Eating is frequently nothing more than a passive antidote to the growing situations of emotional stress generated by modern life, however, in a more up-to-date conception of personal wellbeing, °it must be an active means of supplying a correct intake of daily calories without sacrificing flavour.
DIET: from the Greek δίαιτα (diaita) which literally means°"life", and hence a health-giving way and standard of living, and a rule of life.
In the Mediterranean Diet, people’s wellbeing is achieved through an active life, with actions towards others (relational dynamics) and with regard to ourselves (emotional dynamics), which combat the natural trend towards a declining body and mind.
In the ideal pizzeria, the quality of the raw material must be at the same level as the preparation technique, the design, the sensory qualities and the food's functionality. Pizzeria Dinamica® (Dynamic Pizza Making) reverses the relationship between pizza maker and customer: it is not the former who must always look for more customers to sell more products to, but it is consumers who find the right pizza maker according to the quality of life they wish for themselves. Retracing a thread that leads from the pizza to the pizza maker and not the contrary.
When we speak about the pizza makers we would like to meet, we think above all of professionals of the food world, who use their knowledge and skills to satisfy the need for wellbeing and flavour , which is typical of modern consumers. Much lies behind these few words: knowing how to select the raw materials, knowing their seasonality, learning their reactions and interactions with our body, knowing how to measure and balance them to properly stimulate our taste receptors, knowing anatomy and investigating the chemical reactions that take place in the perception of aromas, mastication and, ultimately, digestion. Pizza makers also have a touch of the artist about them, since they affect consumers' emotions through colours, shapes, texture and flavours, stimulating desire and creating gratifying, enthralling sensations. None of this should be ruined by a pizza made hastily with low quality ingredients sold off cheap, or by a standardised, soul-less menu, because customers will ultimately notice an emotional detachment that reduces the product's value. Here then is the secret: goodness is total and rewarding when one of the ingredients is a positive sentiment like love, care, and passion. Beyond the usual platitudes, it is as if the customer's head worked like a switch when judging goodness: black equals bad and white equals good, with nothing in between. Pizza makers who wish to grow in their profession must split the everyday into two opposing concepts, and communicate through being organised (quality of the product, range, service, courtesy, cleanliness, tidiness, colours, lights, sounds, etc.), positive unambiguous messages, which the customer will interpret instinctively as a mark of artistic and ethical maturity. Italian pizza makers need to rediscover all of this, since customers' demands are growing in quality and no longer in quantity.
(interview with Piero Gabrieli © 2004, published in the magazine Il Panificatore Italiano)
2006: the brand new millennium already brought a wind of change into daily life, and signs could be seen of a rethinking of eating habits with an eye on people's wellbeing. Where wellbeing did not and, above all today, does not mean only health, but the creation of a state in which human relations and a correct diet create a healthy psycho-physical balance for the individual. In this sense, people's wellbeing is achieved through an active life, with actions towards others (relational dynamics) and with regard to ourselves (emotional dynamics), which combat the natural trend towards a declining body and mind.
Clearly, in actions done for ourselves, diet plays a key role: generally experienced passively, as a counterpart to growing situations of emotional stress generated by modern life and, on the contrary, in a contemporary conception of personal wellbeing, used actively to control daily calorie intake without sacrificing flavour.
In this scenario, pizza, an Italian dish par excellence, an example of a complete meal that concentrates the key elements of the Mediterranean diet: carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins, mineral salts, few fats, is generally eaten in company, and has a price everyone can afford. And yet, over time, its average quality began to fall, in step with the improvisation that haunted the sector of unprofessional pizza makers in the absence of a state training institute.
It was already clear that the revival of the trade of artisan pizza maker, with an economically sustainable formula built bearing in mind the quality of life of both pizzeria staff and customers, would have to start from a mastery of the ingredients – first and foremost, the flour and yeast. From these considerations came Pizza Dinamica®. From an original idea of Chiara Quaglia and Piero Gabrieli sprang concrete developments that outlined a new way of organising the pizzeria, thanks to the work of a professional team who, over time, produced, and continue to produce, techniques and perspectives that have created a new reference model in the motley world of Italian pizza.
Over-the-top, disorganised, costly selections. Too often in the pizzeria, we find products not born from a common idea, which, as a result, do not communicate the pizza maker's values and thinking to customers. Too many artisans of the oven offering impersonal products. A contradiction in terms, that hikes prices and reduces consumption occasions.
A dearth of ideas, hasty restyling and imitations peddled as innovations. For the Devoto e Oli Italian Dictionary "to innovate" means "to modify by introducing novel elements; to modernise". In the economic world, innovations reduce work times and improve the quality and quantity of products expressing the ethical values of whoever has conceived them, to create a profit by improving the wellbeing of end consumers.
True innovation excludes focusing on oneself for the benefit of the collective well-being, i.e. it is the product that gives value to its creator, and not vice versa. A pointless philosophy? No, a sense of the reality of a dynamic market, governed by natural cycles that drive it inexorably towards decline. To rise again takes energy generated by innovations to tackle the everyday with a view to improving processes and products to build key elements of new lifestyles.
