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Feb. 1, 2023

Save More Money, Make More Money, a quick consult from Al The Pizza Buddha

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In its simplest form profitability. Part of the reason you start a business is broken down by sales minus costs equals the amount of money you take home, a.k.a. profit. I'm excited to share this episode with you today because it's basically a free consulting call from Al the Pizza Buddha, a pizza consultant from the West Coast who is helping pizza operators, both big and small, figure out the pizza game by streamlining the process, figuring out what works and what doesn't, and helping operators win.

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This is part two of the two part series with Al, and in the first episode we go about sharing his story, how he got started in the game, what a pizza consultant actually does and all that great stuff. You should definitely check that out if you have the time. But if you want to get into the nitty gritty business aspect of things, this is the episode for you because you might learn something new.

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We're going to talk about how you can win in the pizza game, and this information applies to both new and experienced operators at the end of the day. I want you to succeed. I want you to win because one day I want to try your pizzeria and I can't try your pizzeria. If you're out of business. To sit back, relax, and enjoy this episode, I hope you learn something new.

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If you do learn something new, please remember to share to somebody. Maybe an aspiring pizza operator or someone who's already been in business. I could use this episode. I made it quick and digestible. Better yet, if you just want to send them the transcript. The transcript is going to be linked in the show notes on my blog page.

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Yo, it's a quick five minute read, maybe even shorter, considering this is only a ten minute episode, but I'll really give some actionable items as to save some money. Make more dollars, and take more so that you can keep doing what you love. All right. Onto the show. Welcome to the What's Good Joe podcast. I'm your host, Adrian.

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On the show, we talk to the pizza community, including the innovators, the risk takers and the game changers who are pushing the boundaries of pizza. Whether you're a seasoned pizza business owner, where you're just starting out on your journey, we've got something for you. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. And remember to always ask what's good dough?

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What's good for a podcast is sponsored by Looney. I assume that my audience already knows what an early pizza oven is. And for those that don't want to change the game by being the first to revolution, nice wooden outdoor pizza oven could be. If you're looking to make and sell pizzas, these puny pizza ovens are so portable you can put them in the trunk of your car, take them to a brewery and start serving up amazing pizza right then and there.

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And if you're already doing that, it might be time for a second event just to keep up with the demand. So if you're shopping for a new oven, whether it's your first or your fourth, please consider ooni. I have an affiliate link in the show notes and if you use that link, I get a commission for the sale at no extra cost costs.

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You. But it does greatly help this podcast. So thank you in advance for using that link. What is one mistake in pizza business or life using commodity olive oil? And if you don't know what that is, I invite you to try the olive oil that's in your cupboard right now. When Cordle first invited me to do this, I was shocked.

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My olive oil tasted rancid and to make matters worse, I was incorporating it in my pizza. Today I only used quart of olive oil for my pizza. And the difference is night and day correct picks their olives at their peak and bottles them up Only when you order that way it tastes fresh when it gets to you. The difference is night and day pizza operators can get a free olive oil tasting through Cardo Jesse's link in the show notes.

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And if you're not a pizzeria, don't worry, you can get a tasting two at a very nominal cost. Make sure to check out Caudill Olive oil and level up your pizza game today. Our next sponsor is Pleasant Hill Green. Are you thinking about ramping up production? Let's face it, when we're mixing by hand, you're limited by your hands.

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Physical strength. I have mixed £10 batches, £20, £30 batches, and it hurts. Your hands get tired and it feels like it just never ends. That'll change. When I got my thumb egg mixer through Pleasant Hill Green, they are North America's exclusive distributor for farming. And so if you're looking to get one, they're the place to go. Check out the link in the show notes for my affiliate link.

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Again, no extra cost for you for buying it there, but it does greatly help the show. I appreciate you for listening to my show sponsors. Now back to the podcast. The key to success in this game, surviving the Pizza war and the pizza War. I mean this it's not a pizza war against Southern pizzerias. It's a pizza war against the products.

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And as a consultant, I tell the clients like, oh, when he's the okay, you want to pay a shitload of money for cheese score, but there's other cheeses out there that are just as good. The real thing is the crust. If the foundation isn't great, I mean, you could buy cheese in a bag. You can buy pepperoni in a bag.

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You can't by in a that the dough is really the signature of the pizza place. And that's the signature. We all know the where you are, what style you're making. If you can't nail that, it doesn't matter. And that's kind of where I see guys are. Oh, let me buy ground. Okay. You're using Rodney, but you're buying riches premade pizza crust.

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And it's like, what are you doing right? Wasting money. Like you might as well go buy, like, workers, you know, like government cheese If you're going to do that kind of pizza provolone, you know, call the store how it is. You waste your money. A lot of guys have need a lot of guys that XPO over sweat first.

