Zume's automated approach may not be able to be replicated by other food brands just yet.
It looks like automation could be a part of the pizza industry’s future—or at least for one company. According to a recent Inc. Magazine article, Zume, a company based in Mountain View in Silicon Valley, has started using automated equipment in vans to cook pizza on the way to its location for delivery.
While humans prepare dough for the pizzas at the Zume headquarters, robots are the ones responsible for shaping the dough and adding sauce before humans take it back over to apply toppings. The company fills their vans with uncooked pizzas and as the orders are placed, a pizza is added to the delivery route and then put into the oven. You may not be able to get an exact topping combo you hoped for when ordering, but your pizza will be delivered fresh, hot, and nearly instantly.
The pizza industry isn’t the only type of food brand to get in on the use of technology. McDonald’s has experimented with using robots to prepare food through automation, especially as labor costs continue to increase. Chipotle Mexican Grill and Dominos have tried using drones for delivery services as well. It may work for other types of food eventually, but the concept and technology that Zume is taking advantage of works best for companies and chains that specialize in one type of food or dish.
Zume is taking a two-pronged approach by streamlining both automation at their headquarters as well as with the technology in their vans. Zume’s cofounder Julia Collins says by making the pizzas en route to delivery, the company doesn’t need to add extra preservatives like other companies do, giving them another competitive advantage.
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