There are a lot of smart people currently working for robot vending machine companies. Building mechanisms that autonomously make lattes, mix salads and serve hot pizza isn’t easy. But after writing about startups like Briggo, Chowbotics and Bake Xpress, I really hope their marketing departments are smart enough to talk to each other because there is a big opportunity to bundle some robot food services.
For instance, it would be cool to have a Briggo Coffee Haus right next to a Bake Xpress in an airport. That way, when you order a robo-coffee, you could also grab a robo-choco-croissant. Or there should be a Yo-Kai Express next to a Chowbotics’s Sally so you could have soup and salad.
The nice thing about vending machines is that they don’t take up very much space and can carve out their own culinary niche without competing with one another. So as more vending machines come online, it could be entirely possible to have a whole automated food court offering all different kinds of cuisines tucked away in the corner of an airport terminal or the lobby of a hospital.
This means that there are plenty of opportunities for vending machine companies to mix and match promotional and marketing opportunities. Buy an Alberts smoothie, get ten percent off your Fresh Bowl salad. Order a Basil Street Pizza, and get a dollar off your Cafe X iced tea.
Obviously, there aren’t a lot of these high-end vending machines out in the world right now. Yo-Kai Express lists just 10 locations, half of which are at private corporate campuses. Cafe X has just two locations now. Alberts is only in Europe and Basil St. hasn’t even launched yet.
But that newness may actually work in these companies’ favor. Perhaps they can coordinate as they determine new installation locales. They are all going after the same types of locations anyway — airports, hospitals, corporate and college campuses. Why not team up and give those locations more robot bang for the buck?