Picnic's automated pizza-topping system is officially open for business.
Restaurants and other customers in the U.S. can now pre-order one of Picnic's robots, which can be configured to an operator's menu and produce up to 100 pizzas per hour in tandem with a human employee. The company said its system is the only one of its kind that is commercially available.
The rollout comes after successful pilots in a variety of settings, including restaurants, entertainment venues, theme parks and hospitality businesses, Picnic said in a news release. It was also fueled by $20.5 million in venture capital funding.
“This is a huge milestone for Picnic, and we couldn’t be more excited to announce commercial availability,” said Picnic CEO Clayton Wood in a statement. “The validation we’ve received from industry partners and customers reaffirms the need for kitchen automation solutions like ours, and we are looking forward to an excellent year ahead.”
The company also unveiled pricing for the system: A monthly subscription will cost between $3,500 and $5,500, depending on the customer's configuration and production volume. There is no upfront cost; delivery, installation and on-site maintenance checks are free. Existing orders will be installed this year and new orders will ship in 2022.
The system is intended to help restaurants produce more consistent pizzas while also reducing food waste and labor costs. Wood said in May that restaurants' hiring challenges were driving more interest in Picnic's technology.
"We're filling job openings," he told Restaurant Business at the time.
The robot can work in a variety of settings, from large chains to mom-and-pop pizzerias as well as nontraditional locations like colleges and airports. The company believes it will be particularly useful in ghost kitchens or commissaries, or in restaurants that do a lot of digital orders.
"A lot of the customers we’re talking to are actually setting up new or expanded operations which really need the automation to work effectively," Wood told RB in May.
Seattle-based Picnic announced the news Tuesday at the International Pizza Expo and Conference in Las Vegas.
Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.