From coast to coast, pizzeria operators put everything they have into their signature pies. In this series, Grande features operators and their secrets to success.
Watch how three operators from different parts of the country embrace the pizza from motor city.
Did you know that 56% of consumers are interested in Detroit-style pizza, but only 24% of operators offer it?* Maybe it’s time to add it to your menu.
Get insider tips on:
· Creating authentic Detroit-style pizza
· Adding value to common ingredients
· Photography that works harder
*Datassential Pizza Power Report, 2018
In 2014 I got a call from my longtime friend Jeff Smokevitch, who owns a pizzeria called Brown Dog Pizza. He wanted to try a new concept in Denver specializing in Detroit -style. Being from Detroit, I was on board right away.
It's hard to talk about quality for me without talking a little bit about risk. There's a balance between using what we believe are the best ingredients and charging a correct price to get our customers to come back. Menu pricing is art and science.
That's kind of like asking me which of my daughters is my favorite daughter. I would say that our Brooklyn Bridge - which is our best seller - is arguably my favorite. That and the 313.
I had never heard of Detroit-style pizza before. Then I visited Brown Dog Pizza while on vacation in Telluride, CO. It blew me away. So, I went back to Pittsburgh and started working on a recipe right away. So far, Pittsburgh has responded well.
Grow the business through flavor. Make sure your recipes are good. Make sure your pizza dough is good. Check your salt levels often. And be ready to work. The first few months of business are going to be long.
Probably the White Pie is the one that I always love. It has garlic cream over top of caramelized onions and roasted tomatoes.
I had visited friends who live in Michigan and was inspired by the Detroit-style pizzerias. At that time, I wanted to get out of the corporate world, not travel so much and have something that was mine and my family’s.
We have a wonderful product. We don't need to discount it. I'd rather charge the right amount the first time instead of inflate the price and then offer coupons. Just serve a quality product. And charge the right price and everybody gets it.
It used to be the Fig-et About It. Today, I would say probably our GreekTown. That’s a no sauce pizza with spinach, mayo and a bunch of different things. But it’s basically a Greek salad.