Picnic Works, a Seattle-based developer of kitchen automation technology, today announced a partnership with ContekPro, a Portland-based manufacturer of modular kitchens. The partnership fuses the strengths of both companies to create factory-built pizza kitchens for commercial foodservice providers. The joint offering is faster to deploy, hassle-free to launch, more cost-efficient than brick and mortar, and has less impact on the environment, while increasing profitability for owners.  

The partnership provides customers a turnkey solution to deploy, install, and operate a professional and custom pizza kitchen. The factory-assembled kitchens use the latest in energy-saving modular construction techniques and allow operators to customize based on their needs. ContekPro will manufacture kitchens with an integrated Picnic Pizza Station that uses robotic automation to assemble up to 100 pizzas per hour with just one member of the kitchen’s staff. The partnership allows foodservice operators a way to build kitchens quickly and save time, money, and labor.   

“Kitchen innovation can help increase profits, reduce waste and operating costs, and improve guest satisfaction,” says Scott Erickson, CMO of Picnic. “Picnic and ContekPro share a vision of innovating for the future of foodservice. Combining the quickly built modular kitchens with the Picnic Pizza Station, a new restaurant can be opened 50% faster than before. This means ghost kitchens, sports and event venues, and [quick-service restaurants] can be up and running in record time and saving money from day one.”

“ContekPro provides an alternative to traditional brick and mortar kitchens. The foodservice industry is changing, customer demands are evolving, and we entered a new construction era after the pandemic. We manufacture turnkey products that embrace modern operators and offer cost-effective and environmentally-sound options,” says Reda Attahri, Co-founder of ContekPro. “The partnership with Picnic is a way to offer ready-to-use, end-to-end, high quality pizza concepts to ghost kitchens, stadiums, [quick-service restaurants], amusement centers, or any location where speed to market, scalability, and profitability are important.”  

The Picnic Pizza Station assembles pizzas autonomously and is completely customizable for each order–after a cook loads the dough, the Picnic station takes care of applying the sauce, cheese, fresh-cut pepperoni, and additional toppings. The finished pizzas can then move into the kitchen’s ovens for cooking. Each hour, the Picnic station can assemble up to 100 pizzas with 80% less food waste than traditional makelines. The Picnic technology allows for integration with a kitchen’s point-of-sale (POS) equipment and mobile ordering platforms. The Picnic Pizza Station is NSF and ETL/UL certified and is supported with cloud-based software and over-the-air firmware updates. The customer roster for the Picnic Pizza Station includes managed foodservice providers Compass, Chartwells, and Sodexo Live!, Domino’s Pizza Enterprises, Texas A&M University, The Ohio State University, SeaWorld, and numerous regional pizzerias with new customers coming online weekly. 

ContekPro uses leading-edge software and proprietary applications to run efficient and sustainable manufacturing operations. The modular kitchens are designed and manufactured in the U.S. ContekPro focuses on predictable scheduling, transparent processes, and cost accuracies while producing kitchens 50% faster than traditional construction methods. The company uses environmentally conscious manufacturing methods in a controlled environment to help reduce carbon footprint, construction, and water waste with every unit. With more than 150 projects deployed to customers in the U.S., the Caribbean, and Africa, the list of ContekPro customers includes SeaWorld, Boyne Resorts, Discovery Land, Providence Health & Services, the US Army, and Fluor construction.   

The partnership between Picnic and ContekPro marks a smart, customer-focused turnkey solution for restaurateurs and food entrepreneurs who want to open or expand a pizza business with speed and ease. The companies provide a lower carbon footprint offering from production through operation, an effective way to start up or enhance a pizza kitchen, and an innovative approach to kitchen operations. The future of the pizza kitchen has arrived. 

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