Inside Pazzi, the Parisian pizzeria run by robot cooks
- Pazzi in Paris presents itself as the first pizzeria managed solely by robots.
- James Ware placed his order, then watched the robotic arms make and deliver his order.
- One “sprinkled the toppings before another arm smoothed their pasty creation into the oven,” he said.
Pazzi presents itself as the first fully automated pizzeria.
It may seem like an unlikely new phase of automation, but its CEO, Philippe Goldman, told me: âIn 10 years, there won’t be too many humans working in fast food restaurants. He called it a “toxic, low-paid” industry.
I walked into the restaurant, which opened in the central Beaubourg district of Paris in the summer, at 5 p.m. last Saturday. This is the second branch – the first opened about an hour outside of town shortly before the closures began. I saw the only clients who were working, who were at the door, making sure things were going well.
I placed my order on a touchscreen, familiar to anyone who has ordered from a fast food chain. I personalized my choice, a Garden Pazzi pizza at â¬ 9.50. So far, so fast food.
But as soon as I got the receipt, the show started in the kitchen.
Visible behind thick glass were three arms around the kitchen, each mounted on a static pillar.
A ball of fresh dough had come out of a trapdoor and eagerly picked up by one of the arms. He put it on what looked like a bed of nails on the counter at the back of the kitchen.
The column above then crashed down, as that platform lowered, to compress the dough just the right amount.
Meanwhile, another robot arm equipped with a glistening silver mug of tomato puree deposited its contents in the center of the pizza, spreading it out with several vigorous clockwise strokes. When finished, he dipped his mug into a hole in the counter for a quick cleanup.
I watched the robot arm swirl as it sprinkled the toppings before the first arm gently put its pasty creation into the oven.
There’s something surreal about being so engrossed in this display as the couple’s other patrons munch on their meals in the background undisturbed.
My pizza started to spin in the oven, which looked like a meal merry-go-round. During this time, the arms started moving again. They can flip a pizza every 45 seconds.
As the arms passed over to the next customer’s pizza, mine was retrieved from the oven after 4.5 minutes and carefully carried to the counter in front of me, where it was slipped into an open cardboard box.
There the third arm started slicing the pizza from different angles. Once he had cut it into six slices, the arm closed the box and pushed it into a safe.
The screen above the collection boxes informed me that my pizza was ready at the first location.
After scanning the QR code on my receipt, the door slid open to reveal my boxed pizza, which after the process I had just watched looked like an alien artifact.
The robot’s arms did a flurry of punches and high fives, then got back to work.
After I sat down at an empty table, I did the only thing I had left of the robot: a drizzle of chili oil.
From the first bite, I was struck by the richness of the flavors and the definition of the dough.
It might not compete with a pizza produced by three-time pizza world champion Thierry Graffagnino, whose robots just used the recipe and who consulted on the process, but it’s quite refined for a meal on the go. .