Pizza-making vending machines on their way to the U.S.
By Ben Coxworth
June 14, 2012
Remember how people reacted when McDonalds announced that it was going to start selling pizzas? Well, if buying pies from a chain best known for cheap hamburgers might have been difficult for some folks to get their heads around, they will likely find this even stranger – buying them from a vending machine. Nonetheless, that’s exactly what Dutch company A1 Concepts is hoping Americans will do, when its Let’s Pizza machines arrive in the U.S.
First of all, it should be pointed out that the machines don’t just spit out premade pizzas.
Instead, the process begins with the client paying, then selecting one of four types of pizza available at any one time. The machine then mixes flour and water, kneads that mixture into dough, rolls the dough out into a 27-centimeter (10.5-inch)-wide crust, adds toppings, cooks the pie in its infrared oven, then dispenses it in a take-away box. The whole process takes under three minutes.
Each machine can store enough ingredients to make 90, 100 or 200 pizzas, depending on which source of information you go by.
All of the ingredients are fresh (as opposed to frozen), and are kept refrigerated in single-dose vacuum-packaged containers until needed. The company is very big on emphasizing that the pies are made “in a human-free environment” – so if you pictured an actual person making the pizzas inside each machine, well, there isn’t one.
According to the Pizza Marketplace website, the machines have been around in Europe for the past three years, but will make their North American debut in the third quarter of this year. A U.S. headquarters will be opened in Atlanta at that point, with a rollout of machines soon to follow in various markets.
The suggested price for each pizza is US$5.95. If any of our readers have had the chance to try one of the pies, we would be interested in hearing what you thought of it.
A Let’s Pizza machine can be seen in action, in the video below.
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