easy to reheat if the customer doesn’t want to eat right away or has leftovers. “People can just throw them in the oven or microwave,” she says. “We package them in aluminum foil containers, which traps in heat, and we use insulated delivery bags and make sure it stays flat in transit.”
Grotto Pizza has significantly pared down its pandemic-era pasta menu to offer reliable best-sellers, including the popular spaghetti and meatballs.
SELL THE “HOMEMADE” ANGLE.
The meatballs, lasagna and slow-simmered meat sauce at Pizza Factory, all made from scratch, remain perennially popular. “Both are great sellers, since it’s not a cookie-cutter dish that looks like it came out of a machine, but like something you made at home,” Riva explains. “People want comfort food right now that feels like it has come from their own home, especially with everyone ordering so much takeout and delivery.” Similarly, the housemade sauces at Mia’s stand out via highquality ingredients and careful prep. In a unique twist, the cacio e pepe blends smoked cream cheese with heavy cream, toasted peppercorns and Pecorino (served with bucatini). The six-hour Bolognese is a huge seller, while the 12-hour Nonna’s
NOVEMBER 2020 | PMQ.COM
Sunday Gravy, served over rigatoni, has become a signature favorite. “When putting a pasta dish on the menu, one thing that gets overlooked a lot is pairing the sauce to the noodle,” Whitestone adds. “I always try to look at classical dishes for great pairings and do a modern interpretation— you don’t want to put a heavy meat sauce over angel hair!”
NA P OL I P IZ Z A GROUP
“We take just as much care plating for to-go orders as we do in the restaurant. We also do a test order occasionally to see how it arrives.” — BRANDON WHITESTONE, ALEXANDRIA RESTAURANT PARTNERS
Grotto Pizza’s portions are large enough to provide more than one meal, which appeals to value-conscious families. And, since Grotto purchases premade dry pastas, they equate to high profit margins: a 23% cost, on average, and no more than 28% to 30% for the higher-end ravioli. At about 6 cents per ounce, Napoli finds its highest profit margins in spaghetti—and, luckily, it also outsells other pastas. For back-to-school season a couple of years ago, Guerrera introduced spaghetti for a family of four, with meatballs and garlic bread, for $30. The family-style meals eventually became a permanent Monday-only promotion to pep up a traditionally slow day. “It kept customers thinking about Napoli at the beginning of the week,” he says. “Nowadays, it’s an easy way to take care of the family with a one-plate meal, plus leftovers.”
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SCAN TO START
Pizza Factory’s pastas offer the comfort of a home-cooked meal and the convenience of takeout and delivery.
SPREAD THE WORD.
Tracy Morin is PMQ’s senior copy editor.
When pushing its seasonal menus, pastas are plastered across Grotto’s Instagram and Facebook pages, and the company alerts its Swirl Rewards program members via email. “If we’re not featuring a pizza, we’re almost always featuring a pasta,” Gosnear says. “You can’t take a bad photo of a pasta dish. The red sauce contrasts with the pasta, and a little basil makes it look alive very quickly.” Meanwhile, Napoli’s ravioli with meat stuffing is crafted throughout the week—and remains a top seller and top value. Therefore, that process, from stuffing to sauce making to assembly, is documented and shared through short video snippets (four to six seconds) or photos, then distributed on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and via e-newsletters. And for customers who just can’t decide, why not offer pics with pairings? “We’re often posting pastas on social media as an alternative, especially now that people are ordering out so much— to show that we’re not just pizza,” Riva says. “At least once or twice per month, we highlight a pasta and show it as a pairing with pizza or other items. With so much delivery right now, people will order both pizza and pasta, so they have two meals for the day—pasta for lunch and pizza for dinner.”
NOVEMBER 2020 | PMQ.COM
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Big Cheese From melting points to crafting better blends, we milked Mark “The Cheese Dude” Todd for all of his secrets to create a master class in pizza cheeses. BY BRIAN HERNANDEZ
From soft to hard and sweet to salty, few pizza ingredients have a more diverse array of textures and flavors than cheese. It has evolved from different sources in different regions of the world since its discovery, and claiming to know everything about cheese is like claiming you’ve counted all of the stars in the night sky. But Mark “The Cheese Dude” Todd of Monte Rio, California, knows more about cheese than most.
NOVEMBER 2020 | PMQ.COM
Out of pure passion for the pungent product, Todd has dedicated his career to understanding the origins, flavors and textures of numerous varieties of cheese. And as a consultant for Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, the California Milk Advisory Board and the U.S. Dairy Export Council, among many others, he has helped pizzeria and restaurant operators across the country make more “cheddar” with cheese. Wherever The Cheese Dude abides, you’ll get a master class in this most essential of pizza ingredients, so, naturally, we tried to milk him for all his secrets in this exclusive interview. PMQ: Let’s start with the basics. What do we mean by “melt points,” and are they different for various cheeses? Mark Todd: There are really two types of cheese. The cheeses that are made the old way, using acid and warm milk, do not melt. Then there’s the more modern way we make cheese, with rennet and starter culture—those will melt. In the newer production style, you have about three different [melt points]. Anything from semisoft up to whole-milk mozzarella will melt pretty well at around 130°F. The semihard cheeses, like Gruyère, cheddar and Swiss, will melt at around 150°F. Then you have your hard cheeses that don’t really melt, but they will get as soft as they’re ever going to get at about 180°F. But cooking with pizza is a different beast altogether. That becomes a mix of temperature and time as well as heating styles. The best approach is direct heat on the bottom and indirect heat on top, as most pizzaioli know. You can bake these pizzas at 500°F to 800°F, because the dough and the toppings allow the cheese to survive longer at those temps.
