On Super Bowl Sunday, some 48 million Americans ordered takeout or delivery, and a big slice of the pie was pizza. Engineers at Alphabet's Google celebrated the big day at the company's Mountain View, California, campus in true Silicon Valley fashion: with robot-made pizzas.
"What the Google crew tells us is that they love our pizza because it's far more nutritious than typical delivery pizza, and it tastes really good," said Zume Pizza co-CEO Julia Collins. "They have been incredibly supportive, and we have done several events for them."
Zume Pizza (No. 1 on CNBC's Upstart 25 list), which is delivery-only, is replacing human chefs with robots, slashing labor costs in half and reinvesting those savings into higher-quality ingredients to carve out a portion of the $40 billion annual U.S. pizza business.
Zume employs 76 workers, split equally between delivery, kitchen and engineering staff. That's far fewer employees than the average pizza chain, but they get full benefits, education subsidies and shares in the business. The company — which made its first hire on Sept. 8, 2015 — has never had an employee quit, which is unusual in the restaurant business, said Collins.