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05/12/2020

Robotics Expert Derek Pietz Joins Ono Food Co. as Vice President of Automation

Ono Food Co., a restaurant group that has built a full-stack food automation platform to revolutionize the restaurant experience, officially named robotics innovator Derek Pietz as VP of Automation for the company. Pietz will be responsible for driving the development of new automated solutions and bringing them into production.

Derek brings over a decade of industry experience as a distinguished robotics leader who was formerly the Head of Automation at Sweetgreen where he led the restaurant group’s automation efforts. Prior to Sweetgreen, he co-founded L2F, an engineering firm that spearheaded industrial automation for manufacturers including Tesla, SpaceX, and Apple. Pietz also led automation and robotics projects for foodservice companies such as Cafe X and Blommer Chocolate. L2F was later acquired by Middleby — America’s largest foodservice equipment provider that sells food appliances such as Turbo Chef to operators like McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Chipotle.

"In the current restaurant climate, customers are increasingly demanding convenient, contactless, and personalized healthy food at an affordable price,” said Pietz. "From what I’ve seen in the market, Ono's platform is uniquely positioned to lead this transformation, and I’m excited to help build the future of food.”

“Derek is the ideal executive to help elevate Ono to the next level,” said Stephen Klein, co-founder and CEO, Ono Food Co. “His experience and talent leading complex automated systems for some of the world’s leading brands will be central to our mission of making healthy food accessible, and we are excited to have him on our team.”

By leveraging software and robotics, Ono Food Co.’s platform offers contactless food from prep to pick-up, and they’re able to provide personalized meals to customers based on their nutritional preferences and dietary needs.