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February 2023

Success Story – Andy’s Pizza Washington DC

A few years ago, Andy Brown convinced a successful pizzeria owner to teach him the business. In the process, he fell in love with the art and science of pizza baking. Opening his own place in 2018, Andy focused on learning all he could about dough preparation, fermentation, and hydration to the gentle handling techniques which influence crust texture and density!

KEY IDEA – In addition to perfecting his own dough recipe, Andy worked to identify
the most flavorful, highest quality ingredients and toppings, by repeatedly comparing top brands in blind, side-by-side tastings. Soon his clientele began to grow as Word of Mouth spread about his place.

To keep perfecting “the main thing,” Andy limited his menu to strictly pizza and a variety of premium craft beers, wines, and sodas in single cans. To help guests keep multiple beverages chilled, he also sells reusable coolers and throws in the ice for free.

Despite the Pandemic, the popularity of Andy’s Pizza kept growing, leading him to open a second store, followed by

KEY IDEA – To help maximize baking consistency, especially across multiple locations, Andy’s team solely offers 18” pizzas sold by the slice or the pie. Sticking to a single size helps standardize bake times across different pie versions and simplifies ingredient portioning as well.

KEY IDEA – Since Andy can’t be everywhere at once, he also encourages his kitchen leads across shops to hold each other accountable to attractive presentation. He has them each post photos daily onto a text thread shared by the entire team showing off their best freshly baked slice pies on display and ready for
the lunch rush!

KEY IDEA – To further reinforce employee pride in quality from Day #1, all new hires including counter staff begin their training by tasting Andy’s premium olive oil, tomatoes, mozzarella, and 24-month aged Parmigiano Reggiano head-to-head vs. the best available super- market versions. Having them taste the flavor difference premium ingredients make also helps Andy explain his premium menu pricing versus other restaurants. (“It costs more to make the best!”)

KEY IDEA – Because slice quality declines with hold- ing time, Andy limits his selection of slice pies to a short list of the most popular flavor combinations. By only offering the most popular versions (and avoiding slow-sellers), Andy keeps his slices tasting their freshest due to their frequent turnover.

As part of Andy’s drive to further hone his craft, he regularly competes in pizza-baking competitions. In 2022, he placed first at Pizza Expo in the traditional pizza category! Meanwhile, Andy’s sales continue to grow across multiple locations! Bravo