Friday, April 11, 2014

Goodfella's Captain America P-51 Mustang for Hot Fast Casual

Goodfella's Captain America P-51 Mustang
The latest weapon in the Pizza Wars of New York was revealed by the 2x World Champion Goodfella's Brick Oven Pizza of Staten Island New York. Goodfella's has been a long time favorite of New York's Mayor's Giuliani and Bloomberg in Major sporting event bets such as the friendly mayoral wagers on both the NY Yankees and Mets for baseball and the NY Giants winning the Superbowl against the Patriots. 
The "Special Delivery" Mustang nicknamed Captain Amerca, was designed as a tribute to the P-51 Mustang fighter plane of World War II fame and the 87th Fighter Interceptor Squadron which was owner former NYPD Sergeant Cosentino's old Air Force Unit. Partners Andrew Scudera who runs the famous Victory Blvd. Goodfella's and Scot Cosentino who runs the the original Hylan Blvd. Goodfella's say they are now prepared to deliver the finest wood fired brick oven pizza on earth!
If the constant smiles and thumbs up are any indication this should be a very effective weapon indeed in the continuing battle of pizza superiority in NY.

Between hot delivery and the revolutionary revolving brick oven from the New York Brick Oven Company, Goodfella's is prepared for business.

P-51 Mustang

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P-51 Mustang

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How to start a pizza place, part 2 by founder of Goodfella's Brick Oven Pizza Pizza -The Concept

So let me begin by reiterating rule number 1 from my last installment: There are no rules. This is the prime rule and unless your in a perfect world there are  always going to be numerous ways to open a pizza place successfully
and advice will never be in short supply, especially from the un-informed. That being said and having opened a few successful places of various sizes and types in New York I can only speak from my own experience and hope it helps somebody new to this game or thinking about having a pizza place.
I am not a person who get's stuck on fixed ideas and unable to bend if need be but I also know that to get to a goal you have to set it or you can spin your wheels figuring as you go. What I mean by this is that if you start out building a full service restaurant with fine white linen table clothe dining and mid way through decide you don't have the knowledge or staff to make it happen, you may lose a lot of time and money regrouping and building a fast casual place. 
   What is your vision, at this moment we are in the midst of a huge fast casual pizza boom across America with at least one concept starting up in Canada that I am aware of of at this time. Simply put, the fast pizza casual concept centers around low cost, fast, small personal pies, high production where the customers are encouraged to walk up to prep area and direct the people assembling the pizzas as to what toppings they want without having to use a waitstaff to take orders at the tables. Self serve soda and a couple of grab and go items may also be available at the counter. Once the pie is made it is usually put in a wood or gas fired brick oven where it is cooked in under 3 minutes and handed back to the customer who then brings it to the table himself or takes it "to go".  The main contenders you can look at are Blaze, 800 Degree, Live Basil, Pieology, Rev and a soon to be concept in development from Chipotle called Pizza Locale out of Denver. 
  Then you have your traditional mom and pop slice places typified in film as a New York Pizza Joint where they make 16-18" pies in deck ovens and have various toppings on slices displayed at the counter for reheating as the customer orders or you can order a whole pie for the table, pick up or delivery. This is the place you see dough spinning overhead as it is stretched.  The slice joint usually has an a counter with an outside ordering window for walk ups and few tables in very small area. On occasion the pizza joint will have a dining room in the back and Italian staples like spaghetti, meatballs, chicken parm and rice balls on the menu too. 
  Next we have the Neapolitan style with it's strict cookie cutter pizza rules and certificates so that any place you visit should theoretically be like any other. These only use a traditional wood fired ovens, certain flour, toppings and must cook in under 90 seconds. Not conducive to take out and delivery but a favorite in parts of Italy. They usually have sit down table service and range in size and number of seats. 
  Next there your huge full service 200 seat places with a giant menu containing meats, fish, pasta, pizza, salads, drinks etc. These are usually chains and tend to be shopping high traffic areas connected to theaters, supermarkets or in tourist traps. 
  Brew pubs are gaining popularity and creating their own beer identity as they make various types and styles of pizza.
   Pick up and delivery only is what it sounds like in small store fronts with low grade pizza being the usual fair for your discount shoppers not particularly concerned with flavor, freshness or healthy choices.
   Lastly we have my own personal favorite and the places I usually search out when I'm in a new area: casual gourmet brick oven pizza such as the original Goodfella's Brick Oven Pizza On Hyaln Blvd. in Staten Island New York. Before it was called fast casual they were making every pie to order-no slices and allowing the customers to choose their own toppings such as freshly roasted peppers or one of their gourmet delights such as the "Vodka Pie". These places are almost always independently owned and operated, use the freshest ingredients, cook in brick ovens such as those from the New York Brick Oven Co and have menus of various sizes with authentic Italian dishes. This type of place is usually bigger than a slice joint yet more comfortable than a big box chain. Where these places shine is in personal care and ensuring the customer is part of the experience and that he always feels welcome. 
   If you haven't decided on your style yet you still have time for some fun pizza eating research. Go to types of places you might want to open and see what they are doing. Once you decide on the style that fits you(and your budget) you need to determine your decor, name, style of pizza, size of place, furniture, uniform or not, atmosphere, music and if it's self serve or table service. That my friends is your concept which will need to clearly defined for next steps which will be in a future installment. Happy Pizza!