“Browning [of cheese] is truly what sets pizza apart from cheese toast. The browning of the proteins creates hundreds of new flavor components.” — MARK TODD PMQ: As far as baking, what’s the difference between part-skim and whole-milk mozzarella? Todd: Most pizzerias use a blend of both, mainly because combining the two will improve the color, flow and coverage of a pizza. Part-skim cheese, because of its higher protein content and lower fat content, tends to brown more. Wholemilk mozzarella, with a higher fat content, will melt and flow beautifully, allowing for better coverage, but it will resist browning. And browning is truly what sets pizza apart from cheese toast. The browning of the proteins creates hundreds of new flavor components. PMQ: Do you recommend using blends? Should you blend cheeses for cooking characteristics or for flavor? Todd: Yes, and both! Blending is going to help you in the ways I just mentioned, but it’s also going to protect your pie from overbrowning without undercooking it. It’s the Goldilocks scenario—not too much, not too little, but just right. You get all the flavor of the browning with the elasticity and coverage of the whole-milk cheese. For a nice, authentic Italian flavor, you could go with 10% mild provolone, 10% aged provolone
34 PMQ PIZZA MAGAZINE | THE WORLD’S AUTHORITY ON PIZZA
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and 80% part-skim mozz. If you want the pizza to taste like it came out of a wood-fired oven, you could blend 80% partskim mozz, 10% whole-milk mozz or Monterey Jack and 10% smoked cheddar or smoked mozz. For a little extra kick, I would consider about a 5% to 10% addition of blue cheese. At about 130°F, the enzymes that give the cheese that sharp flavor neutralize, creating a more earthy, robust flavor. The options are limitless.
“One factor that allowed [the Alps region] to produce cheeses that were designed to age was the fact that they had caves. When you have caves, you have natural refrigerators, which allows you to make cheeses and store them safely over the season.”
PMQ: What about fresh mozzarella? Todd: In general, if you’re going to use fresh mozz, however you will be cooking it, you will want to let it drain off overnight to remove some of the moisture, then cook with it the next day. It’s a great cheese to cook with, but you should cut it very thin. It’s best to cut it when it’s very cold, so it stays firmer and it’s easier to slice thin. But if you cut it too thin, you’ll end up with a swimming pool for your toppings.
One final thought: Cheese is a 10-to-1 ratio. For every ten kilos of milk you use, you yield one kilo of cheese. Just make sure to factor in that math.
PMQ: What are your thoughts on making fresh mozzarella in-house? Todd: It’s not for everyone. There are numerous additional costs that come along with it: first, all of the ingredients, and second, the manpower and labor costs. If a restaurant claims they are making fresh in-house mozz, I would put 1,000 of my favorite dollars down that they are buying frozen curds, then stretching it in-house. Someone else is basically making the cheese, and the in-house version is just the final step. That is called “pulling” mozzarella, and that is not “making” mozzarella. It’s not easy to do. It’s time-consuming, and any number of things can go wrong in the process. It takes years of practice to perfect, and it’s very easy to turn true fresh mozzarella into a hockey puck. It’s not something I would recommend for the average person. Practice that craft before you even entertain the thought of doing it in a working restaurant.
PMQ: Are there cheeses that you should apply to the pizza only after the bake? Todd: There are cheeses you can add as a garnish after-bake. Any of the fresh cheeses work well, like fresh mozz or buratta. It’s not uncommon to throw blue cheese or Gorgonzola on afterwards to keep that intense bite of flavor we talked about earlier. Fresh Parmesan, Asiago or Romano also keep that intensity of flavors. Cream cheese and ricotta work well afterbake, too. If you want to cook with Parmesan, perhaps add it on top of the sauce and bury it under the toppings. This will protect it from any direct heat and allow that flavor to seep into the pie itself. You can get several different flavors and characteristics from any type of cheese, depending on application and bake. It’s up to you to know what you are looking for, then apply your cheese accordingly for maximum results.
— MARK TODD
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PMQ: Parmesan, Asiago and Romano are all very similar yet very different. Does that have to do with the regions or how they’re made? Todd: Yes and yes. Are they similar? Yes. Are they completely different? Yes. You have to think about where they come from. The northern part of Italy is in the Alps. The Alps have been the Alps longer than the countries around them have been countries. Whether it’s Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria or France, the Alps as a region has been making cheeses for thousands of years. One factor that allowed [the Alps region] to produce larger cheeses that were designed to age was the fact that they had caves. When you have caves, you have natural refrigerators, which allows you to make cheeses and store them safely over the season. This is where cheese styles like Parmesan, Asiago and Romano originated. The biggest difference between Parmesan and Asiago, besides their specific region, is that Parmesan is a part-skim milk cheese and Asiago is whole-milk. Parmesan is always going to be harder, dryer, more
crumbly, more grainy, whereas Asiago, even if it’s 10 years old, is always going to be creamier. PMQ: What should a new pizzeria operator look for when choosing a cheese? Todd: Decide who your target market is. Entry-level pizza fans or more affluent, seasoned pizza veterans? For a higher-end pizza, you want to have blends that give the desired melting and browning characteristics, but you also want to focus on the flavor. The people in that market are looking for more flavor in their product. I would use a 50-50 blend of part-skim and a flavorful mix of whole-milk cheeses. For the entry-level pizza eaters, you can go with a 75% or 80% partskim mozz—because it’s the least expensive but will still give you a great brown—and 20% of a reasonably priced cheese that will give you a good melt and flow while imparting some flavor. Now, that’s not to say the entry-level market does not want great flavor, too, but you should think about quality
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AYS LW IUM
AN O TIT
— MARK TODD as well as quantity and see where the scales lean for your particular market. The best answer is to meet in the middle for both markets. We all want the same high quality and flavor. It’s just a matter of how much we can spend as consumers. One good tip is to keep your cheese blends separated by components. You can put down your base layer of whole-milk for your big flavors, spread and coverage, then add your part-skim afterwards to achieve optimal browning on top. This could save you money since you don’t need to use as much part-skim on top to achieve the same browning as you would if it was premixed with the whole-milk. It can also help you target both markets without using the same cheese. Adjust your recipes and create higher-end specialties while still offering the entry-level pies. Now you have both markets, and everyone is happy, and so is your bottom line. But the best mix, even separated, is still 50-50. Train your staff thoroughly as to why you do it this way. Make them understand the build, flavors and characteristics of each blend. You can create any blend, even if the components are separate, but you cannot separate a blend once mixed. [Keeping your blend components separated] gives you infinitely more control. Make the cheese work for you!
by Galbani® Thin Sliced Fresh Mozzarella
“Keep your cheese blends separated by components. You can put down your base layer of whole-milk for your big flavors, spread and coverage, then add your part-skim afterwards to achieve optimal browning on top.”
N AT U R
Now there’s a fresh, new way to stack up savings. Introducing Galbani Thin Sliced Fresh Mozzarella. With so many slices of creamy, all-natural, fior di latte Fresh Mozzarella in every log, you can top more sandwiches, pizzas, and appetizers at less cost per slice. Made in the USA by Italy’s # 1 cheese brand, with no artificial whiteners, the milky flavor and soft texture make it easy to add Ispirazione Italiana to everything on your menu.
