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for franchising in 2014. "I knew the pizza concept would grow at a faster rate, but I needed to find a way to scale the coal-fired franchise," says Petruzzi. He knew a turnkey con- cept was necessary and what most companies look for when choosing a franchise. The plan included attracting multi-unit groups interested in the Neapolitan pizza niche. Petruzzi worked with an equipment manufacturer for several months in research and develop- ment and eventually invented a custom 7-foot oven that includes a cooking plat- form situated on top of a rotating motor. "This unit takes the skill of moving pizza during cooking completely out of the picture," he says. The pizza rotates twice around while baking to create a perfect Neapolitan pie. "It was a major endeavor to do Neapolitan pie in a gas-burning oven," says Petruzzi. "We had to retrofit the heat source as gas, and also modify the oven, burner size and location of the burners. We also fitted the unit with touchscreen control, which allows users to manipulate rotation speed within one second and temperature within one degree." A single 1000 Degrees oven can produce between 23 and 250 10-inch pies in an hour. Unlike a traditional pizza oven of this type, it's a one-person, rather than a two-person, show. And the consistency of this product is exact from location to location. Business Model The business model has evolved to fit in a wide range of markets, but rather than hit- ting the 12 to 15 major pizza regions, 1000 Degrees has focused its growth in middle America. Surprisingly, its South Dakota site is one of the busiest in the franchise. "We look to find the right location and value engineer to keep it as functional as possible," says Petruzzi. "We take a lot of second generation restaurants, provide a facelift if needed, or typically can build for as low as $200,000 with value engineering." 1000 Degrees operates 22 locations in the U.S., with two sites planned for Malaysia. Sizes range from 600 square feet for the express model up to 6,000 square feet. Its menu centers on high- end ingredients, including flour, cheese and meat, and franchisees buy at the same price point as corporate-owned sites. "We haven't built food as a profit machine. Instead, we've sacrificed profit so franchisees get the best food costs," ex- plains Petruzzi. "We have margin built in, so we can use the best ingredients we can get. All rebates go to the franchisees." The result is a different model that requires a lower level of investment than a typical franchise. Stone Hearth & Specialty Commercial Cooking Equipment Changing the Way You Cook since 1990 800.988.8103 360.650.1111 woodstone-corp.com Discover what the Wood Stone Gas Plancha can do for you, visit BOOTH #3176 at the NRA SHOW 2017, May 20-23, 2017 or call (800) 988-8103. Introducing T H E W O O D S T O N E Gas Plancha BOOTH #3176 e&s segment spotlight APRIL 2017 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • 119