Pizza goes hand in hand with college, more so than just about anything else. (Second place is a three-way tie between instant ramen, cheap beer, and learning.) And now, at least for one university, inhaling a late-night pie in your dorm just got a little easier.
Cincinnati.com reports that students at Ohio's Xavier University are the lucky recipients of the nation's first “Pizza ATM,” a 24-hour vending machine that dispenses freshly baked pizzas at the press of a button.
Photo courtesy of Paline.
The 12-inch pizzas are prepared daily by dining hall staff and loaded into the refrigerated section of the machine, which holds up to 70 pizzas at a time. After a student deposits $9 and makes a selection, the pizza is transferred into a convection oven, where it cooks for three minutes before getting dispensed into the hands of a starved, all-nighter-pulling customer. When supplies start to run low (because let’s be honest, 70 pizzas on a campus of around 5,000 students isn’t going to cut it), the machine sends an alert to dining hall staffers. They then restock the machine with more freshly prepared doughy goodness.
Paline, the French company behind this wondrous modern marvel, has been installing automated pizza machines in Europe for the last 14 years. However, the machine in Xavier’s Fenwick Hall is the first one to reach American soil.
Xavier University officials told Mashable that landing America’s first pizza robot came as a result of the school “looking for a way to solve this problem of having a late-night pizza option on campus.” The rest was hot, cheesy history.
So the real question is: Are the pizzas any good? The initial reports seem to say yes. Xavier’s marketing director of auxiliary services told WCPO Cincinnati that the ATM pie was among the best pizzas she’s ever eaten. (Though to be fair, maybe she's a tiny bit biased.)
The ATM will be on campus as of the fall 2016 semester. Regardless of whether the pizzas are delicious or just so-so, it’s safe to say Xavier students now have a reason not to be depressed about back-to-school season.
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