We often think of robots as a thing of the future. Sci-Fi films have always portrayed space travel and robots within the narrative, whether as active or implied characters. Only a few may have imagined though that these characters would become part of our reality this soon. Robots that began assembling cars have evolved into robots vacuuming our carpets and filling delivery orders for Amazon. So why not have robots been preparing our meals and delivering them to us on-demand? For some companies, like Zume Robot Pizza and Softbank, that future is now.
Introducing Zume Robot Pizza
In 2016, Zume Pizza set out to do something extraordinary. Not only did the business seek to use robots to prepare pizza for delivery, but it also went a step further. The Zume pizza robot not only makes, bakes and delivers pizza to customers. It does it all while on route! Using its patented delivery trucks equipped with automated ovens, Zume pizza robots create an artisan pizza for you that arrives just-in-time, piping hot and fresh. A customer simply calls in the pizza order, and networking technology instructs both preparation and delivery with incredible precision. Everything is nicely prepared and packaged within a Zume Robot Pizza Truck.
Though the Zume Robot Pizza attracts attention on its own, the company is making waves on a much larger scale. Recently, the Japanese capital investment giant Softbank announced it was considering investing $750 million in Zume Pizza robots.
Softbank, known for its technology and autonomous transportation interests, only sees Zume Robot Pizza as the tip of an iceberg. As mobility-as-a-service expands, it only makes sense that major changes could occur in the restaurant sector. Both Zume Pizza and Softbank envision these changes in the very near future.
Looking at the Potential for Zume Pizza Robot
The benefit of the Zume Robot Pizza is the just-in-time arrival of pizza that’s made-to-order pizza. But the potential for the Zume Robot Pizza concept is so much more than this. Consider some of the following potentials the company foresees in the immediate future.
- Meal Mobility-as-a-Service – Consumers want mobility services. From streaming movies on a smartphone to navigating directions by GPS while traveling abroad, mobility-as-a-service is an evolving need. Even the success of Uber Eats shows how consumers enjoy mobility services as it relates to food. Imagine if you could have your meal anytime, anywhere! Zume Robot Pizza essentially offers just that. Likewise, Zume Pizza plans to expand its mobility meal services to an array of food items ranging from coffee to frozen yogurt.
- Supply Chain Efficiency – Zume Pizza began as a technology concept to improve supply chains efficiency in the pizza industry. The company wanted to bring fresh, hot pizza to customers in the most efficient way. But in the process, Zume Robot Pizza provides more than efficiency. It reduces food storage, returns trips back and forth to a kitchen, and other components of the typical delivery chain. Moreover, with the use of autonomous vehicles, the process will become even better. These efficiencies naturally reduce costs, but they also consider quality using fresher foods and fewer preservatives.
- B2B Opportunities – Perhaps Softbank is considering mega-investments in the Zume Robot Pizza because of the company’s larger Zume started with pizza robots, but the company plans to license its patented oven trucks to restaurants for use. In essence, any restaurant could use these trucks to receive orders, prepare meals, and deliver to customers on-the-fly. Zume Pizza has also partnered with appliance manufacturer Welbilt to further develop its decentralized, mobile meal inventory and preparation model. Zume Robot Pizza is just the beginning.
- Customized Experiences – Notably, customers increasingly want mobilized services. However, at the same time, they also wish to personalized experiences. While a stock-menu pizza on-demand is alright, customizing your pizza exactly the way you want it is incredible. This is where Zume Robot Pizza excels. Its proprietary control systems not only coordinate preparation and delivery but allow customized orders. Of course, this not only applies to Zume Robot Pizza. As Zume expands into a B2B market, any restaurant has this same capability as part of its mobility offerings. Bring in today’s “experience” economy, Zume Robot Pizza expands dining experiences to an entirely new level.
A Glimpse into the Future
By moving much of the cooking to a mobility platform, Zume Robot Pizza creates a decentralized model of meal services. With autonomous vehicles and just-in-time technology, this has tremendous potential for the future. For example, friends could meet anywhere and each enjoys their own type of entrée. Gatherings, business meetings, and many other events could cater to individualized needs providing just-in-time meals. With such a concept, so many new dining experiences could be created for customers. No wonder Softbank is seriously considering major investments in Zume Robot Pizza and its role in future meal mobility services.
John R. Miles
EVP & Associate Publisher
John R. Miles is Executive Vice President of Business Development and Associate Publisher of Bold Business. He is a sought-after motivational speaker and writer. He brings visionary leadership style and talent as a Navy Veteran and an internationally experienced CEO, COO, and Fortune 50 CIO across a multitude of industries. Miles is also an operating partner at the Virgo Investment Group where he is responsible for identifying and pursuing new investments while supporting existing portfolio companies with operational expertise. He is active on Linkedin and Twitter and published in a variety of media. Miles graduated with honors from the U.S. Naval Academy where he was a varsity athlete.