PMQ: Does adding a layer of cheese underneath the toppings help keep them from sliding around the pizza, especially for pies with a lot of toppings? Todd: It depends on the type of cheese you’re putting underneath and how fast it melts. If you overburden it with toppings, the odds are that the center will not get hot enough for long enough to melt, which defeats the purpose. But if you use a cheese that has a lower melt point and you don’t bury it, yes, it will melt and create traction on the pie to keep everything in place. If you’re going to add a sub-layer of cheese, make it one that melts easily, like a Monterey Jack or a whole-milk mozz. In general, I’d put it in the middle. Add a layer of toppings, then some cheese, then more toppings, then more cheese. This keeps the cheese closer to the heat source so it can melt through the ingredients and create that traction. It also greatly depends on the types of ingredients. If it’s a veggie pizza, most of those ingredients contain a lot of water, which seeps out and creates a slip-and-slide. Again, as with fresh mozz, you should drain your ingredients for the night before use to keep this from happening. Don’t completely remove the moisture, but be aware that it will escape and can affect your pizza. To see the entire live interview with The Cheese Dude, visit PMQ.com/MarkTodd.
©2020 Lactalis American Group, Inc., Buffalo, NY 14220. Galbani is a ® of Egidio Galbani S.r.l. All Rights Reserved.
Find your Ispirazione Italiana
What's our Italian Inspiration? It’s all about family. We have deep
roots in the restaurant business, so it only made sense that when we wanted to open our own pizzerias, we did it together. We found a family in Galbani® cheese, too. We’ve never been with a food company before that does whatever it takes to support you. We always say, “Galbani è una famiglia”—and they prove it every day. —GINO RAGO, LENNY RAGO & BRUNO BRUNETTI, OWNERS, PANINO’S PIZZERIA
Find more Italian Inspiration and our Panino’s videos at GalbaniPro.com. ©2020 Lactalis American Group, Inc., Buffalo, NY 14220. Galbani is a ® of Egidio Galbani S.r.l. All Rights Reserved.
Losing Operators share the myriad ways in which they’re minimizing contact with customers in the face of COVID-19—and thereby improving the overall guest experience. BY TRACY MORIN
We could not have foreseen this a year ago, but in today’s environment, losing contact with customers is a good thing—at least in the sense of keeping both employees and customers safe in pandemic times by enabling contactless transactions. Whether they’re implementing social-distancing markers or tapping technology to minimize touchpoints, pizzerias at the forefront of this movement are reaping the benefits.
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“At the start of the pandemic, 8% of U.S. sellers were effectively cashless, meaning at least 95% of their sales were made through credit or debit card. That figure jumped to 31% by the end of April and has since leveled off at 20% as cities reopen.” — GRAHAM CAMPBELL, GIVEX
“At Pieology, we’re doing our part to take safe and thoughtful measures for our guests and team members while continuing to provide a fast and friendly experience,” notes Yulree Tio, director of marketing at Pieology, headquartered in Tustin, California, with 130 locations. “We care about their safety, especially during these challenging times, so ensuring that strict health and safety guidelines are implemented within our stores is of the utmost importance to us.” And going contact-free inside (and outside) the pizzeria isn’t only a
necessity for preventing health-related catastrophes; it’s a way to attract more customers to your pizzeria. “Our customer is our No. 1 priority, and to ensure a great guest experience, health and safety became a primary concern as COVID-19 emerged,” says Lisa Dimson, chief marketing officer at Your Pie, headquartered in Athens, Georgia, with 79 locations. “It’s another opportunity for us to take care of our guests, and implementing procedures that are designed to protect them creates a higher comfort level for them.”
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To facilitate a better overall guest experience, Pieology has implemented numerous modes of ordering that help reduce contact and let customers choose the option they’re most comfortable with. “Some of these initiatives include contactless delivery to their home; tamper-proof labels on our to-go boxes; a hands-free QR-code menu in front of our stores so guests can place their orders at a safe distance; online ordering that allows touchless payment; and curbside delivery for those who’d like to pick up their meal and have it delivered to their car,” Tio explains. “On the staff level, we educate and train our teams to ensure they are up to speed on local and county ordinances, thorough and deep-cleaning procedures, and food handling. Ultimately, we work with them to ensure that both they and our guests have a seamless and safe ordering experience.” Luckily, Your Pie initiated a jumpstart toward contactless ordering even before the pandemic hit, investing in technology for online ordering, a new POS system with cutting-edge
— LISA DIMSON, YOUR PIE capabilities, and a new app that allows customers to connect with the brand even without a human presence. Whether customers are entering the store for carryout orders, driving up to take out, or ordering delivery from the pizzeria or a thirdparty service, contactless is the name of the game. “For example, we had paper menus before, but we removed them for health and safety reasons,” Dimson says. “Now, customers can scan a QR code to view our menu or pull it up through our app on a mobile device and place their order. For customers who preferred the paper menus, we have menu board panels in-store that they can view from a safe distance.” At locations where dine-in is allowed, Your Pie places indicating stickers and marks off tables to maintain social distancing, and Plexiglas has been installed in some stores to add an extra barrier between guests and employees inside the store. Similarly, Pieology has placed a visible focus on healthprotective measures within its locations. “To consistently
Y OUR P IE
“Touchless pay requires getting a new piece of equipment that fits on our counters. But there is not a significant cost involved, and it’s an investment that’s definitely worth it from the guest perspective.”
While crowds could fill Your Pie locations pre-pandemic, today’s guidelines in-store keep customers at a safe distance from fellow diners and employees.
stress the importance of safety throughout our restaurants, we have placed floor markers along the ordering lines to ensure social distancing is being practiced within our stores,” Tio says. “Additionally, our team members practice consistent glove changing, frequent hand washing, and thorough sanitizing on all high-touch areas throughout the day.” Naturally, when customers witness these steps in-store, they’re much more likely to place their trust in the business. And, it turns out, going contact-free can offer benefits from the operational side. For Your Pie, using different types of digital ordering channels allows guests to fully customize their experience—not only selecting the ingredients they want on a pizza, but also choosing the time they want it to be ready by using the scheduling feature and the handoff method
A TABLE APART
Fornino’s, with two locations in Brooklyn, New York, has jumped on board with contactless in-store ordering and online ordering through its website. But the pizzeria has also come up with a fun and creative way to serve guests at a safe distance—while using materials already on hand. Staff members simply placed 7’-long tables in front of the ordering and pickup windows and now use their extra-long pizza peels to pass orders in baskets to customers.
