2011 August: Five Questions

Randy Hueffmeier started Randy’s Premier Pizza in 1986 and has been making some gargantuan pies ever since. He has also earned a handful of national and international pizza-making and spinning honors in the 25 years since opening his pizza shop.

Q: What is the Randy’s Pizza Challenge?

A: We actually have a total of nine challenges. The main three are: a 30-inch challenge (four people have 30 minutes to eat a two-topping pizza, one of which needs to be a meat — and if they eat it in 30 minutes or less, they receive free t-shirts and the pizza is free); a 36-inch challenge that is the same thing, but with five people; and a 48-inch pizza challenge is nine people … With each of those, there are money challenges, as well. So for the 30-inch, (the) standard is four people … if two people eat it, it’s $500; if one person eats it, it’s $1,000. With the 36 and the 48, there are two money challenges, as well.

Q: How much product is used for the 48-inch pizza, and what are its food costs?

A: It starts with about a 12-pound dough ball. There is about three-quarters of a gallon of sauce, 70 ounces of sausage, 16 and a half pounds of cheese, and I would venture to say about 1,000 pepperonis. The food cost … I suggest, at least, you need to get the same price as you are getting for your regular pizzas — so my food cost runs right around 25 percent.

Q: What are your most successful ways to market the challenge?

A: If you get this out there to birthday parties, to anywhere people are, the pizza will market itself. It will take on a life all of its own. You just have to get it out there in front of people. On the radio stations, try to set something up just like little events in your local community and get your paper involved.

Q: Modifications were made to your deck oven. How did you accommodate such large pizzas?

A: I can get two 30-inches in my pizza oven at one time. The 36-inch isn’t bad because it’s the size of my oven. For the 48-inch, I had to make an extension for it to be able to accommodate the larger size. It’s an extension that comes out to cover the door.

Q: How do you hand toss a 12-pound dough ball?

A: You know, very carefully. I can toss the 30-inch up in the air and flip that. The 36-inch, I can do that as well. The 48-inch, I can only toss it so far. It’s a lot of weight and then I have to work it on the table to hand stretch the edges. I just keep working it until I get it big enough.