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Longstanding Columbus pizzeria announces a pizza vending machine and robot-run restaurant

Longstanding Columbus pizzeria announces a pizza vending machine and robot-run restaurant

Sav McKee

A standalone pizza vending machine is deploying in Columbus, along with a plan to open a fully autonomous pizzeria with robots as the employees, in hopes to “tackle labour shortages, environmental sustainability and restaurant profitability – delivering the best quality food and value to consumers,” according to a press release.

Donatos Pizza, originally founded by Jim Grotes on Thurman Ave. in 1963, announced on July 13th that they’ve decided to debut a pizza vending machine with their “groundbreaking collaboration” with Appetronix (Appetite + Robots, known for their food prep robotics and savvy vending machines) in Donatos’ hometown of Columbus, Ohio.


They’re not just stopping there. A fully autonomous Donatos standalone restaurant concept was also announced in their press release, as well as the launch of small prep-bots for already existing restaurants. “The fully autonomous restaurant…will leverage state-of-the-art robotics and date science technologies, enabling a seamless and efficient dining experience for customers, from placing orders to receiving their pizza,” announced Donatos.

According to Donatos, “…advanced robotics will handle the pizza-making process with precision, ensuring consistent quality, faster service, increased order accuracy, and a seamless digital interaction. Additionally, data science solutions will enhance customer interactions, personalize recommendations, optimize inventory management, and improve operational efficiency with predictive machine maintenance.”

From AI drive-thrus to robot-run tunnels, this isn’t the first Columbus company to toy with the idea of AI incorporation.

Want to read more? Check out our print publication, (614) Magazine. Learn where you can find a free copy of our new July issue here!


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