May 01, 2012
Down, But Not Out
It’s the middle of your Friday night rush and your oven suddenly goes down. Or you walk in on Saturday morning to find that a power outage the night before caused your dough to blow and the contents of your walk-in refrigerator to spoil.
It can happen at any time. Thankfully, proper precautions can help you be prepared.
Purchase back-up parts for your oven. What is most likely to fail on your unit? For a deck, keep a pilot safety, thermostat and door opening assist springs on hand. For a conveyor, consider stocking a drive motor, speed servo, chain belt repair kit and a few specialized electrical switches and fuses, says consultant Big Dave Ostrander.
“(For your walk-in refrigerator), buy the biggest generator you can afford,” Ostrander says. “It will pay for itself after it saves all of your refrigerated food from the dumpster and keeps your doors open.”
If an outage causes your dough to blow, don’t panic. Pizza Today has an “emergency dough” formula that can be used in these situations, courtesy of our Dough Doctor, Tom Lehmann. Click here to see it.
Prepping for the Lunch Rush
Despite going through it every single day, there are times when that rush from 11-2 overwhelms a restaurant staff. But lunch isn’t a four-letter word, and it doesn’t have to be treated as such by your kitchen crew and servers! The lunch window is the narrowest in the day-part of your operation — the worker bees have to get back to the office in 30-60 minutes, so they need their food fast.
To meet that goal (and to do it with a smile on your face) takes advanced preparation. That’s easy with soups and salads, but there are plenty of advance steps you can take with other menu items as well, ranging from sandwiches to pasta. Yes … even pasta.
When it comes to advanced prepping, there clearly are do’s and don’ts. Make sure you follow the do’s and avoid the don’ts by clicking here to read Pat Bruno’s inside look at handling the lunch rush with ease.
Tend with Care
Wood-burning ovens are all the rage right now, and for good reason. Is there anything more beautiful than a perfectly charred pizza crust? But cooking pizza — or anything else — in these infernos isn’t easy for beginners. The fast bake times and temperamental hot spots leave little to chance. To get it right, the pizza maker has to be well trained and on top of his game.
If you’re opening a new pizzeria with a wood-burner as its centerpiece, make training a priority from the very start. You’ll need to specialize your dough recipe and understand how the oven works inside and out before opening day.
Click here to get started with Pat Bruno’s advice, complete with a dough recipe designed specifically for a wood-burning oven.
Don’t Let Bugs Get the Upper Hand
It’s that time of year again — if it creeps, crawls or flies, there’s a good chance you’re seeing it around your pizzeria. Bugs love your protein supply (think flour). And, hey, your pizza is great. Why wouldn’t they want to come on in?
In all seriousness, pests can be more than a nuisance. They can disrupt diners and even earn you a health department shutdown. Get the upper hand before it’s too late by taking common-sense precautions such as cleaning and sanitizing food contact surfaces, storing food in covered containers and covering garbage receptacles.
But did you know there are other areas that need your attention? Leaky faucets attract bugs, as can excess cardboard.
For a pest control checklist courtesy of Pizza Today.com, click here.
Read Pizza Today on Your iPad or Android Tablet!
Guess which magazine is the very first foodservice trade publication on the Apple newsstand? That’s right, Pizza Today.
To download the free Pizza Today iPad app, go to the App store on your iPad and search “Pizza Today.” Or go to the newsstand store and look for Pizza Today in the featured apps section.
If you’re on an Android tablet, go to the Android Market/Google Play store and click on “Apps.” Search “Pizza Today.”
“There’s no doubt that tablets are changing the publishing world,” says Pizza Today editor-in-chief, Jeremy White. “Right now, we have a hand in publishing’s future. As a Pizza Today reader, you’re going to have a hand in it as well. We want and need your feedback. We want you to help us paint this blank canvas. Together, we’ll take this magazine where you need it to go as a reader. It’s not our magazine — it’s yours. That will be more evident than ever when you read it on your tablet.”
To download the app for your tablet, click here.
Featured Recipe — Clam Pizza with Red Sauce
Is there anything more delicious than a New Haven-style clam pie? For those who love seafood on their “apizza”, the answer is a resounding no. This recipe tips its hat to the philosophy of the original, but meshes that with traditional Italian pizza through the incorporation of tomatoes. It’s a whole new take, but we think it works thanks to the red pepper flakes and garlic.
Clam Pizza with Red Sauce
14-inch pizza shell
¾ cup all-purpose crushed tomatoes
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons clam juice
For the rest of this delicious recipe, click here.