Robotics Startup Company Picnic Raises $16.3 Million for Pizza Assembly Machine

By James White Saturday, May 22, 2021

Advancements in the robotics industry continue to open new doors for innovation. Robots assist numerous industries, from automotive assembly lines and outdoor maintenance to delivery services and underwater exploration. Robots are even helping out business owners in the food service industry. Robotics startup company Picnic recently secured $16.3 million in a Series A financing round from investors for its modular food assembly machine.

Picnic Pizza System.

“The Picnic Pizza System streamlines pizza making so you can focus on what matters – your food, your brand, and the satisfaction of your customers,” Clayton Wood, CEO of Picnic, told Startup Savant. “The system enables one employee to make 100 pizzas an hour with more cost savings on labor and food waste, which directly influences their bottom line.”

Funding for the robotics startup company was led by Thursday Ventures. Investors including Creative Ventures, Flying Fish Partners, and Vulcan Capital also showed support for Picnic during the financing round.

The startup company also forged strategic partnerships with food manufacturer Orion Land Mark, food service equipment repair business National Service Cooperative, Ethan Stowell Restaurants, and Baseline Hardware Financing.

Orion Land Mark will offer the machine built by the startup business to its existing network of customers in the food service industry. Furthermore, National Service Cooperative will assist the startup business with customer support and equipment servicing. The partnership with Ethan Stowell will help the robotics startup demonstrate the capabilities of its device at various events in the Seattle area, and Baseline Hardware Financing will provide financial support to customers seeking to incorporate the assembly solution into their business.

Precision Pizza Assembly

Founded in 2016, the startup company seeks to automate the food assembly process and combat labor shortages and food waste with its modular robotic machine. With new financing and strategic partners, the robotics company is poised to ramp up the production and deployment of its product.

The Picnic Pizza System features a modular design to fit the needs of the customer. Each module is responsible for applying different ingredients to the pizza, such as the sauce, cheese, and pepperoni. Additional granular modules may be added as needed to apply other toppings like peppers, mushrooms, sausage, and more. Users simply need to input the pizza order into a touchscreen interface, and the machine handles the assembly and baking. Sanitary components of the device are dishwasher safe, making routine cleaning easy.

Picnic offers its pizza assembly device to customers on a subscription basis. Subscriptions include delivery, installation, and maintenance, so there is no upfront cost to the client’s business. Wood says that the monthly fee “averages about the cost of a single full-time employee” but is easily outweighed by the savings associated with labor, training, and food waste.

Automating the Food Service Industry

Market research projects the global food automation market to reach $15.38 billion by 2027. The robotics startup hopes to implement its product in numerous kitchens, including restaurants, convenience stores, stadiums, mobile food operations, and much more.

“Working with Picnic on an impressive system is an exciting move forward in the growth and development of our manufacturing capabilities and equipment supply options, which opens opportunities for new customers and customer satisfaction,” said Keith Kinsey, CEO of Orion Land Mark.

About the Author

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James White is a Michigan State University graduate with a BS in Environmental Biology. He is interested in reporting emerging trends in technology, especially with regard to alternative energy and environmental conservation.

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