, Australia
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Kristy Bannister

Grab-and-go concepts could evolve faster with vending machines

Dr Dough drops the first-ever doughnut vending machine in Australia

Vending machines could be the next evolution of grab-and-go concepts as fast food brands like Subway continues to develop their use to get closer to their consumers.

Last year, the chain announced the expansion of its non-traditional presence through the installation of smart fridges throughout the US.

These interactive, fully unattended smart fridges have artificial intelligence and natural language processing that allows customers to talk to the machine and it will answer questions about the products. It uses a contactless and cashless payment method and features sanitation protocols such as the use of UV-C light sanitation to keep it clean. Local franchisees would see to it that the stock and supply in these vending machines are always fresh.

Australia launch

This vending machine concept has already landed in Australia, with Dr Dough delivering the first-ever doughnut vending machine in Sydney. 

According to Dr Dough owner and founder Kristy Bannister, the concept called Dough Lab was conceptualised because as an online-only retailer, they wanted to create a retail presence in a different way that they could not do with their initial concept.

“The Dough Lab was first conceptualised because our primary business is delivery and we offer a wide range of options that our customers know and love. We were restricted with how crazy we can go with our doughnut designs and toppings because they need to travel well. However in the vending machine in a controlled environment, we can release all of the fun flavour combinations that we create out of our test kitchen in Pyrmont. Our team are really proud of their creations and are thrilled to have a way to get them into our customers' hands,” Kristy said.

The machine is filled every morning with fresh products and kept at a perfect temperature. The doughnuts are in airtight packaging for optimal product quality. The vending machine uses a touch screen where the customers can view products and what they look like before purchasing. The doughnut is delivered via an elevator system to the customer.

Additionally, so that customers know what flavours are on the menu, Dr Dough makes social media updates daily.

The vending machine is the first one for Dr Dough and is located at Westfield Bondi Junction, which Kristy describes as an easy-to-get-to, popular location. The location is strategic because it is near Dr Dough’s kitchen in Pyrmont, which makes it easier for restocking.

“With this Dough Lab being our first machine we can learn and react quickly and make sure our customers experience the same amazing products and services we provide online when using the Dough Lab,” Kristy said.

Currently, Kristy said they have more of these doughnut vending machines on the way 

“We’ve put out the feelers on socials to see the locations that our followers suggest and we’ve had responses that span all of Sydney. It will be tough for us to choose the next few spots! We’ve had so many suggestions! We also see it evolving further by allowing us to test new and exciting flavours with our customers and if we should create them for our online delivery customers,” Kristy said.

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