Stellar Pizza is a new, cutting-edge, robotics-powered mobile pizza restaurant, created by Tsai and 23 former SpaceX employees. Pizzas are expected to launch in Los Angeles early next year.
"What we have is an automated restaurant on wheels, and we'll be able to prepare food on the way to your house." explains Tsai.
When Tsai left SpaceX in 2019, he wanted to find a solution to food service delivery challenges like the high commission fees and the high operating costs of a brick and mortar restaurant. His Stellar Pizza Truck prepares and bakes gourmet pizzas from scratch in under five minutes while en route to its delivery destination.
"We don't have real estate, we don't have labor. And it's gonna be a higher quality product, more consistent, because it's an automated machine that does the same motions every time," Tsais says.
MORE ABC7 SOLUTIONS | Smart Cups: How the company behind 'the world's first printed beverage' aims to help the environment
Creating the machinery to robotically make pizza is quite an accomplishment, but making gourmet pizza that tasted great through automation was also a challenge.
Executive Chef Ted Cizma, who also worked at SpaceX points out, "The pizza's gotta be good. The machine is cool, for sure but the pizzas got to be good." Cizma continues, "One of the funny things we always said in the kitchen was, you know, hey, it's cooking, it's not rocket science. And that was before I spent a decade working in SpaceX, where it was rocket science."
Stellar Pizza products will be available through the company's custom mobile app with several trucks being rolled out next year using the automated, modular technology.
It's just pizza now, but the ultimate mission is to create automated, on the move cooking for a variety of foods.
"What we can do is build other types of machines that produce other foods. But we're starting with pizza because pizza is such a beloved food item in the world," says Tsai.
Another element of automated cooking, though it wasn't intended, is that no one touches your food -- except you. It's an added bonus in a post-pandemic world.