NOVEMBER 2020 | PMQ.COM
Your Pie released an e-learning platform in October so that employees can brush up on their skills remotely from the safety of their homes.
they prefer, depending on their individual comfort level. In addition to adding an extra layer of safety for guests and team members alike, this enables staff members to maximize their organization skills and become more detail-oriented. As the level of customization increases, the level of precision on the operational side improves in order to meet and exceed customer expectations. FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS
More changes are on the horizon for Your Pie. The company is preparing to roll out touchless pay systems, including Apple Pay and Google Pay, that allow customers to simply tap a credit card or scan their cell phone to deposit payment for their meals. After all, the fewer touchpoints present, the safer both guests and employees can remain. “Touchless pay requires getting a new piece of equipment that fits on our counter,” Dimson explains. “But there is not a significant cost involved, and it’s an investment that’s definitely worth it from the guest perspective—it shows we’re putting them first and helping to create that great experience in-store.” Some businesses have done away with cash transactions altogether, and the pandemic has raised this number, says Graham Campbell, CEO of Givex, based in Toronto and with offices around the globe. “Statistics show that at the start of the pandemic, 8% of U.S. sellers were effectively cashless, meaning that at least 95% of their sales were made through credit or debit card,” Campbell says. “That figure jumped to 31% by the end of April and has since leveled off at 20% as cities reopen.” Campbell points to specific benefits of this choice: Operators don’t have to spend time counting money and ensuring correct balances or arrange a deposit pickup service. A cashless system also reduces the chance of amounts being incorrectly taken from or given to customers and provides
modern appeal to certain audiences, such as millennials, who often already use and prefer mobile payments. On the employee side, Your Pie is making changes to its training model to allow for remote learning. “We’re launching a new e-learning platform in October, because that’s how today’s employees like to learn,” Dimson says. “They can undergo training in an easier fashion, at their own pace. We’ll still offer face-to-face training, but this is another option and helps those who learn better through different communication styles.” Finally, Your Pie is ramping up the guest experience with a new platform that measures guests’ overall experience via technology—asking both digital and in-store customers about their experience in categories like cleanliness, accuracy, ease of ordering, hospitality and more. “Our POS and online ordering, and our rewards program and app, are all highly integrated to watch the consumer at every touchpoint, whether they’re in our stores or ordering through third-party delivery,” Dimson explains. “These technology pieces are driving our service platform.” With or without a pandemic, customers have been moving toward a contact-free ordering experience for years now, and most experts believe these shifts will continue to occur in a “post-COVID” world. “Safety and cleanliness will remain top of mind throughout our stores and in our online messaging. And with a heightened awareness surrounding cleanliness moving forward, it’s imperative that we continue these practices in our stores to ensure our guests and teams feel safe during the ordering experience,” concludes Nica Yusay, content and social media strategist for Pieology. “Our hope is that as we continue these necessary practices, ordering will once again become second nature to our guests, and they’ll feel entirely comfortable dining in with us.” Tracy Morin is PMQ’s senior copy editor.
44 PMQ PIZZA MAGAZINE | THE WORLD’S AUTHORITY ON PIZZA
Melty. Rich. Plant-Based.
New Follow Your HeartÂŽ Dairy-Free Shredded Mozzarella
download your vegan artwork & marketing kit Expand your customer base with loyal hungry vegans. PMQ Pizza Magazine is launching PizzaVegan.com, a website community designed to bring more attention to— and consumers closer to—vegan pizza through exclusive editorial content, a product guide, recipes, a directory of independent pizzerias offering vegan pizza, and a kickoff promotion during the month of November that begins on World Vegan Day, November 1! Through PizzaVegan.com, vegan consumers will have an unprecedented opportunity to find vegan versions of Americans’ favorite food: pizza.
Join PMQ's Second National Independent Pizzeria Promotion! WHY NOW?
HOW IT WORKS
Vegan pizza has never been more popular than it is
As a participating pizzeria:
now. Here’s a look at the numbers: •
60% of Americans have started to eat a more plant-based diet since the beginning of the pandemic, according to a recent poll of 2,000 adults by OnePoll. Respondents cited health as the No. 1 reason for this change, but they also cited a desire to consume less animal products and lead a more sustainable lifestyle. The same poll revealed that 39% of people ages 18 to 25, and 23% of people ages 26 to 41, already exclude animal products from their diets. ADM reports that 44% of U.S. consumers identify as flexitarians—those who eat a mostly vegetarian diet, with occasional servings of meat. According to a study conducted by OnePoll and So Delicious Dairy Free, the average American eats four meat-free meals per week, and 50% of Americans are trying to incorporate more plant-based meals in their daily lives.
25% of customers are looking for vegan pizza options, but only 25% of pizzerias are offering them.
In 2019, plant-based food sales had increased by 31% over the last two years, according to the Plant Based Foods Association.
Plant-based options are the fastest growing section on pizza menus today, notes trends expert Daniel Levine of the Avant-Guide Institute in New York City.
Provide a link to your online ordering (through the Facebookbased service Tap The Table or your own ordering link), an image, and a description of your vegan pizza offering.
Display point-of-sale elements, such as a window cling, box topper, table tent, door hanger and social media graphics, from November 1 to December 1, 2020. These materials are provided by PMQ Pizza Magazine upon registration.
Maintain the inventory needed for your vegan pizza throughout the month of November!
PMQ WILL: •
Provide a promotional artwork kit that can be customized with your pizzeria’s brand.
List your pizzeria in the PizzaVegan.com directory.
To register, simply visit pizzavegan.com/register. You can quickly sign up through Facebook Messenger or fill out an online form. Register now, and get your vegan pizza closer to consumers!
Twenty Years of Challenge, Collaboration and Camaraderie 2012
Bradley Corbin of Sloopy’s Sports Cafe shows off his award winning Hibachi Pizza at the American Pizza Championship, while Jamie Culliton, Ryan LaRose and Ryan Kubil stretched, folded and spun their ways to the awards stage at the Acrobatic Pizza Trials in Orlando, Florida.
The U.S. and Chinese Pizza Teams join forces at the World Pizza Championships in Parma, Italy. Veteran USPT member Michael Amheiser of Pizza Dock poses with his competition pie at the American Pizza Championship at the IBIE show in Las Vegas.
