Restaurants: What needs to change, Vol 1

A formerly partially frozen AP Festival Pizza.

I get asked all the time if I would get back into the restaurant business. 

The follow up question is typically along the lines of ‘what would you do different,’ or something like that. 

Hard “NO” on #1, but I think a lot about #2.

Nobody doesn’t know it’s awful out there right now. So much pivoting … 

These people may not be coming back.  Barring an economic shift (which will come at some point). A topic for another post.

What would I do if was to open another pizza shop? Start with the pizza itself. There is nothing new under the sun, but you can innovate with existing products and procedures. (And tech. Could this be a business blog entry/ linkedin-thing if I didn’t mention tech?)

** Remember, we are simplifying and automating crap procedures. Nobody wants these jobs right now.

  1. Use a raw frozen dough skin. You cannot know how many unwanted employee hours are deleted here—and potential order problems solved. Austin’s Pizza of the past did this: we used them at ACL. Guess what? Pizza was sometimes better there than at the stores. 
  2. Use an automatic sauce machine/ robot. They exist. They probably work. It seems like a small thing but it’s not. 
  3. Get a dairy to develop a pizza-sized cheese sheet. Trust me on this. I have been to cheese plants (oh the smells). They can make a 14” log and slice it with deli paper in the middle. 

We have cut out a huge amount of non-staff-able, poop-y labor, we have avoided most problems that can occur before the restaurant opens, and we have reduced costs with perfect measurements. If all of this can be done from frozen even better. 

All the (only one) person has to do is set this pizza in the oven. That’s it. A HUGE amount of pizzas are just cheese.

Part 2 coming soon; probably Fridays. 

-jd

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