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  • Fictional Pizza Joints You Wish Were Real

    pizzas

    Have you ever been so spellbound by a fictional eatery that you wished it existed in real life? Perhaps you were drawn to the warm atmosphere of Central Perk of "Friends" fame, or the delectable waffles from JJ’s Diner in "Parks and Recreation"? Fictional pizzeria joints are no different. Their allure lies in the happiness felt in social gatherings, their sense of family, and those scrumptious other-worldly recipes. Here are some of the most memorable fictional pizzeria joints.

    Beacon Street Pizza

    This pizza shop was in the ABC sitcom "Two Guys and a Girl" that aired from 1998 to 2001. The sitcom revolved around a woman and two men who had been friends since they attended the same college. Paranoid architect Pete, grad student Michael and Sharon, the most ambitious of the trio, lived together in Boston.

    Directors here introduced an additional two characters into the plot later -- Irene, who unabashedly stalks Pete, and Johnny, the maintenance man. Pete and Michael have jobs at Beacon Street Pizza, and it’s here where the magic of friends coming together and supporting each other happens.

    Pizza Planet

    Disney’s "Toy Story" featured pizzeria establishment. A family-owned restaurant owned by Andy and all his toys, Pizza Planet is set in an intriguing space nook. The place is interestingly shaped like Saturn, with a space rocket close by. It appeared in the original "Toy Story" and its two sequels.

    The spaceship theme made Buzz Lightyear think he was going back to his planet. The establishment also served as an arcade and served favorites such as Mega Gulp sodas with its pizzas.

    Arnold’s Pizza

    This establishment was the go-to place for friends and family in "Happy Days." ABC aired the series from 1974 to 1984. It focused on life and maintaining good values in the 1950s and 1960s. Arnold’s Pizza become the most popular set for the sitcom, and Arnold worked there.

    Family Bros. Pizza

    This would appeal to anyone who loves a sense of family and escaping into the world of fantasy. This hub from "Futurama" is owned by Blek and his beloved wife. They are apparently cygnoids. Wacky recipes abound here, with toppings of flaming magnesium, asbesto and stucco. One of the favorites was Leela’s scrumptious bean pizzeria. If anything, this series is appealing because of its sense of family and community.

    All this talk of pizzeria joints may have made you nostalgic and wanting to start your own hub. If so, visit us today for an array of top-notch pizza-making equipment.

  • What You Need to Know about Pizza Restaurant Franchising

    Pizza-eating family

    Do you own a single locale in the pizza business?Are you passionate about seeing your brand of delectable specialties become a household name countrywide, or internationally? If so, you may be considering turning your local restaurant into a booming franchise. Or maybe you want to jump onto the band wagon of an already world-renowned brand, and come a franchisee? Here’s what you should know before venturing into the world of franchising.

    Risks Involved

    As with any business, turning your restaurant into a franchise will involve risks. There are however means to reduce these. It’s important to ascertain how you’ve handled risks before, and whether you are in fact in a position to take risks.

    Researching this avenue before you commence is key. If you’re looking at being a franchisee, always request a franchise disclosure document to determine sales figures. You should determine whether your business model is viable and if you’re able to secure franchisees.

    Business models in the pizza eatery industry include a delivery service, which is one of the riskiest models. Dine-in pizza restaurants require ambiance that will keep your customers coming back. Your pizza restaurant may have a carry-out option separate to your dining section.

    Your Character and the Rules

    You should evaluate your character too. Being too independent is a negative character trait for a franchisee. Ask yourself if you are able to follow rules, as there are rules in this business -- to be part of an already established pizza brand, you will have to adhere to your franchisor’s business model.

    You will also have to buy products from your franchisor. And you will have to adhere to paying your franchisor continuous royalties. This could be up to 10% of your gross sales. As a franchisee, you will have to operate under your franchisor’s trademark.

    If you’re opting to become a franchisor, ask yourself if you’re inclined to be the supportive type. This is imperative, as you will have to be committed to supporting all your new franchisees, and will have to provide assistance long after start up. This could include helping franchisees with buying, maintaining the brand, advertising, support with operations and fiscal advice.

    As a franchisor, you should present all your franchisees with a franchise agreement, a week before any pizza restaurant franchise sales. Remember to present your franchise disclosure document to prospective franchisees at least two weeks before your sale.

    Using quality equipment for your pizza restaurant is vital to your franchise’s success. Visit us today for a range of quality pizza-making equipment.

  • Here's How to Make the Ideal, Crispy Pizza Crust

    Pizza crust

    The Secret of the Perfect Pizza Crust

    A great crust -- crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside-- is the building block of any good pizza. Thankfully, getting your crust just right isn't a secret or complex process.