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Come on XPO okay. How long have you had a pizza? Oh, ten years. It's your first time at school. And then they see the ingredient at the little stand and they're like, okay, can you get Cisco to carry it for me? Of course, Cisco wants you to use everything from Cisco, which I think is the devil to the pizza business, though not Cisco like, you know, out there.

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But it is I mean, why Cisco is one of those businesses who comes in and they have cut throat sales that will literally help your jams to the end to be like, you got to talk to us, so I'm going to save you, but they'll get you in there. But before you die, out of nowhere, you see? Well, where did my life stainless sauce tomatoes go?

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Oh, why is it Cisco Brant? They don't know. Well, there has to course. We decided to switch. That's when I kind of just grabbed my head and I go, Okay, guys, what are we doing here? Like what? When did it become about cheaper product and and not giving the crap about who we're supporting? Yeah, I guess that's it.

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That the bigger thing. At the end of the day, I've worked with a lot of owners right? And the owners all want to save money, right? But there's ways to save money, right? In a pizza place. The owners always quick, cut up the cheese. You said cheaper cheese. The cheese. It's a dollar cheaper. It's like, No, whoa, whoa, whoa.

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On the brakes. Let's go back to the cheese. Like, are the guys singing matches? Yeah. Yeah. Ma, have some smart folks here. Let's talk about this. And half is actually coming up to $20,000 a year in over cheese. Wow. You know, those are big numbers. You know, a lot of the seminars that Expo really put out in here are a lot of the concepts that I've consulted.

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It's all about the grandmas. It's all about gramps, Gramps. We're scaling everything. It's got to be key, you know, especially when you work with these pizza master ovens. A lot of these high tech bobbins. But we developed these recipes. They they're in there for 7 minutes, and that's it. You got to be all in. If they're saying two grams more cheese, ten grams more cheese on there, it's going to alter the bake the ghost not going to come out the same.

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It's going to dehydrate you, run into problems. So what's in a on a commercial setting then? Do you recommend people like how how do people get more accurate cheese on their pizza? There's there's guys out there who are using brawn. They did a good thing. They came out with their own cheese cups. The grinder will actually give you cheese cuts because their cheese is so expensive.

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They're like, Well, we'll give you free portion cups. Those work. I'm a big scale guy, so scales are big for me. All of the Detroit concepts I consult, we pre bag all our cheese. So weird literally doing the old school sandwich bag. You sit there, your prep person is laying out every single one and you're that's part of prep, that's a hey, you know, here's the deal At the end of the day, Detroit style pizza and all of these pan style pizzas are what I call crunch pizzas.

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They're super easy to execute on the final pickup. Yeah. Why? Because so does part baked. If you're a part baked style, you know, there's multiple guys out there. You got guys out there who are using live dough in pans, which there's some controversy around that because as a purist bread baker, for me, there's a point when fermentation has hit its maximum.

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Mm. On the downturn and then you're running into all kinds of problems, it can become too acidic, the page is too high. You know, you can have coloring issues, there's too much variables in there that I don't like to play with, especially in high volume places, to where I'd rather lock in fermentation and have me hit those times exactly where I need to hit them in the fermentation schedule, get good baked, get good cellular structure, and then they've got a good solid base.

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They got the good foundation to pick up Caesar, you know, So I call it a crushed style pizza because it's it's very easy to make a lot of it and you can have it somewhere. You know, we baked all the dough. It's all part baked. Now all we got to do is scale out all cheese in here service.

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So, you know, the Detroit style pizza and the pan style pizzas are amazing because you can get super tight on your portion and that's where it's super attractive to a lot of places that it can salt. Especially for a place like Joyride. Joyride was a concept that wants to become basically, you know, a which was a nice way to put it.

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Maintaining costs this year is going to be the biggest year that I think will be the biggest challenge to consumers. Pizzerias who have been singled out, some POS who haven't figured out portion control and labor costs are going to have the biggest challenge. That's where we are with the economy and where we are with the interest rates and, you know, the big scale.

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You know, it's all great to think food, some food, but let's look at what's going on in the news. The government financing crisis right now. The great thing we're in the type of business where pizza is like it's kind of like a bar. You know, if you're having a good time, you're going to go to the bar, you're having a shitty time.

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Still one of the bar pizzas kind of the same. You're having a good time. We're going to have pizza here in city time. Okay, let me go get a slice of pizza. So there's correlations there, I think. But in the industry of pizza, I think food cost is something that we haven't seen enough of yet. And these food companies all kind of got us, you know, by the balls for a better word.

