Industry Pundits have begun an argument- is the Pizza Fad fading? Or, Is Pizza Hut bracing to fight the Robots that are soon to dominate the Pizza making industry?
Pizza Hut Menu Prices have been dropping intentionally and we might see further low in Pizza hut menu item prices.
Is the move set out to fight competitors like Dominos?
What about Robots? Yes, the Pizza making robots and it’s not a joke.
Here’s the news. We have innovation in hand. Robots are ready to prepare yummy Pizzas for you. The innovation is by Zume Pizzas of Silicon Valley.
Dominos and other brands are going to be hit by the storm as well with a lot of investors already willing to invest big in automated pizza making and delivery.
Pizza Prices Slashed across industry due to Robots & Competition
Before moving to the news, let’s first discuss the Pizza price slide.
In January 2016, the mega-sized Pizza Hut brand which is one of the top fast food chains won the hearts of the many pizza lovers when it announced that each pie would cost just $5.
The move was seen as a way of reaching out to the vast number of its faithful who love bargains while bowing down to the climatic changes.
The discounted rates are part of Pizza Hut menu prices revamp, although patrons must order a minimum of two items to pay $5 for each.
And while what pizza can be bought with one serving of eight boneless “wings,” brownie, a family-sized cookie or pasta, the reasons for the appreciation isn’t a wild guess.
Now back to the competition in terms of Pizza Making Robots that might have impacted the Pizza hut price slash.
Read on to know about the innovation that might impact the Pizza prices of the future for sure.
Pizza Company Uses Robots To Change Food Quality
Robots are changing the way the world runs, especially at a Mountain View pizza joint called Zume Pizza (As an update the Zume Pizza doesn’t seem to be operational anymore or the COVID 19 crisis might have taken a toll on the business).
This is how automation in pizza making can be transformational. Zume Pizza certainly gives us a great case study to gauge into the future of pizza making and serving.
Robots are creating artisanal pizzas that are delivered via a high-tech truck, which bakes the pizza along the way.
Image by CNN
Julia Collins, Zume CEO, said the dwell time is the difference between pizzeria pizza and delivery pizza.
One of the largest businesses in the U.S. is pizza, with about $40 billion in revenue per year – 40 per cent of the market is dominated by Papa John’s, Pizza Hut, Little Caesar’s and Dominos.
Innovation is key to offering a better pizza product.
For larger, well-known pizza companies, this means using stabilizers and additives to generate consistency.
According to Collins, the idea is to use technology so that food is better.
Alex Garden and Collins co-founded the Silicon Valley startup, and feel technology will lead to a more delicious pizza. How so?
We will explore the whole process of this amazing competition of chains like Pizza hut in this post.
Let’s get on with the innovation now.
How’s The Pizza Designed at Zume different from Pizza Hut?
Now, this step is key to understanding why Pizza Hut prices and that of other Pizza chains should be impacted by this new concept.
This is how the Pizza ecosystem works at Zume.
Customers who want a high-tech pizza will need to place the order through a smartphone app.
A bell will ring in a building that lets a human know that a new order was placed on the iPad.
The cook will place a naked pizza on the conveyor belt. From here, two robots – Pepe and Jojo – will lay down the sauce (one light, one heavy).
A third robot – Marta – will spread the sauce, and after it does that, the pizza will go through an area where humans will add the toppings.
Image by Phys Org
Bruno will carefully remove it from the conveyor belt and place it in the oven.
The delivery truck is like any other delivery truck, but it’s being driven by a Zume “pielot.”
Zume’s truck has 56 ovens, using traffic predicting technology to determine what the pizza’s arrival time would be.
The oven turns on automatically when the truck is headed to its destination.
The ovens are pre-loaded with an array of pizzas that were par-baked in a production facility.
If a pie is ordered that isn’t on the delivery truck, a car from its fleet of delivery Fiats will deliver the pizza.
The ovens use the same fuel cell as the diesel engine, cooking the pizza for 3.5 minutes at 800 degrees.
Isn’t that interesting?
Is Pizza Hut prepared to counter this Innovation by Zume
Pizza Hut menu prices were dropped for a reason. For a company of this stature, it is important to be customer centric.
Pizza Hut price cut is probably aimed to please customers while the company ensures it stays an inch ahead of its competition.
To counter Robots from companies like Zume, Pizza Hut has planned to have robots as cashiers and order takers.
This will help them sustain the price cut in the longer run.
If this goes well with consumers, they will expand even further in employing these robots across the Pizza Ecosystem.
Pizza Hut has partnered with SoftBank and MasterCard to have Robots on service.
MasterCard cafe already has this concept up and running and Pizza Hut would start with a few of these Pepper Robots soon.
Have a look at Pepper Robot in one of the MasterCard cafes.
But, are the price cuts a perfect representation of a fading fad in Pizza making?
Pizza Hut is a global restaurant brand with over 15,000 outlets across the world, and when the news of pizza hut menu prices drop broke out, lots of its ardent lovers had questions.
Perhaps, the $5 pizza craze had dominated the mainstream too much that the large restaurant chain was beginning to feel the heat.
In some countries where Pizza Hut has its restaurants including India and the Philippines, the fading fad is real.
But in the US, Canada and other locations where most of its restaurants are located, Pizza Hut’s prominence continues to rise.
Just recently, this company announced that it was going to remove more artificial additives in its Pizza in the coming years.
Of course, most of the artificial flavours and colours had been removed in line with the growing demand for clean, healthy pizza pies.
After the discovery that most of the preservatives added to the foods actually trigger many of the current lifestyle-based ills, most of the restaurants have had to find a lasting, viable solution.
So, along with the price changes that are triggered by the heightened competition, Pizza Hut will have gotten rid of the preservatives BHA and BHT by 2017.
While the prices have been adjusted, getting a bargain is only possible if you buy two of what the restaurants offer.
Pizza Hut prices, therefore, aren’t so much altered that its enthusiasts can worry.
There’s little to fear regarding the fad fading in the US.
What Does It All Mean for Pizza lovers and popular chains like Pizza Hut?
Competition and Pizza price fall comes as great news to Pizza lovers. Companies like Zume have challenged the status quo of the Pizza industry.
Other start-ups would follow soon giving stiffer competition to the biggies of industry like Pizza hut.
Pizza Hut menu prices tumbled probably due to the growing competition and rise of value seeking customer segment.
However, the role of technology and innovation can’t be ruled out.
Sure, The Pizza robots might trigger further cuts in Pizza prices in future.
Zume’s business model is scalability and co-botting, which is the collaboration between robots and humans.
And, for those folks looking at the calorie counts, Collins said the average slice of Zume Pizza is 178 calories compared to 320 calories for a slice of Domino’s pizza.
They secured a patent that lets them cook all kinds of food en route – four years and a quarter million dollars in legal work allowed them to attain it.
Collins said they started with the pizza because the industry is worth $40 billion. However, she said, any kind of food can be made in the delivery vehicles.
The first truck is travelling the Mountain View streets, but three more trucks are being designed to roll out by year’s end.
And, the company wants to expand its services to other areas in the state and, in time, the rest of the nation.
Pizza Hut is not letting the market share slip either and is leading the pack of big players of the industry by driving down the prices.
Pizza Hut prices have gone down but that comes as an ominous sign to these Start-ups.
So, the Pizza fad is definitely not fading in the USA and probably the world.