SEATTLE – The burger business has Flippy, an autonomous robotic kitchen assistant launched by Pasadena, Calif.-based Miso Robotics. Now, the pizza industry has an automated pizza assembly system made by Seattle-based Picnic, a developer of food production technology and Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS) solutions.
The Picnic system is a modular assembly line with high-capacity sauce, topping and granular ingredient dispensers. The software includes a touchscreen interface for ordering pizza. Operators can use their own recipe and make hundreds of pizzas per hour in any shape from 8 to 18 inches with full customization per pizza, according to Picnic, while eliminating over-topping and spillage.
Benefits of the system include easy installation, limited build-out and a small footprint.
Picnic recently announced updates to its pizza assembly technology that include:
- New refrigeration and enclosed design that improves food safety and cleanliness. These upgrades ensure all surfaces are maintained at food-safe temperatures, Picnic said, and the improved hopper design allows for drainage of extra liquid for better handling of wet and brined ingredients.
- A redesigned food handling system that provides better topping accuracy and maintains cleanliness throughout the day.
- A new, aesthetically pleasing design that maintains the commercial-grade ruggedness of the previous system but can be placed in front-of-house the company said. The new design also enhances ease-of-assembly and reliability.
- Larger front and top doors that make it easier to load ingredients, clean, and service while providing operators better interior visibility to monitor ingredient levels. Picnic said the system is now easier to breakdown and more parts are dishwasher safe.
- An optimized user interface with easy-to-use menus and utilities so anyone can operate the system with minimal training. The system also features improved monitoring and user feedback.
“We are seeing an increase in enthusiasm for our system and early indications are that the improvements we’ve made resonate with our customers,” said Clayton Wood, chief executive officer of Picnic. “With our success and these improvements, an increasing number of kitchen operators are contacting us with interest in our system.”
Picnic also announced three new executives joined the company’s leadership team. Cathryn 'Kati' Fritz-Jung is chief food scientist, Lamont Glendinning is vice president of sales, Don Coyner is brand director and Tim Talda is joining the company from Amazon as vice president of Engineering.