Donatos Develops Machine to Automate Pizza Saucing Course of

It takes talent and expertise to craft the right pizza sauce. However smearing it on a pizza crust? That’s the sort of repetitive process that just about anybody can study. So why not automate it? That’s the plan at Donatos, the place a brand new saucing machine is liberating up workers for more difficult duties.

In accordance with Franchise Occasions, Donatos has been utilizing the Sensible Saucer in 15 shops—together with 11 company-owned areas and 4 franchise operations—since 2020. The machine was developed by Agápe Automation, an organization owned by Donatos founder Jim Grote’s household.

The machine’s footprint, described as “in regards to the measurement of a shoebox,” attracts pizza sauce from a reservoir and dispenses it onto the pizza crust, gauging the entire weight to make sure consistency from pizza to pizza.

“It actually speaks to our intention of constructing the kitchen a greater place and the job a greater job,” Donatos COO Craig Turner informed Franchise Occasions.

The corporate is reportedly planning so as to add the Sensible Saucer to operations at 40 extra company-owned shops in 2023. Franchisees may also have the choice to make use of it.

“I feel everyone is absolutely enthusiastic about it,” Dave Parsons, Donatos’ communication supervisor, mentioned within the Franchise Occasions interview.” He added that worker coaching is sped up “as a result of associates don’t want to coach on sauce however can practice extra on toppings or on different customer-facing roles. The main target is, how can we put individuals in higher spots?”

Jim Grote based Donatos in 1963 in Columbus, Ohio, and his daughter, Jane Grote Abell, now serves as the corporate’s chairwoman. Grote has at all times explored the chopping fringe of mechanical improvements for the pizza kitchen: He invented the Peppamatic, a pepperoni slicer that’s now generally used within the frozen-pizza section.

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Grote collaborated with then-high schooler Hayden Frea, now a university scholar and aspiring engineer, to create the primary Sensible Saucer prototype for Agápe Automation, an organization that’s a part of the Edge Innovation Hub, a Grote family-owned firm headquartered in Gahanna, Ohio. In accordance with the Edge Innovation Hub web site, Agápe Automation was created “to construct related, autonomous and data-rich options for good kitchens of the long run.”

Agápe Automation’s workforce can be growing machines that may work with pepperoni, cheese and dough. “The sky’s the restrict for the concept of good machines and good software program,” Turner informed Franchise Occasions.