Learn how Minnesota-based Pizzeria Pezzo has added gelato to their menu to keep it exciting - and profitable!
Authentic gelato made from scratch in-house is proving to be a big hit with Pizzeria Pezzo’s customers.
The pizza business is ultra-competitive these days, so traditional pizza places have had to up their game to keep their customers satisfied (and ordering).
For one small pizza chain in Minnesota, gelato has been the key to keeping their menu exciting — and profitable. Pizzeria Pezzo has units in White Bear Lake and Woodbury, Minn., suburbs of Minneapolis- St. Paul. It specializes in coal-fired pizzas made with fresh ingredients and also offers a range of Chicago-style deep-dish pizza (named after Chicago neighborhoods like Lincoln Park and the Gold Coast). Appetizers, pasta and sandwiches toasted in the 850-degree F oven are also on the menu. But Pizzeria Pezzo is not like many other pizza joints.
While Pizzeria Pezzo had offered traditional Italian desserts such as tiramisu and cannoli made from scratch, it had not been making its gelato in house. The decision to change that came from the top down, because “Keri Bougie, the owner of the company, is an avid sweets connoisseur,” Morrison says. That might be a bit of an understatement, as Bougie calls herself “a dessert fiend.” During her college years, she spent two summers in Italy, where she fell in love with gelato. “I would literally go from gelateria to gelateria, one after the other, to try them and compare them,” Bougie says. When she became one of the owners of Pizzeria Pezzo, she couldn’t understand why they weren’t making gelato from scratch. So, she started teaching herself about frozen dessert making at home, buying books and home ice cream makers.
The Carpigiani Ready Batch Freezer was the right machine for Pizzeria Pezzo. “We tested several machines when we were on our search and were just getting into the brand,” Morrison says. “We fell in love with the way the Carpigiani machine produced our gelato.”The Ready Batch Freezer lets you mix, heat and freeze in the same cylinder. Its Hard-O-Tronic technology provides an automatic consistency control to determine when the product is complete, and an intuitive control panel is accessible even when mix is being added. Not only does the Ready Batch Freezer make great gelato, but it’s also simple to operate, Morrison says. “It’s easy to train people on it. It’s very user-friendly,” he says.
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