Vending machines have long been a treasure to human society. From the first cola machine to today's Burrito Box, we've always striven for the convenience, and now quality, of our machine-dispensed treats.
But now treats like ice cream, soda, and candy are less so on the menu as actual entrees, drinks, and other specialties make it to the wired racks. For the socially awkward, it's a blessing to get to avoid all human interaction, but for other beings, it could mean being out of a possible job.
Box Brands' Burrito Box -- that burrito vending machine in an L.A. convenience store -- is planning on expanding to the Pizza Box where pies will be cooked and ready for hungry people in a matter of minutes. They're also planning on expanding the Burrito Box to airports, university, and tourist destinations, according to founder Denis Koci.
Still in the works and hiring, Momentum Machines in the Bay Area is designing a box that'll spit out fresh, hot burgers to your liking. Toppings will be sliced to order and meats can be combined at your whim. "Our technology will democratize access to high quality food making it available to the masses" is bolded on their website, leaving us to wonder whether or not they're trying to make a political statement on food.
If you're at a Minnesota Twins' game at Target Field, there's now a self-serving beer machine. This doesn't mean that anyone can pour as much beer as they want, The Star Tribunereports that consumers will have to first go to concession stand and purchase a $10 or $20 Clipper card of sorts for the machine. It offers Bud, Bud Light, Shock Top Lemon Shandy, and Goose Island 312 Urban Pale Ale.
In Chicago, salad and parfait-filled jars wait in a green box for patrons to slide their cards or feed their dollar bills into the machine. Since salads made it clear that they're staying in the fast food joint, a salad vending machine sort of makes sense.
We've already seen Proactiv vending machines and Best Buy Expresses, so why not caviar? These salty, luxurious fish eggs have made it to three machines in the only-appropriate Beverly Hills with about 35 different types of the delicacy between the three "boutiques."
Far from the trend of locality and knowing your food, these "gourmet" vending machines are creating a distance from the diner and the dined, but not so at the same time. Hot foods are prepared and cooked right in front of us, just like those slow, spinning hot dogs at 7-Eleven, or that steaming onion volcano at Benihana.