Vending machines aren’t usually people’s first choice when it comes to getting lunch and other meals, but they are great in a pinch or when you need a quick snack on the go.
A company in Paris is working to change people’s perceptions by offering significantly more substantial (and better tasting) food options for consumers, reports PSFK. Foodles is revolutionizing the industry by teaming up with local chefs and offering vending machine customers hot, fresh meals. Nearby restaurants and catering companies precook the meals, which are chilled and primed for reheating.
Consumers simply use a touchscreen to choose from a variety of options, which can include anything from a healthy quinoa salad to a hearty beef lasagna.
New meals are stocked every day, and the menu is updated frequently so people don’t get bored with the choices. It’s like having a restaurant inside the office with a super convenient to-go option.
Companies even have the ability to tailor the contents of the machines, which is good news for those on gluten-free or vegan diets.
The machines include radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, which allows employees to pay for their meals by tapping an ID card on the reader on the front of the vending machine. These cards include their prepaid account information. After payment is confirmed, a door opens and the customer can take their meal and go.
The technology allows Foodles and the companies using the machines to determine which meals are most popular, when the machines need to be restocked, and what items have expired.
The machines contain about 200 meals and are geared towards medium-sized offices. Foodles has figured out how many meals are needed for specific locations, which has resulted in a reduction in food waste. Some of its machines have just a 5 percent leftover rate.
Foodles plans on expanding the machines to other European countries, including the U.K., this year.