48 PMQ PIZZA MAGAZINE | THE WORLD’S AUTHORITY ON PIZZA
2015 USPT acrobatic coach Jamie Culliton of The Nona Slice House brings home the silver in Freestyle Acrobatics at the World Pizza Championships. USPT members Dave Sommers (Mad Mushroom), Rick Mines (Nima’s Pizza), Michael LaMarca (Master Pizza) and Jane Mines help build the world’s largest pizza at the Food & Hospitality China (FHC) show in Shanghai.
USPT translator Paola Laghetti and USPT culinary coach Gino Rago of Panino’s Pizza head to the judges’ table, while Bradley Johnson of Mellow Mushroom demonstrates perfect dough stretching technique at the World Pizza Championships.
The USPT brings the team routine back to the World Pizza Championships, while Jamie Culliton realizes his dream of gold in Individual Freestyle Acrobatics.
NOVEMBER 2020 | PMQ.COM
Huge Thanks to our 2020 uspt sponsors! ▷ PLATINUM ◁
▷ GOLD ◁
▷ SILVER ◁
Build Customer Loyalty With Good News About the Pizza Box By Rachel Kenyon, Senior Vice President, Fibre Box Association
Just in time for back-to-school, the eternal pizza-box question has finally been answered definitively. Pizza boxes can be recycled! For as long as we can remember, people have debated the question of what to do with the empty pizza box. Although corrugated cardboard has been widely recycled for decades, many believed that cheese and grease residues in pizza boxes would cause problems in the recycling process. This summer, a study by WestRock, a company that makes and recycles corrugated boxes, found that typical amounts of these contaminants are acceptable after all. Others in the industry agreed, and news of their consensus was released in July by the American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA). This gives pizza purveyors a new opportunity to promote goodwill by reminding customers to recycle their boxes. At a minimum, pizza businesses should make sure the “Corrugated Recycles” emblem is printed on every pizza box. This symbol is already widely used and understood. Sharing confirmation of the boxes’ recyclability will give customers one more reason to feel good
about ordering their favorite takeout meal. At the same time, the restaurant can demonstrate solidarity and alignment with customer values—more important today than ever. The corrugated industry wants to increase collection of old corrugated containers (OCC) for recycling nationwide. Retailers have been the primary driver of corrugated’s 90-plus-percent recovery rate over the decades. But in today’s economy, more products are being delivered to households and fewer to physical stores. That means consumer recycling is now more important than ever for the corrugated industry to continue making new boxes, which contain 50% recycled fiber on average. The other 50% is comprised of new fiber from harvested trees grown in sustainably managed forests. The compelling message is that pizza is delivered in sustainable packaging—made from recycled and renewable materials, and recyclable after use. Share the news, encourage your customers to do their part, and show your alignment with the values they hold dear.
It’s not always obvious what can and can’t be recycled. But the corrugated packaging industry is committed to making recycling as easy as ordering your favorite toppings. Eat pizza. Remove any leftover pizza (we won’t judge you for not eating the crust). Recycle the box. Insulated. Recyclable. Extraordinary. Learn more at boxesareextraordinary.com
NOVEMBER 2020 | PMQ.COM
Elevate Your Pizza Menu With Microgreens From Fresh Origins There is always room for innovation in your pizzeria, especially now, during a time when our world has turned upside down. Your customers want the comfort and fill that pizzas provide, but they also want exciting, new and nutritious foods. That’s where Fresh Origins Microgreens and Edible Flowers come in to elevate your pizza menu. Fresh Origins is the leading grower of over 600 varieties of highquality products such as Microgreens, Petite Greens, Tiny Veggies, Edible Flowers, Herb Flower & Fruit Crystals, and more. Its fresh products can add a new and unique appeal to pies. With intense flavors, bright colors and loads of nutrition, your customers get to experience pizza in a new and exciting way. Micro Basil Italian, for example, is an extremely fresh microgreen that tastes just as fresh as adult basil. The microgreens come ready to use, which saves prep and labor time in the kitchen. The hassle of removing basil from stems or creating additional food waste is no longer warranted. Many varieties of Fresh Origins Microgreens also come in a much larger petite size that is cut and ready to go.
Another exciting way to enhance your pies is by using Basil Herb Crystals, an innovative product that combines fresh basil and cane sugar to add a phenomenal, crunchy basil flavor to pizzas. Other items like Micro Cilantro, Micro Arugula, Micro Oregano, Garlic Flower, Squash Blossom and Habanero Crystals lend flavor, depth and a delightful surprise to pies! Don’t forget about the sauces and pestos: With the intense flavors that Fresh Origins products have, you can easily blend them to create a unique pesto or pizza sauce to elevate the flavors of pizza even more. Grow your business by creating an attractive menu that will keep customers, new and old, coming back. There are no limits to what you can create with Fresh Origins Microgreens and Edible Flowers. Visit freshorigins.com or contact Fresh Origins directly at info@ freshorigins.com for more information. Let Fresh Origins help you build your signature pizza empire!
52 PMQ PIZZA MAGAZINE | THE WORLD’S AUTHORITY ON PIZZA
Hot Honey’s Epic Rise in the Pizza Industry Mike’s Hot Honey has become an unlikely force in the pizza industry, with its balance of sweetness and heat that pairs especially well with a cup-and-char pepperoni pie. From rave reviews in the press to enthusiastic fans posting on social media, the hype for the product is palpable and growing rapidly. It can be found on the menu at some of the best pizzerias in the country, including Paulie Gee’s, where founder Mike Kurtz worked as a pizzaiolo and launched the product 10 years ago. “For the first five years of the business, I was a one-man operation, personally producing and delivering the product to customers,” says Kurtz. “I would pack cases of hot honey into my car and drive around New York City, making deliveries to our early restaurant and retail partners.” The brand has now grown to over 10,000 points of retail distribution and is on the menu in thousands of restaurants nationwide. Mike’s Hot Honey offers multiple pack sizes for retail and foodservice and has just launched a 1-oz. dip cup that’s perfect for delivery and to-go orders. From labor savings to allowing consumers to drizzle the hot honey on their pizza just before eating for the best
Available through foodservice distributors nationwide and DOT Foods.
