In Mountain View, Calif., a couple of miles down the road from Google, there’s a new pizza shop. Only instead of a dozen blue-collar workers pouring marinara sauce, Zume Pizza has — you guessed it! — robots and algorithms running the show.
Their job is to solve a familiar problem: It’s game night. You order pizza for you and your buddies. It arrives later than you’d hoped, aaaand it’s cold.
“Pizza is not meant to sit in a cardboard box, ever,” Zume co-founder Julia Collins says. “The best pizza you ever had came right out of the oven.”
This is the great paradox: Pizza is a delivery food that doesn’t taste as good delivered, when it’s room temperature and soggy.
Collins and I are standing inside Zume’s solution: a delivery truck that looks standard — like something from FedEx or UPS — only it has 56 mini-ovens. They’re neatly stacked into two racks on wheels.
Here’s how it works. A customer places an order on the app. Inside the Zume factory, a team of mostly robots assembles the 14-inch pies, each of which gets loaded par-baked — or partially baked — into its own oven.
Photo: Zume Pizza