    Here are the steps you'll want to take to get your pizza just right every time.

    1. Prepare the dough ahead of time

      Letting the dough rest in the refrigerator overnight gives the ingredients time to properly bind and yield their full flavors. Before rolling the dough out, let it rest at room temperature for an hour.

    2. Stretch the dough out correctly

      The pizza dough's thickness on the pan will have a big effect on how the crust turns out. Too thick and you get a doughy, undercooked crust. Too thin and it turns into a brittle cracker. For an ideal crust, roll your dough out gently with a rolling pin, until it is about 1/4 to 1/8-inches thick.

    3. Don't overdo the toppings

      Putting on too much cheese is a common mistake that leads to soggy crusts. Mozzarella contains a lot of water, and when it melts a lot of the liquid goes right into the crust. You'd be surprised at how little cheese you need to achieve the picture-perfect, cheesy coverage you expect when the pizza is done. For a 12-inch pizza, one cup of shredded mozzarella should be ample.

    4. Crank up the heat

      You want your oven to be as hot as possible. A good, crispy crust is the result of flash heating. That's why brick ovens are so good for pizza crusts. Brick ovens can get incredibly hot. You want your pizza to spend as little time in the oven as possible, at the highest temperature.

    Get the gear you need to make perfect pizza pies

    If you want to make amazing pizza at your restaurant, you need the right equipment. Visit Northern Pizza Equipment today and get baking!

  • Pizza-style Creations From Around the World

    Wood Fire Margharita Pizza

    There is no denying that pizza is one of the world’s most popular foods. The word pizza actually means pie. Whether your favorite is a hand-tossed thin crust or a Chicago-style deep dish, there are many different variations that look and taste nothing like what the U.S. knows. Here is a look at five dishes from around the world. Bon appetite!

    Okonomiyaki

    Japan’s version of pizza, roughly translated as ‘grilled how you like’ includes cabbage, noodles, pork, and squid. Yes, squid. The ingredients are layered on a batter, topped with an egg and an okonomiyaki sauce, which is comparable to a Worcestershire sauce. Okonomiyaki is most popular in Hiroshima but can be found throughout the country in restaurants and made at home.

    Langos

    In Hungary, deep fried flat bread with toppings is a comfort food comparable to American pizzas. In some cases, sour cream or even mashed potatoes are added to the dough. Other toppings include cheese, bacon or sausage, garlic butter, and occasionally vegetables. Langos can be found all over Eastern Europe.

    Neapolitan

    When pizza comes to mind, it's usually a Neapolitan style pie you’re thinking about. This is traditionally made with a thin crust, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. Once you add basil you’ve transformed your Neopolitan into a Margherita. San Marzano tomatoes along with buffalo mozzarella are used by purists when turning out this style.

    Lahmajoun

    Lahmajoun is often coined as ‘Turkish pizza’ or ‘Armenian pizza’. It is dough topped with minced meat, usually beef or lamb. Vegetables and herbs such as onions, tomatoes, and parsley often top the meat before the creation is baked.

    New York or Chicago style

    The great American pizza debate! If you ask a New Yorker, a Chicagoan, or someone you meet at a gas station in rural Iowa, they’re likely to have an opinion on whether the crispy, thin, hand-tossed variety from New York or the casserole-like deep dish made famous in Chicago is ‘real’ pizza. New York style pizza is modeled after the Napoleon variety. It is usually topped with tomatoes and mozzarella, then coal-fired to perfection. Chicago style is baked in a pan and has a crust up to three inches deep, which is layered with tons of meat, cheese, and tomato sauce.

    Whether you're looking for the best pie close to home or traveling the world looking for exotic tastes, the love of pizza-like creations is something that many cultures share.

  • Restaurant Mascots: The Public Faces Of Pizza

    There are many ways to make a name for your restaurant, and one of them is a mascot. With the right strategy, a mascot can work wonders for your brand identity. Other times, it might not have such favorable results. Read on to learn about the most famous mascots in the pizza industry.

    Pizza, Pizza!

    Little Caesar – the mascot for Little Caesars, suitably enough – has been an integral part of the company’s marketing campaign for years. Little Caesars ceased television campaigns for some time in the late 90s, but in recent years, the company has found their way back onto the tube with advertisements featuring their beloved mascot, toga and all.

    Avoid The Noid

    Domino’s once had a notable mascot, too. The mascot, which took the form of a troll-like, humanoid creature in a rabbit costume, was named The Noid – based on the word “annoyed.” Commercials featuring The Noid were played throughout the 80s, where the mascot would do his best to ruin pies ordered by Domino’s customers. Despite his best efforts, Domino’s always prevailed.