THE ORIGINAL SWEET-HEAT TOPPING Now in dip cup size, made to-go.
flavor experience, the dip cups are already proving to be the favored format for pizza delivery. Building the price of Mike’s Hot Honey into the menu item—or offering it as an upcharge—is key to a pizzeria’s success. The product is made with pure, high-quality honey, so consumers in the know have shown no resistance to a $0.50 charge for a drizzle on a slice, $2 for a full pie or $1.25 for a dip cup. It’s the flavor and the brand that keep customers coming back for more, which is why restaurants typically list not just “hot honey” but the brand name “Mike’s Hot Honey” on their menu. The trend of featuring brand names on restaurant menus as a way to increase sales is nothing new. Mike’s Hot Honey is an easy way to refresh your menu and gain new and loyal customers with one simple ingredient. While pizza isn’t the only menu item that can benefit from a drizzle of Mike’s Hot Honey (think wings, fried chicken sandwiches, ice cream and even cocktails), it was the original pairing of fresh mozzarella, soppressata and Mike’s Hot Honey at Paulie Gee’s that put it on the map. To taste it for yourself, request a sample from Mike’s Hot Honey at mikeshothoney.com.
Request a sample at mikeshothoney.com/sample
Honey with a Kick email@example.com (212) 655-0574
NOVEMBER 2020 | PMQ.COM
The “Mittisse” is a 13” oven glove that comes in two styles: Chicken On Honey Oat or Vegetarian On Baguette. The mitt’s long “submarine” size protects the entire arm from heat, and a thumb on the back makes gripping easy. The Chicken On Honey Oat depicts fillings of chicken, lettuce and olives, while the Vegetarian On Baguette features cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and olives. Each is customizable with a company logo. 512-296-4633, INEDIBLEART.COM
Customers are craving pan pizza, and LloydPans has the tools. Designed for pizza styles including Detroit, grandma, Sicilian and Roman, these pans are safe for metal utensils, stick-resistant and durable for commercial baking. They need no seasoning and will not rust. Expert pizza masters choose LloydPans because they consistently bake as expected, are easy to maintain and easy to clean—and they’re made in the USA. 800-748-6251, LLOYDPANS.COM/PIZZA-TOOLS
THE UHLMANN COMPANY
For more than three generations, the Uhlmann Company has been producing Heckers and Ceresota unbleached flours for the finest pizza restaurants in Chicago and New York City. Now they’ve introduced Ceresota Napoli “00” flour. Milled in Italy from the finest European and Italian soft wheat, it’s authentically Italian and designed to meet the needs of the most seasoned pizzaiolos. HECKERSCERESOTA.COM
The Yamato AW-WPS Pizza Scale, designed for portion control, features a hands-free tare, making it easier to weigh ingredients. Weighing ingredients, especially cheese, will help maximize your profit margins. This NSF-certified scale has a capacity of 30 pounds, with no cable between the platform and the indicator. To tare the scale while building a pizza, simply motion in front of the indicator and it will reset to zero. YAMATOAMERICAS.COM
The HungerRush handheld ordering system maximizes revenue by processing orders quicker, busting long lines and equipping restaurants to work more efficiently so you can spend more time providing a great customer experience. The Restaurant Management System provides centralized and comprehensive data and visibility related to your other integrated services, such as mobile and online ordering, loyalty, delivery management and HUB, your command center for reporting and management. HUNGERRUSH.COM/HANDHELD-PMQ
Chicago has become world-renowned as a food mecca, known for its diverse culinary offerings. Devanco Foods specializes in two of the most popular items that originated in the Windy City—gyros and Italian beef. Devanco Foods is dedicated to flavor and committed to quality. Its Italian beef is slow-roasted and paired with a flavorful gravy, and the company produces Chicago’s first and finest gyros, from cones to slices that are hand-carved right off the cone. 847-228-7070, DEVANCOFOODS.COM
54 PMQ PIZZA MAGAZINE | THE WORLD’S AUTHORITY ON PIZZA
PIZZA INDUSTRY BULLETIN BOARD
OPTIMAL DOUGH PROTECTION
» Fiberglass strength and durability outlast plastic trays » Color matching available » Interlock stacking with or without lids to ensure dough quality » Secure stacking with no bending or sagging » Easily cleaned in any standard or commercial high-temp washer » Snap-on lids and heavy-duty dollies available PH 800 458.6050 www.mfgtray.com NOVEMBER 2020 | PMQ.COM
PIZZA INDUSTRY BULLETIN BOARD
The “Original Steel” Detroit Style Pizza Pan is Back! 10” X 14”
8” X 10”
14” Round Teflon Coated Pan $12.00
Plastic Lids Available for Steel Pans
CALL FOR PRICE QUOTE ON OTHER STYLE PANS
P.A. PRODUCTS, Inc. BAKEWARE SPECIALISTS
(734) 421-1060 • firstname.lastname@example.org 56 PMQ PIZZA MAGAZINE | THE WORLD’S AUTHORITY ON PIZZA
PIZZA INDUSTRY BULLETIN BOARD
# OF UNITS 7482 5876 4262 3199 1400 1372 907 855 548 548 541 468 452 427 423 397 345 331 227 226 221 218 215 214 212 191 185 171 170 153 135 123 118 109
CHAIN NAME PIZZA HUT DOMINO'S LITTLE CAESARS PAPA JOHN'S PAPA MURPHY'S PIZZA CASEY'S CARRY-OUT PIZZA MARCO'S PIZZA OLIVE GARDEN THE GODFATHER'S PIZZA HUNGRY HOWIE'S PIZZA CHUCK E. CHEESE'S PIZZA PRO MOD PIZZA ROUND TABLE PIZZA CICIS JET'S PIZZA SBARRO BLAZE PIZZA CARRABBA'S ITALIAN GRILL CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN MOUNTAIN MIKE'S PIZZA ROSATI'S PIZZA FAZOLI'S FOX'S PIZZA DEN PIZZA RANCH MELLOW MUSHROOM VILLA FRESH ITALIAN KITCHEN SIMPLE SIMON'S PIZZA DONATOS PIZZA PIZZA INN PIEOLOGY PIZZERIA MAZZIO'S ITALIAN EATERY PIZZA FACTORY OLD CHICAGO PIZZA & TAPROOM
The PMQ/CHD Top 400 Pizza Chains
THE AUTHORITATIVE GUIDE TO PIZZA CHAIN MANAGEMENT AND BUSINESS RESEARCH
PMQ and CHD Expert have collaborated to present the Pizza Industry's most authoritative directory of pizza chain management and pizza chain business information. This 2020 Pizza Chain Directly Identifies the top 424 Pizza Chains with headquarters, management contacts and unit locations. • • • • • •
Yearly Chain Sales Number of units Average Check Headquarter Locations, Titles, Contacts 11,000 Email Addresses 55,000 Phone Numbers
• • • • • •
38,000 Individual contacts Years in Business. Pizza Concept ID Number of employees Menu Type and Pizza Concept ID Latitude/Longitude of each unit Market segment and description
For purchasing information, visit pmq.com/pizzachain400
NOVEMBER 2020 | PMQ.COM
THE PIZZA EXCHANGE
CHEESE SHAKER LIDS
COMPUTER SYSTEMS: POINT OF SALE
Authentic Flavor for Modern Menus
CALL (800) 824-3373 OR VISIT SAPUTOUSAFOODSERVICE.COM Mozzarella I Provolone I Blue Cheese I Gorgonzola I Asiago I Romano
We help pizzerias compete with an integrated restaurant management system for engaging guests, mastering operations, and marketing like a pro.
