Commercial Automation’s (CA) Chief Operating Officer and industry veteran Jeff Klemp has witnessed firsthand what happens when industries get disrupted. As a past executive at Hollywood Video and Movie Gallery, he watched as kiosks and other solutions disrupted these traditional brick-and-mortar businesses. He learned that consumers will quickly embrace solutions that provide immediate gratification and convenience.  Using the lessons from his past, Klemp and CA are helping lead disruption by creating a new automated pizza kiosk for the $45.1 billion U.S. market for pizza.

CA, a premier kiosk development company, has partnered with Basil Street Café to develop and deploy a best-in-class Automated Pizza Kiosk  (APK).  The APK is a revolutionary robotic, self-serve kiosk solution that bakes and dispenses fresh, brick-oven style pizza.  As a recent article in The Spoon describes, the APK can dispense pizza in dorms, airports, or in just about any institution on demand, 24 hours a day. In addition to design and development efforts, CA is also providing Basil Street Café with an entire supply chain solution from deployment to ongoing operations.  CA has extensive supply chain expertise, enabling it to customize a supply chain solution that provides an ongoing, scalable competitive advantage.

Basil Street Cafe Automated Pizza Kitchen developed by Commercial Automation

The Basil Street Café Automated Pizza Kitchen kiosk developed by Commercial Automation.

The APK is not CA’s inaugural run at developing and deploying a kiosk solution. The CA team has a strong foundation in specialty retail, having developed robotic solutions for this environment, and that expertise is paired with a detailed understanding of consumer preferences for pizza and other offerings.

“Until now, no one’s perfected moving pizza into an immediate gratification space,” said Klemp.  “There are other pizza offerings, such as microwave solutions, fresh bake solutions and traditional cook solutions.  We explored all of these, but felt that to build a scalable solution that delivered an excellent product, we needed to prioritize customer wants and demands. The team knew that immediate gratification and convenience were two key attributes of an offering, but Basil and CA felt more was needed.  To offer something truly unique, we decided to design the APK around providing the exceptional quality, taste, and appearance of a high-end pizzeria at a great value. And, we are delivering this out of a kiosk.”

The CA team felt that a key success factor was the oven technology.  “A microwaved pizza does provide immediate gratification, but it doesn’t create a good end-product,” said Klemp. “Microwave technology also adds complexity and cost to the go-forward supply chain.  Part of what we did with the Automated Pizza Kitchen was develop a proprietary, patent-pending rapid-cook oven that utilizes three, unique types of cook technology. It not only bakes a better pizza, but it is safer and easier to deploy, with additional benefits of lower maintenance requirements and higher uptime. Our development engineers also included predictive technologies in the kiosk, which allows the system to provide a consistent, high-quality experience bringing even the most discriminating customers back to the kiosk again and again.”

The CA proprietary speed oven is ideal for pizza and other food products as well.  “The solution was always intended to grow into other food channels and those opportunities are right around the corner,” said Klemp. “Our proprietary oven was built to accept multiple-sized, food-grade products, not just the pizza. We designed the APK as a modular system, allowing for quick adaptation, migration and scalability into many different types of environments and channels.”

Success with this innovative, automated pizza kiosk is contingent on more than the oven and robotics, as Klemp explained. “A lot of people don’t understand that a majority of the costs of a kiosk solution comes from the rollout, implementation, marketing, and supply-chain infrastructure.  There are also ongoing maintenance solutions to consider. We’ve created the Basil Street Automated Pizza Kitchen as a modular system, where components are easily fixed and replaced without requiring service personnel to have a high technical skill set to do those replacements. This means the Automated Pizza Kitchen is a low-maintenance, high up-time solution that accelerates ROI and profits.”

Commercial Automation and Basil Street Café feel that the Automated Pizza Kitchen positions them to take a healthy slice of the pizza business. “We feel that the growth of this business could be substantial,” said Klemp.  “Our automated pizza kiosk solution meets the ever changing demands of a finicky customer.  We are excited about this new channel and we feel this type of disruption is healthy”.