Buying a slice of pizza is already about as ubiquitous and quick as eating gets. But inevitably, someone decided that pizza could become still more convenient. How, you ask? Pizza vending machines—ones that don't just heat up pre-made discs, but actually churn out freshly baked pies in fewer than three minutes.
Claudio Torghel is the Italian entrepreneur-cum-mad scientist behind this behemoth (each one the size of nearly three average vending machines), which goes by the name of Let's Pizza!. His success story was first covered by The New York Times in 2009 (and by Ed around the same time). Since then, they've successfully rolled out all over Europe, and now an expansion to the US is theoretically in the works.
According to Pizza Marketplace's interview with CEO Ronald Rammers, the machines each contain a "specially developed bag of flour and a bag of mineral water. Every time you order a pizza, the machine will start making the dough, then shape it into a crust, and top it with organic tomato sauce. Next, one of the toppings is placed on top and the pizza is ready for the [infra-red] oven."
Connected to the Internet, the ingredient levels in each machine are monitored remotely, and can produce up to 200 pizzas before they need to be refilled. Kosher pizzas, Halal pizzas—whatever combination you can dream up (within the basic flour/tomato sauce constraints) can be ordered up and spat out, a freshly baked 10.5" pie. To see Let's Pizza! in low-production-value action, check out their Croation advertisement:
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There have been no new announcements about Let's Pizza!'s American arrival since last summer, so for the moment you'll need to look overseas if you're itching to get your hands on one of these. If any of our international readers has encountered one of these bad boys, we'd love to hear about it!