New technology to help Crust cut cooking time and energy use by 30%

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 12th December 2008

Crust Gourmet Pizza Bars is set to reduce waiting time and improve energy efficiency with the help of a new oven – the first of its kind to be released in Australia.

Crust’s flagship Annandale store – one of the busiest stores in the network – is now one of the first pizza shops in Australia to own the innovative new Middleby Marshall WOW! Oven. Previously only available in the US, the oven boasts the fastest cooking time in the pizza industry and has already delivered by increasing productivity in the Annandale store, according to the company.

The oven reportedly decreases pizza cook time by 30%, as well as cutting energy usage by an average 30%, which means cooking time will fall to 4 ½ minutes as opposed to 7 minutes; while also reducing the store’s carbon footprint and monthly electricity bills.

Peter Augoustis, Crust Business and Menu Development Manager, is excited about the impact it could have on the business, with five more stores to have it installed before the end of the financial year. “In the pizza business up to 50% of a day’s turnover can occur within a period of 1.5 hours, so we need to make sure we help franchisees to be as efficient as possible, while still maintaining high the quality Crust is known for,” Mr Augoustis said.

Crust Annandale installed the WOW! oven on November 1, 2008, and reported that 20 minutes was cut from average delivery times, and 10 to 15 minutes off average pick-up times on the first night the oven was in operation.

“It’s already made a huge difference to our business, and we’re sure it will have a similar impact in other stores as it rolls out throughout the network,” Michael Timbs, owner of Crust Annandale, commented.

The oven prototype, launched in the USA in 2007, with its efficiency down to the high velocity of hot air streams blowing above and below the pizza – Middleby Marshall, the oven’s developers, suggest.