Micro Real Estate

What is a PizzaBot?

Pizza Vending Machines

A PizzaBot is a Pizza Vending Machine

A company in Australia has created a fresh pizza vending machine (pizzabot), and it is not just a frozen pizza that the machine heats up in a microwave. This is a legitimate pick-and-place machine that is used to make a pizza on demand – similar to the American company PieStro.

I have to say that I’m pretty excited for this vending technology development, because I really love pizza. I just hope they’ve nailed the recipe. Growing up in New Jersey, and frequenting NYC has led me to develop some strong opinions about pizza, enough to goad Bharat (one of my co-founders) into hosting a rooftop pizza tasting competition/party in NYC.

Competition in Pizza Vending Machines

Clearly, because a pizza vending machine is a great idea, there is some competition for PizzaBot.

PieStro is an American company that is not only automating pizza in vending machines, but will allow you to order ahead, just like you do at your favorite pizzeria. You can select your own type of crust, sauce, cheese and toppings and it will be picked and placed for you – this is America’s answer to the Aussie PizzaBot.

Let’s Pizza has also developed a pizza vending machine. They are based out of Dubai and Italy, so I’m not sure if they will be selling their machines in the US. They boast that you can have a fresh baked pizza in 3 minutes.

PizzaForno is a Canadian company that is also boasting a 3 minute wait time, but they are clear on their website that the pizzas are not assembled by the vending machine – they are just baked by the machine. They have 48 locations in Canada/Northern USA, and have 8 different pizza options, and a bake at home option too – I guess that’s good if you’re not looking to eat the pizza right away.

Will a pizza vending machine make a high quality pizza?

I suspect PizzaBot likely won’t create a classic, oil dripping NYC pizza, but will be more focused on the toppings, given the pick-and-place nature of the machine. I can imagine these being extremely popular on college campuses, right next to or inside of dorm buildings.

Honestly, if there was a pizzabot and a burritobox (which is now, unfortunately, defunct) in my building I don’t think I would have ever left the building. I feel like Georgia Tech (my alma matter) should make this happen, kind of like the automats of yore (but what’s old is new again, and there are a couple automats opening up in NYC – including a dumpling restaurant!), but the food is actually made by robots instead of humans.

I’m not sure what locations would be best for a pizza vending machine, because I feel like you could put one practically anywhere. Like my garage – please someone make this happen. Though I’m sure each of these companies will be working with vending machine locators, or will assemble their own a big locator team in-house.

Partner up with Beer Vending Machines

Pizza and beer is a classic combo, so it just makes sense that a beer vending machine (or even just a soda vending machine) should be placed near a pizza vending machine – a vending machine locator might be able to help with that placement. Or bars should just have pizza vending machines. That would be incredible.

I think this means that a vending machine for chicken wings is not too far off – especially if Buffalo Wild Wings gets into the vending business.

Some practical concerns with Owning or Operating a Pizza Vending Machine

If you’re interested in vending machines, there’s a good chance you’ve glamorized the idea of owning a vending machine company and may need to come back down to earth. Automation is very cool and passive or semi-passive income from a business is even cooler, but there is still going to be work required to maintain a pizza vending machine – and it could be more extensive than the maintenance required for a regular snack, frozen snack, or drink machine.

You’ll also still have all the usual issues of credit card readers not working and things getting jammed. You could hire a business to maintain it for you, though. Furthermore, the vending insurance premium for one of these pick and place pizza machines is probably really high, because I suspect the machine is also very costly.

Other Robotic Vending Machines (Customizable Order Vending Machines?)

On a somewhat related note, it seems that there are a few robotic vending machine that are starting to make their way on the micro real estate market, including this cotton candy vending machine that can make different shapes! Not sure if there’s an official name for these types of vending machines, but maybe something simple like Customizable Order (CO) vending machines would be good. I think cotton candy machine tend to be mobile for fairs, so I’m assuming that this could be hooked up into a box truck and made mobile. Maybe the same could be done to make a mobile pizzabot? Any way you slice it, I think vending machines are going to get really crazy in the future, but here are my top 10 cool vending machines of the moment, though art vending machines hold a special place in my heart.

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