Picnic, a food automation startup that sells a pizza-making robot, lays off employees

A pizza being built by a Picnic Pizza System. (GeekWire File Photo)

Food automation startup Picnic is laying off employees, becoming the latest tech company to trim staff amid the tech downturn.

Picnic CEO Clayton Wood. (Picnic Photo)

A company spokesperson confirmed the cuts to GeekWire Wednesday. The Seattle startup did not provide an updated headcount, or information on which positions are being affected. It has around 100 employees, according to LinkedIn.

“Due to the current economic environment, we have had to make the difficult decision to reduce our company size and say goodbye to some colleagues,” Picnic CEO Clayton Wood wrote in a LinkedIn post Wednesday.

Startups are being advised to reduce headcount in an effort to lower costs and extend cash runways. There have been thousands of layoffs at tech companies in the Pacific Northwest over the past two months.

Picnic, founded in 2016, has raised more than $20 million to sell food assembly robots to restaurants and hospitality companies around the world.

The food-automation company sells a pizza-making robot called the Picnic Pizza System. The machine can help a single employee churn out up to 100 12-inch customized pizzas per hour.

Picnic announced a partnership with pizza giant Dominos in September. It also works with Ole Miss, The Ohio State University, and a number of regional pizza restaurants and automation partners across the country. Wood said the layoffs will not affect these partnerships and that the company has installations planned across the U.S. and Canada.

“Until the economic situation improves, we’re slimming down and running as efficiently as possible without impacting our mission or our core business,” he wrote.

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