What it is: Zume Pizza is a new delivery service that uses robots to cook pizza while driving to its final destination.
When most people think about robots and automation, they may think of massive assembly lines or exotic robots out of science fiction. Yet the biggest innovation in life often comes from small niche markets that nobody really notices until the change becomes so massive they can no longer avoid seeing the obvious.
What made Netflix popular wasn’t the idea of mailing DVDs to customers, but in creating a massive streaming video library. What made the iPhone popular wasn’t the fact that it was another smartphone, but that it was essentially a computer in your pocket. What made PCs initially popular was that they put the power of computers on everyone’s desk back in the days when computers were isolated chunks of machinery hidden behind locked doors in special air conditioned rooms that only certain people could access at any given time.
The public almost never notices innovation right away because it sneaks into society until it blossoms into something so big that everyone finally takes notice of it. That’s the latest situation with Zume Pizza.
All innovation stems from solving problems. While some people strive to solve big problems like creating drinkable water out of the ocean, other people solve much smaller problems that. In the case of Zume Pizza, the big problem is that pizzas are often delivered cold and late.
That might not seem like a big problem, but it’s a problem that no one else has solved. The traditional way of pizza delivery is to cook a pizza, then delivery it as fast as possible before it gets cold. That’s often inefficient because the driver needs to make multiple stops.
Zume Pizza avoids this problem by using robots and algorithms to maximize efficiency. First, Zume Pizza’s robots help put together pizzas so the cost of labor is completely eliminated except for the driver. Second, Zume Pizza’s delivery trucks contain multiple ovens so they cook the pizza on the way to the destination. That way the pizza gets to your house hot out of the oven and completely fresh.
By using robots, Zume Pizza reduces labor costs. By cooking pizzas in the delivery truck, Zume Pizza avoids the problem of cold pizzas being delivered. With GPS tracking, Zume Pizza’s ovens can estimate how much time the truck will take before it reaches its destination. Robots put the pizza together and the smart ovens time its cooking so it’s ready when the delivery truck pulls to your house.
How can traditional pizza delivery services compete against Zume Pizza? They can’t. While traditional pizza delivery services continue struggling with cold pizza and slow delivery, Zume Pizza can always deliver hot and fresh pizza every time. The money saved from labor goes into buying locally sourced ingredients so your pizza is not only hot, but full of natural ingredients from the surrounding area as well.
Zume Pizza will revolutionize something as simple as the pizza delivery industry. Just as the iPhone wiped out Blackberry and Nokia because neither could compete, so will Zume Pizza wipe out traditional pizza delivery services. Who would have guessed that food delivery would be a prime market for massive innovation with robotics, software algorithms, and locally sourced ingredients to provide a healthy, fresh meal every time?