Imagine a pizza that shows up as hot as possible, not because the delivery driver drove like a reckless maniac, but because the delivery truck contains dozens of pizza ovens able to individually cook customers’ pies as it drives around. What does a delivery truck driver know about cooking, you might ask? Nothing, of course: The pizzas are prepared before they even get on the truck – by robots.
Even with driverless cars beginning to take the road in test drives, the whole idea still seems far-fetched, but the Mountain View, California-based startup Zume Pizza believes its model of finding ways to cut waste out of the pizza-making process while also increasing quality is the future of the delivery pizza business.
According to Bloomberg, Zume sold its first robot-made pie back in April, featuring a sauce-spreading robot named Marta and an oven-loading robot named Bruno. Sadly, humans are still necessary for the in-between steps – adding the cheese and toppings – but we can probably assume their days are numbered.
In August, Zume co-founder Alex Garden said the brand is planning its wildest step: rolling out the aforementioned automated pizza-cooking delivery truck; all he’s waiting for is the company’s unique 56 oven truck to get approval from the health department. “The robots will load all these individual ovens with different menu items. Then the truck will circle the neighborhood,” Garden said. “At precisely 3 minutes and 15 seconds before arriving at the customer's location, the cloud commands the oven to turn on and – BOOM, the customer gets a fresh, out-the-oven pizza delivered to their door.”
When push comes to shove, though, all the robots in the world can’t force you to eat a pizza – at least until we reach some sort of horrible I, Robot-like future. For now, the food still has to taste good. That’s where Zume has another trick up its sleeve: Ironically, despite using robots, the company specializes in “artisan” pizzas – things like $18 pies with roasted garlic, Calabrian chili and soppressata. “The robots are cool, but I order because it tastes good,” one local said. And if you don’t think it tastes good, maybe one day Garden and his team can implant nanobots in your brain to fix that problem too. The possibilities are endless.