Cafe Piazza

Faster Cooking Times Feed More Customers

When Chris Manos was choosing the equipment for his latest cafe, he was all set to order the same pizza oven he was already using at his other cafe in Sydney's Queen Victoria Building (QVB).

“Even though we were happy with what we were using, Sean from Cafeideas recommended a different brand because it would cook more quickly and consistently,” he said.

“It's turned out to be a great choice as it's shaved 45 seconds off the time it takes to cook one of our freshly made pizzas, reducing it down from 3 ½ minutes. This may not sound like much but when you're busy running the lunch hour, it means we can serve our customers faster, which of course helps with table turnover and profitability.

” Manos is so pleased with his new pizza oven that he is looking into changing over the one he is using in the QVB as well.

Manos and his business partner Nicholas Livisianos opened Cafe Piazza at Warringah Mall, in Sydney's Brookvale in September.

Located in a sunlit, glass roofed atrium next to quality retailers and boutiques, Cafe Piazza is a refreshing retreat for busy shoppers to enjoy a delicious coffee, snack or meal.

Apart from Cafe Piazza, Manos owns two cafes in the QVB. One is a cafe specialising in great coffee (QVB Bar Cafe) in partnership with Nicholas Kalis, and the other in freshly made pizza (Modena Pizza Bar), which he also owns with Livisianos.

“I've been able to combine what I've learned at both these cafes, and applied it here at Cafe Piazza,” said Manos.

The cafe replaces one that had been in the space for 10 years. A total refurbishment of the space was required, and the area has now increased to serve 96 customers.

“One of the aspects I've been most pleased with was how we have been able to design the space to ensure maximum efficiency and ease of use,” said Manos.

“We've created individual sections that deal with specific aspects of our service. This means that no-one is bumping into one another and the equipment they need is in the most logical place. This streamlines how we work together and makes everything more efficient.

” Cafeideas supplied a range of equipment for Cafe Piazza including a Bonn commercial microwave, Roband milkshake mixer, Scotsman ice machine, Platinum underbench fridge, Anvil pizza bar fridge – and of course the Turbochef Speedcook conveyor oven. For cafe furniture, funky black polypropylene Italian-style chairs have been chosen for their good looks, durability and stackability. Manos also chose custom-made table tops constructed from solid Monterey pine, all sourced from Cafeideas.

“We used Silver Chef leasing for the furniture and equipment. They gave us the go-ahead straight away and have been great to deal with,” said Manos.

Manos was approached by AMP's leasing team to open a cafe at Warringah Mall through a recommendation made by QVB's leasing team. “We have a good reputation as a very professional outfit,” Manos said. “AMP was keen to ensure that the Warringah Mall cafe runs to a very high standard. We looked at the space and felt that we could deliver a great service and run a successful business from there.

” Manos has a long history in hospitality, having started as a cook in his parent's takeaway food business in Sydney's Kingsgrove when he was 14. “After finishing school, I completed studies in hospitality and managed a wide range of businesses from cocktail bars in Greece to high quality restaurants in London and Sydney,” he said. “I'm enjoying the fact that running cafes does not entail the night work involved with bars or restaurants. It's great to be able to spend time with my family as a result.

” Manos will continue to consider other locations for future cafes and would use Cafeideas again for the equipment and furniture.

“They go out of their way to be helpful and they're quick to respond to any requests we make,” he said. “I would definitely be happy to use them again and to recommend them to others.”