Xavier University’s Hoff Dining Commons closes at 8 p.m. But thanks to a $55,000 machine from France, pizza is available on-demand, 24/7. Xavier’s “Pizza ATM” arrived at the Fenwick Place residence hall in August, though the school’s dining hall kitchen is still the U.S. Mint of this metaphor. “We make the pizza,” says Jude Kiah, XU’s assistant vice president for auxiliary services. “It stores the pizzas in a refrigerator, cooks them, and delivers it. Just like a bank ATM delivers money.”
We Welcome Our Pizza Robot Overlords
To fill an order, the ATM’s robot arm removes the box from refrigeration, opens it, and lifts the pizza into a convection oven for two minutes. Then it puts the pizza back into the box, allows for a few seconds of cooling, and pops it out. Cutting the pizza is left to you, but there’s a plastic knife attached to the box.
The Pizza ATM serves a medium version of the large pies made in the dining hall. There’s an $8 cheese, a $9 pepperoni, and various rotating $10 “premium” options (supreme, Margherita, BBQ chicken).
The refrigeration unit takes up more than half of the Pizza ATM’s real estate, storing up to 70 boxed pizzas that have already been sauced, par-baked in the dining hall’s pizza oven, and topped with cheese and other ingredients.