Pizzeria Planning: Designing and Maintaining an Efficient Pizza Kitchen

Type: Guide
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The restaurant industry is a vibrant part of the American economy. According to the National Restaurant Association, restaurant-industry sales were forecast to increase 5 percentage 2007, equaling about 4 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product. Americans spent about $1.5 billion in restaurants on a typical day in 2007. More than seven out of 10 eating-anddrinking places are single-unit operations.

The pizzeria contributes about $35 billion a year to that total. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 75,000 pizza restaurants are in operation in the United States.

Owning a restaurant isn’t all gravy, however. Operators typically work long hours, and days off and holidays often can be a distant memory. Along with the daily chores of hiring and staffing, ordering food and supplies and making sure customers are taken care of, a restaurant owner is responsible for the bottom line — that is, making sure the business is a profitable one.

Today, challenges to operating a profitable pizzeria include the rising costs of fuel and energy, cheese, equipment, maintenance, rent and labor. Despite the strength of the restaurant industry, the fact remains that the odds are stacked against the success of a new restaurant. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 60 percent of new restaurants fail within the first year.

Although there is no absolute guarantee of pizzeria success, soon-to-be restaurant owners can take steps to maximize the chances their operations will be lasting and profitable. Some of those steps start in the pizzeria kitchen. The choice of equipment, layout, ventilation and a myriad of other factors can work together to maximize the efficiency of a pizzeria kitchen. In this guide, we’ll look at some of the kitchen choices operators can make to help increase their chances of running a profitable operation.

I’d like to thank Roto-Flex Oven Co., whose kind sponsorship of this guide enables us to bring it to you at no cost.

Richard Slawsky, editor of Pizza Marketplace