Want oven-fresh delivery food? A new startup makes it possible
Tuesday, September 10, 2019
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.
- 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.
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 work. More 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?
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