You Need to See Costco's Amazing Pizza-Making Robot

You Need to See Costco's Amazing Pizza-Making Robot

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Elizabeth Licata
Apr 25, 2018

Costco's food court might be the perfect place, if it were not for two things. First, no one seems to be able to figure out how to stand in line at a Costco food court. And second, once you do get to the front of the line, you have to decide between the giant pizza slices and the $1.50 hot dog and soda deal. How can anyone choose? That'd be like having to pick a favorite child, or at least a favorite Kardashian.

The $1.50 hot dog is tempting. It's an icon. It's been $1.50 since Costco opened, and it will be $1.50 when the machines take over. But sometimes a person just needs cheese, and Costco's $1.99 pizza slice is basically an enormous, doughy, cheese-to-mouth delivery system assembled, it turns out, by a series of high-tech pizza robots.

According to Reader's Digest, the reason Costco's pizzas are always uniform in their cheesy perfection is that Costco has mastered the art of pizza efficiency, and it uses special machines that can make a perfect pizza in just a few seconds.

First, the dough is loaded into a flattening machine that presses it and gives it a burst of low heat to make sure the dough is exactly uniform in thickness. Then the pizza goes over to the sauce robot, which is mesmerizing to watch.

It looks like one of those spiral art toys kids play with, but instead of paper the machine spins the pizza dough and the tomato arm covers it in sauce.

Once the dough is sauced, it's sent over to the topping station, where Costco employees weigh out exactly the same amount of mozzarella and provolone cheese for every pizza, so each one comes out with a thick, uniform layer of cheese on top, with no annoying bald spots or burnt sauce.

One of the coolest things about Costco's production system is that the pizza ovens can cook a whole, 18-inch pizza in just six minutes. The conveyor-belt ovens cook the pizza from all sides, and each type of pizza gets its own separate belt, so they're always timed exactly the same. The result of that hyper-efficiency is a thick slice covered in more cheese than can be contained by a single paper plate.

And it's a steal at $1.99 — and a whole 18-inch pizza is an even bigger deal for just $9.99!

What's your favorite thing at the Costco food court?

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