Future of vending machines: Foodservice automation takes center stage

Foodservice automation is revolutionizing the vending machine industry, with various companies introducing robotic machines that serve a variety of hot food items. For example, New Zealand-based WM Robotics has developed the PieBot vending machine, which serves hot meat pies. The company plans to expand to the United States in the future. Other companies, such as Nestle and Yo-Kai Express, are also experimenting with automated food vending machines. These machines offer convenience and allow for sales in locations where staffing a traditional cart or kiosk may not be feasible.

Despite some hesitations about food service automation, consumers are generally positive about vending machines. A survey conducted by PYMNTS Intelligence found that 33% of men and a smaller percentage of women would be interested in visiting a restaurant that uses robotics. Another study revealed that consumers tend to feel more positively about technology’s presence in grab-and-go scenarios compared to dine-in experiences. This suggests that vending machines are well-suited to meet consumer expectations for convenience and efficiency.

Overall, foodservice automation is redefining the vending machine experience. It offers a wide range of food options and the ability to serve customers in various locations. As technology continues to advance, it is likely that vending machines will become even more sophisticated and widely accepted by consumers.