An automated pizza-making platform by Seattle-based Picnic has been piloted at T-Mobile Park, as concessionaire Centerplate serves as one of the company’s initial customers.
Picnic revealed on Tuesday that the first two customers for its automated pizza assembly platform are Redmond, WA-based Zaucer Pizza–a science-fiction themed establishment–along with Centerplate. Centerplate used the platform in a pilot last month at T-Mobile Park, testing it over the course of 12 Seattle Mariners home games.
Centerplate officials have expressed satisfaction with how the pilot–which took place in T-Mobile Park’s suite section–unfolded, noting the performance of the system and the quality of pizzas it was able to create. The company considers the trial run successful, and is open to using the platform in the future. More from the Seattle Times:
T-Mobile Park’s suite section served as the ideal testing ground due to its controlled environment, said Centerplate General Manager Steve Dominguez. Picnic delivered a prototype to the kitchen at no cost, and stationed computer engineers who ensured the system created consistently high-quality pizzas. Dominguez called the trial run a success and said Centerplate would consider using the system in the future.
“For the customers, they couldn’t tell a difference, which for me was a win,” said Dominguez.
“That food assembly process is labor intensive and tedious,” said [Picnic CEO Clayton] Wood. “It’s hard to keep trained workers who make a consistent product.”
Picnic’s automated system requires just one worker to place the dough into the assembly line and replenish the toppings. Wood sees Picnic as a solution to the shift from dine-in restaurants to delivery and takeout, where a high volume of food is needed in a short amount of time. His company’s customers are facing a staffing shortage that is creating “a great deal of stress” in the kitchen, he said.
According to information in a press release from Picnic on Tuesday, the platform is designed to create customizable pizzas at a clip of up to 180 18” or 300 12” pizzas per hour.