Basil Street, a maker of automated pizza vending machines, announced this week it has struck a deal with Prepango, a company that specializes in automated retail of food and beverage products in airports, to bring its pizza robot to airports across the US.
Launched this year, the Basil Street pizza smart vending machine – called Automated Pizza Kitchens (APK) – is roughly 20 square feet in size and holds up to 150 10-inch, thin-crust pizzas. When a customer places an order via the touchscreen or mobile app, the APK heats the flash-frozen pizza up using a non-microwave oven that cooks the pies in about three minutes.
Up until this point, the APK has been serving up pizzas in universities, business parks and corporate headquarters. That all changes in a couple weeks when the two companies bring the pizza bot to the San Antonio International Airport. From there, Basil Street and Prepango are eyeing launches of the APK in Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Cincinnati/North Kentucky International Airport, Indianapolis International Airport among others.
For its part, Prepango is no stranger to bringing new food concepts via vending machines to airports. In Las Vegas’ McCarran Airport, the company launched vending machines for Sprinkles cupcakes and Doughp cookie dough (the latter machine is called – not kidding – a ‘Doughp Dealer’). It also launched one of the first automated grind and brew espresso vending machines with Illy Caffè North America earlier this year.
The arrival of Basil Street’s pizza robot is no surprise as travelers return to airports nearly two years after the start of the pandemic. With consumers now accustomed to contactless solutions, the pace of new arrivals for airport smart vending solutions can be expected to accelerate in the next few years.
According to the release, the two companies plan to expand to up to 200 APKs in airports over the next 12-18 months.
You can see the APK in action in the video below: