International Pizza Expo Contest Winners Announced
Thousands of pizzeria owners who signed up to receive this new Quick Tip’s e-
newsletter from Pizza Today were entered to win an all-expenses-paid trip to
International Pizza Expo 2012 in Las Vegas. There are five grand-prize winners, as well
as 140 additional runner-up winners. These lucky operators were randomly drawn at the
Pizza Today office on November 2. Are you one of the prizewinners?
Get a Grip on Energy Costs
To ease the burden of rising energy costs, start by taking a look at your HVAC system.
The unit not only maintains the current climate control in your restaurant, but it also
controls exhaust from the kitchen. One way to maintain climate in the back and front of
the house is to install two or more HVAC units. While costly in the beginning, you’re
likely to see a more even internal temperature throughout.
Tips for saving energy (sourced from the Washington State University Cooperative
Extension Energy Program and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance) include:
• Use the thermostat factory settings. Leave the thermostat settings at 76 F for
cooling and 68 F for heating. Each degree of heating or cooling can cost an additional
four to five percent in energy costs.
• Use the thermostat’s night setback feature. Set the thermostat to bring your
restaurant to temperature no earlier than needed.
• Opt for florescent lighting and save as much as 1/4 on your energy output. Plus,
the bulbs expel less heat than traditional light bulbs, helping to keep your restaurant
Click here to see how one Straw Hat Pizza franchisee lowered monthly energy costs by
Calculating Ingredient Costs
Do you know exactly what it costs you to make each of your pizzas? If not, your price
structure may not be as ideal as it should be. You can’t begin to calculate your food costs
without understanding your ingredient costs.
So the first step is to write down all the ingredients used in a given pizza (or other
food product). Next, look at your invoice to see what you are paying for each of the
ingredients. Determine the number of ounces in each order so that you can ascertain the
price per ounce that you pay for each ingredient.
Once you have that, you’re ready to go.
Begin by weighing your ingredients as you make your pizza and recording the number of
ounces you use for each ingredient (dough, sauce, cheese, meat and veggie toppings).
Now, take the number of ounces for each ingredient and multiply that by the ingredient’s
respective cost per ounce. For example, if your sauce costs 10 cents per ounce (a purely
hypothetical example using round numbers to make the math simple) and you use 7
ounces of sauce on the pizza you are pricing, that means you put 70 cents worth of sauce
onto that pizza.
Repeat this method for all ingredients, then add the numbers together for your grand total.
Don’t forget to add the price of your boxes if you offer carryout or delivery!
Once you know precisely what each menu item costs you to make, you’re now armed to
adjust your prices to maximize profits and keep food costs percentages in check.
Want to learn more about food costs and pricing?
Click here to check out this Pizza Today article.
The U.S. has without question gone mobile. In fact, wireless penetration in the U.S. is
well over 90 percent. What’s more, the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) reports
that nearly 30 percent of users sport smart phones. And they use these phones to access
your Web site and menu — which means you need a mobile site ASAP.
The good news? Mobile Web is cost effective — as little as $150 can get you up and
The key to a good mobile site is simplicity. Above all else, make sure your phone
number, address and menu can be easily accessed. And don’t forget your logo!
Wanna learn more about taking your site mobile?
Click here to get the inside scoop.
Don’t Blow It
Proper dough management procedures are paramount when it comes to creating
consistency with your pizzeria’s featured product. There’s a lot of misinformation out
there regarding fermentation temperatures, so let’s allow this newsletter to set the record
straight once and for all.
Though some believe it is best to let dough rest at room temperature for a while before
taking it to the cooler to ferment, that simply is not the case, says our Dough Doctor, Tom
“When dough balls are allowed to rest at room temperature before going into the cooler,
they begin to ferment, becoming less dense,” Lehmann says. “As a result, the dough
becomes a better insulator.”
When this happens, the ultimate result is that the dough has difficulty cooling uniformly.
That’s a recipe for blown dough if we’ve ever seen one.
Click here to learn more about proper dough management procedures..
When purchasing knives for your commercial kitchen, keep in mind that stainless steel
with a low carbon content is easier to keep clean and keeps the appearance of newness
longer than other types of knives. However, a high carbon content generally means
the knives will last longer and hold a sharp edge longer when properly cleaned and
Regardless of whether you go high-carbon or low-carbon, be sure to purchase a knife that
has a sturdy handle constructed from either polycarbonate or nylon material rather than
wood. The synthetic materials typically provide longer wear and easier cleanup.
Finally, go with contoured grips, which are easier to use and therefore heighten not only
user comfort, but also safety.
To find suppliers of smallwares, equipment and other pizzeria needs,Click here to check out the Pizza Today Vendor Directory.
Featured Recipe — Pancetta & Potato Pizza
High-end salumi — think sopressata, prosciutto, speck — are red hot right now. For our
featured recipe in this Quick Tips, we’ve selected a non-traditional white pizza that is
sure to be a crowd pleaser thanks to its interesting use of pancetta.
Pancetta & Potato Pizza
14-inch pizza shell
¼ pound lean pancetta, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Click here to see the rest of this delicious recipe.