    Where A Kid Can Be A Kid

    First appearing in animatronic form in Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theatre in the late 1970s, the Chuck E. Cheese mascot, who was originally a rat, was eventually redeveloped into the mousey entertainer familiar across the nation today. He received another makeover in 2012, resulting in an edgier, rock star-oriented look and a new voice provided by Jaret Reddick, lead vocalist for the pop-punk band, Bowling For Soup.

    Gear Up For Success

    Could your pizzeria benefit from a mascot? Before you start brainstorming potential mascot ideas, be sure to outfit your restaurant with high-quality, up-to-date gear from Northern Pizza Equipment. Peruse our products or get in touch today to learn more.

  • Homemade Pizzas: Take Your Work With You

    It’s a sunny summer evening, and your family is ravenous. You had cheeseburgers a couple nights ago – so what do you do? You make pizza, of course. While it might be nice to step away from the restaurant for a bit of relaxation, you’ll never escape your appreciation for a well-made pizza pie. Here’s how you can make the most of pizza night at home.

    Choose Your Crust

    As a seasoned pizzaiolo, you’re aware that there are many crust styles to choose from. If your pizzeria specializes in New York-style thin crust pizza, for example, consider changing things up at home with thicker Sicilian-style crust. Alternatively, take a traditional route with Neapolitan crust, which tends to be thin, crispy and simple to make.

    Experiment With Sauces

    Your signature pizzas probably rely on a house sauce comprised of specific ingredients. At home, you’re free to change things as you please – you just have to keep your family interested. One popular sauce replacement is pesto. Whether you mix it yourself or purchase it from a grocer, this tasty sauce is right at home with standard pizza toppings. For a more unique, yet equally simple choice, spread hummus across your dough and top it with feta cheese and fresh veggies.

    Try New Toppings

    Is your family tired of by-the-book pies? Mix things up by trying new toppings. One surefire hit is taco pizza – replace sauce with salsa, use a cheddar/jack cheese blend and finish the pie with diced tomatoes, sliced olives and green onions. Or, try a loaded baked potato pizza, which typically involves a sour cream-based sauce and toppings of cheese, sliced potatoes and bacon.

    Push The Boundaries

    Remember – when it comes to homemade pizza, the only limit is your imagination. If you think you’ve found your next bestseller, make sure your restaurant is prepared to churn out pie after pie with gear from Northern Pizza Equipment. Get in touch to learn more about all that we have to offer.

     

  • Italia And Americana: A Pizza Comparison

    Originating from the Italian city of Naples, pizza found its way into the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. As pizza shops began to pop up in New York City and along the East Coast, the original recipe was modified and Americanized. Although Italian pizza has remained fairly unchanged since its conception, pizza in the U.S. deviates significantly from its Neapolitan ancestor. Keep reading to learn the differences between Italian and American pizza.

    Laying The Groundwork

    Like in the U.S., Italian pizzas are made from a wide variety of crusts. From thick to thin, pizza crusts in Italy traditionally take on traits from the region they’re conceived, and the dough is cooked in a brick oven. America, too, has many styles of crust to choose from, including flatbread, deep-dish and New York-style. However, American pizzas are often cooked in conveyor, gas or electric ovens in commercial pizzerias.

    How Americans And Italians Top It Off

    In Italia, pizza artisans pride themselves on using fresh ingredients. From real tomatoes and mozzarella to olive oil and garden-fresh basil leaves, garlic and oregano, these fresh, herby fixings complement the crust. And when it comes to toppings, mixing meats is often seen as taboo, so pizza makers will employ only one kind of meat or none at all.

    On the other hand, U.S. pizza makers typically use a slow-cooked tomato sauce bursting with flavor from ingredients, like butter, onions, basil, oregano and sometimes sugar. After laying down the base, toppings are added – and usually lots of them. In America, you’re likely to find a host of meaty fixings, from sausage and pepperoni to ground beef and bacon, and other toppings, such as pineapple, black olives and green peppers.

    Whether you’re cooking up traditional Italian pizza or devising a dish of your own creation, Northern Pizza Equipment, Inc. has all the pizza gear you need. Browse our catalog or contact us today to learn about our equipment, parts and supplies.

  • Little Plastic Table: The Mystery Of The Pizza Saver

    The pizza saver has been used for decades, but no one ever seems entirely clear about what it is or what function it serves. Does this pint-size table hold the slices together? What the pizza saver actually does is prevent the lid from sagging down onto the pizza; mystery solved.

    When a piping-hot pie is packaged and sent out for delivery, sometimes, the steam builds up inside and causes the cardboard to wilt. As a result, the lid sags down and makes a gooey mess out of the cheese and toppings. No hungry customer wants to receive a pizza, only to discover that the best part is stuck to the lid. In the 1980s, one New Yorker decided to do something about it.

