Ask anyone anywhere, a big pet peeve when going out has to be the long lineups. In North America, we've solved that problem through online ordering with free delivery, even though recipients of such good ironically have to wait a day or so for the delivery truck to arrive.
Japan's got an even more novel solution by stuffing anything small enough into vending machines for more instantaneous consumer gratification. That also includes food, outside the usual array of soft drinks and candy bars. Items like curried rice, hamburgers and even gyoza (cabbage and pork wonton), if packaged properly comes out of the chute the moment you drop in your coins or swipe a card.
The latest item in the Land of the Rising Sun to hit the slot circuit is none other than pizza. Pizza vending machines made its appearance in Hiroshima earlier this month. One machine that serves Italian pie is perched right by a store that sells videos and CDs, another irony considering those outlets are pretty well passe on these shores. Unfortunately, don't expect the final product within seconds.
However, there's still some reverence for fresh food when it comes to the vending-machine pizza in Japan. Simply choose from either Margherita or four-cheese pizza and the mechanical innards inside get working on creating your selection from assembling to topping onto the dough to baking the item. Five minutes later, the finished results pop out ready to be eaten. That being said, it's probably safe to say the machine doesn't create the dough old-fashioned style, a la tossing it into the air until ready.
As for those who've already sampled the food, the pizza has exceeded expectations considering that the pies are machine-made. The ingredients are reportedly fresh and not previously frozen. According to a small plaque with the automated wonder's serial number on it, the machine apparently came from Italy, adding to the legitimacy of the product.
This pizza vending machine has given big-shots like Dominos and Pizza Hut a run for their money in the area. Considering that venues of both pizza conglomerates are within walking distance, it's actually the machine that's gathering bigger crowds.
Meaning that those hungry for a pie will have to, once again, wait in line before ordering.