Getting served up a piping hot pizza is now just a few touch-screen taps away for students and staff at Camosun College in Saanich.
The Pizza Forno vending machine, located in the Centre for Business & Access at the Interurban campus, advertises artisanal pizza ready to order in three minutes or the option to take an uncooked pie home and bake it later.
The thought of eating a pizza assembled by a machine might be offensive to some pizza purists, but not to worry — the pies are actually made by real chefs in Camosun’s Chargers Café and stocked in a cooler nightly.
“People see ‘oh, big vending machine,’ they assume it’s being assembled inside when really it’s just a really cool way to get a pizza quickly,” said Greg Brown, director of food services at Camosun. “We’re not losing jobs because someone has to work the actual machine and make the pizzas.”
Brown said staff keep stock low so the pizza inside stays fresh. A computer shows how many and what kind of pizzas are selling and what needs to be restocked.
All orderers have to do is pick between eight flavours, including honey goat cheese and the best-selling barbecue chicken, pay $14 by card, and watch through a small window as their pie gets baked and pops out within three minutes.
“They’re good pizzas. They’re good, fresh ingredients and it tastes like an artisan pizza,” said Brown.
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And the pies are proving popular with students.
“It’s always sold out, you have to be quick if you want one,” one student said.
The machine is one of two in operation in B.C., with the other at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, and about three-dozen across Canada.
Brown said more are expected to open in the coming weeks across the province.