Innovations in pizza
delivery have made cold,
soggy pies a thing of the past.
By Michelle McAnally It’s in the Bag
Ever since Naples pizzeria owner Raffaele Esposito made the first pizza delivery, to Italy’s Queen Mar- gherita in 1889, restaurateurs have been searching for better ways to get hot pies to their customers.
Fast-forward to 1982, when Ingrid Kosar patented the first
hot bag made specifically for pizza. Kosar’s invention combined
insulation with ventilation to keep the pizza hot while preventing condensation from turning it to mush. The next wave of
innovation brought heated bags that incorporated electric elements, warmed disks or electromagnetic pellets. Today’s bags
can hold two to 10 pizzas and come with strap options and even
reflectors for safer night deliveries.
With so many high-tech bags on the market, there is no excuse for delivering a cold and soggy pie to your customer’s door.
Hot pizzas mean repeat business for operators and better tips
for drivers, so it pays to do your homework and choose the right
bag for your delivery needs.
Hot pizzas generate repeat business for the pizzeria and higher tips for delivery
drivers, so it’s important to choose the right bag for your delivery needs.
Kosar says the inspiration for her revolutionary thermal bag
came out of her own experiences with cold delivery pizzas. Recognizing an open niche, she contacted Domino’s Pizza (
domi-nospizza.com). “Domino’s needed a thermal bag that would
keep its small cheese pizzas above 160° for 45 minutes. What
we gave them, beyond the temperature retention, was a thermal
bag that released the steam but retained the heat, so they would
not deliver soggy pizzas,” says Kosar, owner of Thermal Bags by
Ingrid in Gilberts, Illinois. “When we did that, we knew we were
in business.” A thermal bag may be made with a vinyl, nylon,
polyester or Cordura exterior and with Thinsulate, polyester or
foam insulation. Vinyl bags are the least expensive, but they can
trap moisture over time. Nylon and polyester bags are popular
because they’re durable and allow moisture to escape. Cordura
bags are very strong, yet they have the breathability of nylon.
Good thermal bags will lose heat at a rate of only about 4° per
hour, so look for quality insulation and bag lining and solid construction. “Look for polyester batting insulation and lining that
doesn’t hold moisture or smells, so you can deliver your pie hot
and dry,” says Jenny Sanios, vice president of Bag Solutions in
Yorkville, Illinois. “Double-sewn linings and handles help make
sure your bag doesn’t rip apart.”
Internally Heated Bags
Internally heated bags utilize interior heating elements with
an external power cord, allowing the entire bag to be plugged
into an electrical outlet. Most also come with adapters for car
cigarette lighters, and the bags will stay hot as long as they are
plugged in. With some models, the cord can be disconnected
from the bag, and the heating element will maintain warmth for
up to 45 minutes. “A heated bag will allow delivery customers