Vending machines in Japan give you live crab and now vending machines in Paris give you fresh baked baguettes thanks to Jean-Louis Hecht.
The baker came up with the idea nearly 10 years ago in response to his wife’s belief they would never have any rest at their 2 bakeries – one in Paris and one in their hometown of Hombourg-Haut.
Two years ago he launched his first machine but glitches and malfunctions kept them from reaching their true potential. Thanks to a Portuguese engineering firm as of January both machines are working exceptionally well. Last July selling 4,500 baguettes for 1euro ($1.42) and at that rate the $33,000 machine will be paid off in a year.
Baguettes are put in the machine partially cooked. Put your money in, press the buttons and presto! The vending machine cooks the baguette and serves it to you hot.
Some French think this is nothing like the real thing since it’s not kneaded and cooked fully in the bakery where it’s bought. But Hecht disagrees:
“If other bakers don’t want to enter the niche, they’re going to get decimated.”
He thinks the machines will catch on in other parts of France, Europe and into the U.S.
Definitely the Japanese will be all over this, being the vending nation they are.
Is this indicative of a future where robots serve us in restaurants and vending machines give us groceries? Starting to seem a wee bit like it… [Source]