The Next Slice: The Road Ahead for Zume Pizza


In early 2015, I was wrapping up my latest role in the video game industry and thinking about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I had thought a lot about the future of the food industry, even going as far as patenting the concept of cooking food during delivery. At the time, my understanding of the food business was from a technical perspective, and I had a hunch it would take a lot more to make food people would love.  

Fortunately, after much searching, I met a person who knew how to do that: Julia Collins. In our first conversation (she was in the office of her award-winning NYC restaurant) she said two things that were important enough that they became founding principles of our company:

Making food for people is a sacred trust.
Every American has a right to a healthy meal they can afford.

In September of 2015, Zume Pizza was born. It took us eight months and three days to go from a vision, and an empty warehouse in Mountain View to a system that could (just barely) deliver on our vision, and in April of 2016, we served our first pizza. 

For the last two years, the incredible team at Zume has obsessed over every minute detail of reinventing the way food can be made and delivered. At the core of our efforts is another principle:

Automation and robotics exist to improve the quality of human lives, first with our employees, then with their communities, then with our customers.

At every step, we have reinvested the surplus created through the application of more technology to pay fair, living wages to our team and to buy the very best ingredients we can find. We have never compromised on the quality of our product or the wellbeing of our employees (and we never will).

Completely reinventing local food supply chain logistics has been the most challenging thing any of us have ever attempted but it has been worth it. As a result, Zume Pizza is delicious. It has half the calories, cholesterol and saturated fat of the leading national chains and you’d never know. It turns out, when you use the highest quality ingredients you do not need to add downstream sugar, salt and preservatives to make your “food” taste good. Here’s the thing, this matters in every category of food, not just pizza!

Coming up with an entirely new approach is essential, and the time is now. The mainstream food industry is expected to reach $200B over the next five years but:

The Zume team is all-in on our mission to make things better in 2018. We are expanding Zume Pizza’s operating area to nearly half of the metro San Francisco market. We have recently expanded to Sunnyvale and Cupertino, and next up is Santa Clara, Campbell, Redwood City, San Carlos, and Belmont. We are also investing deeply in better technology that further improves the speed, quality, and price of our food. Zume Pizza rocks, but this is just the beginning, and today we are taking our first steps beyond pizza.

Everything we have built so far for Zume Pizza is now a part of our platform that completely reinvents delivery food supply chain logistics. The Zume Platform ranges from our patented Baked On The Way™ food delivery vehicles, the technology that powers “co-bot” production facilities, predictive AI systems and hundreds of other inventions. 

To bring this technology to the world, we are establishing our parent company, Zume Inc. Zume’s mission is to, “Feed the world without ruining it.” We are already working with some of the world’s leading food companies who are as excited as we are about a future where fast, affordable food does not come with the consequences we are all dealing with today.

The first of these partnerships is with one of the world’s leading appliance manufacturing companies, Welbilt (NYSE: WBT). By partnering with Welbilt and their incredible range of smart cooking appliances, Zume’s BOTW™ infrastructure can now host nearly any food type and opens our platform to the broader delivery food industry in a big way.

We are also building the strongest team in the industry. Today we are welcoming three incredible new leaders to the Zume team:

  • Chris Satchell joins Zume as Chief Technical Officer building on his success as Chief Product Officer at Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and Consumer Technology Officer at Nike (NYSE: NKE).
  • Kira Druyan joins us as General Counsel following her 11-year tenure at Starbucks(NYSE: SBUX), most recently as their Assistant General Counsel. 
  • Tracey Forster joins as VP of Marketing at Zume Pizza building on her successful track record as one of the most innovative marketing leaders in both large and emerging brands.

A lot is going on, but this is just the beginning of what’s to come over the rest of this year and beyond. We are so grateful for our amazing customers and if you are reading this and feeling hungry, head on over to our website and see what’s for lunch.

We are looking forward to sharing a pizza with you and your family soon!

Alex Garden