Opening up a pizza shop for the first time is exciting. But the thrill of finally becoming your own boss is often stunted by the overwhelming to-do list that seems to grow and grow. At first, it is clear that you have to get a lot of big equipment like a pizza oven, dough mixer, pizza prep table and
refrigeration. But when you get down to the smallwares and fine details of kitchen operations, the shopping list starts to get a little fuzzy.
To alleviate your stress levels and keep opening day on track, let’s take a look at the essential smallwares that are found in most successful pizza restaurants.
Keep It Together
Storage is a big deal when your profits depend on it. A spoiled inventory can kill your margins for the week, month or quarter. Stock up on the right storage tools to keep your ingredients fresh and ready for business.
Ingredient Bins are perfect for storing and transporting dry ingredients such as flour and yeast. Simply roll the bin over to the dough mixer and scoop out the measured amount directly into the mixing bowl. Close the lid to seal in the contents and keep invasive insects out.
Scales are necessary for accurate dough production. When forming pizza dough balls it is imperative to keep all of the formed dough balls the same size and weight for each size of pizza. This cuts out waste and provides a consistent product for your customers.
Food Storage Boxes are sometimes called cheese tubs in pizza restaurants mainly because they are very handy for storing freshly shredded cheese. Be sure to check if the fitted lid comes with the storage box as they are often sold separately.
Dough Boxes keep fresh dough proofing safely within a contained environment. These boxes are stackable, which is handy for pizza restaurants making several batches of dough at a time. It is important to learn the ins and outs of making pizza dough, forming dough balls and how to store pizza dough in the cooler. An entire batch can “blow” if stored improperly and can cause pretty chaotic results.
Food Pans are an essential storage item for ingredients on the pizza line. Ninth, third and full-size food pans are built to fit perfectly into pizza prep tables in a variety of combinations to help cooks quickly put pizzas together.
Prep for Success
Your pizza prep table is “home base” for most of your pizza making operations. Keep it ready for the rush and sail smoothly through the lunch and dinner rush.
Cheese Graters are absolutely essential for all pizza shops, but grating by hand is time-consuming and tedious. Consider investing in an electronic cheese grater that can produce much more grated cheese per hour.
Meat Slicers are perfect for fresh slices of pepperoni. Or, if your pizza restaurant offers sub sandwiches, meat slicers prove to be a versatile and worthy investment for your kitchen. Be sure to thoroughly clean your slicer between each use to stop cross-contamination and the spread of harmful bacteria.
High Volume Produce Equipment assists in slicing, chopping and dicing bulk amounts of common pizza toppings like onions, tomato and green peppers. High volume produce equipment includes fry cutters and lettuce cutters for restaurants offering fresh fries and salads on the menu.
Prep Table Pans typically come standard with the purchase of a pizza prep table, but sometimes you need to alter the configuration to get your setup just right. Take a look at how your prep table is set up and consider if you need to adjust the lineup with different sized pans for various ingredients.
Pizza Pans, Pizza Screens and Pizza Stones
provide a cooking surface for your pizza to rest on. Pizza pans are ideal for thick crust or deep dish pizzas while pizza screens allow higher heat to reach the dough for crispy or thinner crusts. Pizza stones are perfect for restaurants that are not operating with a wood or stone deck oven.
Pizza Peels help you safely slide pizza into and out of the oven. Pizza peels can be used to slide under pizza pans, screens and stones, but they can also maneuver pizza baked without a pan in and out of wood fired ovens and stone decks.
Dough Dockers prevent blisters from forming in the crust while the dough is baking. Simply roll the pins of a docker over the crust before adding ingredients or placing the finished pie into the oven.
Serve Something Special
Pizza Slicers, sometimes called pizza cutting wheels, and pizza knives are essential to every restaurant serving pizza. Used along with a pizza cutting guide,these tools allow you to slice or cut even pieces of pizza prior to serving.
Pizza Table Stands keep hot pizza pans off the table and out of accidental touching distance for customers. These specialized stands also assist in maximizing table space for dine-in customers.
Pizza Servers slide right underneath slices of pizza and assist in serving up hot pieces of pie. Servers can be placed under a single slice prior to serving the pizza to a table.
Get your pizza shop up to snuff with the right tools in place. Keep your customers happy and your bottom line manageable with the right gear to get you going and keep you going.