Let’s start with the obvious question you probably have after reading this story’s headline. Is it pronounced:
Peet-ZAH-metry, like Geometry?
PEETZA-me-try, like Cookie Monster would say it if he switched his favorite food?
The answer, according to Jim Benjamin, President of APM Partners, the company that makes Pizzametry is… both. It doesn’t matter how you slice the name; the Pizzametry is a vending machine will bake up a hot, fresh personal pizza any time of day or night.
“It’s for the consumer that’s looking for a meal replacement,” Benjamin told me by phone, “And needs more than just a bag of potato chips or a muffin.”
The Pizzametry is the size of a beefy vending machine. For around $5 – $6 (prices will vary depending on location), you can order either an eight-inch cheese (no sauce), or cheese (with sauce) or pepperoni pizza. The machine is pre-loaded with canisters of frozen dough which are then thawed, cut, pressed, topped and cooked at 700 degrees to make a pizza in three and a half minutes (that time actually goes down to 90 seconds on subsequent pizzas if you order more than one).
The Pizzametry, like so many automated food vendors, is meant for high-traffic areas like airports (which are starting to fill up with robots) or dorms or anywhere people want to grab a very quick bite to eat. Each machine can make 150 pizzas and accepts credit cards, bills and online payment services like PayPal and Apple Pay. The Pizzametry is also internet connected for self-diagnosis and can alert the homebase should any maintenance be needed.
Based in Rochester, NY, APM Partners is bootstrapped and has three employees. The Pizzametry has gone through field tests at the University of Rochester and the company is now taking orders and looking to deploy on a wider scale over the next six months. APM plans to own and operate the Pizzametries at first, handling all the stocking and cleaning of each machine.
In addition to straight sales, APM also has the ability to license out what is effectively ad space on the front of each Pizzametry. In Rochester, for instance, the company partnered with local pizzeria Salvatore’s, using their sauce on the pies. The effect, Benjamin said, is giving Pizzametry a recognizable neighborhood brand in each location.
Pizzametry is actually coming along at a good time to ride a wave of automation that’s sweeping the food industry. From fully autonomous restaurants like Spyce, to co-botics fast food from Flippy at Caliburger, to the smoothie making Blendid, to the salad dispensing Sally — food robots are becoming de rigueur.
I can’t speak to the quality of Pizzametry’s pizza, but if you think about hungry college students staying up late to study or a harried family needing just a quick bite before embarking on a plane, Pizzametry makes sense.
Now people just need to make sense of its name.