American consumers are a busy, impatient lot. We want our food fast and our wifi faster. We don’t like waiting in lines (unless it’s for the latest Apple product), which makes order-ahead and cut-the-line at Chipotle such a popular concept. Vending machines definitely help our scarf-on-the-go mentality, and now, a few industrious entrepreneurs are offering up choices that go way beyond the typical soda and candy bar fare.
Be still my heart. In New York, the sweet folks at Sprinkles have developed a 24 hour ATM machine. For $4.25 you can snag a fresh-baked cupcake wrapped in a cozy little box. The gourmet treats are re-stocked several times a day and come in a variety of flavors including red velvet and lemon meringue.
Dude! Forget about mushy gas station burritos that are hot on one end and frozen on the other. The first burrito kiosk has arrived and it promises, “happiness – and a side – in 60 seconds.” Customers make their selection from a touch screen, and are even given the option to add a side of Wholly Guacamole or Daisy sour cream for an additional price.
SALAD – BEYOND THE BAR
Chicago may be the home of the deep dish pizza, but you still need your roughage, amiright? Located in three locations across the Chicagoland area you’ll find fresh salad kiosks from The Farmer’s Fridge. Each day the machine is stocked with 12 different varieties of salads. Selections are reduced by one dollar each night, and leftovers are donated to a local food pantry.
PECAN PIE – The WHOLE Pie
If you live in Cedar Creek, Texas and you get a hankerin’ for pecan pie at 3 am (I’ve totally had this hankerin’) you can breathe easy knowing your pie fix is only a short drive away. Located outside the Berdoll Pecan farm and retail store, the vending machine sells 9 inch deep dish pecan pies for $17.00. Not only are the pies homemade, they’re home grown at the Berdoll family farm.
CAVIAR VENDING MACHINE
California is home to some of the wealthiest people in America, and shopping is their sport. When a gyro in the food court simply won’t do, the ridiculously rich stop at the caviar vending machine to refuel. Stocked with $50,000 worth of inventory including truffles, beluga, tiny spoons and toast, this expensive snack will cost you between $5.00 and $500.00 per item.
GRILLED HOT DOGS
Grabbing a quick hot dog is not a new idea. New Yorker’s have the cart and the rest of us have convenience stores with the requisite dog rotisserie, but Leon’s Grilled Hot Dog machine promises to give us a better dog in 60 seconds. The secret is in the patented technology that keeps the dog separate from the bun and cooks the meat to the perfect temperature before marrying the two right before it’s served to the customer.
LUCKY LOBSTER IN VEGAS
Why just walk up to a fresh lobster tank and point out your next dinner victim when you could try to win it instead? Although this restaurant is now closed, I included it for bonus points because it’s just so, well, Vegas! Step right up, try your luck. For $2.00 a shot, Tinoco’s Bistro would let you try your hand at their crustacean claw machine and if you caught one, they’d even cook it up for free.
May 23rd, 2014