Pizza ATM sounds like a revolutionary idea, and it is if you’re in the United States where it’s been slowly but steadily taking hold for the past three years. The University of North Florida joined the trend by offering their hungry students at Osprey Crossing dormitory an opportunity to enjoy hot, fresh pizza at 3 a.m., a perfect snack for a cram session.
The vending machine can make up to 96 varieties of pizza. It currently serves five versions of 12-inch, thin-crust pies, with toppings including cheese, pepperoni, and vegetables, to name a few.
Made in France, the machine cost the university $60,000, which they consider an investment in the students’ well-being, as Vince Smyth, associate vice president of administration and finance at UNF, told the Florida Times-Union. Most students, he noted, typically hit the books between midnight and 3 a.m.
“The reality is that this particular area of the campus, the 500 students who are living in this area, do not have anything other than our regular vending machines for snacks and sodas, whereas our other resident students have good opportunities for hot foods right through 3 a.m.,” Smyth said in the Florida Times-Union story.
The students can use a touch-screen to customize their pizza, pay for it with campus-only currency, and then wait exactly three minutes and 45 seconds for the piping-hot pizza to pop out.
The campus kitchen staff makes pizza dough from scratch and shreds cheese daily to load into the vending machine, which is checked and stocked daily to ensure freshness. If one type of pizza runs low, the machine sends out an email alert to the dining services staff.
“It can be the middle of the night, and we’re going to get an email telling us to restock,” said Brook Adams, senior executive chef for the university to the newspaper.