800 Degrees Pizza and restaurant tech company Piestro have come together to form 800 Degrees Go, a highly scalable venture meeting the growing need for consumer convenience.
The format will be a hub-and-spoke model. The hubs will be small-footprint 800 Degrees Go kitchens—either in brick-and-mortar restaurants or delivery-only ghost kitchens—that will double as commissaries for Piestro’s fully automated pizza-making kiosks, which will use the same recipes, ingredients, and cooking technology as 800 Degrees Go kitchens.
The announcement comes three months after the pizza fast casual revealed it signed an agreement for Piestro to produce 3,600 fully automated pizza-making kiosks in the next five years. All of the ingredients are inside the machine. Once an order is placed—which can be digitally scheduled for pickup or ordered in real time via the kiosk’s interactive menu—the robot will proceed to craft the pizza, cut it into slices, and place it in a box. About 40 square feet in size, the robotic pizza pods are meant for high-traffic areas like hotel lobbies and college campuses.
“The key here is these are not frozen pies that are pre-made that go in the back of the machine,” 800 Degrees CEO Tommy Lee told QSR in October. “These are real, fresh ingredients that go into the machine. You choose what you want, and you choose when you want it. And then when it’s ready, it’s from fresh ingredients cooked fresh from this new oven that’s inside of the kiosk, and then you get your pizza fresh and hot whenever you want it. 24/7.”
800 Degrees Go involves a new brick-and-mortar prototype that slices square footage to 1,500 to 2,00 square feet and lowers investment for operators. As for the ghost kitchens, the pizza chain has a deal in place with REEF Kitchens to open 500 delivery locations across the U.S., Canada, and other international markets in the next five years.
The two sides estimate that an 800 Degrees Go ecosystem (one kitchen and five pods) could cut labor costs in half compared to a traditional pizzeria, slice real estate costs by three points, and improve profit margin by 23 points. Piestro and 800 Degrees said the approximate investment would be $700,000 compared to $900,000 for a typical pizza concept, with the 800 Degrees Go concept taking one year to break-even and the traditional outlet needing 2.7 years on average.
To fuel growth, the companies are hoping to raise $10 million through crowdfunding investments. Investor perks include, 5 percent bonus shares for an investment of $1,500+, 10 percent bonus shares for $5,000+, 15 percent bonus shares for $10,000+, and 20 percent bonus shares for $20,000+.