Always be ready for the rush. Request a demo at hungerrush.com/demo
Choosing a POS: right the first time speedlinesolutions.com/PizzaPOS 1-888-400-9185 58 PMQ PIZZA MAGAZINE | THE WORLDâ€™S AUTHORITY ON PIZZA
PIZZA INDUSTRY RESOURCE GUIDE
COMPUTER SYSTEMS: POINT OF SALE
COMPUTER SYSTEMS: POINT OF SALE
We help pizzerias compete with an integrated restaurant management system for engaging guests, mastering operations, and marketing like a pro.
Always be ready for the rush.
Request a demo at hungerrush.com/demo
Be Inspired. Be Creative. Be Original.
Red, White, and Blue Pizza with Nutella速
Breakfast Pizza with Nutella速
Fried Pizza Dough with Nutella速
For more exciting recipes and tips about Nutella速, visit www.ferrerofoodservice.com or call (800) 408-1505 for more information.
DELICIOUS MADE-TO-ORDER BREAD AND PIZZA DOUGH Old World Tradition with New World Convenience.
The BEST Pizza POS OS OS The Fastest POS on the Planet The Easiest to Learn & Operate Online Ordering / Rewards & Loyalty Mobile Reporting/Enterprise Complete EMV & PCI Compliance
To locate a distributor near you, call 734-946-7878. DOUGH BOWLS
CUTTING BOARDS - EQUAL SLICE
NOVEMBER 2020 | PMQ.COM
THE PIZZA EXCHANGE
DOUGH DIVIDERS/ROUNDERS, PRESSES/ROLLERS
A revolutionary ingredient changing the way people enjoy Italian cuisine Carlo F. Pedone • 414.301.4245 • email@example.com
Learn more about Pinsa Romana or attending the academy: pinsaromana.us • pinsaschool.com
150 years of premium pizza flour
Heckers & Ceresota
of below and sign-off on the advertisement as shown or indicate changes in the column. Please return this signed proof to Stacie Dennison at either: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Fax: 502-736-9518
SINCE 1843 THE UHLMANN COMPANY
Traditional Flours, Pizza Mixes & Grain Innovations
The Original Dough Box
For more information or samples, contact us at ArdentMills.com or call 888-685-2534.
MANY IMITATE. NONE CAN DUPLICATE • Fiberglass strength & durability outlast plastic trays • Secure stacking, won't bend or sag • 3 standard sizes with snap-on lids • Optional lids and dollies available
DOUGH TRAYS/PROOFING TRAYS • Dough Trays -Standard Standard && Artisan Artisan Sizes Sizes – extremely – extremely durable durable and and airtight. airtight. Outlasts all other Plastic & Fiberglass Dough Trays! • Dough Tray Covers – engineered designed toto fit.fit. • Dough Scrapers – two ergonomic designs. • Dough Tray Dollies – heavy duty. The preferred dough tray of pizza operators in the US and Abroad for over 30 years! Order by phone or online.
Call 908-276-8484.www.doughmate.com 908-276-8484...............www.doughmate.com
The Leader in Dough Handling Products
FLOUR Scan for Demo
Dip into the
Premium Flours Make Gluten-Free Tasty & Easy! Tel: 310-366-7612 E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.authenticfoods.com
FRANCHISE WITH US
pmq.com/Recipe-Bank/ 60 PMQ PIZZA MAGAZINE | THE WORLD’S AUTHORITY ON PIZZA
PIZZA INDUSTRY RESOURCE GUIDE
GLUTEN-FREE PRODUCTS W H O L E S O M E
D E L I C I O U S ™ WHOLES
OME & DELICIOUS
MANAGEMENT Scan for Demo
keep more of your hard earned dough! 3 money saving programs:
Premium Flours Make Gluten-Free Tasty & Easy! Tel: 310-366-7612 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.authenticfoods.com
sCheduLing • aTTendanCe • daiLy Log
FAST, PAINLESS SCHEDULING • MONITOR LABOR COSTS • REDUCE TURNOVER • NOTIFY EMPLOYEES • ELIMINATE BUDDY PUNCHING • IMPROVE COMMUNICATIONS • WEB-BASED
save time and increase profits!
MARKETING/PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL INSURANCE
PIZZAPRO INSURANCE PROGRAM Insurance Designed for Pizza Delivery Operations HAVE YOUR AGENT CONTACT US TODAY!
Julie Reisinger: (717) 214-7616 | amwins.solutions/pizza
SCRATCH FLAVOR WITHOUT THE HASSLE SEE THE BEAUTIFUL DIFFERENCE AT FONTANINI.COM Meatball and Rustic Pepperoni pizza
©2020 Hormel Foods, LLC
NOVEMBER 2020 | PMQ.COM
THE PIZZA EXCHANGE
Precision HD-60 Pizza Mixer 7-Year Unconditional Parts Warranty on all gears and shafts in the planetary and transmission!
