Zoli’s pizza was born out of the Neapolitan craze — some folks simply did not prefer it, so proprietor Jay Jerrier sought to create a model serving conventional red-sauce pizzas. Zoli’s has two areas within the DFW space.
Zoli’s Pizza in Dallas was constructed on the again of its sister pizzeria, Cane Rosso. Whereas Cane Rosso’s conventional Neapolitan-style pizzas had been well-liked with some visitors, others did not look after it. Founder Jay Jerrier seemed for a model that would please those that did not like Cane Rosso.
“This was again in 2011, 2012 the place Neapolitan pizza wasn’t in all places,” Jerrier mentioned, “so there have been lots of people who simply hated Cane Rosso. It was so floppy and moist and smooth or no matter. We had this previous deck oven within the kitchen at Cane Rosso and we simply experimented with New York-style pies. We began getting actually good at baking large, crispy slices that you may fold and did not droop.”
And thus Zoli’s was born as a counter-service idea in 2013. Jerrier and his group discovered a tiny spot in Bishop Arts in Dallas and beginning doing complete pies, slices, Grandma-style and Sicilian pizzas, rooster Parmesan rolls and stromboli — all of the meals present in conventional New York-style pizzerias.
Zoli’s was solely in that location for a few years earlier than the land was bought to a developer and the model determined to maneuver areas in 2016. Two years later, Jerrier and his group lastly discovered a brand new constructing for Zoli’s, the place it was opened as a a lot larger full-service idea in an space of northern Dallas referred to as Addison.
The model expanded into pastas, pizzas, sandwiches, salads and desserts.
“We have now what’s repeatedly written up as among the best burgers in Dallas,” Jerrier added, “which is an enormous accomplishment in such a meat-heavy city.”
He mentioned he grew up in Massachusetts the place he and his household visited a whole lot of red-sauce conventional Italian locations, which is what he needed to do with Zoli’s second coming. He employed a chef from a extra upscale eating background, who additionally was one in all Dallas’ greatest burger guys, Jerrier mentioned, so a double cheeseburger was placed on the menu and have become some of the well-liked objects and will get loads of press.
A second Zoli’s opened on the Ft. Value aspect of the area a few years in the past. Each are owned by Jerrier.
“I like our Neapolitan-style pizza, however that is the stuff I grew up on up within the Northeast,” Jerrier mentioned, including that his spouse likes the lightness of Cane Rosso’s Neapolitan pizza just a little higher. “I like the large, tacky Zoli’s slice. Every time I am going to Zoli’s, I simply get a plain cheese pizza.”
Dough is made in home. Jerrier has thought-about utilizing a commissary, and it is on his “to do” listing. To this point, he is been capable of consolidate his operations within the Dallas/Ft. Value space.
The build-your-own pizza is tops however is carefully adopted by the Christian Pescroni pizza, which options tomato sauce, double pepperoni and jalapeno pesto, and is called after an acclaimed chef who’s a buddy of Jerrier’s.
Outdated-school zucchini fries are additionally well-liked and are served with a spicy jalapeno ranch dip. As a substitute of mozzarella sticks, they provide Nuggz, fried mozzarella cubes served with marinara.
The award-winning double cheeseburger is made with a chuck-brisket-short rib mix, American cheese, farmhouse cheddar and horseradish pickles and is served with a proprietary sauce.
A favourite dessert contains the Gooey Butter Cake served with whipped cream and raspberries.
“We received artistic with the issues we needed to do on that menu,” Jerrier mentioned. There isn’t any microwave and solely a small freezer at Zoli’s, and every little thing is made in-house, together with the dough, sauce, focaccia bread, zucchini sticks, they usually lower and bread the mozzarella bites.
“The dough – it is a difficult, multi-day course of,” Jerrier added. “We have now a whole lot of completely different dough processes occurring every single day. … We do every little thing in-house as a result of I’ve by no means discovered any vendor that would do it the precise approach we wish with the identical form of high quality. We make tons of of pizzas a day and we actually need pizza one to be nearly as good as pizza 200, and except we’ve got our palms within the course of, we do not really feel like that may occur.”
Pizza accounts for 55 to 60% of gross sales. Jerrier desires the identical consideration and care put into the opposite objects on the menu as they do the pizza.
To take care of consistency as Zoli’s has grown, Jerrier mentioned he has constructed up his company employees, together with a chief culinary officer and a group of company govt cooks whose job it’s to ensure the model’s meals is reciped and plated correctly. Movies of how one can make the objects and company menu sheets can be found. There are folks on employees to coach pizzaiolos on pizza making at every location.
“Not solely can we ensure that every little thing’s constant the way in which we wish it now, we’re additionally tweaking issues for the longer term,” Jerrier added.
Hiring, like most eating places, has been a problem, and it is not simply hourly workers. Zoli’s is beginning to get some good hourly folks coming again, with pizzamakers making $20 an hour, nevertheless it appears as if the model is all the time coaching somebody new, Jerrier added. Even on the company aspect, with director-level positions, they had been having folks not displaying up for interviews for a $90,000-a-year job.
The worth fluctuations on meals and items are additionally beginning to calm down. “With 10 working eating places (between all three of his manufacturers) we purchase in huge portions,” Jerrier mentioned.
And extra diners are consuming in, requiring the model to rely much less on third-party supply.
Jerrier mentioned they’re all the time on the lookout for new alternatives and areas. He’d wish to open one other Zoli’s in Dallas and maybe one within the suburbs. The DFW space is rising, and Jerrier is ensuring the true property is smart earlier than leaping in.
“We’re all the time on the lookout for extra areas, however I am just a little gun shy about opening any areas simply due to how lengthy it takes to get something carried out now,” Jerrier admitted. “We have simply been enhancing on what we have and tweaking our dough recipes, getting our menus fine-tuned, doing all our costing, getting the suitable folks in the suitable spots. The pandemic was an ideal alternative for us to simply reset.
“We wish to make it possible for prospects have a good time after they come to our eating places, so we wish our eating places to be enjoyable, we wish our eating places to not be overly costly and we simply actually need folks to have a very good time.”
Mandy Wolf Detwiler is the managing editor at Networld Media Group and the positioning editor for PizzaMarketplace.com and QSRweb.com. She has greater than 20 years’ expertise protecting meals, folks and locations.
An award-winning print journalist, Mandy brings greater than 20 years’ expertise to Networld Media Group. She has spent practically twenty years protecting the pizza trade, from impartial pizzerias to multi-unit chains and each measurement enterprise in between. Mandy has been featured on the Meals Community and has gained quite a few awards for her protection of the restaurant trade. She has an insatiable urge for food for studying, and may inform you the place to seek out the perfect slices within the nation after spending 15 years touring and consuming pizza for a residing.