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The pizza at Fornino in Brooklyn which cut its menu for delivery during the pandemic.

Michael Ayoub of Fornino pizzeria in Brooklyn weathers the pandemic and prepares for the future

The restaurant’s founder finds new uses for his wood-burning ovens

Michael Ayoub is the founder of Fornino, a pizzeria with two locations in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The restaurants were doing robust business before the coronavirus struck, when all dining-room business, which accounted for about half of all sales, went away.

Ayoub and his team hunkered down, doing away with lunch, which had always been slow, and streamlining the menu to get rid of more labor-intensive pizza and dishes that were enjoyed in the restaurants but didn’t travel well.

Like many pizzerias, Fornino had its own team to deliver its food, but as the pandemic progressed Ayoub also started using third-party delivery to extend his radius beyond the mile that his bicyclists were covering.

It’s a different world now, but with so many people working from home, Ayoub is bringing lunch back with a new focaccia program, and also using his wood burning ovens to prepare more takeout meals, like roasted chicken.

In this video, Ayoub discusses what he’s been doing for the past six months, as well as his plans for the rest of the year.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

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