Picnic® Works Expands Team to Automate the Future of Food
Picnic accelerates growth and innovation to solve food service industry challenges for kitchens around the world
SEATTLE (Mar. 10, 2022) – Picnic Works, Seattle-based innovator of food automation technology, today announced several important growth milestones. With increased customer demand for its automated kitchen equipment, Picnic made several key executive level hires and grew by more than 83% in 2021 to help kitchens lower costs through robotic automation and human innovation.
“We are customer-obsessed at Picnic, working every day to solve industry pain points such as labor shortages, food waste, and the ability to meet diner demand,” said Clayton Wood, CEO of Picnic. “The pandemic made these issues even bigger, so we’re ever expanding our team of the best engineers, roboticists, food engineers, marketing, and customer success to deliver the makeline of the future.”
Picnic continues hiring across all areas of the company, as momentum and customer demand increases. Recent hires draw on decades of collective experience at Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, the USDA, Boeing, General Electric, and numerous food service and technology startups. Maintaining a focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion in everything from recruiting to vendor selection, notable recent hires include:
• Bahador Behdad, Senior Controls Engineer
• John Duffy, Director of Hardware Subsystems
• Scott Erickson, Senior Vice President of Marketing
• Benjamin Gyori, Senior Product Engineer
• Christopher Haberle, Senior Director of Product Management
• Michael Hahn, Senior Manager of Learning and Development
• Sally Hall, Senior Customer Success Manager
• Laura James, Director of Customer Operations
• Vincent Liew, Senior Customer Success Manager
• Gabriella Mendes, PhD, Senior Food Scientist
• Prosper Nwokocha, Financial Planning and Analysis Manager
• Rick Page, Vice President of Supply Chain
• Steven Remis, PhD, Senior Director of Systems Engineering
• Rebecca Staffel, Director of Marketing
• David Stewart, Senior Mechanical Engineer
• Stephanie Thomsen, Controller
• Orlin Wetzker, Director of Program Management
Picnic is working to address ongoing restaurant labor shortages with technology that fills open jobs and enables employees to do more important work. While shortages existed prior to the pandemic, there is new pressure that demands high quality food with hyper fast delivery. The Picnic Pizza Station can provide kitchens immediate short-term success through automation, helping restaurants reduce labor by 66% and creating consistent, quality food at large volume. Also, the station helps reduce food waste to around 2%, a significant reduction from the average 10% most kitchens experience today. In addition, the cost of the machine subscription includes free shipping, installation, training, software, and maintenance—delivering a positive ROI from day one.
“We’ve seen a significant increase in efficiency with the Picnic Pizza Station. What used to take three people now only requires one, which allows us to free people up to do other critical duties in the kitchen,” says Marc Cruz, Chartwells Higher Education’s District Executive Chef.
Picnic announced its partnership in February with Chartwells Higher Education, a recognized leader in contract food service management. The first to bring the pizza assembly station to a college campus dining facility, Chartwells and Picnic are helping Texas A&M Dining reduce food waste, while using cost-effective technology. Industry relationships also include Crystal Mountain ski resort, Ethan Stowell Restaurants, Orion Land Mark, National Service Cooperative, and Baseline Hardware Financing. Additional customer announcements across managed food service, grocery and convenience, hospitality, and pizza restaurants will be made in the coming weeks.
Following a successful showing at CES 2022, the Picnic Pizza Station will be on display next at The International Pizza Expo, Mar. 22-24, in Las Vegas. Customers can visit hellopicnic.com to get more information, see demo videos, and reserve a system. A cost savings estimator is available online, allowing customers to plug in their own numbers to see how much they might save. As Picnic continues growing to meet customer demand, the expanded team and added abilities will help restaurants save money and fill open positions. The Picnic Pizza Station is a must-have solution for the transformation of food service.
Founded in 2016, Picnic Works (hellopicnic.com) has collected an experienced team of food and technology industry veterans to develop and provide specialized intelligent technology and exclusive solutions for the food service and hospitality industries. Restaurants, convenient and grocery stores, university and corporate campuses, casinos, hotels, cruise lines, sports venues, catering groups, healthcare cafeterias, small kiosks, ghost kitchen operators, mobile food operations, food trucks, delivery, and military sites are among the many segments poised to benefit from the company’s automated food assembly platform integrating RaaS, software, cloud, and deep learning technology.
Find Picnic online at hellopicnic.com or on social media at facebook.com/picnicworks, linkedin.com/company/picnicworks, twitter.com/picnicnews, and instagram.com/picnicnews.
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Aaron Blank or Julie Fogerson, Fearey