For approximately $10 , you can get hot, oven-baked pizza while avoiding the long lines, boisterous restaurant noise and chances of your orders getting mixed up in the process.
But how do you do this? Through a pizza vending machine, of course.
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Pizza vending machines have taken fast food to a whole different level. One can be found in the Grafton center and has been a popular fixture in the area. One customer is 24-year-old Mel Sandoval who has no problem grabbing a quick bite for a reasonable price. She describes her pizza vending experience as “handy,” commenting on how convenient it is to grab lunch this close from where she works in.
So it just begs the question: what exactly does vending machine pizza taste like?
First off, customers can choose from different flavors such as grilled vegetables, barbecue chicken, and the all time favorite pepperoni. Customer can pay through cash or card. It has increased in popularity over the years, and is the third vending machine in the United Kingdom.
Its installation has since attracted the attention of a number of curious passersby. One of them is 52-year-old Nicola Turner of Arbury, who literally stopped to grab a bite of pizza when she saw the machine in The Grafton. But unfortunately for Adeel Khursheed, he never did get a chance to try the pizza vending machine out himself.
“I’ve wanted to try it for ages, but every time I try, it’s out of order,” Khursheed said.
Turns out that one major flaw that the pizza vending machine suffers is its unreliability—as machines do have a tendency to experience technical difficulties once in a while. But Food Now, the makers behind The Grafton’s Pizza Now machine, is slowly addressing those issues for good.
“We’ve had a few teething problems, which we are hoping to sort out. Demand at The Grafton has picked up and sometimes problems emerge when the pizza box gets jammed. Apart from that, we hope to have the issues ironed out and have a lot more Pizza Now [machines] in the UK next year,” said Nick Lawler, managing director of Food Now.
Despite the setback, does this pose as the future for faster and more convenient food serving?
According to customer Maddy Dilligent, not quite.
“I’d rather go to a restaurant, but if you’re hungry then it’s quite quick. It’s an ideal grab and go option,” she commented.
But still, pizza vending machines have seemed to find popularity overseas. Let’s Pizza, a vending machine from Italy, the home of these oven-baked pies, offers a variety of flavors for three minutes. That’s enough to rival Pizza Now, especially since it’s also priced a dollar cheaper.
With the public welcoming it with open arms, the possibilities of food vending machines are expected to grow over the years—and one can only expect what contraption is going to pop up next.