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4 Ways to Manage Restaurant Supply Chain Disruptions Using Dough Balls

January 26 2022 by Nick Charles

dough-balls-on-trayAs unprecedented challenges continue to arise from the pandemic and its variants, restaurant supply chains are among those caught in the chaos. The struggle is real for all industries, but the foodservice and accommodations industry has been especially hard hit.

The gap between available restaurant jobs and workers to fill them is staggering. An estimated 476,000 vacancies were reported in Q4 of 2021.1 The staffing implications of the labor crisis are indisputable. A less obvious but equally adverse consequence is the impact on prices. Pizzeria operators are faced with more aggressive menu price hikes, and a 4% increase in away-from-home food costs — the steepest since 2009 — have pizza supply chains reeling.2  

But pricing is a moot point if ingredients to make the food aren’t readily available, which is all too common given restaurant supply chain problems. Pizzeria operators are finding that getting pre-made dough balls from a reliable pizza dough manufacturer is an invaluable workaround for several reasons:

1. Food cost management

Consolidating ingredient sources is an effective way to manage the currently unpredictable pizza supply chain. Working with a pizza dough manufacturer amplifies the benefits in that it largely alleviates concern over ingredient availability and timely delivery. It also provides opportunities for identifying ways to save on overall food costs, which is only increasing as the ripple effects of the pandemic play out.

2. Labor and space efficiencies

Like with supply chains and food costs, pizzeria operators are finding themselves at the mercy of the ongoing labor crisis and the all too real possibility of downsizing operations. Having a designated person to order and manage bulk ingredients and the space to store large bags of flour, sugar, salt and the like are ill-afforded luxuries. An Alive & Kickin’ partnership puts pre-made dough balls in your kitchen without burdening staff with extra duties and complicated prep, or taking up large amounts of storage space. 

3. Waste reduction

It’s the nature of restaurants to incur a certain amount of food waste, but excessiveness is expensive. For example, making your own pizza dough could drive up costs in a few ways. There’s the learning curve in making pizza dough and experienced dough makers inadvertently deviating from house recipes that both lead to spoiled batches, and there’s the occasional over-estimation of dough needed for a service that incurs waste. It all adds up to wasted effort, food, and money.

On the other hand, pre-made dough balls are created with precise attention to recipes and perfect portions. Easy dough ball proofing means you’re quickly ready for a rush without the potential for wasting dough. Versatile crust types and flavor profiles are available, too, which means no botched and costly experimentation is necessary.

4. Consistent pizza crust quality

Whether you’re operating one pizzeria or multiple locations, crust consistency is a must-have to satisfy customers. Pre-made dough balls provide that never-miss uniformity, plus offer the unparalleled quality your customers know you for — and love.

A Matter of Trust

Working with Alive & Kickin’ Pizza Crust gives you access to all of these benefits and more. We believe in being a partner in every sense of the word, and that level of commitment begins with and is built on trust. As the director of sales at a prominent packaged food manufacturer put it:

“I enjoy working with Alive & Kickin’ because of how much I can trust them. They’re extremely customer-focused, which means they respond fast and really honor their commitments. I’ve learned that the more transparent I am with them, the better they serve us because they’re the pizza crust experts!” 

The foodservice industry is taking the brunt of pandemic-related challenges like supply chain disruptions, an even steeper labor crisis, and spiraling food costs. It’s a time of change that calls for buckling down and reading up on how to survive in an uncertain future. Our Lessons From COVID guide spells out key takeaways and best practices to help pizzeria operators adapt to the changes of the “new normal.” Click the button below to download your copy now.

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1Restaurant Dive, The restaurant labor crisis in 5 stats, November 12, 2021

2Bloomberg, Inflation on the Menu as US Restaurants Pass On Soaring Costs - Bloomberg, June 23, 2021

Categories: General Operations, Restaurants

Nick Charles

Written by Nick Charles

President, Alive & Kickin' Pizza Crust
Nick has been in the pizza dough business for more than 20 years. He heads up the company’s customer development and service (making sure they’re always happy with our product and our processes) and manages the overall business. It’s a big job, and he’s the right guy to do it!