#1  
Old 04-02-2014, 12:50 PM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Posts: 31
Default What do you love / hate about your MWFO?

Hi Everyone,

Wife and I are taking steps towards starting a small MWFO catering business here in So Cali. Of course the biggest decision to make is which oven to go with. As expected, I'm up to my ears in brochures which all have a ton options for both the trailer and oven.

That being said, I was hoping to hear from some of you who are in the MFWO business. Did you go with all of the bells and whistles? (sinks, generators, prep tables, larger cook surface est..) Do you find that those were good choices? How did you choose your oven size? I know that comes down to pretty simple math, but are you really ever working more than 3-4 pies at a time?

There are certain options which seem to be pretty much no brainers: Wood storage, trailers safety features, est. I guess i'm more curious about the options that made your life as a pizza concessionaire easier.

Of course, budget is the number one concern for me and my instinct is to start with "economy model". If that ends up being the case, I just want to make sure that any options I pick are wise choices.

Thank you all so much for you input!
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  #2  
Old 04-02-2014, 01:17 PM
GianniFocaccia's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Disneyland, CA
Posts: 1,508
Default Re: What do you love / hate about your MWFO?

MD,

In addition to putting together a viable business plan, make sure you research and satisfy all CA food and safety requirements and permitting. Like everything here in CA, there is a plethora of agencies with a hand out wanting a piece of your pie (pun intended).

There are photos in the 2010 Forno Bravo Expo Slideshow

Forno Bravo Expo 2010 Slideshow

of mobile ovens being operated by experienced folk. Some of these may give you a starting point.

Good luck. Would love to see your mobile oven when you're up and running.

John
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  #3  
Old 04-02-2014, 02:54 PM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Posts: 31
Default Re: What do you love / hate about your MWFO?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GianniFocaccia View Post
MD,

In addition to putting together a viable business plan, make sure you research and satisfy all CA food and safety requirements and permitting. Like everything here in CA, there is a plethora of agencies with a hand out wanting a piece of your pie (pun intended).

There are photos in the 2010 Forno Bravo Expo Slideshow

Forno Bravo Expo 2010 Slideshow

of mobile ovens being operated by experienced folk. Some of these may give you a starting point.

Good luck. Would love to see your mobile oven when you're up and running.

John
Hi Gianni,

Absolutely, this is a very serious venture for me and I'm attempting to approach it with as much knowledge as I possibly can. Right now I'm focusing on ovens and projected start-up cost. Once I feel like I have a decent understanding of that I'll start climbing the bureaucratic mountain here in Los Angeles. My "hope" is that it will not be as much of a nightmare as I'm anticipating.

Appreciate the feedback as always!
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  #4  
Old 04-04-2014, 01:31 PM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Wisconsin
Posts: 33
Default Re: What do you love / hate about your MWFO?

the first thing the health department is going to ask is where you base your mobile operation out of, and want to do an initial inspection, and get you licensed.
They are going to want potable water, ware washing, mechanical cooling, a food-managers certification,
You can expect to jump through the same hoops as a brick and mortar restaurant, and then be forced to go above and beyond those legal requirements with your mobile unit.

I wish you luck, you have a tough road ahead of you if you do not have a licensed kitchen to work from, I would look for a 'Business Incubator" in your area, or a restaurant that would rent you space and time for your "Base of Operations"
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Old 04-04-2014, 02:25 PM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Posts: 31
Default Re: What do you love / hate about your MWFO?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GotRocks View Post
the first thing the health department is going to ask is where you base your mobile operation out of, and want to do an initial inspection, and get you licensed.
They are going to want potable water, ware washing, mechanical cooling, a food-managers certification,
You can expect to jump through the same hoops as a brick and mortar restaurant, and then be forced to go above and beyond those legal requirements with your mobile unit.

I wish you luck, you have a tough road ahead of you if you do not have a licensed kitchen to work from, I would look for a 'Business Incubator" in your area, or a restaurant that would rent you space and time for your "Base of Operations"
Thank you for the information. It's pretty ironic timing because I just spent the last two hours reading about how i'll need a commercial kitchen to base out of.

This is a pretty big blow. I hadn't anticipated needing physical location to base out of. Even with California passing cottage industry laws it looks like pizza dough wont qualify.
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  #6  
Old 04-04-2014, 07:07 PM
GianniFocaccia's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Disneyland, CA
Posts: 1,508
Default Re: What do you love / hate about your MWFO?

Don't feel bad. You are not the first person here on FB to be shocked from all the bureaucratia (just made that word up) involved in starting up a mobile pizza oven business. I've previously run afoul of LA County health inspectors who shut down our (non-pizza) booth at a fund-raiser as they ran around with their official pocket thermometers and played food policeman.

I'm sure you can find a restaurant with unused space (you don't need a lot but there is a minimum) to build your dough balls and call home if you look around. Make sure the space is compliant (clean) before you submit your apps.

Good luck.
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  #7  
Old 04-07-2014, 09:20 AM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Posts: 31
Default Re: What do you love / hate about your MWFO?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GianniFocaccia View Post
Don't feel bad. You are not the first person here on FB to be shocked from all the bureaucratia (just made that word up) involved in starting up a mobile pizza oven business. I've previously run afoul of LA County health inspectors who shut down our (non-pizza) booth at a fund-raiser as they ran around with their official pocket thermometers and played food policeman.

I'm sure you can find a restaurant with unused space (you don't need a lot but there is a minimum) to build your dough balls and call home if you look around. Make sure the space is compliant (clean) before you submit your apps.

Good luck.
Did some Google'ing over the weekend and it does look like there are a few shared kitchen spaces around my area. Most look like they want a minimum number of hours per month, but there are a couple of "food business incubators" that seem a little more flexible.

For anyone with experience, how strictly are rules enforced at public events? My wife and I go to our local farmers market just about every week and neither of us can ever recall seeing a 3 basin sink in any food vendor's stall lol.
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  #8  
Old 08-04-2014, 10:24 PM
Apprentice
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: N. KY
Posts: 201
Default Re: What do you love / hate about your MWFO?

do you not have the option to build your trailer and oven in your area to suit your needs?
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