- Zume Pizza has robots and humans working together to make pizza.
- The Silicon Valley company plans to increase its workforce 7X this year.
- Zume offers opportunities for entry-level employees to learn new skills and advance their careers, so they don’t risk being replaced by robots.
A pizza delivery company based in Silicon Valley is expanding its robot and human workforce as it moves toward its goal of making better-tasting pizza faster.
Founded in 2015, Zume Pizza uses robots and artificial intelligence to automate parts of the pizza-making process. Machines press mounds of dough, squirt and spread sauce, and lift pizzas into the oven — in a fraction of the time it would take human workers to do the same.
Zume has grown from a modest three-person operation to a workforce of 150, and it plans to hire another 900 employees in 2018 as it looks to scale outside the San Francisco Bay Area. Ron Storn, former Vice President of People at Lyft, has joined Zume to oversee its expansion.
Storn has the novel task of running human resources at a company where humans and machines work side-by-side. Automation threatens to take 800 million jobs globally by 2030, and Zume wants to show that it can actually promote job growth by putting robots to work.
Zume uses robots with swinging appendages and spouts to automate parts of the pizza-making process that humans are bad at, like spreading sauce evenly or taking dough off a wooden pallet. Robots also do the dangerous stuff, like putting a pizza in a 800-degree industrial oven.
When routine tasks are eliminated by automation, it frees up individuals such as pizza chefs to learn new skills, do more high-level work, and even advance their career, according to Storn.
“People — humans — are very sacred to Read More Here