Tips for a faster slice

Storing pizza slices in a temperature-controlled cabinet can help speed up turnaround.



QUESTION:

We have an opportunity to open a pizza shop in a mall food court. The store will be small, and we would like to sell pizza by the slice. In your opinion, what is the best way to ensure the fastest turnaround on orders when dealing with slices?

ANSWER:

By far, you can achieve the fastest turnaround by using prepared pizzas that are cut into slices and stored in a temperature-/humidity-controlled cabinet for immediate sale. (A number of such cabinets are designed specifically for pizza storage.) However, rather than selling the slices directly from the cabinet, I would recommend that you first run them through a small deck oven for a minute or less to refresh them and add some crispiness to the bottom of the slice. For optimal results, reheat them while you are processing the customer’s payment and preparing his drink order. By taking this approach, you can usually hand over a fresh, hot, tasty slice to the customer in about 60 seconds.

The only downside is that your menu will be limited—only the pizzas that are already in the holding cabinet will be available, and you won’t be able to handle special orders with different or additional toppings. But if you’re looking for a fast turnaround, I don’t think you can beat 60 to 90 seconds!

For the type of operation you’ve got in mind, we normally start during the preopening hours and make par-baked pizza skins with half of the sauce applied. These pies can usually be stored on a covered rack at room temperature until they’re needed to prepare a complete pizza. To prepare the pizza, you need only apply the remainder of the sauce and the desired toppings and then bake it. The par-baking actually seems to help the slices hold up a little better in the temperature/humidity storage cabinet. As soon as the pizzas are baked, you can slice them and place the slices in the holding cabinet for up to about two hours.

QUESTION:

We always open our dough balls into pizza skins by table stretching. What is the best bench-top surface for this method of opening the dough balls?

ANSWER:

I think I’ve worked with just about every possible surface over the years. For this method of opening the dough balls, I’ve found that marble/granite or manmade quartz work very well, but both options are also quite expensive. The one surface that works well and doesn’t cost a lot is stainless steel. If a stainless steel bench top works with the ambiance of your pizza store, it will be hard to beat for cost, performance and durability.


 

Edit Module

Tell us what you think at or email.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Recipe of the Month: Roasted Cauliflower and Prosciutto Pizza

Polly-O crafts a flavorful treat with this pie featuring roasted cauliflower, prosciutto, garlic and Parmesan

Pizza Without Borders - Competition Heats Up in the Eastern Bloc

As more pizza competitions and associations pop up in Russia, Bulgaria and Poland, the quality of pizza and prestige of the pizzaiolo continues to rise.

The Chef's Corner: Scott Wiener Q&A

PMQ test chef Brian Hernandez discusses the ins and outs of Scott Wiener's pizza tours, his experience with the pizza industry, and what's next for the pizza-crazed entrepreneur.

From the Editor - A New Year and a New Look For PMQ

This month we focus on the explosive growth of Artichoke Basille and roll out a new look for the magazine!

Product Spotlight: January-February 2018

Dough trays, tomato strips, yeast, menus, ovens and more.

Extra! Extra! Read all about the Pizza Press, a unique fast-casual chain in Southern California

At the Pizza Press, pizza makers are the “editors” and customers get to “publish” the pie of their choice.

Take a hike: How to cope with a higher minimum wage

A pizzeria owner in Washington state offers a four-pronged strategy for staying profitable in an era of rising labor costs.

10 tips for adding a take-and-bake option

Tom “The Dough Doctor” Lehmann walks you through the steps for modifying your dough formula and procedure.

The Chef’s Corner: Scott Wiener and the Mo-Heato

The popular owner of Scott’s Pizza Tours isn’t a professional chef, but this recipe will make you think otherwise.

All ‘Choked Up: How a couple of East Village pizza guys became Food Network stars

Artichoke Basille’s has boomed from a shoebox-size Manhattan underdog to a 12-store media magnet—and now sets its sights on franchising.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags