Robot Pizza Company Wants To Be “Amazon Of Food”

A Silicon Valley startup created by a former video game executive is taking aim at Domino’s and Pizza Hut, promising to deliver mostly robot-made pizzas in a truck that cooks the pie en route to your house. 

In a profile with Bloomberg, the founder of Zume Pizza claims he can do better than the competition with his small army of robot sauce-spreaders and oven-filled trucks.

While your mind might automatically envision a robot like Rosie from The Jetsons ladling sauce on dough in the kitchen at Zume, that definitely isn’t the case.

Instead, the robots, which are separated from humans by glass boxes, are more or less arms and spider-like machines working in an assembly line crafting each pizza.

Marta spreads the sauce “perfectly, but not too perfectly,” before sending the pie down the conveyor belt to be decorated, before it finally arrives at a 5-foot tall arm-like robot named Bruno, that places the pie in the oven.

For now, Bloomberg reports, the pizzas are delivered to customers in Fiats, but the company hopes to use specifically created delivery trucks that finish cooking pizzas on the way to customers’ homes.

The startup’s delivery vans, which are awaiting approval from the Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health, each come equipped with 56 remotely controlled ovens.

Zume co-founder Alex Garden, a former executive at mobile gaming giant Zynga, tells Bloomberg that once the vans are operational, the process will work by having the robots load each oven with different orders. At approximately three minutes and 15 seconds before arriving at the delivery destination, the oven will be turned on remotely from the Zume office, and “boom, the customer gets a fresh, out-of-the-oven pizza delivered to their door.”

“We want to be the Amazon of food,” Garden says, noting that the new process, if used by other companies, could be “incredibly profitable.”

In fact, Bloomberg points out that some pizza companies have already begun experimenting with robots and more automative processes. Pizza Hut previously partnered with MasterCard and Softbank to develop a robotic cashier, while Domino’s is testing an autonomous delivery vehicle.

Despite advancements in technology and the potential profitability of using robots, analysts warn that Zume’s revisioned pizza company could face an uphill battle considering Papa Johns, Domino’s, and Pizza Hut account for 58% of the U.S. pizza delivery market.

Inside Silicon Valley’s Robot Pizzeria [Bloomberg]

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