The recent consumption crisis has accelerated an ongoing process even more, whose roots could already be observed at the beginning of the 21st century, creating spending and consumption models in the food sector that were radically different from those of the boom years. Lower availability of cash, growing uncertainties in the world of work, social awareness campaigns, headway in preventive medicine have restored value to sobriety, in the sense of a model of life that replaces the search for economic wellbeing ("I spend a lot to eat more") as well as personal wellbeing ("I eat less and better to stay well and live longer").
Hence the widespread request for modernisation addressed to catering professionals (and in this context, pizzerias are no exception) to create new ranges in line with modern trends to contain costs and avoid wasting money, in a pattern of sobriety that ends up focussing on the quality/price ratio rather than one of quantity/price.
Proof is given by the growth in sales of products for family consumption and basic ingredients for home-made bakery products, a substantial reduction in food waste, getting more out of food's flavour, along with a more precise control over calorie intake in daily food consumption.
What better opportunity for artisan pizza makers who wish to reformulate their production with a new method, and respond to the widespread idea that also pizza should be a part of diets that bring pleasure to the palate without altering the ideal calorie intake for a healthy life (State of the World 2010, a publication from the authoritative centre for interdisciplinary studies on environmental trends, the Worldwatch Institute, underlined that the longest-lived peoples eat just 1,800-1,900 calories a day, no processed foods, and minimal animal products. By comparison, the average European consumes 3,800 calories a day in the context of a generally sedentary life).
Starting again from scratch means modernising one's product based on past experience, eliminating production of whatever does not make a profit, to concentrate on improving your strongest products.
Pizzeria Dinamica® came out of a synthesis of a far-sighted vision of Piero Gabrieli and Chiara Quaglia, and the activities of the last 5 years of technicians and experts of Il Laboratorio, the offshoot of Mulino Quaglia, devoted to research and development of new products and management methods.
The development of Pizzeria Dinamica®, first dreamed up in 2004, became operational in 2007 with the Università della Pizza® project, opening up a new development path that boasts more and more satisfied fans: pizza makers and chefs who have chosen to accept the challenge by taking an in-depth course on dough techniques and knowledge of raw materials, as well as learning the managing and sales techniques required to show their customers the greater value of the new offerings.
Some years later the true worth of this project has come out in the success stories of a growing number of pizza makers who now represent a model to be imitated, thanks to their commitment to looking closer at the technological implications of flour and yeast, rolling and cooking techniques, and the fine tuning of recipes based on quality ingredients.
Nowadays, pizza is the simplest catering option to emerge from a consumption crisis that is an expression of the decline in outdated supply models. In this market context, Pizzeria Dinamica® is a complete and efficient technique that revolutionises the management of a pizzeria by introducing product quality standards and a consumption experience that knows no equal.
Pizzeria Dinamica® is a miraculous toolbox for pizza makers and pizzeria managers who have understood the importance of giving a strong and unique identity to their offer, which straightforwardly resolves the fall in profits in a market where an undeniable consumption crisis continues.
The laws of dynamics describe the circumstances that determine and modify movement. The transposition of this concept to the technique of preparing, providing and selling pizza opens up exciting scenarios that were unimaginable just a few years ago. Scenarios in which consumers are no longer distinguished by their spending power, but by a greater or lesser propensity to steer their food choices towards offerings consistent with their own lifestyle.
Pizzeria Dinamica® reverses the relationship with customers, assigning them a role of active participation in pizza makers' offerings, and leaving them free to decide how much to spend without sacrificing the quality enjoyed by those who spend more. The concept of a selling price linked to product quality is abandoned in favour of one that depends on how much customers actively take part in the consumption experience: hence, different prices applied to products of the same quality, so that those who spend less enjoy the same quality as those who spend more.
This is a sales strategy that means a revision of the pizza menu, which in turn leads to a reduction in the range being produced, hence a different menu composition.
In order to disseminate the innovative capacity of the Pizzeria Dinamica® techniques, since 2012 at Università della Pizza® there has been a radical change in the courses and specialisations on technical and management themes to introduce pizza makers to techniques of company management, communication – also web-based, and pizza produced in full view, in a setting organised to enhance the quality of the ingredients used.
It is difficult to imagine the experience of this new approach without being directly involved. Suffice to think that those who have been involved to date, have stated that they have never undergone training in such an active and absorbing role, and that they grasped the key concepts much more quickly than in traditional lessons.
Apart from anything else, a different kind of training is indispensable to be able to usefully apply Pizzeria Dinamica® techniques to individual situations. Overall quality cannot be broken down by key element, and, now more than ever, is a real must to successfully deal with ever more demanding consumers; also during training that therefore needs to be a realistic simulation of relational and production situations.
Università della Pizza® continues to offer itself as a unique reference for pizza makers who wish to innovate not just their product, but also and above all their way of understanding the pizzeria, and achieving a status that was previously unimaginable for this category.
