US based Piestro – a new start-up automating quality pizza creation – has launched to raise up to $2M in seed capital via equity crowdfunding site StartEngine. The company is producing a standalone, fully integrated cooking system and dispenser, creating an automated pizzeria that combines the freshest ingredients and custom recipes to build quality pizza options – giving restaurateurs access to the futuristic technology they need to bring delicious meals closer to any door
At a time when take out, delivery and quick access to food options are increasing in demand and becoming the 'new normal' for consumers spending more time at home, restaurants face new operational challenges to stay productive and reduce costs, all while providing personalization options to patrons. Consumer habits are shifting – they want fresher, localized food options that can be customized to their own personal pallet, and restaurants are not equipped to stay competitive in the wake of new industry restrictions and uncertain economic constraints. Restaurant analysts and operators project that 75 percent of the independent restaurants that have been closed to protect Americans from the coronavirus won't make it. Meanwhile, The National Restaurant Association estimated the entire industry would lose $225 billion in the coming three months and shed five to seven million employees.
The new environment for the restaurant industry threatens to rob the public of the local staples and family recipes that have created a unique culture throughout communities. To compete, solutions need to come to market that can expediate food production, ensure consistent taste with every bite and streamline access for consumers closer to home. Piestro introduces a new technology and business model to ensure the best taste and local flavors continue to reach future kitchen tables.
"Growing up in Italy, I developed a fascination and love for food that became more than a career – but a lifelong passion," said Massimo De Marco, CEO of Piestro. "Making the perfect bite come to life by bringing together the best flavors is a true art. Pizza is not just my favorite dish, but an expression of my culture and cultures the world over. Restaurateurs know it's those one-of-a-kind recipes that continue to bring customers back. Our technology keeps the authenticity of recipes alive and ensures consistent taste and texture every time a pizza is dispensed. There is no reason we should lose the local recipes we've come to love or the ability to discover or create new favorites; we can bring automation to the industry and help businesses thrive."
Piestro will bring their automated pizzeria to public spaces – including apartment complexes, hospitals, office buildings and school dorms, as well as local hotspots for entertainment. The cooking system can be uploaded with customizable recipes and stocked with the best ingredients to produce a pizza that matches the artisanal flavor and ideal texture of local pizza classics, in three minutes – all with a simple push of the button, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Piestro will allow the end customer to customize their pizza with a variety of toppings and will facilitate ordering in person or via an app. The company will also look to partner with delivery services for customers who want to order through an app and have the pizza delivered directly to their door. The automated pizzeria will also advance to a contactless dispensing and payment design to bring an even stronger added layer of food safety by eliminating points of contact that could cause contamination.
Targeting a final cold-to-cook capability based on advanced robotics, precise dispensing, and temperature sensors, Piestro is tapping into cutting edge technology to quickly produce top quality pizzas. Piestro utilizes a complex temperature isolation system that keeps the toppings and dough at proper temperatures from the heat of the oven located below. Future versions of Piestro will also make use of dual heating element ovens to quickly produce perfectly cooked pizzas.
Piestro will have its own branded recipe and standalone pizzeria. For restaurants looking to increase their visibility and bring their menus closer to the public without the added infrastructure, labor and delivery service costs, Piestro provides a brandable "Powered by Piestro" pizzeria option to expand their business at a fraction of the cost. Meanwhile, restaurants can also tackle the need for speed and new kitchen limitations by adding a Piestro cooking system directly into their current kitchens. For new restaurateurs that want to enter the market, Pietro provides a point of entry with minimized risk and built in foot traffic.
Piestro is backed by lead investor, Wavemaker Partners, a global Venture Capital fund with $400M AUM and Wavemaker Labs, a food automation focused venture studio. The company features a seasoned team of food and robotics expertise made up of executives and founders from Miso Robotics, Kitchen United, SBE Entertainment Group, Graze Autonomous Mowers, and Wolfgang Puck. The company is launching its seed capital raise on equity crowdfunding site StartEngine.
Through equity crowdfunding, any individual can invest in the company without large upfront costs. The democratized venture capital model allows everyday investors to be pioneers in the most cutting-edge technologies like robotics, automation and artificial intelligence. In just one week, Piestro has raised over $100,000 in investments.