Seems like we marketers will try almost anything. But, pizza vending machines in Rome? That seems iffy for two reasons. In general, we are skeptical that people will want to purchase vended pizza. Furthermore, since Italians tend to like fresh ingredients and cooking, it seems challenging to try this there. Read on.
Will this do better or worse than the introduction of meatless meat?
Good Or Bad Idea: Pizza Vending Machines in Rome?
We don’t know about YOU. But, we do not find vending machine pizza to de very appealing. Nonetheless, northern Italian entrepreneur Claudio Torghele thinks otherwise.
As reported by Elisabetta Povoledo for the New York Times:
Romans eat pizza all the time. They have pizza a taglio, cut with scissors to the desired size and heaped with toppings, for lunch. They snack on pizza bianca, without anything on it. Or pizza rossa, with just tomato sauce. Or pizzette, little pizzas. “Pizza scrocchiarella,” round and thin crust, the type Americans might best recognize, is almost always reserved for dinner.
Essentially, Romans will eat pizza, here and there, they will it eat anywhere. But would they, could they, eat it out of a vending machine? Massimo Bucolo, a medical device salesman turned pizza entrepreneur, is betting they will. He has installed Rome’s first no-hands pizza machine in a bustling neighborhood within walking distance of the capital’s main university.
He’s hoping that the vending machine — which makes a fresh pizza from scratch in exactly three minutes — will catch on with Rome’s pizza-loving population, especially after hours, when traditional spots are closed and the clientele is, shall we say, less discerning.
The pizza machine is the brainchild of Claudio Torghele, an entrepreneur who worked with partners and various university faculties for years before officially unveiling the first machine in 2009, manufactured by a company he called Let’s Pizza. Even he is a little surprised at Mr. Bucolo’s gambit, setting up a machine in a city with no dearth of pizzerias. “We never thought that we’d ever have a machine in Rome, but there you have it,” he said. The machine holds enough ingredients — including various toppings — to make 100 pizzas before needing to be refilled.
Take a look at a New York Times photo and video of Bucolo’s vending machine in Rome.
The entrepreneur behind the pizza vending machine hopes to capitalize on late-night customers and those intrigued by the automated process.
Credit: Filippo Monteforte/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images