Zume Pizza, which uses a combination of robots, predictive analytics and mobile ovens to deliver pizza, further expanding its operations by heading into the East Bay of San Francisco’s Bay Area. According to Eater (and Zume’s service area map), Zume is now delivering pizza to areas around Dublin, Pleasanton and Livermore.
While Zume’s pizza robots garner most of the attention, the company’s bigger play is around data. It hoovers up tons of data points — weather, sporting events, school schedules, etc. — to determine exactly how many and what types of pizzas it will sell in a given evening. From there, Zume parbakes pizzas (with robots!) at a central facility, adds toppings.
Pizzas are then loaded and stored in vans with ovens where they finish cooking on the way to a delivery. UPDATE: Zume, as noted below, has been pretty quiet lately, and called to tell us that they have updated their delivery model. Instead of baking pizza on the way to a delivery, they park mobile kitchens in different location and have delivery drivers pick up pies from those. Additionally, the company is now using DoorDash for some of its deliveries.
Up until recently, Zume had only serviced neighborhoods in the South Bay, from San Jose to San Mateo, so the expansion into the Dublin/Pleasanton area is the company’s first move into the East Bay. Zume’s president, Rhonda Woolf told Eater, “We are trying to expand in a way that makes sense for our commissary. This is further than our trucks have historically traveled, so we’re putting a toe in the water to see how that works operationally, working through how to open a central kitchen.”
Zume’s been quiet since it got a $375 million investment from Softbank in November of last year. The company als opened up its data analysis and AI platform to form consultancy that helps other restaurants replicate the Zume model for different types of cuisines. The company even enlisted the help of Welbilt to develop different types of mobile cooking vehicles.
Pizza is a hotbed (pardon the pun) of innovation. Domino’s will let you order pizza from your car, Little Caesars has its Pizza Portal for faster pickup, and Pizza Hut is employing FedEx robots for delivery.
If you want to see how technology like robots are changing the pizza game, get one of the very last tickets still left for our ArticulATE food automation summit happening next week in San Francisco.