PizzaForno’s pizza vending machines aren’t selling as many pizzas expected in Jackson, Michigan, and will be moved to new locations in the state, MLive has reported.
PizzaForno uses robotic technology and a patented oven to serve up pies that are premade and stored in the machine’s refrigerated section. With the push of a button, the pizzas are ready to eat in under three minutes.
In 2021, Jackson became the site of the first PizzaForno machine installed in the U.S. More recently, they’ve been introduced in other cities, including New Orleans, Atlanta, Houston, San Antonio and Mobile. Altogether, the company currently has 52 machines in operation across North America and aims to open 200 units in 2023.
But business hasn’t exactly been booming for the machines installed at 100 South Cooper Street, 1319 East Michigan Avenue and 2900 Springport Road. “It was just not the right location,” the company’s chief marketing officer, Jason Lowder, told MLive. “We tested it, we tried it, and with the data of the machine, these were just poor locations.”
Lowder believes the machines will perform better in areas—yet to be determined—with fewer food options. “There’s a little piece of humble pie that you have to eat and say, ‘OK, I guess that was the wrong location.’ I’m not happy that we have to move them, but it’s the right thing to do,” Lowder said in the MLive interview.
In a December 2022 interview with PMQ, PizzaForno cofounder Les Tomlin said the machines would perform best in “places where people want quality pizza but where no chain is ever going to build an expensive brick-and-mortar location.” He recommended that licensees “scout areas that don’t have access to good pizza, like food deserts, or, better yet, pizza deserts.”
Options for PizzaForno’s machines include the smallest unit at 60 square feet, a mid-sized indoor kiosk at 75 square feet, and an outdoor mobile unit at 80 square feet.