Put in some money, push a button, and three minutes later, an Italian vending machine will give you a freshly made pizza.
“It makes the dough in 40 seconds, starting from flour and water,” says inventor Claudio Torghele. Then the machine automatically shapes the dough onto a plate, another device spreads on some tomato sauce, and a refrigerated compartment opens and adds ingredients like cheese and pepperoni. Next, the machine opens up and sends the pizza down into a custom infrared oven that bakes it in a single minute as you watch.
The machine, called Let’s Pizza, can be loaded with the ingredients for making 100 pizzas. It sends operators a text message when it’s getting low and needs to be filled up again.
Torghele, a former partner at a pasta company, had the idea for the machine while traveling in the U.S., where he noticed vending machines in food courts. “Looking at the American style and way of life, I thought, Why don’t I make an automatic pasta machine?” he says. “Then I thought, Why don’t we make pizza–pizza’s like a brand. Everyone knows pizza.”
Does it actually taste good? “When people eat the pizza, they say it’s better than expected,” Torghele says. “I’m Italian, and of course there are many pizzerias that make good pizza. But I can say this is a good pizza.”
Still, that doesn’t mean he’s abandoned his neighborhood pizzeria. “It’s not competitive with that,” he says. “I go to get pizza at the pizzeria with my family on Saturday. But if I’m in the office and there’s a machine in front of me, and I’m hungry, I can just push a button and take a pizza.”