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Yeah, It's like, okay, well, flour company. Oh, so you're going to use the excuse gas is up. And now my bag of flour went up $10. What am I going to do? So the challenge to pizza operators is going to be holding their own or not substituting, Right. The good guys out there who are doing great things and like, Oh, I'm using Romney, but I might switch to this.

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Okay, There's guys out there that are using making amazing cheese better than Romney. I don't use grading on my concepts. What do you use? I've used everything from grade made to BLITZER brothers to Pollio. So I've done amazing stuff at Bell Gioco my place. I consulted in Kawai on the North Shore. We can't get ground out there. So I'm actually bringing Belge also Curd, and we're pulling out all fresh mozzarella inquiries.

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But what did food companies just say? Hey, why don't you just increase your pizza prices? You know? But how much? How much? How much are we going to raise our prices before when are we going to be okay? I mean, I think it's interesting you say that San Francisco. So we're okay paying $30 for a pizza. We're okay with that.

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You go to Kansas, they'd look at you and they they d like, are you crazy? I'm not, you know, And there's a concept out there who's crushing it in the Detroit game pizza, who's got hundreds of locations. And I've actually built a few jets and been their busy jets. I've been to jets in areas where there's super low income and they've been huge areas where jets has been successful, where it's a super high income.

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People are loving jets, but they're one of those models that is able to maintain that super low price, maintain that same quality. It's not it's like Uber, you know, extravagant pizza. It's it's pizza, it's solid Detroit style pizza. And they're able to scale it in a way that is going to hit a California market, hit a lower income market, and survive, you know, like in what I do as a consultant is really unique is I come in and I kind of hybrid robots, technology, some of the new stuff set out there.

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You know, guys have been hitting me up on Instagram. What's that dough divided by the dough and the ground. The dough and, you know, machines like that. And Vito's started to catch on to that with this new shop. He just hoping to meet Leah's partner with the Empire Bake. I worked at the Empire Bakery years ago when I was in Bread.

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They're big. They're a big bagel company. Bagel companies. Scott Wiener just wrote an article about this a couple pizza days ago about bagels. Pizza, bagels and pizza have a lot of parallels, and they've had a lot of parallels for decades. And it's just been sitting there, guys like Toby opening up Google. You got guys out there. We did Pizza Hacker, we did Brooklyn.

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Jon Arenas experimenting with it, too. I don't know if the Jews in L.A. who are doing things like that, so are these people who do bagels. Is it like I can sell it in the morning while we do prep? Yeah. Is that what it is? It's like, how do you get more money out of your pizzeria? You know, we all as bakers, we have the prep crew.

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How do we make money off of prep in the morning when they're staffing? Yeah, but why didn't people just do artisan bread loaves? Bread loaves don't sell as much bagels to boost because you can make bagel sandwiches, you can put lox there. You know, boy, chick bagels in Berkeley is doing a killer killer job with the smears. And it's super classic New York.

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So there's more money in bagels. It's more money and it's less labor. You bake them, they're out. You have no pick up. You're not putting mozzarella sauce to an oven. Maybe you're not dealing with all of these variables. So in the pizza world, it's great because it's kind of like, okay, here are my slices. They're just bagels and I don't get to read them.

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You go take your bagel. His you smear that doesn't in the back seat later. All right. We're opening for Pete's at 12. Well, there you have it. My episode with Al the Pizza Gouda. I really hope this awesome. I really hope to harp on the message that he said in the very beginning. I hear it a lot on the social feeds.

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Maybe it's time to really take it seriously, take some austerity measures, figure out your costs, save a little bit money, and at the same time, I'm a huge believer in finding ways to make more money, whether that's bagels, incorporating desserts I didn't include in the podcast Al mentioning Giovanni from King Umberto, making Bellinis. So figure it out. Figure out how to make more money, saved more money, and stay more profitable.

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If you want to learn more about bagels, want to learn more about any of the topics we discussed in this podcast, I'm all ears. Let me know your thoughts. There's going to be a survey in the show notes. I would love to hear what you're thinking. Let's get all your feedback. Finally, reach out to me on Instagram at what's good though.

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You can also check out the website, which I highly recommend so you can read the transcript. What's good Dotcom. Finally, check out Al's Instagram at Al the Pizza Buddha. It's going to be linked in the show notes if you have any questions for him. Very helpful, dude. Final call to action. I know there's a lot here, but if you're already if you're still messing with me, I appreciate it.

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Leave a rating. If you haven't done so already on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, anywhere that you listen because it greatly helps with the show, pushes it out to a larger audience. I appreciate you for listening. I love you. Till next time. Peace.