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Zume looks to life beyond pizza

Launch a fleet of robotic pizza vans and also you’re going to get painted because the robotic pizza firm. It’s a tough label to shake off — however so far as labels go, it’s a fairly cool one. Even so, Zume Pizza has lengthy made it clear that has broader plans to maneuver past pizza supply, so as to serve the broader meals trade as a complete.

The first step towards that extra bold method is right now’s information that firm is forming Zume Inc., a bigger umbrella beneath which the Zume Pizza model will live on, and give attention to that titular foodstuff. The broader firm, alternatively, will present its technological know-how to any eating places that need to get into the meals truck sport.

In an dialog with TechCrunch, CEO Alex Garden floated espresso, steamed buns and frozen yogurt as potentialities — although particular eating places have but to be introduced. What is obvious, nevertheless, is that Zume is now positioning itself as extra of a platform, fairly than any particular particular person meals or piece of kitchen {hardware}.

“Pizza was our prototype,” says Garden. “There’s no reason why this technology wouldn’t work for any restaurant or any food category. Any restaurant who wants to adopt our system can now easily do that. They don’t have to be experts in technology or appliance manufacturing. They can just be restauranteurs, who have a more flexible offering for customers.”

The firm’s main play is using AI, automation and a bunch cell kitchen applied sciences designed to foretell meals developments, so as to meet clients the place they’re, and supply them freshly cooked foodstuffs prepared earlier than they organize them.

“The Zume magic is its ability to predict what people order before they do,” Garden explains. “And then, based on those signals, you can make and locate that inventory. Havig located it, you can bake it just in time without using any chemical tricks or processed foods. It’s about prediction and forward deployment.”

The startup can also be saying a partnership with Welbilt. The Tampa-based industrial equipment conglomerate might be designing {hardware} for model 2.zero of Zume’s vans, designed to service a broader assortment of meals, transferring ahead. The firm’s new model of the oven is cheaper and extra versatile than the proprietary home equipment Zume’s pizza vans have been cruising round with, so far.

All of this additionally comes with some key new hires. Former Comcast/Nike govt Chris Satchell might be approaching as CTO, Kira Druyan, who was beforehand at Starbucks, would be the firm’s new General Counsel, and Tracey Forster, previously of Johnson and Johnson is the brand new VP of selling.

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