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Best Pizza Crust Types for Schools and Dining Services

January 25 2017 by Luke Siedow

school-cafeteria-pizza.jpgIn the past, the mention of a school cafeteria conjured up visions of lunch ladies dishing out chewy, limp, and lukewarm rectangles of pizza-like rations. The impression it left on the minds of an entire generation is legendary, so much so that there are entire Facebook groups dedicated to school lunch pizza.

The food service landscape for schools, large businesses, college campuses, and hospitals has changed considerably since the days when ketchup was still considered a vegetable. Chefs and culinary professionals in institutional facilities, however, are still faced with the challenge of feeding the multitudes, unlike most restaurants and pizzerias that make pizzas to order.

The limitations of larger facilities present many challenges for meeting consumers’ demands for fresh, healthy ingredients and, in the case of school lunches, nutritional standards required by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Alive & Kickin’ provides several pizza crusts to address these challenges.

Par-baked Pizza Crusts Offer Variety

The cooking environment for pizzas in larger facilities is often limiting because of lack of space and equipment. Cramped prep and storage areas make it difficult to get a fresh baked taste. However, there are options that provide a solution.

In addition to space, it is also important to consider the type of oven when selecting the right pizza dough for these settings. Par-baked crusts are a good option for most institutional kitchens because they can be prepared in most types of oven including double-door convection, rapid-cook, and conveyors. Because the crusts are already partially baked, they can be held at refrigerated or ambient temperatures and are easier to handle. Cooking time is also reduced, helping to ensure quicker service for larger groups of diners.

Whole Grain Options Address USDA Requirements for Schools

Where abiding by nutritional standards is a must, Alive & Kickin’ offers the perfect solution with their whole grain crust options. Our experts can help you navigate the sea of governmental guidelines and recommend products to ensure you are meeting requirements.

Even where regulations don’t require its use, such as in a corporate cafeteria, whole grain or multigrain crusts, flatbreads and dough balls can provide options to customers who are looking for heart-healthy alternatives to traditional doughs. They hold up well to added toppings, and the combination of texture and chew adds a distinctly different flavor to the pizza as compared to standard white flour recipes.

Pizza continues to be a staple and favorite in cafeterias throughout the U.S. To make it profitable, it’s crucial to offer customers quick service without compromising taste, quality, or variety in your dining services’ menu. Contact Alive & Kickin’ for recommendations to best suit your specific needs.

To learn what types of pizza crusts are best suited for your operations, be sure to download our eBook “What Pie is Best for Your Oven Type.”

Pizza Operation Ovens Guide

Categories: Performance/Quality, Kitchen Operations

Luke Siedow

Written by Luke Siedow

Corporate Chef, Alive & Kickin' Pizza Crust
Not only is Luke a trained culinologist, but he has managed a successful pizzeria – and currently owns one! Luke brings value to a number of areas throughout Alive & Kickin’, including sales, culinary, and product showings – experience that makes him able to solve even the trickiest challenges operators face. Luke is also the face of Alive & Kickin’ in many of our demo videos!