“Grab and go” luxury products? You got it right. A pioneer in this was the Mondrian Hotel in South Beach which opened with a full wall of the lobby taken up by a Semi-Automatic, purple vending machine that helped put it on the hipsters’ map. Some go-to items: a feather vest ($400), a $28 T-shirt emblazoned with the word recession, and even 24-karat-gold handcuffs ($350). You could even buy a nearby condo, or rent a 1953 Cadillac DeVille convertible. Prices ranged from $10 to $1.2 million.
The vending machine phenomenon is accelerating, embracing even luxury food and beverage products. Here’s a rundown of some of the newest, latest and greatest brought to my attention by Chicago based Farmer’s Fridge which could have some interesting applications for the hotel industry with the burgeoning “Grab and Go” food and beverage concept:
Let’s Pizza .Let’s Pizza kneads the dough, forms a round, adds tomato sauce, layers toppings and then bakes it all in front of every customer in 3 minutes. Let’s Pizza is basically a mini-pizzeria that’s open 24 hours a day!
Moët & Chandon Champagne Vending Machine (UK): Located in the Selfridge’s department store in London, this Champagne vending machine holds 200 milliliter bottles for $29 each. Each bottle is decorated with Swarovski crystals and the machine uses robotic arms to deliver the Champagne safely to the customer.
Corner Chips (BE): Outside of Brussels, Belgium, this unique vending machine is a diet-breaker. For €2.50, hot fries are delivered in 95 seconds with your choice of condiment including ketchup and mayo. Built with high-tech technology such as remote-management that lets its operator know when it’s almost out of potatoes.
Beverly Hills Caviar (US): From $5 to $600, customers in Beverly Hills, CA now have access to the delicacy of caviar from a vending machine. The caviar is dispensed in a glass jar and has an expiration date of 365 days.
ABOUT FARMER’S FRIDGE
Farmer’s Fridge, a new healthy vending machine concept, delivers delicious gourmet salads and snacks to customers via automated kiosks around the Chicagoland area. The idea to provide nutritious meals came from Founder Luke Saunders’ realization that health-conscious people were struggling to find nutritious meals and snacks that were easily accessible. Building on that belief, Saunders drew on his background in manufacturing to create an automated kiosk that could dispense healthy food options. Farmer’s Fridge offers people healthy, nutritious foods that are delicious and satisfying in a state-of-the art, innovative automated kiosk. The salads and snacks are made from fresh ingredients available from local produce vendors. Farmer’s Fridge salads and snacks are handcrafted each morning in a local Chicago kitchen and are stocked daily by 10 a.m. The company also provides catering to businesses in downtown Chicago. For more information, please visit www.farmersfridge.com.