January 21, 2014

Tony Gemignani talks pros and cons of mobile pizza oven

Recently, in every course I have had at least one or two students who have been interested in the concept of mobile ovens. Here are a number of pros and cons to keep in mind if you are thinking about investing in a mobile oven:


  • It is a minimal original investment as compared to a freestanding restaurant.
  • Labor costs are low.
  • These operate predominately on cash, meaning less cost to the business.
  • Food trucks, right now, are extremely popular.
  • Mobile ovens are great additions to a brick and mortar.
  • They are a great way to follow your clientele.
  • Having a mobile oven opens you up to more business opportunities such as off-site events.


  • Bad weather conditions can have a dramatic effect on business and daily sales.
  • If using a wood burning oven, it will not cook aswell and function as well as one used every day.
  • Space for refrigeration, workspace and storage space is extremely limited and not adequate for large volume.
  • If serving predominately during lunch there is a small window of opportunity for business.
  • The market is becoming over saturated with mobile trucks.
  • Some cities have strict rules and regulations in regard to food trucks, such as health codes and permits, and some areas don’t allow them.
  • Some distributors require a minimum amount for purchasing product so costs can become high if not using or going through a fair amount.
  • It is sometimes hard to get specialized ingredients and/or imported ingredients when distributors are limited or have minimum price requirements that are high.
  • Pricing can become a factor. You may have to price under $10 for some pizzas since lots of fairs, events and festivals tend to price food between $6 and $8.

RESPECTING THE CRAFT features World Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani, owner of Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco and Pizza Rock in Sacramento. Tony compiles the column with the help of his trusty assistants, Laura Meyer and Thiago Vasconcelos. If you have questions on any kitchen topic ranging from prep to finish, Tony’s your guy. Send questions via Twitter @PizzaToday, Facebook (search: Pizza Today) or e-mail and we’ll pass the best ones on to Tony.