Food Service

Texas A&M Dining Hall to Feature Automated Pizza Station

Contract food service management provider Chartwells Higher Education announced this week that it is partnering with food automation company Picnic to provide an automated pizza assembly station to a college campus dining hall. The station at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, will be the first such product in the world on a university campus, according to a press release.

Benefits to the university include reducing potential food waste by up to 80 percent, improving food safety and handling, increased operational efficiency and freeing up dining hall staff members to attend to other duties.

“Picnic is incredibly happy to be partnering with Texas A&M as the first university to deploy the Picnic Pizza Station,” said Clayton Wood, CEO of Picnic and a Texas A&M alumnus. “As a former student, it makes it even nicer to see our station at home in Aggieland. Bringing the Picnic Pizza Station to Texas A&M is the first step of many innovations to come.”

According to the press release, the Picnic Pizza Station operates autonomously and provides a custom-made pizza for each order. The station loads the dough; applies sauce, cheese and other specified toppings; and loads them into the kitchen’s ovens. The Picnic station can create up to 100 pizzas per hour that can serve up to 400 people. The station was designed to increase productivity, decrease food waste and improve food safety.

"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," said Marc Cruz, Chartwells Higher Education’s District Executive Chef.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].