Heavy Duty MIXeRS
Holdsbowl! art 80-qundles a Ha . bag 50 lb our! of fl
www.pizzamixers.com • 1-877-R-MIXERS
60 qt. Pizza Mixer handles 50 lb. bag of flour Direct gear drive transmission • Rigid cast iron construction
Globe Food Equipment Co. | www.globefoodequip.com MOISTURE-ABSORBENT TOPPINGS CONDITIONER/SUPPLIES
ON HOLD MARKETING/PHONE SERVICES
62 PMQ PIZZA MAGAZINE | THE WORLD’S AUTHORITY ON PIZZA
PIZZA INDUSTRY RESOURCE GUIDE
ON HOLD MARKETING/PHONE SERVICES
CUSTOMIZE YOUR PIZZA BOX SAVE $$$ on BOXES TAKE YOUR IMAGE TO THE NEXT LEVEL
7” to 36” Custom Boxes and Odd Sizes Available
UP TO 4-COLORS | NO PLATE FEES*
ONLINE DATA REPORTS
Your Strategic Partner for Company Growth Contact us at email@example.com or visit www.euromonitor.com
Rectangular Flat Bread Boxes Available
888.400.3455 ext.107 | wpackaging.net 2001 East Cooley Drive, Colton, CA 92324
Cut pizza. Not corners. Your pizza. Our box. Quality matters. westrock.com/pizza
Discover all the pizza trends in the Pizza Consumer Trend Report. 312.506.4060 | firstname.lastname@example.org
ONLINE GROWTH PLATFORM
15231 WR Pizza ad 3.5 x 1 FINAL 010820.indd 1
1/8/20 11:54 AM
ONLINE ORDERING PIZZA DOUGH, PLANT-BASED
LET’S GROW TOGETHER. RICH’S NEW PLANT-BASED PIZZA , FLATBREAD AND ROLL DOUGH.
DISCOVER OUR ENTIRE PLANT-BASED PORTFOLIO AT RICHSFOODSERVICE.COM/PLANT-BASED-SOLUTIONS
PIZZA DELIVERY THERMAL BAGS
Grow Your Business with the power of online ordering More Orders. Starting Now.
SliceLife.com/JoinNow or (844) 880-2346 PINEAPPLE
NOVEMBER 2020 | PMQ.COM
THE PIZZA EXCHANGE
Stone Deck, Pizza Dome, and Bakery
www.univexcorp.com Tel. 800-258-6358 Fax. 603-893-1249
TRADITIONAL, FAST CASUAL, ARTISAN... WE’VE GOT PIZZA COVERED VENTLESS IMPINGEMENT CONVEYORS, BATCH, AND ARTISAN BATCH OVENS 1-800-90TURBO | www.turbochef.com
the POWER to
64 PMQ PIZZA MAGAZINE | THE WORLD’S AUTHORITY ON PIZZA
PIZZA INDUSTRY RESOURCE GUIDE
Since 1915, The Neil Jones Food Company has been producing premium quality tomato and custom blend sauces. A family owned and operated corporation, we only pack from the freshest and finest vine-ripened California tomatoes. So whether you prefer classic #10 cans or new shelf-stable pouches, you will always get the very best in fresh packed tomato products from Neil Jones Food.
Find your scale at YamatoAmericas.com
TELEPHONE EQUIPMENT/SUPPLIES/SERVICE PIZZA SUPPLIES
• Pizza Preparation and Delivery Products •
TOMATO PRODUCTS National Marketing, Inc.
Manufacturers’ Direct Pricing • Call or order online • We export
610-463-0508 | themailshark.com/PMQ20
pmq.com/Recipe-Bank/ NOVEMBER 2020 | PMQ.COM
PIZZA HALL OF FAME
(Clockwise from left) Joe’s Pizza King kicked off the Lombardo family’s pizza empire; Pete Lombardo, greatgrandfather of Jim Jr., stands in front of his location, Gino’s Pizza, in the ’70s; a young Jim Lombardo Jr. works with dough; Pizza Gino spawned several other locations; Giuseppe Lombardo purchased Joe’s Pizza King in 1974.
Has your pizzeria been in business for 50 years or longer? If so, contact us at email@example.com.
JOE’S PIZZA KING For four generations, the Lombardo family has woven a web of pizzerias in western Michigan, creating an impressive pizza dynasty that now spans 12 locations. BY TRACY MORIN When Sicilian immigrant Giuseppe Lombardo arrived in the United States in 1957, he worked various odd jobs to make ends meet—and one of those happened to involve making pizza. After connecting with two business partners who sold supplies like cheese and pepperoni, he eventually helped out when they opened their own pizza shop in 1960, Pizza King in Wyoming, Michigan, outside of Grand Rapids. When a number of Giuseppe’s family members from Sicily also emigrated the following year, more pizzerias were soon under way. “My greatgrandfather opened Gino’s Pizza (named after his brother) in 1962, with my grandfather helping him,” explains Jim Lombardo Jr., grandson of Giuseppe and current owner of Lombardo’s Sicilian Pizza and Lombardo’s Pizzeria & Sports Bar, both in Muskegon, Michigan. “My grandfather bought the pizzeria he helped open, renaming it Joe’s Pizza King, in 1974, and added his own spin, bringing in the family sauce recipe. Today, that location is owned by my father, Jim Lombardo Sr.” The family now oversees 12 pizzerias under various names in western Michigan. Among these, Jim Jr.’s brother, Nick, owns two outposts of Lombardo’s Pizza, Gino’s sons expanded to multiple locations, and Jim opened his two outlets within the last three years to serve Sicilian pizzas
and stromboli to Muskegon. Meanwhile, Jim Sr. maintains a superhuman work ethic; his pizza spot still stays open until 3 a.m. on weekends. “I think the older generations don’t know anything but work, and it gives them a sense of purpose,” Jim Jr. says. “No one retires in my family.” Jim Jr., too, absorbed the passion for pizza over many years of working in his father’s shop and carries that wealth of knowledge to his own businesses. From childhood, he helped tackle tasks like grinding cheese, folding boxes and answering phones. Today, he and his wife, Kelsey, keep their pizzerias (decorated with scores of old photos that reflect the family’s lengthy pizza history) running smoothly while catching up with customers and connecting with the local community through school sponsorships and local charity events. The couple’s own children, who are too young to be involved quite yet, are already a regular presence. “Doing every job in the pizzeria helps keep you grounded—nothing scares you when you feel like you’ve been in every situation before at least once,” Jim Jr. says. “My father encouraged us kids to find a different path than the restaurant industry, but growing up, I never wanted to do anything other than making pizza.” Tracy Morin is PMQ’s senior copy editor.
66 PMQ PIZZA MAGAZINE | THE WORLD’S AUTHORITY ON PIZZA
Billy’s Pizza & Pasta is seeing 8x the sales with Slice. Our ordering tech and marketing is keeping thousands of pizzerias like Billy’s thriving. Find out how we can modernize operations, increase orders, and create loyal customers for your business.
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Bar-B-Que Popcorn Chicken!
® Popcorn chicken tossed in our award winning sweet and smoky BBQ sauces!
La Nova Wings
Joey Todaro, III, Wing King
CALL FOR A FREE SAMPLE 716-984-5666 @joeylanova @lanovawings
Open camera and scan code to learn more!