Pizza vending machine hits Sydney

Megan Johnston
Down the chute: The final result.
Down the chute: The final result. 

First came the announcement that McDonald's is rolling out home delivery across the country. Now there's more news for people on a quest to try the ultimate convenience food.

That's right: the pizza vending machine has hit Sydney.

Installed on level four of Chatswood Westfield two weeks ago, the contraption is the creation of George Pompei of Pompei's trattoria and pizzeria in Bondi.

The Italian-designed machine.
The Italian-designed machine. 

Designed in Italy, the machine took about two years to develop and holds 84 pizzas: half margherita and half hot salami.

The 11-inch pizzas, which cost $12 each, are prepared at the Bondi restaurant, where the dough rests for 48 hours before being topped with sauce and other ingredients and being par-baked in a stone oven.

The pizzas are then chilled in the machine until they're ready to heat and serve to a customer. The final cooking process takes between two and three minutes.

At the moment, the machine sells about 60 pizzas a day, Pompei says. It is hooked up to his mobile phone, which alerts him to technical problems and stock levels.

Pompei plans to install more machines in shopping centres and transport hubs across the country, tipping Melbourne as the next destination. More machines are already on their way to Australia.

While the idea of a cheesy pizza at the press of a button may leave nutritionists trembling, Pompei says the overall reaction has been positive. "People are genuinely surprised when they see the quality and appearance of the pizza," he says.


Chatswood nine-to-fiver Ian Dunlop was less enthusiastic.

"A workmate and I decided to give it a whirl. It wasn't bad, but it was pepperoni, which is pretty hard to stuff up," he says.

Dunlop would have preferred the pizza pre-cut, too. "We were going to nick a knife from the Chinese take-away, but in the end we just pulled it apart."

What's next Sydney – hot dogs down the chimney?