Speedy Eats, Picnic Works Sign $800M Deal for Automated Kitchen Expansion

    The plan is to open 5,000 'restaurant-in-a-box' stations in the next five years, housed in parking lots across the U.S. 

    Technology | August 8, 2022 | Ben Coley
    Speedy Eats automated kitchen rendering.
    Speedy Eats
    Speedy Eats is looking to sell pizza, barbecue, wings, tenders, and breakfast out of its automated kitchens.

    Speedy Eats, an operator of automated kitchens, inked an agreement to use Picnic Works' robotic pizza-making technology in its initial wave of locations—a deal that's valued at more than $800 million. 

    Speedy Eats has a patent-pending drive-thru design allowing customers to roll up to a "restaurant in a box" and access hot and cold food items 24/7 from their car. The company wants to place these automated stations in more than 40,000 parking lots across the U.S. The units are 16 feet-by-8.5 feet-by-8.5 feet and include a TurboChef oven, a storage compartment that can hold 240 entrées, a customer-facing fridge for side items, beverages, condiments, and desserts, and a warmer that holds cooked food for two hours and self disposes unsold items. 

    The company is looking to sell pizza, barbecue, wings, tenders, and breakfast out of its automated kitchens. It will also open regional production centers to supply the locations. 

    “Our goal is to bring fresh food to people whenever and wherever they want it and we’re ambitious in our plans to open 5,000 locations in the next five years. The Picnic Pizza Station is the must-have piece of equipment to produce the consistent quality pizza that our customers desire,” F. Speed Bancroft, CEO and President of BARS, the owner of Speedy Eats, said in a statement. “We’re partnering with Picnic for their expertise in automation and proven market success.”

    Speedy Eats is using Picnic for its pizza station innovation that can assemble up to 100 fully customizable 12-inch pizzas per hour. After loading dough, the robot applies sauce, cheese, pepperoni, and other toppings, before placing the pizza into an oven. The technology will be part of Speedy Eats' first 5,000 locations in the next five years. The inaugural unit will open in Baton Rouge in 2023. Picnic will start manufacturing stations for Speedy Eats in 2022, with increased rollout over the next several years. 

    “Speedy Eats is rethinking food production and delivery and we’re thrilled that they chose Picnic to provide the automated pizza equipment that will help them scale, delight customers, and increase profitability,” Picnic CEO Clayton Wood said in a statement. “We will begin production of their stations in the next few months and look forward to being in all 5,000 Speedy Eats locations in the coming years.”