Pizza Market Driving Small Footprint Oven Innovations

Technological innovations in oven technology are making it easier for pubs, clubs and cafes to add pizza to the menu, in recognition of its value as a cost-effective, easy to make meal.

3 MIN READ 11 Nov 2022


  • Latest small footprint ovens make it easy to prepare and serve great tasting pizza in limited space
  • Even when pizzas are the main focus of the menu, these ovens can be used to create complementary menu items
  • In choosing a suitable oven, consider throughput, ease of operation and type of pizza dough being used
  • Today’s fast speed low footprint ovens can cook pizza from par-cooked dough in as little as a minute and a half

Technological innovations in oven technology are making it easier for pubs, clubs and cafes to add pizza to the menu, in recognition of its value as a cost-effective, easy to make meal.

The latest small footprint ovens – about the size of a microwave oven – enable even small food kiosks, food trucks and food court businesses to prepare and serve great tasting pizza. “The pizza industry has really changed in the last five years,” says Bruno Gentile, an Australian champion pizzamaker who spent many years working with oven manufacturers, “and the way pizzas are being cooked has changed too. Today’s conveyor ovens can produce pizza that’s just as good as you’d get out of a conventional wood fired - you can even cook direct onto the conveyor chain itself, which gives you a truer wood fired baked pizza flavour.”


Bruno says the growth of smaller footprint ovens has been driven by the growing pizza market: “Kitchens are getting smaller, so they’re looking for smaller footprint equipment which allows them to provide a full scope of menu items. And chefs have recognised that even when pizzas are the main focus of the menu, they can use these ovens to create complementary menu items as well – so the ovens are designed to cook everything from steaks to fish to vegies, and even bake bread.”

The other major technological innovation in oven technology is faster throughput. “Some of the new conveyors can cook pizzas within three minutes, whereas the older ones take up to eight – so there can be a real benefit in trading up,” Bruno explains. “My advice would be to talk to the oven dealers and manufacturers to find the oven that best suits your needs. It's important to bear in mind how much volume in pizza you’re expecting to produce. If you’re only making 30 pizzas a day, there’s no need to buy an oven that does 400 an hour!”

The need for ease of operation is also worth bearing in mind. “If your staff have a low skill set, don’t go to a high-tech oven. One of the benefits of conveyor ovens is you can put the pizza in one end and it comes out the other without the need for a lot of oversight in between.”

Bruno says you also need to take your pizza dough into consideration: “The doughs that pizzamakers are using nowadays have totally changed from 10-15 years ago. You need to identify the flavour and texture that you’re trying to produce - whether you’re making your own dough or using par-cooked bases will impact on which oven will give you the best results.”

Helen Zhang of major oven supplier Unox Australia echoes Bruno’s advice, saying the speed at which you can cook pizza in today’s ovens is much faster than in the past – and when using par-cooked bases, it’s even quicker.

“Normally in combi ovens, raw dough takes about four and a half minutes, whereas par-cooked pizza takes about three minutes,” Helen explains. “But when you’re using a speed oven like today’s Speed.Pro and Speed.X, a raw dough takes as little as two and a half to three minutes, and a par-cooked pizza can be cooked as quickly as a minute and a half.

“So for cafés, bars, pubs or clubs which are likely using par-cooked bases, high speed ovens like Speed.Pro and Speed.X are the perfect choice.”

Launched in Australia at last month’s Foodservice Australia trade show, the Speed.X exemplifies a genuine technological leap – it’s the world’s first self-cleaning combi speed oven, combining air, steam and microwave technologies within one intelligent unit. The winner of numerous international design and technology awards, it features an AI-powered operating system with customisable home screen which allows you to set preferences and keep them always in the screen’s foreground, making it faster and easier to program in the kitchen.

Speed.Pro, its predecessor, combines convection and speed in a single small footprint oven, and cooked the pictured pizza from a par-cooked base in just 1 minute 20 seconds!