The founders of PizzaForno, the automated pizzeria that can bake up pies in under three minutes, say February has been the “busiest launch month” in company history, with a development deal that will bring 50 units to the metro Atlanta area.
Three new units were installed in Atlanta, and five went into operation in Texas, including San Antonio, Pasadena, Friendswood, Houston and Peninsula, while one unit was installed in the NASA Johnson Space Center for employees only. An additional two units will be installed in Freeport, Texas, according to a PizzaForno press release.
A unit has also been installed in Mobile, Alabama, and two more will soon be installed in northern California, the company said.
Altogether, the company said it’s on track to open 200 units in 2023. It currently has 52 operating locations across North America and 100 committed to open in the U.S.
Founded in 2018 by Canadian entrepreneurs William Moyer and Les Tomlin, PizzaForno is an automated pizza-making kiosk that uses robotic technology and a patented oven to serve up hot pies—which are premade and stored in a refrigerated section of the machine—at the push of a button.
In a December 2022 interview with PMQ, Tomlin acknowledged that North America has been “the slowest to adopt” innovations like automated pizza kiosks, although he said they can be found by the thousands in Europe and Asia. “The world of automated pizzerias opens the doors to locations never considered before by standard brick-and-mortar quick-service restaurants,” Tomlin said.
Hospitals and colleges are prime locations for PizzaForno machines. Last year PizzaForno licensees in Louisiana installed units at the University of New Orleans, the LSU Medical Center and the New Orleans VA Medical Center.
“Obviously, high foot traffic is a metric we take into consideration, but it’s not the only factor,” Tomlin said in the interview. “We’re looking at entertainment complexes, locations that are moving away from full-service kitchens, and those struggling with staffing as well as places that provide other services and where a simple food option compliments the service—like a bowling alley, trampoline park or auto repair shop. Most recently, we’re seeing interest from factories with a third shift that is limited in food options while expensive third-party delivery options are breaking the bank.”
In the recent press release, Travis Edmonson, PizzaForno’s chief development officer, said the company has experienced 300% growth over the past year and has “an aggressive pipeline in development.”
“Having worked with a variety of big-name pizza brands throughout my career, this scalable model is unlike anything the QSR space has seen before,” Edmonson said.