Saturday, July 22, 2017

Making the World a Better Place, One Pizza At a Time

From Yahoo Finance:

The pizza-making robots that want to change the world
HBO’s comedy “Silicon Valley” makes fun of the way even boring startup tech companies adopt the same mission statement: “To make the world a better place.”

But serial entrepreneur and former Microsoft executive Alex Garden isn’t shy about stating his new company’s path to making the world a better place—through pizza. It’s not just any pizza, though. Zume pizzas are made by robots, and they’re cooked in pizza ovens inside delivery trucks.

“One of the founding principles of this company is that every American has a right to a healthy meal they can afford,” he told me. “If you look at pizza, what is it? It’s high-quality bread, and high-quality organic vegetables, and meats and cheeses. All of these things are things that are good for you in moderation. And the number of calories really is a function of how much sugar is in the food. Zume Pizza is half the calories per slice, roughly half the cholesterol and half the fat, of any of the national leading chains.”

How? “The main reason is sugar,” says Garden, whose pizzas range in price from $10 for a cheese to $20 for a pineapple express.

“We don’t put any extra sugar in the sauce. We don’t put any extra sugar in the dough. And we let our dough age for 24 hours; during that process, the fermentation of the dough further reduces the sugar in it.”

He also has much to say about where he gets his ingredients—directly from the providers, without the warehouses and distribution channels that, say, Pizza Hut (YUM) or Domino’s (DPZ) employ. He uses software—predictive algorithms—to know what he’ll need when. He makes his sausage and tomato sauce in-house.

But that’s not the most headline-grabbing feature of Zume pizza, which was founded in 2015 and currently delivers in Mountain View, California, and surrounding areas. The biggest feature is the robots.

The robots
Inside the Zume kitchen, robots are displacing more human workers every passing month. These days, one robot presses out the dough into the familiar flattened circle; a second and third (Pepe and Giorgio) squirt tomato sauce or white sauce onto each pie; a fourth (Marta) spreads the sauce around (“perfectly, but not too perfectly,” Garden says). Humans apply the toppings, but then a fourth machine (Bruno) scoops up the pizza from the conveyor belt and delicately lays it into the baking oven; a fifth (Leonardo) chops it neatly into eight slices with a single, 200-pounds-of-force stroke....MORE
Coincidentally an earlier post was:
CDC Report: 100 Million Americans Either Diabetic or On Their Way