POS systems are must-haves for all but the
most old-fashioned pizzerias, and they tend
to come with plenty of bells and whistles.
Delivery and carryout operations also require a place to hold pies (such as heated
cabinets), hot bags and boxes—all while maintaining top-notch pie quality—plus
other packaging and disposable utensils, napkins and similar items, Bendas notes.
But dine-in has its own challenges, requiring equipment for warewashing (i.e., a
three-compartment sink) and glassware. For dine-ins, Neyrey adds, “You need a
sound system/music service and dine-in furniture—tables, chairs, barstools and
patio furniture, plus baby chairs, high chairs and booster seats for kids.” In delivery
and takeout operations, he advises branding items such as pizza boxes, hot bags and
takeout equipment for marketing purposes. He also advises you to ask for samples
from container/box manufacturers to see how well your products hold up over time
in those containers.
In any pizzeria, smallwares will also be necessary—Neyrey mentions rocker knives
and rolling cutters, pizza peels (metal or wooden), pots and pans, cooking utensils
(such as spoons and tongs), food storage containers, a rolling dough rack and a can
opener, to name a few. For deep-dish pizzas, Lehmann suggests pan grippers and
long-blade spatulas (as opposed to knives) to avoid damaging pans when extracting
Additionally, Neyrey observes, you’ll need to satisfy health department requirements (i.e., restroom supplies and a mop sink) and take care of security needs (
installing an alarm system, surveillance and a safe). Finally, don’t forget your beverage
service—you may need a soda fountain, an ice machine or ice maker, a bottle cooler
and/or a kegerator (which allows for two to three beers on draft without a complete
draft system). Make a list of everything you’ll need to stock before you begin, and
work with your distributor to determine your best options.
Ultimately, no matter how you plan for immediate concerns—getting your
pizzeria up and running—you’ll also want to look a bit further into your future.
“Have a three- to five-year plan before you even think about equipment,” Lehmann
urges. “If you don’t have room to grow, you can’t offset a rise in cost of ingredients
unless you raise prices or lower your profit margin—either of which can put you
out of business.”
Looking to open a new pizzeria? Check out PMQ’s Pizza Pages—a categorized
listing of everything you’ll need for a successful operation—at ThePizzaPages.com.