The portable pizza oven is an innovative, high-tech product that has given entrepreneurs a new way to cash in on their love of pizza. The food truck industry has seen a steady increase in popularity over the last several years. A portable pizza oven just may be the secret to out-selling the competition.
Selling Pizza on the Street: Is it Legal?
We asked Edward Brock, a culinary enthusiast and self-proclaimed pizza addict, about what it takes to sell pizza in New York with a portable oven. Brock, a chef and blogger who shares reviews and insights with pizza lovers on Pizza Oven Radar, had this to say:
“Well, your portable food court has the right to exist, but it must comply with New York State SubPart 14-4 – Mobile Food Service Establishments and Pushcarts. It’s quite long, but the Acceptable Equipment paragraph says: ‘Equipment installed in mobile food service establishments is acceptable in that establishment provided that it is in good repair, maintained in a sanitary condition, the food-contact surfaces are non-toxic and it performs its intended function in a satisfactory manner without contaminating food by normal use.’”
“This means that you are allowed to use all types of portable pizza ovens to serve delicious freshly-baked pies right on the street,” continued Brock. “Make sure you comply with the rest of the regulations (including the mobile food service definition), register your business, and enjoy working as much or as little as you want.”
What Type of Pizza Should You Sell?
Pizza is one of America’s favorite foods and in New York, they do it their own way. Nearly every block is home to a pizzeria offering New York-style pizza. What this means for you is that, in terms of demand, it’s crucial that you find a way to stand out.
Fortunately, portable pizza ovens are equipped with remarkable features that allow you to cook authentic pizza just about anywhere. From the familiar New York-style pizza to true Neapolitan pies, you can make delicious pizzas that people will want to line up around the block for.
Neapolitan pizza is far less common in New York than New York-style pizza. With a portable wood-fired oven that can reach temperatures well above 800 degrees Fahrenheit, you can give the people of New York a taste of true Italian pie.
Because these ovens are conveniently portable, you can set up a food stand or rent a booth at a local market and be churning out pizzas in no time.
“There’s nothing we love more than enjoying a delicious pizza dining in the outdoors with a crisp cold salad,” shared Amy and Andy with OhWeCook. “Authentic Neapolitan pizza originates from the birthplace of pizza, Naples. It involves traditional methods and ingredients that have been around for many years. I think what makes it popular is the taste and it is not authentically heavily meat based so it appeals to people with various food preferences.
What makes a perfect Neapolitan pizza is a thin base topped with a tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. An authentic Neapolitan pizza, the true classic, is wood fired. It’s about taking simple ingredients and combining it with an artisanal technique that comes through when you taste the pizza!”
Things to Remember Before You Start Selling Pizza
With so many ideas in mind, getting your business started can quickly become overwhelming. Before you start selling pizza, consider taking the following steps to ensure your sales opportunities are successful.
- Research local events where you can sell your pizza. Consider the profit margins of each event, as well as the pros and cons of setting up your business there.
- Consider working with an event planner. An individual event planner can walk you through the process, from beginning to end, to give you the best shot at success.
- Ask specific questions about the event and location. Can you connect to a power source at the event or do you have to provide your own power? Do you have to provide your own cold storage for your ingredients? Is there additional equipment available for rent?
- Triple-check that you have the appropriate licensing from the Health Department. For this purpose, you will likely need either a Temporary Event License or a Mobile Food Vending Permit.
- Don’t forget about insurance. Not only should your business and your vehicle be insured, but you will likely want to include your mobile pizza oven in your coverage as well.
- Research your competitors to better understand the pricing, crowd expectations, etc.
- Formulate contingency plans so you know what to do in the case of bad weather, issues with your equipment, or more customers than you expected.
With an entrepreneurial mindset and careful planning, you can put your portable oven to good use.