August 2016


Pizza Today Front Cover August 2016

2016 Independent Pizzeria of the Year — Sizzle Pie

We go in depth into the 2016 Independent Pizzeria of the Year, Portland, Oregon-based Sizzle Pie. Also in this issue: protecting trade secrets, a marketing competition Q&A and HVAC care.

August 1, 2016 |

Pizza Competition

A roundtable talk on philosophy, standing out, and competitive analysis Competition. It’s a word that may make some operators lose sleep at night. Battling for your share of the market is a critical issue whether you’re in a metropolitan city of millions or in a small town of 1,000. Every operator approaches competition differently. Six…Read More

New Jersey-based Emma’s Brick Oven Pizza has trademarked several of its menu items.

August 1, 2016 |

Curbing Copycats

How to best protect your recipes and trade secrets The headlines alone are enough to seize the attention of pizzeria operators who have toiled to define and distinguish their concept. “Pizzeria owner sues competitor, saying he stole family recipes,” reads one from The News-Herald in Cleveland. “Pizza War: Colony Grill owners cry foul over imitators’…Read More

August 1, 2016 |

More Pizza Competition Q&A

PT: When it comes to pizza competition, I never… Jerrier: “sweat the small stuff”.  This is a marathon, not a sprint.  We are in this for the long haul.  Lots of competitors and copycats will open…and ultimately close.  You can’t make crappy pizza and stand the test of time.  Once people realize what a hassle…Read More

pineappe upside down pizza

August 1, 2016 |

Pineapple a Day

Diving into the many uses of “king of the pizza fruit” Without a doubt, pineapple is the king of pizza fruit. Pairing pineapple with salty pork, luxurious melting cheeses, spicy jalapeño, nuts and herbs transforms a boring pie into a memorable experience. In any pizzeria, one of the “must have” toppings is this spiny fruit,…Read More

August 1, 2016 |

Destinations: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

A look at pizzerias in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Caliente Pizza & Draft House The three-unit Caliente has built quite the reputation for beer and pizza in the Steel City. Chef Eric Von Hansen won the Pan Division at the 2016 International Pizza Challenge with the Quack Attack, a pizza containing pan-seared duck breast, roasted garlic butter…Read More

August 1, 2016 |

Dough Doctor: Artificial sweetener and PZ-44

Q: Can I use an artificial sweetener in my dough to replace the sugar? A: It all depends on what function you want the artificial sweetener to have in your dough. Artificial sweeteners are not fermentable, so they will not support fermentation and neither do they make a significant contribution to the finished crust color….Read More

August 1, 2016 |

HVAC: The Heat is On

Proactive HVAC maintenance helps ward off bigger, more costly problems Though food remains king in the restaurant industry, environment isn’t far behind. For any restaurant, a clean and comfortable establishment is central to pleasing guests and driving business –– and the role of heating and air conditioning in the process cannot be overlooked. Indeed, customers…Read More

August 1, 2016 |

4 questions to ask an HVAC service provider

Given that commercial –– and certainly pizzeria –– HVAC units face unique demands compared to residential HVAC systems, it’s important operators find a service provider with the relevant experience and knowledge to address a restaurant’s specific HVAC needs. These four questions can help a pizzeria land a capable provider: Do you have experience with restaurant…Read More

August 1, 2016 |

Habits of Quality

Create an exceptional system for quality control You can’t afford to be reactive where quality control is concerned. Although it’s easy to let daily operations detract from proactive behavior, when the safety and satisfaction of your customers are affected, you can never be too vigilant. But how do you ensure your ingredients are high quality?…Read More

August 1, 2016 |

Commentary: Pizza with Sizzle

When I visited Sizzle Pie in Portland, Oregon, in late spring to interview founders Mikey McKennedy and Matt Jacobson, I was impressed by their lineup of vegan pizzas. I’m a carnivore. I didn’t expect to like vegan pizza. To date, I’d never had one I liked. Then I tasted theirs. Don’t get me wrong —…Read More