MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- In this emerging age of drone deliveries, and , technology now brings us -- robo-pizza.
Silicon Valley is at the forefront of reinventing the pie. The kitchen at Zume Pizza is where technology and culinary arts collide.
Humans and robots work side-by-side at Zume Pizza in Mountain View, California.
Veteran restaurateur Julia Collins founded the delivery-only pizza company with Alex Garden, the former president of online gaming company, Zynga.
“I saw an opportunity to go after the $40 billion domestic delivery pizza market,” Garden said.
And they say they’re able to do it cheaper than the competition with help from specially designed robots like Bruno, who lifts pizzas into the oven. These robots also squirt out tomato sauce and then spread it, but a human still puts on the toppings. However, that step will be automated in March of next year.
Noel, who is doing that job now, said he is not worried about losing his job though.
“Noel is going to be helping us at our next facility in San Jose,” Collins explained.
The company is committed to using robots for repetitive, mundane tasks to eventually move kitchen staff into the front office, and shift focus to what Zume Pizza considers its marquee innovation, a truck with more than 50 ovens that cooks pizzas while they’re out for delivery using special software.
“And when we’re absolutely certain that you’re just the number of minutes away from arriving the ovens switch on,” explained Garden. “It’s amazing.”
The truck is making test runs right now, but Zume has already been delivering robotic-made pizzas for months -- the traditional way.
“Honestly, it tastes pretty good. I’ve had it once before. The ingredients are all pretty good, I don’t feel like crap after eating it. And it comes fast,” said one customer.
Zume said it invests some of the money it saves using robots, to buy better ingredients.
“It’s gonna be 170 calories a slice, verse what you would see with a competitor at 320 calories a slice,” Collins explained. “Almost half the calories, half the fat, half the cholesterol.”
A technical triumph, any way you slice it.