Zume adds a robotic arm to its automated pizza kitchen

Earlier this year, Zume made it pretty clear that it was exploring life beyond pizza. Coffee, steamed buns and frozen yogurt have all been floated as possibilities for the newly formed Zume Inc. Of course, for its subsidiary Zume Pizza, the titular foodstuff is very much its bread and butter.

In fact, the company’s increasing the number of in-kitchen robots its implementing, with the addition of an arm into the mix. The ABB robotic arm, nicknamed “Vincenzo,” pulls pizzas from the 800-degree robotic oven and places them on nearby shelves, filling an entire rack in around four and a half minutes. Zume cites a stat from Cintas that blames restaurant gigs for as much as one-third of occupational burns. So, better robot arms than human. 

The company also used the occasion to announce another, more human, addition to the team. Rhonda Lesinski-Woolf will be joining up as president of the Zume Pizza subsidiary, after having served as the CMO and SVP at Del Monte. Lesinski-Woolf joins a number of key recent hires for the company, including CTO Chris Satchell.

“As we continue to grow and scale across new food types and markets, it’s imperative that we create an environment that’s safe and fulfilling for our employees and that we continue to build a dream team of executive leadership,” CEO Alex Garden said in a release tied to the news. “With the addition of Rhonda and Vincenzo, we’re designing a workplace that’s creating meaningful careers all while upending the food delivery industry.”