The image and role of pizza makers in out-of-home eating are changing hand in hand with their capacity to dedicate themselves to more easily digested dough and more natural, tastier toppings. This is a process fostered by Università della Pizza® and made possible thanks to the commitment and far-sightedness of a growing group of pizza makers, who, instead of the narcissistic footlights of competitions, preferred a commitment to training and a search for new roads: firstly an act of faith towards the teachings of the "University", secondly, a keenness to experiment and to confirm the effect on customers. Nowadays, thanks to the work of this formidable team, the features of the contemporary pizza are clear: lighter, full of fibre, with an obvious taste of wheat that balances and highlights the aromas and flavours of toppings created with high quality ingredients, prepared with respect and carefully cooked. In a setting where customers feel the leading player in a consumption experience that is in sync with the emotions of the pizza maker.
In the ideal pizzeria, the quality of the raw material must be at the same level as the preparation technique, the design, the sensory qualities and the food's functionality. The recipes must come out of the pizza maker's human values and not solely out of the need to make a profit. The features of today's Pizzeria Dinamica® were, even before being defined as we know them today, the missing facets of a quality of life tending to an overall balance of the person, and as such, presented in a nutshell characteristics common to forms and organisations already present in other business sectors. The merit of Pizzeria Dinamica® is that it reverses the relationship between pizza maker and customer: it is not the former who must always look for more customers, to sell more products to, but it is consumers who find the right pizza maker according to the quality of life they wish for themselves. Retracing a thread that leads from the pizza to the pizza maker and not the contrary. In a pizzeria where dishes are healthy, tasty, and attractive to all the senses. That are gratifying during and after the meal. That are sold and served in a setting that expresses through its lights, shapes and materials, not just care over production and the choice of raw materials, but above all attention to the working conditions of the staff in the kitchen and the dining room. And thus after the start of the first Università della Pizza® courses in 2006, followed the next year by the technical symposium PizzaUp®, finally in 2011, the first pizzeria school opened in Italy entirely based on the Pizzeria Dinamica® concepts. Here, studying and learning take place in a real setting, attended also by consumers who are served the products made during the lessons, to study their reactions and learn how to present the product to add value.
Since 2007, Pizzeria Dinamica® has grown, becoming a useful toolbox for those who wish to enter the new world of the contemporary pizzeria, thanks to the work and collaboration of leading experts from the food world and otherwise, who have created the key elements of a theoretical and practical structure that is now a reliable, tried and tested, production and sales system. Without forgetting that the very first new and revolutionary idea of a pizza aligned in terms of quality and creativity with the level of an haute cuisine dish, already existed in the vision of Simone Padoan, still a leading player in a unique and insuperable way of using pizza to offer original cuisine of the highest level.
Along with the thought that the Pizzeria Dinamica® techniques described in this book and on the Università della Pizza® training courses (www.lascuoladelmolino.com), are useful for those pizza makers who wish to set out on the contemporary pizzeria road, getting rid of the idea that “it's always been done this way…”. Certain that their customers will appreciate the change.
Pizzeria Dinamica® analyses the process from production to selling as a whole, designing not just the product (recipe), but also the sales context (overall image of the pizzeria premises) and the relational context (initiation of an active relationship with customers to make their consumption experience unique). This third point of view is something completely new, which rounds off the observations on the dynamics that make an artisan pizzeria successful and build a 3D vision of managing the business, useful to plan correct communication of the overall value.
Here is a table that summarizes the key elements of Pizzeria Dinamica™, drawn on a graph suggested by a definition of the innovative strategies (published in Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur).
The green squares show intervention points to build the strengths of a contemporary pizzeria format. In this scheme, of particular importance are the 5 strengths of Pizzeria Dinamica®, which, read in a circular cause/effect pattern are as follows:
the wellbeing of individuals is intimately linked to their eating habits, which in turn depend on chosen lifestyle (social dynamics)
the experience of eating a pizza, in a pizzeria or at home, decisively influences the customer's perception of quality (relational dynamics)
pizza, seen as a food that contributes to a person's wellbeing, comes from dough made from stone-ground wheat that is pure, in that it contains all the components of the actual wheat grain in a natural balance which, given correct maturation and proving times, becomes an easily digested, tasty base for different toppings. (dynamics of the dough)
The ingredients used to top the pizza affect the overall quality of the dish according to the techniques used for storage, handling and cooking (dynamics of the ingredients)
pizza opens the doors of quality cuisine to new groups of consumers, identified by lifestyle and not spending power. This means that pizza, from a dish eaten singly, becomes a tasting session defined by the pizza maker, commented on by whoever serves it and accompanied by types of water, beer or wine chosen in relation to the courses and in keeping with the product's quality and philosophy. The consumption experience must occur in a setting where pizza makers' human values are transmitted through their product and in an equal measure by the drinks, furnishing, lighting and sounds (emotional dynamics)
On the following pages you will find answers to the questions raised by these brief definitions.
Your task is to understand how to build your own business model, applying the rules in this manual to construct an identity for your pizzeria (product + image + consumption experience) that communicates the personality and values of each one of you.
All texts on this web page have been written by Piero Gabrieli and published on Manuale di Pizzeria Dinamica, 2012.