Innovation

Small footprint ovens make it easier to add pizza to the menu

Key points

  • Today’s small footprint ovens are economical and almost foolproof to operate, removing the need for highly trained staff
  • Their greater energy efficiency and high level of adjustability gives you more control over the finished product
  • Offering pizzas using a ventless oven can reduce setup costs for newcomers to the foodservice business
  • Multipurpose conveyor ovens enable you to offer a broader range of cooked meals

A small meal preparation area - as is the case for many cafes and kiosks, food court operations and pubs serving bar food - needn’t prevent you from adding pizza to the menu.

Today’s small footprint ovens are economical and almost foolproof to operate — ensuring ease of operation, faster cooking times and no requirement for highly trained staff.

Despite their smaller size, these modern ovens are highly energy efficient, using latest technology like impingement cooking * to produce pizzas that cook more evenly than was possible with similar ovens in the past. And with additional settings such as for frozen or pre-made pizza bases, you have greater control over the finished product than ever before.

“Everybody is wanting faster and higher production from their ovens and many businesses are also looking for smaller footprints, which gives food kiosks and food court operations the opportunity to sell pizza,” says former champion pizzamaker Bruno Gentile, now Marketing Manager for Middleby Australia which markets Middleby Marshall ovens.

“These days you don’t need to have a canopy over your pizza oven. We have small footprint Turbochef conveyor ovens with catalytic burners which hold a lot of the smoke inside and the cooking aroma doesn’t get out either. You wouldn’t use them to cook proteins like steak and fish, but if you’re just doing pizzas they work fantastically.”

He adds many newcomers to the foodservice businesses are looking for ways to reduce their setup costs, and offering pizzas via a ventless oven setup is a great solution.

“You can have a bar and keep a little conveyor oven in the corner and sell bar pizzas with your drinks, or use it in a food court or anywhere space is at a premium.”

For those businesses looking to serve pizza as one among a number of meal options, a small footprint multipurpose oven like the Giga might be a sound investment. Bruno says this is particular popular with cafes: “In the morning you can use it to bake muffins and pastries, and come lunchtime you take out the interior trays and replace them with cones. This changes the performance to that of an impinged air oven and enables you to cook pizzas within 90 seconds.”

And because these ovens are so simple to use, you don’t need anyone to constantly monitor the cooking — freeing up staff to devote more time to the presentation as opposed to the process.

Impingement cooking uses specialised convection technology to cook pizzas by directing hot airflows onto the food as it passes through the oven on a conveyor belt.

  • Impingement cooking uses specialised convection technology to cook pizzas by directing hot airflows onto the food as it passes through the oven on a conveyor belt.