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High-tech Zume Pizza makes 2 key appointments

Zume Pizza

Zume Pizza, the high-tech pizzeria on wheels, has added two key staff members: Vincenzo, a robot programmed to bake and store pie crusts, and Rhonda Lesinski-Woolf, a carbon life form who’s moved over from a foodservice supplier to serve as the fledgling concept’s president.

The moves are intended to complement Zume’s previously announced expansion. The concept has set a target of expanding to 26 markets from its current base of three locations.

Vincenzo, in what is apparently his first job, is charged with removing blank pie shells from Zume’s proprietary 800-degree ovens and sliding them into the appropriate slot on any of four holding racks, each of which can house 27 crusts. Vincenzo decides the location of each blank on the basis of when it will be topped and baked off in a Zume truck as the vehicle travels its computer-choreographed delivery route.

Vincenzo has been clocked at filling a rack in 4.5 minutes.

In making the announcement, Zume noted that stationing Vincenzo at commissary ovens will spare humans from the risk of burning their arms, a routine hazard in the pizza business.

Lesinski-Woolf joined Zume after serving as SVP of Revolution Foods, with a focus on selling the processing company’s foods to schools. Earlier, she was CMO and SVP of product management for Del Monte. 

“After years spent cultivating a deep understanding of the food industry, I’m proud to be joining a team that's taking on the biggest issues in food delivery,” Lesinski-Woolf said in a statement.

Zume has drawn considerable attention and investment capital for its high-tech approach to delivery. The truck concept bakes pizzas en route to customers’ homes, with computers controlling the onboard ovens to finish the pies just as the vehicle arrives at its destination.

The concept recently announced plans to license its technology to foodservice operators outside the pizza segment who want to branch into delivery.

“With the addition of Rhonda and Vincenzo, we’re designing a workplace that’s creating meaningful careers all while upending the food delivery industry,” Alex Gardner, Zume’s CEO, said in the announcement.

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