In today’s podcast, I talk with Zume Pizza cofounder Julia Collins.

If you’ve read an article about Zume Pizza, chances are it focused on the how the company is using robotics to make pizza more efficiently.

But here’s the thing: while robot-assisted pizza production IS interesting, it is NOT what’s the most intriguing part about Zume Pizza’s business. No, what makes Zume Pizza revolutionary is it’s the application of data analysis combined with what the company calls an “elastic” pizza delivery network that pushes final cook and delivery to where the most demand.

In a sense, the company is applying cloud computing concepts to pizza creation, bringing the ability to scale fast to meet demand with highly efficient resources.

This makes sense for a whole bunch of reasons. Traditional retail fast food involves hundreds of thousands – even sometimes millions of dollars – in fixed cost associated with each (to use a telecom term) “point of presence”, but once the store is built you’re stuck in one place. Why not move to meet demand where it’s at, when it’s at?

That is exactly what Zume is doing with a network of mobile pizza trucks that do final-cook in smart ovens and through a fleet of scooters that bring the pizza to the consumer’s home.

Enjoy the podcast.

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