    Origins Of The Pizza Saver

    On February 10, 1983, a Long Island woman named Carmela Vitale filed a patent for a temperature-resistant, plastic tripod. Thus, the “package saver,” or pizza saver, was born. It’s designed to fit in the middle of the pie to protect the toppings in case the box starts to sag. Vitale’s concept was approved on February 12, 1985. Since then, manufacturers have been producing millions of pizza savers – otherwise known as box tents – for pizza delivery shops everywhere. Similar designs are even used in cake and cupcake boxes, too.

    The Pizza Saver Today

    Despite being overlooked so frequently, this three-legged piece of plastic is the unsung hero of the pizza delivery business. Just as corrugated boxes, heat racks and heat bags help keep pies fresh, the pizza saver is often just as important. Plus, they’re an inexpensive, effective way to make sure the toppings stay intact during the delivery process.

    For more delivery solutions, check out the assortment of delivery supplies and accessories at Northern Pizza Equipment, Inc.

  • Sweet Treat: Dessert Pizza Ideas

    Cheese, tomato sauce, select seasonings and perhaps a bit of pepperoni – the perfect pizza? Maybe. But pizza isn’t just a tasty main course – there are plenty of ways to whip up sweet pies that are sure to please. Read on to discover five unique ideas for dessert pizzas.

    • Fruit pizza: You may have tried fruit pizza, but thanks to the variety of fruits available at most markets, it’s easy to work a new twist into this classic idea. Start with a sugar cookie crust, slather it with cream cheese frosting and then add your favorite fruity toppings.
    • Cinnamon roll pizza: This scrumptious concoction, inspired by a beloved dessert, is a guaranteed hit. Start with your favorite pizza dough recipe, and then mix up a cinnamon sugar spread. Work this across the top of the dough, and then drizzle with cream cheese glaze.
    • Peanut butter cup pizza: Please chocolate fanatics and peanut butter addicts alike by covering a pizza crust with melted chocolate and sprinkling chopped peanut butter cups across its surface. Chopped peanuts and peanut butter topping make for impeccable finishing touches.
    • Caramel apple pizza: Need a seasonal dessert for your autumn menu? Caramel apple pizza should serve you well. Mix up a cookie crust, concoct a spread – perhaps including peanut butter and cream cheese – and then cover the creation with sliced apples. Top it off with drizzled caramel and pecans.
    • S’mores pizza: Inspired by the fireside essential, this dessert typically features a cookie crust covered with chocolate chips, marshmallows and crumbled graham crackers. If you’d like to up the sweetness factor even more, finish the pizza with a chocolate or marshmallow topping.

    These mouthwatering desserts are sure to entice your guests while lending a unique touch to your menu. And remember – if you’re in need of parts, equipment or accessories for your pizzeria, Northern Pizza Equipment can provide you with the necessary gear. Browse our products or contact us to learn more.

  • Keep It Clean: 5 Kitchen Hygiene Tips

    Opening your own pizzeria? You’ll need a plan to keep your quarters as clean as can be. Unsafe food prep and unclean premises could lead to hefty fees or even permanent closure. Read on to learn how to exercise good kitchen hygiene.

    1. Enforce personal hygiene rules. Many personal hygiene rules are simple concepts, such as frequent hand-washing for at least 20 seconds per wash. Nonetheless, they should be rigidly enforced in the kitchen. When creating restaurant policies, make sure to remind your staff to report symptoms of potentially spreadable illness immediately.
    2. Sanitize your food contact surfaces. Make certain you’re using safe, effective cleaning supplies to rid your property of pathogens, and take special care to train your employees how to clean appropriately. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions when using these cleaners.
    3. Keep your equipment clean. Your kitchen equipment is just as crucial as your employees’ hands and your food contact surfaces. If it touches food, it absolutely needs to be sanitized thoroughly and routinely.
    4. Avoid cross contamination. Allowing the juices or residue of certain foods – raw meats, especially – to touch other foods means that if one product is contaminated, the rest are, too. Train your employees to wash their hands, wear new gloves and carefully clean food contact surfaces after handling raw meats, poultry and seafood.
    5. Store food properly. Always store raw meats on the bottom shelf. As previously mentioned, they must be kept separate from other foods. Additionally, research the food you’re storing before stowing it in your refrigerator – you’ll want to be aware of safe storage temperatures for different types of food.

    By taking these pointers into consideration, you’ll be well on your way to serving your signature pies in the safest way possible. But remember – this isn’t a comprehensive plan. Ensure total cleanliness before you start dishing out slices to the public. Whether you’re an industry newbie or a veteran pizzaiolo, Northern Pizza Equipment has the gear you need for success. Browse our product selection or contact us to learn more.

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