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Want oven-fresh delivery food? A new startup makes it possible


Many consumers love ordering food online to have it delivered to their home. Food delivery has become a big business for restaurants and grocery stores.
Others, like me, are still feeling skeptical about delivery food despite its convenience.
First, there is no guarantee that the delivery drivers won’t touch the food. A study cited by Newsweek reveals that more than one in every four (28%) delivery persons has tasted the food from an order. 54% admitted that they were often tempted by the smell of the food for customers.
Also, I do not think my food would taste fresh or as good after it was sitting inside a container for a good amount of time. Lastly, most food being delivered is stored in containers that are not made of sustainable materials.
It was not until I heard of Zume Pizza, a startup in the Bay Area, that I saw myself ordering food online in the future. Zume Pizza stands out from other restaurants by combining robots, predictive analytics, and mobile ovens in the production and delivery of pizzas.

How Zume Pizza works

  • It gathers relevant information, such as weather, sports events, school schedules, etc., to estimate how many and what types of pizzas it will sell for the day.
  • Consumers place an order online or with a mobile app during the day.
  • Robots, alongside with real human beings (at this point), will prepare the partially cooked pizzas in Zume’s production kitchen.
According to Zume’s initial operating procedures (as shown in the video above),
  • The partially cooked pizzas will then be loaded in Zume’s delivery trucks, where over 50 small ovens are installed.
  • The delivery trucks will take off for delivery.
  • The cooking of the pizzas will be resumed in the small ovens just four minutes before the pizzas are delivered to a household, using the predicted algorithm with GPS data.
According to Zume’s most updated operating procedures (as shown on the company website),
  • The partially cooked pizzas will be loaded into the mobile kitchens (food trucks) with smart ovens.
  • The mobile kitchens will head out and park in a neighborhood.
  • A mobile or online order will then activate the individual ovens to finish the very last step of cooking.
  • The delivery drivers will deliver the pizzas when they are ready.
It is unclear why the company changed its operating procedures, but it might be for higher production efficiency. I prefer Zume’s initial operating procedures because it gives me the hope of having freshly made restaurant food delivered to my home in the future.

Automation in the foodservice business

Restaurants are embracing the opportunities for automatic service to lower labor costs and respond to consumer demands. Automation has already become an essential part of the production process for many restaurant chains and food retailers, from ordering to performing a variety of cooking tasks in the kitchen.
Along the same lines, food delivery companies have also begun testing robot delivery in selected markets, including Beijing and Shenzhen in China as well as university campuses in the United States.

What does the future of automation hold?

I believe new business opportunities will emerge for those who are ready and will be not replaced by machines at workMore virtual restaurants, for example, were born as a result of the booming food delivery business.
To stay ahead of the competitors, entrepreneurs must think of creative ways to integrate more automatic service components into a business’ existing production line. Zume’s initial operating procedure is a good example in that regard.
What does the future hold for automatic service in restaurants or the foodservice business in general? Any thoughts?

Note: This post was also published on Multibriefs.com; the picture was downloaded from MarketScale.com

Comments

  1. If it wasn't for the current situation that we are in, I would not really think that this is a good idea for a company. Sure people would like their pizza hot but doing pick up or delivery the food will still be warm. As for the machines they are using, I know Costco uses similar machines. I seen Costco have a dough press, then a person would add the dots with a roller, after that they use a machine to spread the sauce and lastly someone would add the toppings and put the pizza in oven. The combination with humans and machines is not something new, but I think having ovens in delivery van is a bit excessive.

    Isaac Magana HRT 3020 Sec 03

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  2. If it wasn't for the current situation that we are in, I would not think that this is a good idea for a company. I understand that people would like their food to be hot, but just doing pick up or delivery the food will still be warm. I also have seen other places use machines along with people, like Costco. Costco have a dough presser as well, then a person will add the dots with a roller. Then use another machine to spread the sauce and after that a person will add the topping and place it into the oven. The combination of humans and machines is not something new, and I just think having ovens in delivery van to have the food hot is a bit excessive.
    Isaac Magana HRT 3020 Sec 03

    ReplyDelete
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