An interview with Marra Forni Founder Francesco Marra

Q: Why is choosing between domestically produced and imported ovens such a difficult decision for restaurateurs?

FM: There are many factors to consider. If consumers aren’t educated about a particular product, they will fall for the cheaper options. Sure, you might save a little bit of money today, but in the long term, you’re going to spend a lot more. If you’re looking for equipment that’s accompanied by great customer service, logistical assistance, post-delivery support, engineering assistance, and a tech service department, a domestic oven might sound expensive to you, but it’s definitely going to get you the best return on your investment in the long term.


Q: Why do domestically manufactured ovens cost more?

FM: Quality comes with a price. If one company has a staff of 60-70 people and another only has one-tenth of that labor force, that should tell you who the best option will be. All the additional value a company provides adds to the cost. Of course, you have to do your research to make sure the company really provides that extra value, but once you do that, the budget should not dictate the decision to buy a good piece of equipment.


Q: Why is domestic the best way to go?

FM: First, we’re in the U.S. So, we should support our own companies. Also, an importer doesn’t necessarily know American manufacturing standards. The U.S. has higher standards, ensuring a quality work environment, safe employees, and a better product. This is vital. Marra Forni provides ETL and NSF certifications. It takes years to get certified. It’s too easy for a company that has not gone through the certification process to provide a cheaper product because they didn’t have to put up the upfront investment.


Q: What would you say to a restaurateur contemplating this big decision?

FM: A restaurateur might say, “Domestically manufactured ovens are too expensive.” Well, a pizza in Italy is 4 euros, while a pizza in the U.S. is an average of $12-$20. But we live in the U.S., so the cost of doing business is higher, the cost of labor is higher—the overhead, the liability insurance, everything is more expensive.


Q: What are some additional benefits of working with your company?

FM:  Marra Forni produces one of the highest-performing brick ovens on the market today and is 100% made in the USA. Most of all, we’re here for you with 24-hour nationwide tech support, culinary support, and customer service. Don’t go with the cheapest option; choose the one that will deliver the most value in the long-term.

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