Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

SEP 2018

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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66 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • SEPTEMBER 2018 chain profile Menu Crafting There was one change to the dining area at Rotolo's Craft & Crust that wasn't about the restaurant's appearance and ambience as much as a reaction to the restaurant's new menu. While Rotolo's Pizzeria offers pies ranging from 8 to 18 inches, Rotolo's Craft & Crust standard pies are only sold in one size, 13 inches. As a lighter option — say for children or during the lunch hour — the chain created a "slice bar" in the dining room, where guests can get pizza one piece at a time. The change to a one-sized pie offering is part of a larger remake of the menu — the craft in the Craft & Crust. Mitchell Rotolo Jr. spearheaded this effort, the company's vice president of research and development. Having grown up in the pizza business, Rotolo Jr. has spent much of the past several years attending culinary school, winning medals in pizza competitions and basically becoming an expert in all things pizza. Once the update decision was made, Rotolo Jr. spear- headed the menu changes. This effort included a pizza tour he took with his father around the United States and Europe. "We're bringing what we like from all those places. We're taking the things that work with our concept, our people and what our customers really want," says Rotolo Jr. The end result is a menu that includes the 13-inch pizza, a Chicago-style deep dish, and new, higher-end pizza top- pings, including cold toppings like arugula and whipped ricotta. The menu also includes new appetizers, such as a fried cauliflower and ricotta dip as well as entrees like a fried shrimp alfredo. Kitchen Crafting Supporting this new menu is, of course, a redesigned back of the house. The work of the kitchen starts in the prep area, which includes a 60-quart floor mixer for making pizza dough multiple times a week. The space also plays home to multiple tables, where staff chop produce (mostly by hand) on a daily basis. The restaurant has plenty of dry storage to hold bags of flour and a walk-in cooler measuring about 125 square feet. Rotolo's Craft & Crust doesn't have a storage freezer — or any freezer — due to the simple fact that it serves no frozen food, nor does it use any frozen ingredients. After mixing the standard dough, staffers combine it with fermented dough, batch the mixture and then proof it for one to two days. After a break and then a second proof, the dough balls transfer over to the kitchen. Before it becomes a pizza, though, the dough sits for about an hour at room temperature, which produces a better bake and crisper crust, according to Rotolo Jr. When it's time to make a pie, a team member takes a dough ball from a sheet pan sitting on a rolling rack and hand stretches it into a circle. To drive home the craft nature of its food, the company chose this method over options like a press that offer a more uniform shape, Rotolo Jr. says. Clockwise from top left: A double-stacked stone deck oven cooks all the pizzas at Rotolo's Craft & Crust stores. Staff add sauce and toppings at the pizza make table. Since the menu makeover, all pizzas now come in a standard 13-inch size. Photos by Oivanki Photography

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