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  • When to Replace Your Pizza Prep Table - Northern Pizza Equipment

    When to Replace Your Pizza Prep Table

    As anyone in the industry knows, pizza prep tables are an investment. Like an automobile, the goal is to keep them running as long as possible by taking good care of them and performing routine maintenance. Small repairs are bound to pop up throughout the life of your prep table, like replacing door gaskets, hardware, and fan motors. But how do you know if it is time for a replacement?

    Repair vs. Replacement

    To gain a better understanding, let’s put things in terms of an automobile again. If you’re driving an older model and your mechanic tells you that you need a new engine, or that you need to replace your transmission, you’re probably better off purchasing a new car instead of undertaking such a major repair. In the context of your pizza prep table, those major repairs include requiring a new compressor, needing a new evaporator, or having to replace the coils. At this point, investing in a new table is often a better option.

    Business Growth

    It’s also possible that your pizza restaurant can outgrow your current prep table. Like other production equipment within your restaurant, your prep table should be proportionate to the amount of business you do, and an expanding business will result in the need for more capacity. Adding another prep table into operation is certainly a viable option. However, if your business is growing and you have an older prep table, you should consider a replacement instead. In addition to increasing productivity for your pizzeria with a larger model, you will be forestalling the problems that inevitably come as equipment begins to age.

    Advancing Technology

    One final thing to consider when contemplating a replacement is the ability of your old equipment to meet evolving industry standards. Over our 25 years in business, we’ve seen countless updates to health codes, especially in terms of refrigeration. Food safety laws regarding proper temperatures keep getting stricter… does your pizza prep table have the ability to keep up? If you’re in doubt, it’s time to shop for a newer model. As always, contact us for guidance. We’re happy to help.

  • Tips for Keeping Your Commercial Mixer Running

    If you own a pizza shop, you know that your mixer is one of the most important pieces of equipment in your kitchen. Production and sales are directly affected by how well your mixer is functioning.  Keeping your mixer running is vital to having a successful pizza shop. Here are some tips on how to keep it running:

    Clean the mixer regularly. Keeping the equipment and accessories clean can help avoid damage to your mixer. You must clean it properly so that water doesn’t damage the electric parts of the mixer. To clean the electric parts, use a wet, soapy wash cloth rather than submerging the mixer in water and dry it immediately. Make sure it’s unplugged and fully dry before plugging it back in.

    Change the lubricants. Lubricants help displace the heat that is built up during mixing and will preserve the parts that touch each other. The bowl clamps should be lubricated twice a year. The bowl lift and sliderails should be deep cleaned and lubricated monthly due to the ingredients frequently being splashed on them.

    Replace the seals. Seals may leak and need to be completely replaced or may simply need to have their grease replaced. The most common areas to notice leaking that isn’t a grease replacement problem are in the planetary assembly and auxiliary attachment hub. You can do it yourself or have a trained tech come out to do it. It is recommended to replace grease with a synthetic food grease.

    Adjust the Agitator Height. If you are noticing the agitator missing ingredients or scraping the bowl too often, it may be out of alignment. If it’s constantly scraping the bowl or causing you to have to remix the ingredients yourself, simply adjusting the height is a quick fix. Just pour a small amount of flower into the mixing bowl and adjust the height until it makes the lowest indentation. Leaving the agitator at the wrong height can damage the equipment, so be sure to pay close attention.

    Choose the right mixer. Having the right mixer for your needs can keep it running longer. If you are doing a large amount of mixing like most pizzerias, make sure your mixer can handle it.   You wouldn’t want to get a smaller mixer that is used often at bakeries. Constant use of the mixer can eventually cause wear and tear, so having one with the capabilities to keep up with your needs is important.

    Now that you know how to keep your mixer running, you can choose the right one for your pizza shop. Contact Northern Pizza Equipment to help find the right mixer for your needs.

  • Shelf Lives of Popular Pizza Ingredients

    Knowing all of the ingredients’ shelf lives is important in making sure your pizza is fresh, tasty and safe.  It’s also an important tool in managing your pizzeria’s inventory and deciding when to re-order supplies. Northern Pizza Equipment has everything you need to keep the ingredients fresh and ready to use.

    The shelf life for pizza ingredients will fluctuate and is dependent on many variables, such as temperature of refrigeration.  That being said, here are some basic industry guidelines:


    Refrigerated dough will last up to two days. You can extend that shelf life for up to three months by freezing the dough.

    Pizza sauce:

    If you are keeping the homemade pizza sauce in the fridge, it can last for up to two weeks. If the pizza sauce is kept in the freezer and is made with good tomatoes, it can last up to six weeks.


    In the fridge, the cheese will last up to six weeks. In the freezer, it will last up to eight months.

    Meat Toppings:

    Raw meat toppings, such as sausage, bacon, or pepperoni, will last up to two days in the fridge, and up to a year in the freezer. Precooked meat toppings can last up to four days in the fridge and 6 months in the freezer.

    Vegetable Toppings:

    In a refrigerator, vegetables, such as onions or peppers, will last up to a week. In a freezer, vegetables will last up to one month.

    Once you know the shelf life for your ingredients, you can more effectively manage your inventory. Contact Northern Pizza Equipment to order cold storage and other vital pieces of equipment today.

  • Is Gas Line Configuration Affecting Your Pizza Oven?

    When setting up your pizza business, it’s important to make sure your equipment is up to the task at hand.  Equally important is supplying your equipment with the proper configurations.  One of the most essential, but often unconsidered, aspects of restaurant setup is your gas plumbing.

    When the weather turns colder, our staff often receives “repair” calls for pizza ovens that have suddenly begun to under-bake. The cause of the issue isn’t usually the oven; it’s the furnace that is using the same gas line.  Most pizzerias don't consider that the available gas supply to their kitchen equipment is also affected by their furnace, so when their oven starts under-cooking the pizza, they don't understand why.

    The failure stems from a loss of pressure at the equipment.  The draw from the furnace affects the pressure at the oven, and it is no longer able to operate at the correct capacity. The same is true for the furnace.

    However, this is a problem that can be easily prevented with careful planning. Take your gas line configuration into account when setting up your restaurant to prevent the under-baked pizza problem from happening. A little consideration when it comes to your gas plumbing can save you expense and heartache down the road.

    Here’s what you need to know:

    The right gas supply system is crucial, especially when operating at full capacity.

    Consider all the appliances that are using your gas plumbing, not just your ovens.  Gas piping should be installed to meet the maximum demand of all appliances on the line.

    Use the correct pipes when setting up your system.

    Undersized gas pipelines will directly affect pizza oven performance by restricting gas supply and causing lack of pressure. Make sure you use the proper size gas supply line for your appliances, as described in your equipment manual.  If you’re installing a stacked oven, take this into consideration as well.

    Ensure compatibility.

    Before making utility connections to your oven, make sure your oven specifications are compatible with the gas services being supplied.

    Consult the experts.

    With 25 years in the pizza equipment business, we’re here to help.  Contact us today for questions about your restaurant’s gas plumbing and other pizza equipment needs.

  • Fictional Pizza Joints You Wish Were Real


    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!


    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.


    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.


    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 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.


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