Pizzametry is not merely a pizza vending machine—Jim Benjamin wants to make that crystal-clear.
As president of APM Partners, the Rochester, New York-based manufacturer of Pizzametry, Benjamin believes his machine is genuinely revolutionary, another step forward in high-tech pizza automation.
Unlike other pizza dispensers that churn out pre-baked slices or finish off whole take-and-bake pies, Pizzametry makes pies from scratch. Starting with canisters of frozen dough, the machine thaws the dough, cuts and presses it, then tops it with sauce and cheese (plus pepperoni if requested) and bakes it on the spot—all in 3 ½ minutes.
One rival company, Paline, received widespread media coverage in 2016 after placing its Pizza ATM at Xavier University. The Pizza ATM is stocked with take-and-bake pies prepared in the school’s dining hall, and response was “through the roof,” according to one Xavier spokesman.
Pizzametry also seems tailormade for university and high school campuses as well as busy airports and large office complexes. The company recently field-tested the machine at Rochester University. PMQ spoke to Benjamin about the tests and about what makes Pizzametry different from its competitors:
PMQ: How did Pizzametry perform in its first field test?
Benjamin: We installed one of our machines at the University of Rochester to provide a 24/7 food-service automated consumer experience. The 90-day market trial was successful. Twenty percent of the consumer population purchased pizza on a daily basis at the location.
PMQ: Several pizza-vending machines have been introduced in the U.S., but none have taken off yet. What makes yours unique?
Benjamin: Our machine is the first of its kind that makes a hot, fresh-baked pizza and delivers it boxed and ready to eat to the consumer. It’s ready in 3 ½ minutes or in 90 seconds for subsequent orders. We use all fresh ingredients, and nothing is pre-cooked or warmed up. The machine can hold ingredients for 150 pizzas at a time in sealed, refrigerated compartments. It’s designed for health and safety and meets UL and NSF requirements. And the machine is connected to the Internet and can be monitored remotely to determine when to replace the ingredients.
PMQ: Is this technology available to pizzeria owners who might want to sell their pizzas at local colleges, schools, etc.?
Benjamin: Yes! Our business model, in fact, is to give local pizzeria operators the ability to brand the machine by using their own [logoed] decal. The operator will be provided with all of the ingredients—dough, sauces, IQF cheese, pepperoni—and supplies, such as boxes. However, the operator can also arrange to customize the machine’s ingredients [as long as they] meet the machine’s specifications. Please note that Pizzametry is not a pizza dispenser. We make a hot, fresh-baked pizza on demand 24/7 to the consumer.
PMQ: For a pizzeria owner interested in one of your machines, what is the number-one selling point they should consider? How will this boost their business?
Benjamin: The Pizzametry solution brings enormous sales and profits to the fast-food business. No additional infrastructure is required. No additional labor is required. Pizzametry is a best fit for high-traffic environments with 24/7 access, such as airports, hospitals/medical centers, universities and colleges, travel plazas and busy urban centers.
PMQ: Do you sell the machines outright or rent them out? How does that work?
Benjamin: Our company will work with the operator on lease/buy options. We also can provide the service and support at the location, therefore further increasing profitability for the operator so they can focus on their business core competencies.