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The Hidden Costs of Making Your Own Pizza Dough

April 17 2019 by Dan Pecha

Making_Your_Own_Pizza_DoughOn average, ingredients account for about one-third of a restaurant’s costs.1 That’s a substantial investment, leaving many pizzeria operators to make their own dough in order to better manage expenses. From purely an ingredients perspective, this may be effective. However, when operators factor in the ancillary costs of on-site dough making, the decision may not prove as frugal.

Labor and Waste — for Starters

When crunching numbers around scratch-made dough, ingredients are only part of the equation. You likely already factor in labor and waste — the two most obvious related expenses — to arrive at a rough estimate of dough costs, but are you missing the more nuanced items that are nickel-and-diming you?

A true calculation of dough made in-house needs to include “hidden” expenses, such as:

  • Delivered cost of each ingredient to each store: Apart from the actual cost of an ingredient is the added expense of delivering that item to your door.

  • Ingredients storage: Bulk ingredients need bulk storage, and premium price tags are often attached to square footage in restaurant kitchens and coolers.

  • Inventory management: In addition to the labor required to make dough is the need for at least one employee to oversee the ingredients inventory, rotation, lot code tracking, and ordering.

  • Equipment: Outfitting your kitchen with the equipment necessary to make dough is a significant investment, but there are also the costs of required kitchen space, maintenance, depreciation, liability insurance, and add-ons like bowls, hooks, and scoops to consider.

  • Utilities: Electricity and water are costs of doing business, but that doesn’t mean they’re “free” when it comes to mixing your dough.

The Pre-Made Solution

Taken in total, making your own dough may not be providing the cost savings you thought — and it certainly doesn’t save time. The alternative? Pre-made pizza crusts and dough balls.You can gain cost and time efficiencies without compromising quality when you transition from making your own dough to the convenience and quality of pre-made dough balls and pizza crusts, but there’s so much more:

  • No crust inconsistencies across shifts or locations

  • Minimal spoilage

  • Easy ordering through your distributor

  • Space-saving storage and management

  • Fast prep — no more back-of-the-house scrambling to make dough to accommodate unanticipated big orders

Making your own dough may be taking a slice out of your profits. Is it time to switch to pre-made dough balls and pizza crusts? Use our online cost calculator to gain a better understanding of what you’re really investing in scratch-made dough and whether it’s time to reach out to a distributor for pre-made options. Click the button below to access the calculator now.

Pizza Dough Cost Calculator

1Forbes, How Much Do the Ingredients Cost in Your Favorite Foods?

Categories: General Operations, Dough Balls, Restaurants, Entertainment Venues

Dan Pecha

Written by Dan Pecha

Pizzeria Consultant
Dan is a hugely important slice of Alive & Kickin’ (see what we did there?). He started in the pizza business when he was just 14 and eventually opened his own chain of restaurants, supplying his own dough balls for each of them. He expanded to supplying dough products to other operations, then founded the Dough Shop®. Alive & Kickin’ was thrilled to acquire the Dough Shop® in 2015.