With increased customer demand for its automated kitchen equipment, Seattle-based Picnic Works has made several key executive level hires to help kitchens lower costs through robotic automation and human innovation.
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.