In Today’s Podcast Episode, We’ll Dive Into:
What exactly is Zume? Zume is much, much more than just the ‘robot pizza company’. Alex Garden, Founder and CEO at Zume Inc, and his team are building automation into the entire supply chain of consumption, from food preparation to delivery. Starting with pizza as their testing grounds, the Zume team is leveraging robots to help humans do their jobs better, all while serving higher quality and better testing food at a lower price.
How is delivery changing the unit economics of the restaurant industry? Consumer preferences are changing, and the delivery apps of the world (UberEATS, DoorDash, Postmates) are throwing a wrench into the operating and margin structure of the traditional restaurant. As delivery fees eat into profit and delivery backlog eats into kitchen throughput, Alex and his team at Zume are building a solution for restaurants to meet this new age of consumption.
What do you do with hundreds of millions of dollars of capital? When Softbank’s Vision Fund comes knocking with a large investment round, how exactly should you think about allocating all of that capital efficiently? Alex shares how the capital he’s raised from well-known VC funds like Kleiner Perkins and SoftBank is helping his team revolutionize all aspects of the food supply chain, from investing in AI-driven analytics to building out a restaurant salesforce.
How does data drive Zume? Alex and his team are incredibly data-driven at the scientific level all the way to its broad, business metrics. Additionally, Alex gives helpful context on how founders should think about testing variables in isolation given how complex our environments are. There’s a ton of science that goes into delighting a customer with great food every single time (delivery dwell, route optimization, temperature, CSAT), but there’s also a ton of art.
How do you monetize a non-core product? In 2006, Amazon productized something it got really good at in order to support its core product line. That ‘thing’ they monetized was Amazon Web Services, which is now generating tens of billions of revenue. Alex and his team at Zume saw an opportunity to do the same with their innovative packaging; they’re now shipping out cheaper, eco-friendly packaging to vendors around the world as an ancillary revenue stream… all while lowering our collective carbon footprint.
What’s a recent read that’s changed Alex’s perspective?
Interested in learning more about Alex Garden and Zume? Here are a few resources:
- Zume Uses Robots To Cook Pizza — But There’s Bigger Potential Any Way You Slice It (Forbes)
- This startup is raising $750 million to outmaneuver Domino’s and Pizza Hut with pizzas made by robots (Business Insider)
- Zume Brings Its Robot and Data-Driven Pizza Delivery to the East Bay Area
Thanks for tuning into another episode of the Pattern Recognition Podcast!