This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

September 12, 2018

Robot-Made Pizza

Earlier this year, we were quite impressed with the restaurant Spyce. You can read what we wrote in "High Tech meets Haute Cuisine". Zume Pizza takes the concept of robot cooking to the next level.

Pizza: faster and more reliable
Founded in 2015, this innovative company combines online ordering, robotics, and artificial intelligence to make pizza faster and more consistent. Using Doughbots to flatten piles of dough into pie crusts in 9 seconds, one of two machines, named Giorgi and Pepe then spray the sauce, Once Marta, the sauce-spreading robot has finished distributing the sauce, made from locally grown tomatoes, a human finishes the pies with cheeses and toppings, due to the differences in weights, sizes, and textures of the add-ons.

No bricks and mortar store to pay for
We can conceive of pizza-making robots, but what is truly innovative is that there is no "front of the house", just delivery. It's all "on the truck" which receives and fills people's orders in 5 to 20 minutes---including delivery! After ordering their pizzas online using the Zume Pizza mobile app. A software algorithm sends the instructions to Zume's automated, pizza-making conveyor belt. Zume's delivery vehicle goes out with all the pizza-making supplies it needs for the day. The delivery truck is retrofitted with six Welbilt ovens that can cook up to 70 pizzas per hour.

Conveyor-belt pizza that's hot and tasty
At the end of the conveyor belt, a tall, lanky robot named Bruno, sweeps the pizza onto a rack and places it in the oven. The remarkable oven cooks the pizza for about a minute at 800 degrees, allowing pockets of gas in the dough to expand and release and gives the crust its crunch. The finished pizza emerges from the oven crispy, hot, and delicious. Zume even has a proprietary, self-cleaning pizza slicer to slice the pie into eight perfectly proportioned slices.

No tipping and no delivery fee
Cofounded by Julia Collins and Alex Garden, the concept of a robot-powered pizza delivery service grew from their desire to make high-quality pizza more affordable. With a no-tipping policy, each 14-inch pizza costs between $10 and $20 USD, including the delivery. And there's no delivery fee either.

Specially designed sustainable pizza boxes, too
Made from sustainably farmed sugarcane fiber, the non-traditional pizza delivery box, is recyclable and compostable. The bottom of the box has sloped ridges and a recess in the center that force liquids to pool where they won't touch pizza and preventing the arrival of soggy pizza.

Only the beginning
Zume has automated the production of one of the Americas' favorite foods. We forecast that pasta and/or hotdogs and burgers may be next. Or maybe the next foods will be chicken nuggets and mac and cheese? We only hope that the next start-up thinks through the process as thoroughly as Zume obviously has!

Special thanks to Bob Pritchard, business advisor and author of Kick Ass Business and Marketing Secrets: How to Blitz Your Competition, for calling our attention to this new development.


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